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The Speakers


Karl Heinz Lambertz
Minister-president of Belgium's German-Speaking Community, President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions

Born in Schoppen (Belgium) in 1952, Karl-Heinz Lambertz has a masters degree in law and additional training in German law. He began his university career in 1976 as an assistant professor at the law faculty at the Catholic University in Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL), where he then became course director. Between 1984 and 1990, he was also leader of the Socialist Party of the German-Speaking Community of Belgium. Between 1995 and 1999, Mr Lambertz was German-Speaking Community minister for media, adult education, disability policy, social welfare and vocational training. He became Minister-President of the German-Speaking Community in 1999, a position he still holds. The same year, he became German-Speaking Community minister for employment, disability policy, media and sport, a post he occupied until 2004, when he became local authorities minister. He has been a member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 1999 and was rapporteur for the CoR opinion on EU state aid rules on services of general economic interest. He has been president of the CoR's PES group since June 2011 and is also president of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR).


Dr. Annegret Eppler
research associate at the University of Tübingen

Dr. Annegret Eppler is a research associate in comparative political sciences and European governance at the University of Tübingen. Her research mainly deals with comparative federalism, the EU democratic deficit, European integration and the political system of Germany, on multilevel governance systems and federalism reforms and on the role of the regions in Europe.

Dr. Eppler studied political sciences, history and German, as well as law at the University of Tübingen from 1992 to 2001. Her master's thesis dealt with the flexibility clause of the Treaty of Amsterdam. In 2003, she became a research assistant at the European Centre for Research on Federalism (Europäischen Zentrum für Föderalismusforschung) of the University of Tübingen. The same year, she took up a position as coordinator for the "Europe and Sports" program of the city of Stuttgart and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Baden-Württemberg. In 2004, she returned to the European Centre for Research on Federalism to work as a scientific coordinator, which she continued to do until 2007. In 2007, she took up a position at the University of Tübingen as a research associate in the domain of comparative politics and European governance for the department of Political Science. Until 2010, she served as a doctoral fellow, studying the reform of federalism in Germany as an element of Europeanization. As postdoctoral fellow, she focused her studies on the future of parliamentarism in multilevel systems.

Dr. Eppler is the author of numerous articles and contributed to several publications, also at the level of the editorial board.


Eddy Caekelberghs
journalist at the RTBF (radio and television of the French-speaking community of Belgium)

Mr. Caekelberghs studied political sciences and international relations at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he also got a Master's degree in European Politics from the Institute of European Studies. In 1989, he started to work as journalist for the RTBF. There, he worked on several topics – also with a regional perspective – and was also involved in the production of a number of programs like "Euro3", "Midi Première" and "Débats". For more than 10 years now, he has been the creator and presenter of the daily radio broadcast "Face à l'Info", which offers debates on society, culture and news, and has over 2500 broadcasts. Mr. Caekelberghs was awarded the Ex-Libris Prize in 2000.


Bruno Tobback
President of the Flemish socialist party sp.a

Born in 1961 in Leuven (BE), Bruno Tobback studied law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE), and social and economic law at the University of Ghent (BE). After his graduation in 1994, he started working as a lawyer in Brussels (until 2001) but also launched his political career, first as a member of the Provincial Council of the Flemish-Brabant province then as a member of the Flemish Parliament in 1995. In 2001, he became the parliamentary group leader for the sp.a in the Flemish Parliament, a mandate which was confirmed in 2004 with his Flemish Parliament election. He resigned shortly afterwards in order to take up the Minister for Environment and Pensions mandate in the federal government. In 2007, Bruno Tobback became a member of the Chamber of Representatives, the Belgian lower house. Shortly afterwards, he was also elected as President of the sp.a of Flemish-Brabant. In 2009, he subsequently became the parliamentary group leader for the sp.a in the Chamber of Representatives and was elected in 2011 as President of the sp.a. 


Anna Terrón i Cusí
former member of the PES Group and of the Catalan Parliament

Born in Barcelona (ES) in 1962, Anna Terrón i Cusí studied political sciences and public administration. In 1994, she was elected as Member of the European Parliament for the Partido de los Socialistas de Cataluña (PSC-PSOE) (and re-elected in 1999). 

From 1994 to 1999, she also occupied the post of Vice-President of the Delegation for relations with the Mashriq and Gulf States countries and was the spokeswoman for the Socialist Group in the European Commission on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (from 1994 to 2004). In July 2004, she was appointed as the representative of the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia to the European Union and took up, two years later (in December 2006), the mandate of Secretary of the Department of European Affairs of the Presidency of the Generalitat of Catalonia. 

She became the Secretary-General of the Patronat Català Pro Europa in 2004 (until 2007). During her mandate within the Committee of the Regions, Anna Terrón i Cusí was the PES Group  CIVEX coordinator and she was appointed rapporteur on several migration files. In 2010, she was elected Vice-President of the PES Group but had to resign after becoming Spain's State Secretary for immigration and emigration.


Irene Oldfather
former member of the PES Group and of the
Scottish Parliament.
Councillor within the North Ayrshire Council

Born in Glasgow (UK) in 1954, Irene Oldfather was educated at Strathclyde University, where she obtained an Honours degree in Politics and a post graduate MSc by Research. Before becoming an MSP she taught at the University of Arizona and the University of West of Scotland and worked as a journalist, researcher and broadcaster.

