From 2004-2016 Kersti Kaljulaid was a Member of the European Court of Auditors. She has previously worked as the CFO and CEO of the Iru Power Plant of state-owned energy company Eesti Energia and as an Economic Advisor to Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar. She has graduated from the University of Tartu in the field of genetics and completed master’s studies in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Republic of Estonia
Johannes Hahn has been Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) since November 2014 and previously served as Commissioner for Regional Policy. He has also held the position of Federal Minister of Science and Research, as part of the Austrian Federal Government.
Hennadiy Maksak is the head of the Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”. From 2016 he is a member of SC of Ukrainian national platform of the EaP Civil Society Forum. Member of Civic Council under the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs. In 2012-2014 was a member of Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
Ales (Aliaksandr) Bialiatski (born 1962), Belarusian human rights defender, one of the participants of pro-democracy movement in Belarus since 1980s. Former director of the Maksim Bahdanovich Literary Museum. Chairperson of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” (since 1996), one of the leading human rights organizations in Belarus; writer, author of several books of essays. Member of the Belarusian PEN-Centre. Former vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Former political prisoner (2011-2014). Released early following a powerful campaign of international solidarity. Winner of several human rights awards. Lives in Minsk.
Marian Lupu led the DPM from 2009 until 2016, together with a team which appreciates his honesty. He believes in social-democracy, in a state which would be sufficiently powerful to be able to protect the many. He believes in balance and peace. He is economist by profession, PhD in Economy. He started his career as Executive Director of TACIS-Moldova Program, afterwards holding consequently a number of positions in the Ministry of Economy, being appointed as Minister of Economy in 2003. Since 2005 he has dedicated himself to the political career, being elected as the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.
Jeff Lovitt is the Chair of New Diplomacy (www.newdiplomacy.net), which focuses on civil society engagement in policymaking, security policy reform, and media standards. He was Editor in 2016-17 of two Council of Europe studies on Civil Participation in Political Decision-Making in the Six Eastern Partnership Countries, and is Editor in Chief of the Eastern Partnership Index 2015-2016. He provides risk monitor consultancy to UNDP and is a member of the International Experts Panel of the Open Government Partnership. He twice served as co-Chair of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
Diana Jabłońska is Deputy Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). She works in the Unit which deals with the Eastern Partnership, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. She focuses in particular on the development of Eastern Partnership, people to people contacts and support to civil society. Diana started her career in the Polish national administration where she was responsible for the first EU funded programmes for cohesion policy. She joined the European Commission in 2003 and worked in different areas related to employment, education, regional and cohesion policy. She has a vast expertise in policy development and supporting reforms with a very strong knowledge of EU assistance programmes. She has a background in international relations and political sciences.
2011, 2013, 2016 Member of the Steering Committee of EaP CSF. 1998-1999 Acting Head of Mission of Georgia to the EU, Deputy Head of the Mission. 2000-2002 Director of Department for Relations with the EU, MFA Georgia. During last 15 years he was warking as a researcher at GFSIS and was actively advising Georgian Government on European Integration related policies through number of international projects, engaged in training and capacity building of Georgian young professionals in Euroepan Integration. 2015-2016 Chairman of EaP Civil Society Forum Georgia National Platform. Member of Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum.
Urmo Kübar is the civil society adviser to the President of Estonia. He has been involved in Estonian civil society development since 1999 when he, as an undergraduate student, co-founded a monthly civil society newspaper to raise public awareness about the growing nonprofit sector. While serving as the CEO of Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations in 2006-13, his team was mostly focused in implementing new means to encourage public participation and civic activism. Main areas of interest: relations between civil society and public sector, public participation, philanthropy, leadership.
Dovilė Šukytė is a Policy Analyst at the Eastern Europe Studies Center in Vilnius. She also serves as a Steering Committee Member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy as well as democratization and reform in the Eastern Partnership countries, Central and Eastern Europe, and Western Balkans.
Dr. Irina Tochitskaya has more than 20 years of research and management experience. Irina earned her Ph.D. Degree in Macroeconomics and M.Sc. Degree in Statistics. Her professional interests include trade policy, innovation and growth, energy sector development, enterprise development, applied econometrics. In 1996 she took the position of Chief Specialist at the Joint Stock Bank “Belarusbank”, Minsk, where she was responsible for investment, money – flow, operation – cost analysis. In 1999-2000 she was awarded the fellowship of the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington DC), then she spent five month as a Visiting Faculty at the Department of Economics at the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). Since 2003 Irina has been working as a Deputy Director and Academic Director of the IPM Research Center (Minsk, Belarus).
The Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an employers’ organization that brings together businesses from its region. The Chamber is an independant, politically neutral and interprofessional organization that covers multiple sectors. It counts +/- 3000 member companies. Mr. Luc Van Looveren has been working at the International Department on EU related matters since 1987. During these years he developed practical tools and courses aimed at helping business support organizations and enterprises in EaP countries and elsewhere to identify and understand the EU’s legal requirements for bringing certain products on the markets. This concerned in recent years especially courses and individual consults on EU market access rules for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
Richard Giragosian is the Founding Director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), an independent “think tank” located in Yerevan, Armenia (www.regional-studies.org) and serves as both a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe’s Natolin Campus and Senior Expert at Yerevan State University’s Centre for European Studies (CES). He is also a contributing analyst for al Jazeera and Oxford Analytica, a UK-based global analysis and advisory firm. From 2002-2006, Giragosian served as a guest lecturer for the U.S. Army Special Forces and, for nine years, as a Professional Staff Member of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the U.S. Congress. He has also worked as an analyst for Abt Associates Inc., a social science consulting firm, and was a research consultant for the New America Foundation and the Center for National Policy (CNP) in Washington.
Dr. Guillaume Van der Loo is a researcher in the Europe in the World Unit of CEPS. His research and publications focus on EU external relations law and policy, in particular the EU’s neighbourhood relations. He obtained a PhD in Law (2014, Ghent University) on the EU’s new generation of Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas signed with the Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. At CEPS he is involved in several projects focussing on the trade dimension of the ENP. For example, he is a co-author of 3 ‘handbooks’ on the Association Agreements and DCFTAs concluded with the Eastern Partnership countries, developed in the context of the SIDA-funded ‘3 DCFTAs’ project. He also published a monograph on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and DCFTA (Brill/Nijhoff, 2016). Guillaume is also involved in several training projects for civil servants of ENP. Guillaume is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Ghent European Law Institute (GELI) focusing on the legal dimension of the EU’s trade policy.
Janis Rungulis has been part of the EU’s East Stratcom Task Force since 2015. For the last two years Janis has been developing communication campaigns across the Eastern Partnership region to raise awareness about tangible benefits that the EU is bringing to people there. He also takes part in the team’s efforts to address pro-Kremlin disinformation. Previously Janis Rungulis was the spokesperson of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels dealing with education, environment, telecommunications, transport, energy and other topics.
Celia Davies is Head of Fundraising at Meydan TV. She has worked since 2010 with human rights and media NGOs in the EAP region, including two years in Baku, Azerbaijan. Celia has previously worked as a consultant for Transparency International, Save the Children, Swedish Public TV, the BBC, Cambridge Centre for Human Rights and Governance, Edinburgh University School of Law, and the Centre for Constitutional Transitions.
Raul Rebane graduated from the University of Tartu in 1977 with a degree in journalism. 1977-1997 worked at ETV as a sports commentator, editor and program manager, and in 1998-1999 as a program manager for TV1. Has worked 12 times at Olympic Games as a commentator, team manager and member of the European Broadcasting Union’s Information Group. Since 1999 has been working as a consultant, teacher and strategy adviser. Raul Rebane was one of the first experts who in the 1990s started to research the cases of information warfare, psychological operations, and psychological defence. He wrote many articles, translated books to Estonian, and participated in dozens of conferences on this topic. In recent years, Mr Rebane was acknowledged as a publicist who is writing about problems in Estonian society. The newspaper Postimees chose Raul Rebane the leader of public opinion of Estonia in 2017.
Andriy Kulakov has solid managerial experience with mass media and non-government organizations. Before joining Internews-Ukraine, Mr.Kulakov worked for the Channel 5 and for the International Renaissance Foundation. As a Program director of Internews Ukraine he is responsible for administration of all Internews-Ukraine’s projects, including those funded by the EU Delegation, USAID, World Bank, EU member states’ embassies, etc. He is also a consultant in communication and PR, in particular for awareness campaigns and strategies. He is a trainer in communication, advocacy and media literacy. He has contributed to Ukrainska Pravda, Den’ Newspaper, Telekritika etc. Mr.Kulakov is an editor and co-author of several manuals and books in media- and journalism-related issues published by Internews-Ukraine. Andriy Kulakov is also one of the co-founder of Ukrainian Aspen Club, a local NGO uniting the alumni of Aspen Seminars in Ukraine.
