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Vestager Margrethe

Vestager Margrethe

European Commission’s Executive Vice-President

Keynote Speech

Keynote Speech

25 Feb 2021 | 17:15 - 17:30

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Vestager Margrethe

Margrethe Vestager, age 52, is the European Commission’s Executive Vice President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age and Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011-14) and Minister for Education (1998-2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council (2012). She was Political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993-95). Ms. Vestager holds an MSc in Economics (University of Copenhagen).

Viola Roberto

Viola Roberto

Director General, Communications Networks, Content & Technology

Welcome to day 3

Welcome to day 3

25 Feb 2021 | 10:10 - 10:20

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Viola Roberto

Roberto Viola is Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission. He was the Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT, European Commission from 2012 to 2015. Roberto Viola served as Chairman of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG) from 2012 to 2013, as Deputy Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2010. He was a member of the BEREC Board (Body of European Telecom Regulators), and Chairman of the European Regulatory Group (ERG). He held the position of Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM, from 2005 to 2012. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Regulation Department and Technical Director in AGCOM from 1999 to 2004. From 1985-1999 he served in various positions including Head of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Satellite Services at the European Space Agency (ESA). Roberto Viola holds a Doctorate in Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Voet Ludovic

Voet Ludovic

Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

Session - Upskilling Europe – new solutions and partnerships

Session - Upskilling Europe – new solutions and partnerships

"Industry is going through an unprecedented transformation on a global scale and we are witnessing increased disparities between sectors and regions. The rapid shift towards a climate neutral Europe and digital transformation is changing the way we work, learn, take part in society and lead our everyday lives. Europe can only grasp these opportunities if its people develop the right skills. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a profound impact on millions of people in the EU have lost their job or experienced significant income loss. Many will need to acquire new skills and move to new jobs in a different sector of economy. More will need to upskill to keep their job in a new work environment. For young people, entry in the labour market could be very challenging. To answer these challenges the Commission highlighted the importance of skills in the EU Industrial Strategy and adopted in July 2020 European Skills Agenda. A key for recovery is to increase public and private investment in upskilling the workforce to maximise job retention and new job opportunities. The Skills Agenda sets that by 2025, 120 million people should participate in training every year. The session will discuss how to address this challenge and mobilise efficiently the Recovery and Resilience Plans and the next Multi-Financial Framework (2021-2027)."

25 Feb 2021 | 15:45 - 17:15

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Voet Ludovic

Ludovic Voet Born in Belgium, 1986 Before being elected as Confederal Secretary at the ETUC’s May 2019 Congress, Ludovic Voet was national youth leader of the Belgian CSC union from July 2015. As President of Young CSC, he was responsible for the development of young people’s action within the union organisations (federations and local unions), external representation, organising, affiliation and lobbying. Ludovic’s responsibilities at the ETUC cover sustainable development and climate change, migration, youth policy, non-standard work and the platform economy, education and training, and equality and non-discrimination, plus organising. His trade union activity started as a student at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). From 2006 to 2011 he was active in the Federation of Francophone Students (FEF), helping to mobilise other students to take collective action. He took part in the campaigns that led to a reduction in higher education costs in the French part of Belgium in 2010. He also supported the student campaign against the French government’s proposed law to enable employers to fire young workers – a proposal which was subsequently withdrawn. In 2011, completing his studies, Ludovic participated in the major trade union demonstration in opposition to Belgian government austerity policies, and resolved to make a career in defending workers’ rights. In December 2012 he was appointed as local youth leader for the CSC Mons-La Louvière area.
Waterworth James

Waterworth James

Director European Policy, Amazon

What kind of a digital future we want

What kind of a digital future we want

As we stand at the start of a new decade, and look ahead to that digital future, the one thing we can say for sure is that none of us knows exactly how technology is about to change our lives. That’s partly because the digital world is so innovative – and innovation is uncertain by its very nature. However, as shown by recent Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Acts, the digital future will be powerfully shaped by our own choices and actions. That includes issues such as use of data while respecting democratic access to business opportunities, research and development for digital technologies driven by a human-centric approach and social innovation.

25 Feb 2021 | 14:05 - 15:35
Activity 1 : Advanced Technologies

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Waterworth James

James Moran is an Associate Senior Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. He has extensive experience in the middle east and North Africa: He was formerly the  Principal Advisor on the Middle East and North Africa at the EU’s European External Action Service. He was Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation in the Arab Republic of Egypt from February 2012 to September 2016, EU Ambassador to Jordan and Yemen in 1999-2002 and was the EU's senior coordinator in Libya during the 2011 revolution.
 