Irene Oldfather is presently Programme Director of the Health and Social Care Alliance (Scotland) leading on Dementia Carer Voices, the Life Changes Trust Project, Active Ageing and the European Patients Academy on Theraputic Innovation (EUPATI).

Formerly a Member of Committee of the Regions and a Vice President of the PES, Irene Oldfather was also a Member of the Scottish Parliament for 12 years, where she chaired the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee until May 2011.

As an MSP,  Irene Oldfather actively campaigned on the rights of older people and was the first ever Member of Scottish Parliament to be nominated and shortlisted for Dod’s 2009 UK Parliamentary Award for services to Older People. She also set up and chaired the Cross Party Group on Alzheimer’s and Dementia which drafted and agreed the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers, now incorporated into Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy. Her recent publications include “PATH to Active Ageing 2012”.


Dr. Tamara Ehs
Post-Doctoral Researcher, IWK – Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Vienna) and Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

journalist and political scientist

Dr. Tamara Ehs is currently working as a post-doctorate researcher at the Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst (IWK), and is a lecturer at the department of political science of the University of Vienna.

Dr. Ehs studied Political Science and Law at the University of Vienna and obtained a degree in European Community Law from the University of Vienna. She also studied at Sciences Po Lille and at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2005, she obtained her doctorate degree in Political Science with honours from the University of Vienna and Sciences Po Lille. Prior to her work at the IWK, Dr. Ehs worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Department of Legal and Constitutional History of the University of Vienna, and at the Centre for Research on Modern and Contemporary History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She has also worked as a guest professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2007), the Comenius University of Bratislava (2008), and as visiting lecturer at the Free University of Berlin (2009). In 2010, she was a visiting scholar at the New York Public Library and, until 2011, was a project manager of 'SEUM – The Challenges of Europeanisation'. In 2012 she did research at the Harvard Law School Library with a grant by the Botstiber Foundation.

Dr. Ehs has received several awards and honours, such as the admission to the ZiF Network of Young Scholars of Bielefeld University in 2011. She has published many articles, authored several books and has also contributed to a number of other works on subjects including federalism, European identity and the relationship between Europe and Switzerland.


Jean-Pierre Stroobants
Brussels correspondent for Le Monde

Born in Brussels in 1956, Jean-Pierre Stroobants studied both at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE) and at the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme in Lille (FR). From 1987 to 1989, he was the editor-in-chief of the magazine Le Vif-L'Express and, as of 1990, started working for Le Soir, another Belgian newspaper. Starting of as chief of the general affairs service, he went one to become chief of the service on political affairs from 1991 until 1997, then assistant editor-in-chief from 1997 to 2000. In 2001, he started working for the French newspaper Le Monde for which he was the correspondent for Benelux countries until 2003. Since 2003, he has been living in Paris where he was first Le Monde'sdeputy chief for international affairs and is now its correspondent for Benelux countries, NATO and European current affairs.  


Yves Bertoncini
Director of the Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute

Born in Chambéry (FR) in 1970, Yves Bertoncini studied at various institutions (the Institut d'Études Politiques (IEP) in Grenoble (FR), the College of Europe in Bruges (BE), the IEP in Paris (FR) and the University of Berkeley in California (USA)) and has taught European affairs in the Corps des Mines, the IEP and the École Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in Paris. At first responsible for international affairs at the Fédération Française des Sociétés d'Assurance between 2002 and 2005, he then worked on European policies as of 2006 in the private office of the French prime minister. This led him to become an adviser to the Secretary-General of European affairs in 2010 then, as of April 2011, to direct the Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute. As Notre Europe's Director, Yves Bertoncini assists the President in his activities, manages the team and is responsible for managing the work programme. He also takes part in Notre Europe-Jacques Delors Institute’s research work, focusing in particular on questions on European policies and institutions as well as on issues relating to democracy and mobility. Yves Bertoncini has written numerous books, articles and policy papers on European questions (several of which deal with political issues such as democracy and the division of powers, or discuss economic and social issues such as the EU budget).


Patrizia Toia
Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament for Cohesion Policy

Born in Pogliano Milanese (IT) in 1950, Patrizia Toia studied political sciences at the University of Milan (IT) then specialized herself in Strategic Planning at the University of Bocconi (IT). Her political career started in 1975 when she was elected as a municipal councillor for the municipality of Vanzago (IT). Over a period of 20 years, she went on to become successively a member of the Regional Council of Lombardy (1995), then of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1995-1996) and finally of the Italian Senate where she fulfilled several functions such as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Community Policies and Minister for the Relations with the Parliament (from 1996 to 2004). Patrizia Toia was elected as member of the European Parliament for the ALDE Group in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 to the same post but as a member of the S&D Group (following the merge of the former Democratici di Sinistra and Margherita within the new Partito Democratico). She is today the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in the European Parliament and a member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. She is a substitute for the Committee on Development and for the Delegation for relations with the Mercosur countries. On a national level, Patrizia Toia is also a member of the national Italian board of the Partito Democratico.


Paul Nemitz
Director of Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission

Born in 1962 in Bonn, Paul Nemitz studied law at the Universities of Hamburg, London and Strasbourg from 1983 to 1988. He obtained a Master's degree in Comparative Law from the George Washington University.

Before starting his career in the EU institutions in 1992, he worked as University research associate and legal clerk. He served as advisor to several European Commissioners and worked in several units, including the legal service of the European Commission. Since 2011 he is the director responsible for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship in the Directorate-General Justice of the European Commission.




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