Boris Navasardian started his journaistci career in 1979.And parallel to it since being elected as the President of the Yerevan Press Club, the first independent association of journalists in Armenia, in 1995, he has been actively engaged with the civil society and expert community. In 2009-2017 he was several times elected as a member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, acting as country facilitator of CSF in Armenia, as CSF Working Group 1 (Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability) coordinator and also as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Forum.
David is a lawyer with hands-on experience in successful reform implementation in various spheres of eGovernance. During his 14 years-long career David has been deeply involved as public servant in eGovernance reforms carried out in Georgia from 2003-2012. During his service at the Parliament of Georgia, Ministry of Justice of Georgia and State Procurement Agency of Georgia, David was a principal drafter of legislation and co-author of the reform concepts for property registry, civil registry, business registry (Ranked #1 in the World for that time by the World Bank) electronic public procurement implementation and many more. David was a member of Georgia’s negotiating team in EU – Georgia DCFTA in Public Procurement. He was actively contributing to Anti-Corruption Interagency Council under the Government of Georgia. Ge-GP (Georgian e-Government Procurement) platform, created from scratch in 2010 was architected and managed by David and later became basis and good practice to follow for Ukraine, Moldova, Tajikistan and other countries in eastern Europe, central Asia and Africa. Since 2012 David continues his involvement in electronic public procurement reforms in Ukraine and Moldova as international expert/consultant. His contribution resulted in the creation of the innovative eProcurement system Prozorro in Ukraine which covers 100% of all public procurement, while in Moldova new eProcurement system M-Tender is operating in the pilot mode since January 2017 and covers low and medium value public procurement contracts.
Liia Hänni is physicist by education; she holds a Ph.D. degree. She worked 20 years in science doing research on astrophysics. During revolutionary events in Estonia at the beginning of the nineties of the last century, Liia became actively involved in politics as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister responsible for property reform. She has been active on constitutional and the EU affairs. From the beginning of 2005 Liia Hänni is involved in the e-democracy programme of e-Governance Academy. She promotes use of ICT for democratic governance and empowerment of citizens. Liia is a founder of the CS OGP Roundtable in Estonia and a member of the OGP Coordination Council, a cooperation forum engaging various partners from public sector and Civil Society. From November 2016, Liia serves as an Adviser to the President of Estonia.
Sahil Mammadli works at the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN xidmət). During his career at the State Agency for over 5 years, he has worked in various positions and contributed to many innovations for public sector productivity of the organisation. ASAN xidmət establishes a user-friendly, citizen-centric, responsive and digitally advanced public service delivery system for efficient and transparent access to key public and private services for citizens and foreign residents of Azerbaijan. Sahil has conducted various researches in the topic of advancing public service and social innovations in Azerbaijan and increase efficiency in service delivery process.
Sinziana – Elena Poiana is currently a Civil Society Policy Officer for the European Commission (DG NEAR) covering Neighbourhood East countries. Before joining the European Commission, she was a researcher and Regional Cooperation Officer for the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) in Bucharest, coordinating SAR’s activities and network in South Eastern Europe and the wider Black Sea region. Her main areas of expertise are public accountability, local democracy and social and civil rights. She also held a number of short-term positions, including with the Foreign Policy Commission of the Romanian Senate, the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC, Open Society Institute in Budapest, the World Bank Office in Bucharest and the International Organization for Migration. Up until 2014 she was involved in setting up a number of non-government organisations and networks, in Romania and abroad. She holds an MA in Public Policy from the Central European University in Budapest.
Hille is currently working as an expert in open government, sharing her experience in civil society participation and policy-making. Her most recent assignment was with Estonian Government Office, advising a policy for Social Innovation. Hille also serves at International Expert Panel of the Independent Review Mechanism. The IRM is the research arm of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and carries out review of implementing national action plans in 75 countries. Working with the highly respected Estonian think tank Praxis, Hille has a solid list of policy research work in her portfolio. She has initiated civic Open Data initiatives, to name just a few: Meieraha.eu, the Estonian state budget visualization and personal tax burden calculator; Government Watch for monitoring political pledges; visualizing public services of municipalities.