Between 2002 and 2011, after heading the China division in Brussels he was the EU's Asia Director from 2006-2011, and was the chief negotiator for a number of EU partnership agreements with China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Earlier experience in the 1980's and 90's included service with the EU Delegations in Jamaica and Ethiopia and various assignments in Brussels. Prior to joining the EU in 1983 he worked for the UK government and private sector in London. A UK national, he attended Keele, Harvard and London Universities.

Willems Véronique

Willems Véronique

Secretary General of SMEunited

Stronger together: the Single Market as a booster for industrial ecosystems

Stronger together: the Single Market as a booster for industrial ecosystems

The Single Market is the EU’s strongest asset in the transition to a greener, more digital, resilient and strategically autonomous economy. The COVID crisis has further highlighted the importance of the Single Market for the smooth operation of EU industry, across ecosystems and across borders.

23 Feb 2021 | 13:00 - 14:30

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Willems Véronique

Véronique Willems is representing Crafts and SMEs in Europe as the Secretary General of SMEunited (formerly known as UEAPME) since January 2017. Beforehand and as from 2009, she was the Head of European affairs at UNIZO (SMEunited Belgian member organisation) and was responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at EU-level. Ms Willems started her career at UNIZO in 1999 as Policy Officer in charge of education, training and SME counselling and went on to work at the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel) as responsible for advocacy at regional level, mentorship programs and individual counselling for entrepreneurs. Ms Willems holds a Law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Master’s Degree in Commercial sciences / Business management from VLEKHO Brussels.
Witucki Maciej

Witucki Maciej

Chairman Orange Polska, President of Polish Confederation Lewiatan

Regional cooperation for climate neutral, digitally advantaged and more competitive Europe

Regional cooperation for climate neutral, digitally advantaged and more competitive Europe

Organiser: Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists National achievements and regional cooperation aimed at climate neutral, digital and competitive economy. Focus on business realities, plans and visions in the following fields: energy market; offshore wind and solar; energy efficiency, smart distribution networks; conversion of fossil fuel-based power plants into renewable energy sources; application of advanced technology solutions and digitized energy solutions; sustainable transport and logistics; circular economy; reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; R&D and innovation collaboration.
26 Feb 2021 | 15:45 - 17:15

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Witucki Maciej

Mr Maciej Witucki (born in 1967)
President of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan - the leading Polish employers’ organization since June 2019. 2006 - 2019 served as the vice-president of Lewiatan.
Graduated from the Poznan University of Technology. He specialized in logistics and decision-supporting systems. He held post-graduate studies in the field of industrial systems management in Ecole Central Paris (France).
He started his business career in Cetelem Bank (Paribas Group) – first in France, then in Poland. From October 2001 he was working in the capacity of the Member of the Management Board while from 2005 – as the President of the Management Board of Lukas Bank (Credit Agricole Group).
He joined Orange Group in 2006: in the years 2006 – 2013 he was the President of the Management Board while on 19 September 2013 he assumed the position of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Orange Polska.
He is a member of the Supervisory Boards at AXA Polska S.A. Since 2010 he has been the President of the Polish and French Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIFP). He is the Chairman of the Programme Board of the Polish Civic Forum, Member of the Board of Directors at Atlantic Council of the United States, Member of the Management Board of the Prof. Bronisław Geremek Centre Foundation.

Wuttke Joerg

Wuttke Joerg

President, EU Chamber of Commerce in China

Session - Trade in times when the global competitive landscape is fundamentally changing

Session - Trade in times when the global competitive landscape is fundamentally changing

"The Covid-19 pandemic has confronted economies across the world with the consequences of a globalised world with complex and integrated value-chains over several continents. It exposed the fragility of our model based on open free trade and cost efficiency. It showed how much our industries are dependent on foreign supplies, not only raw materials but also intermediate products, to manufacture their goods. Since then, there has been a strong emphasis in reinforcing the resilience of our economies by developing Europe’s open strategic autonomy. A combination of diversification of sources, development of strategic capacities, reshoring or nearshoring is advocated by European policymakers to make Europe more resilient. How does this compare with businesses’ behaviour on the markets? Do we see in practice a change of strategy and in the way companies do business? Recent surveys amongst international businesses tend to indicate that international leaders do not envisage to change significantly the organisation of their supply chains nor to reshore some of their activities to Europe. This panel will discuss how businesses see their supply chains in the near future and in the medium term and the reasons behind their strategies."

