MEP, Vice-Chair of the S&D Group
Marju Lauristin is an Estonian Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Group of Socialists and Democrats. In the European Parliament she is an active member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee where she has been appointed rapporteur of the data protection directive, and shadow rapporteur of data protection regulation. Mrs Lauristin has an academic career in social sciences and is a Professor in Tartu University since 1995 where she teaches courses on political communication, including on e-participation. Mrs Lauristin is also 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.
MEP EPP, AFCO rapporteur on ECI
Professor György Schöpflin was born in Budapest in 1939 and lived in the UK from 1950 to 2004. He graduated M.A., LL.B. from the University of Glasgow and pursued postgraduate studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. He worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the BBC before taking up university lecturing, at the school of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London (1976-2004), including latterly as Jean Monnet Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism. Professor Schöpflin was elected a Member of the European Parliament for Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union, a member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) in 2004, re-elected in 2009 and in 2014.
Policy and Programme Manager – EU Policies, European Commission (DG CONNECT)
Serge works on Public Services and eParticipation policies and projects. He is the Project Officer of the e-SENS large scale pilot and involved in the Connecting Europe Facility initiative (CEF Digital). He is a French university engineer. He began his career at the French ministry of defence, in establishing ministerial ICT networks. Subsequently, in 2000, working at French Prime Minister’s Office, he set up the first French government network before joining in 2002, as a seconded national expert, the European Commission to help building the European TESTA network and launching eProcurement activities. After returning to France in 2004 within the ministry of culture and communication as deputy Head of ICT department, he came back to the European Commission in 2006 as an official. From 2006 to 2011 within the Directorate-General for Informatics he was a Policy and Programme manager for the ISA Programme, in charge of European Interoperability strategy (EIS), European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and European Interoperability Architecture (EIA).
M.Sc. Simon Delakorda
Director, Institute for Electronic Participation, Slovenia (www.inepa.eu)
His current applied projects and research focus include political informatics, democratic risks of digital society, online participation at the EU level and civil society based e-democracy. Simon is Ph.D. candidate of Social Informatics at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana and coordinator of the Network of non-governmental organisations for an inclusive information society in Slovenia (www.informacijska-druzba.org/english). His membership include the Slovenian Political Science Association, the Research network “Electronic Democracy” (DEL) and the Central and Eastern European Citizens Network e-Participation experts group.
New Technologies and Innovation Officer, European Disability Forum, Belgium
Alejandro Moledo coordinates EDF advocacy work on policies concerning e-accessibility for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), research and innovation, and EDF involvement in standardization activities. He holds Bachelor’s degree with honours in Journalism from University of Valencia (Spain), and Master’s in political and corporate communication from University of Navarra (Spain) and George Washington University (US). After working as a journalist in digital media and doing an internship in a Communication agency in Andorra, Alejandro worked for Political Intelligence, an European public affairs company before joining the European Disability Forum. Alejandro is a member of the Spanish Blind Organisation (ONCE), for which he worked as a journalist and regional representative of young visually impaired people inside the organisation.
Director, European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), Belgium
Before joining ECAS, a pan-European membership on EU citizens’ rights enforcement and civic participation in the EU decision-making process, Assya Kavrakova served as the Director of European Policies Program at the Open Society Institute (OSI-S) in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she was also leading the analytical and research activity of the European Policies Initiative. She personally authored the paper: “The Unfinished Business of the Fifth Enlargement Countries”. Assya Kavrakova has a Master’s degree in Law and another Master’s degree in European Studies. She has worked as a Public Policies and Outreach Director at the Democracy Network Program (DemNet) of the USAID. She was also the Executive Director of the Bulgarian branch of Transparency International. Assya Kavrakova is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow.
Head of e-Democracy Domain, e-Governance Academy, Estonia
Kristina Reinsalu has been involved in several local and international research and practical projects related to open governance and the use of ICT in implementing its principles, focusing in particular on e-participation and tools for its implementation at the local level. She has also been researcher and lecturer on social communication at the Institute of Media and Communication at the University of Tartu. Kristina’s latest projects include ‘Open governance in Estonian local governments’, ‘Implementation of the principles of open government in engaging citizens in decision-making processes in Moldova’, ‘Participatory budgeting in the City of Tartu’, the Interreg IVC project ‘eCitizen II – Towards citizen-centred e-government in European cities and regions’ and the ‘Electoral Compass’ produced for Estonia’s parliamentary elections. Kristina holds an MPR in Public Relations and a PhD in Media and Communications. She has had articles published in various international scientific journals.
Chief European Policy Adviser, Danish Technological Institute (DTI), Denmark
Gwendolyn has worked with governments, with and within international organizations, the European Commission and the private and civil sectors. Gwendolyn has more than 10 years of experience as team leader, project manager, and project director on large-scale international and European studies and projects. Recent relevant work includes work on the impact of technology on social innovation (FP7 project, TEPSIE, 2012-2014), which was the first foundation project looking into the emerging social innovation phenomenon and which included the investigation of the nexus of eGovernment and social innovation. Gwendolyn is currently an expert for the IPTS project ICT-enabled social innovation in the context of the social investment package. Prior to joining the DTI Gwendolyn worked as an eGovernment policy analyst at the OECD and was responsible for advising governments on how to improve their strategic approach to implementing IT. Gwendolyn further co-authored a number of trend studies, e.g. Rethinking e-Government. Gwendolyn holds a MSc in Media & Communications from the London School of Economics.
Managing Director, Stiftung Digitale Chancen, Germany
From 2012 to 2014 Gerhard Seiler was head of project and digital media section at the “Little Scientists Foundation” in Berlin and from 2001 to 2012 at “Schools Online e. V.” in Bonn, an initiative by the German Ministry of Education and Science in PPP with the German Telecom AG. As a professional pre-school-teacher, social-pedagogue and expert for media didactics and – education in the field of further education for the early education – and school sector, he crucially shaped a large number of nationwide learning platforms and blended learning training programs for educational specialists, teachers and social-workers. In the year 2011 he was nominated for the “German Further-Education-Training-Award”, in the years 2003 and 2011 he was the winner of the “Digita”, the German Educational-Media-Award.