Yuliya Ivakhnina is the Head of the Open Office of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. She joined the NABU team in early 2016. Open Office – is a brand new unit for law enforcement bodies of Ukraine, which deals with stakeholders engagement, networking with NGOs. It is a unique platform for discussions and a learning unit. Before joining the NABU for 5 years Yuliya was engaged into international advocacy for HIV and Hepatitis C treatment for 16 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She is still a part of Policy Steering Committee at European AIDS Treatment Group, International advocacy organization. She has also been an international trainer in sphere of media actions development, network building, media advocacy, strategy and communication platform development, NGOs consolidation with means of media, joint campaigns, inner reforming. Besides Yuliya has more than 10 years of practice in journalism working as a free-lance journalist, section editor, staff writer at top Ukrainian and international media such as Forbes, Focus, Forum Daily USA, Kyiv Post. She is fluent in English. Also speaks French and Italian.
Rasul Jafarov is Chairman of the Human Rights Club, Baku-based non-governmental organization focusing on promotion and protection of fundamental political and civic freedoms, as well as democratic development. Due to difficulties for operation of independent NGOs in Azerbaijan he continues his activities on individual basis. He is delivering existing problems in the field of human rights to local and international community via various campaigns. Sing for Democracy, Online Expression Initiative, Art for Democracy, the Working Group on Unified List of Political Prisoners are among of these activities.
Beata Jaczewska, Executive Director of International Visegrad Fund, former Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Poland, lawyer, negotiator and long-term civil servant. Having graduated from several prestigious universities such as a University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and her PhD studies at Warsaw School of Economics, she is an expert in UN/EU decision-making processes and international economics. She also holds a degree from the University of Cambridge in European law. In 2013, Beata Jaczewska was a Head of Polish Delegation to UNFCCC COP19/CMP9 Climate Summit in Warsaw.
Giorgi Kldiashvili is a founding member and Executive Director of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). He has over seven years of experience working on openness and transparency issues in Georgia and internationally. He has been carrying out projects, studies, assessments and trainings for different international organizations and foundations. Giorgi Kldiashvili is an author of a number of publications related to access to information, anticorruption policy and good governance, accountability and transparency, e-Governance and e-Democracy, open data, civil service and public administration, media and internet. In addition to his work in applied policy research with IDFI, as a historian by specialty he has academic credentials as a researcher, undertaking studies in American and Soviet Studies. He is professional archive researcher, working in the history archives of Georgia and abroad for more than a decade. Giorgi holds graduate degrees in Contemporary History and worked as a professor of American Studies at the Institute of American Studies at Tbilisi State University. Giorgi Kldiashvili is a CSO Steering Committee Member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). He is a co-chair of the platforms of the executive and legislative OGP in Georgia and a co-chair of the Access to Information Working Group at the Anti-Corruption Council of Georgia
Boris Iarochevitch was born in Brussels on August 1958.He graduated in Engineering in Belgium, and later obtained a Master in International Business Management in Moscow. He holds a Diploma in Islamic Studies (University of Sarajevo) and Certificates in International Relations and Geopolitical Analysis (UCL Belgium). He joined the European Institutions in 1993. During his career, he has served in Senegal, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Georgia. He is currently Head of Division at the European External Action Service, dealing with the Eastern Partnership, regional cooperation and the OSCE.
Maris Jõgeva is an executive director for the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations (NENO), the only cross-sectoral civil society network in Estonia with a mission to advocate for the development and promotion of civic action and civil society in Estonia. She is also member of the Board in the European Network of National Civil Society Associations (ENNA), representing interests of organised civil society in Europe. Her main expertise is government-civil society relations, funding of civil society and involving civil society in public policy making. Before joining NENO she worked for the Ministry of Interior on issues concerning civil society development, and later for Open Estonia Foundation, mostly focusing on civic education and capacity building of CSOs. She has masters degree in social work and social policy from Tartu University, and has closely participated in national as well as European civic initiatives.
Merle Pajus has been involved in gender eguality and civil society issues through the various activities of Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Centre (a grassroots, non-profit, non-governmental organisation with the aim to advance gender equality in all spheres of life), including managing development cooperation projects in Armenia and Ukraine. The work in Ukraine in close cooperation with local NGOs has been targeted at integrating internally displaced women into civil society and expanding their opportunites on the labor market. She applies her knowledge of project managemant in her work as project advisor at Tallinn University.