26 Feb 2021 | 10:50 - 12:20

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Wuttke Joerg

Jörg Wuttke is Vice President and Chief Representative of BASF China, based in Beijing. Since joining BASF in 1997, Mr. Wuttke has been responsible for helping guide the company’s investment strategies for China, negotiation of large projects and government relations.
Previous to joining BASF, Mr. Wuttke worked with ABB for 11 years; in fact his first professional encounter with China was in 1988 as the Finance and Administration Manager of ABB Beijing. In 1990, he returned to Germany as Sales Manager of ABB Power Plants Division, responsible for gas turbine sales to Africa and Russia. In 1993, he became Chief Representative ABB China in Shanghai and in 1994 moved to the President's Office of ABB China in Beijing, where he was responsible for the development and financing of large projects.
From 2001 to 2004 Mr. Wuttke was the Chairman of the German Chamber of Commerce in China. From 2007 to 2010, 2014 to 2017, and since May 2019 again he was the President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

Wyns Tomas

Wyns Tomas

Project Researcher, Environment & Sustainable Development, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Leaving no-one or no-region behind: addressing the challenges of industrial decarbonisation and Just Transition in Central and Eastern Europe

Leaving no-one or no-region behind: addressing the challenges of industrial decarbonisation and Just Transition in Central and Eastern Europe

Organiser: industriAll The EU is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, which has major implications for manufacturing sectors across the Continent. The EU is also committed to ensuring a just transition to carbon neutrality as laid out in the Paris Agreement and EU Green Deal. In Central and Eastern Europe, industrial transition cannot be disconnected from the deep energy transition underway. Industry in Eastern European countries is largely based on fossil fuels, the share of employment in energy-intensive sectors is particularly high, and GDP per capita comparatively lower than in other European countries. This puts the region in a different starting position from other EU regions and this needs to be taken into account when formulating EU policy. ‘One size fits all’ EU policies are unable to capture the challenges faced in the region. Policy coherence is vital between the EU’s Green Deal, revitalized industrial strategy, cohesion and regional policy, and employment and social policy. This workshop will build on a wider trade union initiative to help make sure that the EU’s COVID 19 recovery package and new budget drive a Just Transition and socially just Green Deal for all EU countries.

25 Feb 2021 | 10:45 - 12:15
Activity 2 : Circular economy

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Wyns Tomas

Tomas Wyns is a senior Researcher at the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is working on European and international climate policy, in particular the design of industrial and innovation policy in the EU and its Member States, enhancing global climate action under the Paris climate agreement and the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading System.  

He has developed an extensive knowledge about energy intensive industries, in particular on low-carbon breakthrough technologies, business model transitions to a low-carbon economy and financing this transition. He recently published a comprehensive report on the options to decarbonise energy intensive industries in Europe and how to finance this transition under the forthcoming EU ETS innovation fund.

Tomas has a Master's degree in Physics and is specialised in international relations and conflict management.

Xavier Gonçalo Lobo

Xavier Gonçalo Lobo

EESC Member Co-Rapporteur of the opinion "Towards circular procurement to provide high quality goods and services"

Circular procurement: public and private

Circular procurement: public and private

Public procurement can be a powerful tool in the transition to a sustainable and just circular economy. The aim of this workshop is to walk policymakers and decision-makers through the circular procurement process. Our goal is to share/highlight the daily concerns and huge change in mindset for those involved in procuring. We want this workshop to help policy makers tackle the bottlenecks in legislation and we hope to give a unique insight for businesses and decision-makers on how they should transform their range of products & services to enter the circular economy. Organised by European Economic and Social Committee

24 Feb 2021 | 14:00 - 15:30

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Yousef Yousef

Yousef Yousef

EIC Advisory Board Member and founder of LG Sonic

European Innovation Council

European Innovation Council

" Highly innovative SMEs with potential for high growth can take full advantage of partnering opportunities. Finding the right partner can generate great competitive benefits for small businesses. The European Innovation Council (EIC) stimulates strong collaboration between the innovative companies it funds and large corporates, investors, technology giants and industrial leaders to spur new partnerships and help small companies scale-up their business. Speakers from the Commission and multinational companies will cover how bridging the gap between start-ups/scale-ups and large companies can prove to be a vital strategy for business acceleration and growth."

24 Feb 2021 | 12:30 - 13:45

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Yousef Yousef

EIC Advisory Board Member and founder of LG Sonic, is an innovator with an out-of-the-box vision on water quality management, big data driven technologies and environmental monitoring. Yousef’s passion lies with green scaleups - from developing original technological solutions to setting up and coaching innovative businesses. This can be seen in his serial entrepreneurship as the Chairman of Hydrovolta and investor in LiceSonic and Clobe2Cloud. His belief is that the value proposition of Europe is highest in deep tech and sustainability, which will let Europe take the lead in the global economy.