Mihkel Annus works as a project coordinator at Estonian Green Movement. Together with CEE Bankwatch Network, an international network of CSOs dedicated to make public investments work for the people and the environment, and a local Georgian environmental organisation Green Alternative, he strives towards bringing the benefits of local communities at the core of the on-going hydropower development boom in Georgia. Developing great interest in renewable energy and obtaining a master’s degree in the field, he emphasises the need for sustainable development and acknowledging its possible impacts.
Karl Andreas Sprenk is current youth policy officer of Estonian National Youth Council (ENL) ENL as organisation stands for recognition of youth participation. ENL was also first Estonian civic society organisation which initiated a change of constitution by lowering the voting age to 16 for local government elections. Karl Andreas has been volunteering for different youth initiatives for last 6 years and his previous experiences include vice chairman positions in Estonian School Student Council’s Union (2013-2014) and Tallinn University Student Union (2016-2017). In addition to previous his currently finishing bachelor-degree studies in a field of Political Sciences and Governance in Tallinn University
Thomas Mayr-Harting has been EEAS Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia since 2015. Previously he served as EU Head of Delegation to the UN in New York (2011-2015) and as Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN (2008-2011). He represented Austria on the Security Council in 2009 and 2010. Thomas Mayr-Harting joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1979. He has worked, inter alia, at the Austrian Mission to the European Communities and the Austrian Embassy in Moscow. He was Ambassador to Belgium and NATO from 1999 to 2003. Between 2003 and 2008, he served as Political Director of the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
In September 2015, Katarína Mathernová assumed her function as Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations. She has served as Deputy Director General in Regional Policy (2007-2010). Mathernová has held senior management and advisory posts at the European Commission, the World Bank (2002-2004, 2010-2014), and in the reform government in Slovakia (1998-2002) where she was Chief Institutional and Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, key architect of the Slovak economy’s transformation.
Hanna Hopko is an expert in advocacy, media and political communications. She has worked for different technical assistance programs focused on the development of Ukrainian civil society and human rights defense (USAID, OSCE, NATO, UNEP, UNDP projects, Environment and Security Initiatives, etc). Hanna also worked with the Institute of Political Studies, the National Democracy Institute, the Parliamentary groups coalition “For Morality, Spirituality and Nation’s Health”. She was one of the leading members of the Civic Sector of EuroMaidan during the Revolution of Dignity. During the parliamentary elections that followed the EuroMaidan revolution, Hanna headed the list of the Samopomich (SelfReliance) Party and was elected into the Parliament of Ukraine, she was expelled from Self Reliance on 31 August 2015 for her support of amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution that would lead to decentralization. Now she is non-affliated People’s Deputy.
Katerina Danilova was Head of Communications of socio-political Opinion Festival – an open-air meeting platform for entire Estonian community that gives voice to individual citizens, opinion-leaders, media and public companies. This year more than 9000 citizens attended 130 core-issue discussions hosted by 100 organizations over a two day event in August. Through healthy and respectful debate participants set the public agenda for the following year. By being a bridge between ethnic minority and majority, Katerina also helped plenty of national initiatives to find its way to create meaningful communication and thanks to her knowledge about Estonian NGO sector, she also became a trainer for national and foreign NGOs in such topics as organizational culture, team building, growth and advocacy.
Marju Lauristin is an Estonian Member of the European Parliament in the Group of Socialists and Democrats. She is an active member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, where she has previously worked on the data protection package and has now been appointed rapporteur of the new E-privacy Regulation. She has an academic career in social sciences and is a Professor in Tartu University since 1995. Prof. Lauristin was one of the establishing members of ‘Rahvarinne’ in 1988, the first large-scale independent political movement in Estonia since the beginning of the Soviet occupation. She has since been Chairman of the Estonian Social Democratic Party, deputy speaker of the Estonian parliament, minister of Social Affairs of Estonia, and member of the Estonian Parliament.
Kadi has been working with Let’s Do It Foundation since 2011 when she joined as a volunteer to support the growth of the movement that started in Estonia in 2008 when 50 000 people cleaned up the country together in just 5 hours. Since 2015, her main task has been developing international partnerships for World Cleanup Day 2018, 15 September to ensure cross-sectoral support for the world’s biggest positive civic action. Millions of volunteers will be joining waste mapping and cleanup actions in 2018 to make the world SEE waste and the problems related to it and feel empowered to solve them together. Kadi’s job is to work with partners who committ to supporting civil cociety in their efforts to cleaning their communities. Kadi has graduated from Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and worked as a tax and legal consultant in PwC prior to joining Let’s Do It Foundation full time.