EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström
Ms Cecilia Malmström has served as European Commissioner for Trade since 2014, having previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014. In her current position, she represents the EU in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade fora.
Cecilia Malmström is responsible for negotiating bilateral trade agreements with key countries, including recently concluded agreements with Canada, Japan and Mexico, and for ongoing negotiations with, for example, Chile, the four Mercosur countries, Australia and New Zeeland.
Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she served as Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006, and as Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs 2006–2010. She is a member of the Liberal People’s Party, which is represented by the ALDE group in the European Parliament.
Cecilia Malmström holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Department of Political Science of Göteborg University.
EU Commissioner For Agriculture
and Rural Development Phil Hogan
Mr Phil Hogan is EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since November 1 2014.
Commissioner Hogan grew up on a farm in rural Kilkenny, in south-east Ireland. From 1989 until he became Commissioner, he represented the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency in Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament, where he served in the Fine Gael Party shadow cabinet and as spokesman on Europe, on the food industry, on consumer affairs and on regional policy.
Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Minister for the Environment and Local Government in the Irish Government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny TD. During this time, he successfully implemented a broad-ranging agenda, including the biggest reform of local government since the foundation of the Irish State.
He has also occupied various senior posts at local, national and European level, including President of the Council of EU Environment Ministers (2013), Chairman of the European People’s Party of Environment Ministers (2012-14), National Director of Elections for the Fine Gael party (2010-11), Fine Gael Director of Organisation (2002-07), Chairman of Kilkenny County Council (1985 and 1998), Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Group (1995-2001) and Minister of State at the Irish Department of Finance (1994-95).
Prior to his entry to politics, he established and subsequently directed an insurance and real estate business. He also managed the family farm between 1981-83 and is a graduate of University College Cork, with a BA in Economics and Geography (1981).
Romanian Presidency, Minister of Business Environment,
Trade and Entrepreneurship for trade Stephan Radu Oprea
Born in Târgoviște, in June 1970, Ștefan-Radu Oprea was appointed Minister for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship in January 2018. He is a graduate of the Petroleum & Gas University of Ploiesti. In his 22 years of activity as an entrepreneur, he has gained expertise in management, marketing, local and regional development.
In 2007, he became a member of the Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSD). In 2009 he graduated the courses of National Institute of Administration (INA).
Mr. Ștefan-Radu Oprea has been elected Senator in the Romanian Parliament for two terms, between 2012-2016 and 2016-2020. He was Chair of the Development and Economic Strategy Committee of the Romanian Senate and Secretary of the Standing Bureau.
Mr. Ștefan-Radu Oprea is fluent in English.
Speakers on the programme
Ana Isabel Alve
Ms. Ana Isabel Alves has been Secretary General of ACIBEV, the Portuguese Wine and Spirits Trade Association, since 2008. In this capacity, Ana Isabel is also a member of the General Council of the National Commission of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and a member of the Portuguese Alcohol and Health Forum.
Prior to working at ACIBEV, Ms Alves had been Secretary General of ANCIA, the Portuguese vehicle inspection center Association from 2002 to 2007, and started her career at the Cabinet of the Ministry of Education in Portugal. Ana Isabel Alves is a lawyer by education and speaks Portuguese and English.
Iliana Axiotiades is the Secretary General of Coceral, which represents European traders in agri-commodities and agrosupply, Euromalt, which brings together the European malting industry, and Unistock, the European association of portside storekeepers of agri-bulk commodities. This involves managing the three associations and representing their interests with the European institutions, Member States and third country Permanent Representations to the EU. Iliana is also currently acting as Vice-President of the IGTC – the International Grain Trade Coalition, and Lead of the IGTC’s Plant Breeding Innovation Policy Team.
Prior to her current role, Iliana spent six years with Johnson Controls where, as Director of Government & Trade Relations Europe, she worked very closely with the Power Solutions, Automotive and Building Efficiency businesses of the company to identify the policy drivers impacting their growth, and design strategies aimed at seizing the opportunities and mitigating the risks created by political decisions. In particular, she promoted European energy efficiency policies with the EU Commission, Parliament and Member States governments, and was the company Lead for the TTIP negotiations.
Before joining Johnson Controls, Iliana held several positions in the agri-food sector over a 20-year period, as a consultant, at the helm of the European starch industry association, and in Cargill. She joined Cargill as Director of Government Relations for the starch and sweeteners businesses where she played an active role in anticipating changes to the sugar regime. Thereafter, she was appointed as Director for Business Development, leading an investment project in bio-ethanol, as well as a project aimed at determining the strategy for all Cargill’s food ingredient businesses in Central & Eastern Europe.
Philippe Binard joined the fresh fruit and vegetables business in 1987. Since 2001, he is the General Delegate of Freshfel Europe, the European Association representing the interest of the fresh fruit and vegetables sector. Freshfel (www.freshfel.org) incorporates more than 200 members (associations and companies) across the fresh produce supply chain from production to wholesale, import and export and down to retail. The European fresh fruit and vegetables sector is worth 200 billion €.
Mr Knud Buhl holds a Masters’ Degree from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Denmark. In 1978, he was employed by the Danish Ministry of Agriculture. During his time at the Ministry of Agriculture he dealt inter alia with EU-market politics and the GATT.
Additionally, Mr Buhl was the Danish spokesman in the working group of Council of Ministers concerning pigmeat as well as participant in the Management Committee Meetings for pig meat. He was the Agricultural Attaché at the Danish Embassy in Bonn from 1980 until 1983.
In 1986 Mr Buhl moved from the Ministry of Agriculture and became a councilor at the Danish Agricultural Council in Copenhagen with responsibility for international relations and general trade- and EU-politics.
The year after, he was appointed Director of International Affairs at the Danish Bacon and Meat Council (DBMC). His primarily responsibilities were handling the interests of the Danish pig meat industry in relation to the EU and other international authorities and organisations and business relations and trade aspects to third countries, mainly USA, Japan and South Korea.
In 2003 Knud Buhl became Director for the Copenhagen and Brussels Department for International Trade at the DBMC. Knud Buhl is a member of the Board of the European organisations UECBV, CLITRAVI and EMN. Last but not least, Knud Buhl represents Denmark in the International Meat Secretariat (IMS).
John Clarke is the Director for International Relations at DG Agriculture in the European Commission. He was previously Head of the EU Delegation to the WTO and the UN in Geneva. He joined the European Commission in 1993 as a trade negotiator.
From 1983 to 1993 John Clarke was an official of the Hong Kong Government, working in the team responsible for raising HK’s standard of living and bringing it to developed country status by the late 1980’s.
Mr Clarke graduated with first class honours in literature from University College London and has an M. Phil in history from the same university. He was also awarded a scholarship to Dartmouth College New Hampshire.
Paul Rooke is Head of Policy, Govt & External Relations and Sector Head, Crop Marketing and Seed for the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Ltd in the UK. An agricultural graduate, he is based at the AIC Head Office in Peterborough and is responsible for the Association’s external policy work, management and coordination of the Crop Marketing and Seed Sectors and provision of AIC contracts and arbitration services. Since 2013 has been the President of CELCAA, the European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-food Trade. He has been Chairman of DG Agri’s Civil Dialogue Group for International Aspects of Agriculture and a member of the EU’s High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Supply Chain and the DG Trade Expert Group on EU Trade Agreements.
Marcel van der Vliet
Marcel Van der Vliet is Sales and Procurement Manager at Van Drie Ingredients in the Netherlands, since March 2016. In this capacity, he manages risks and positions in dairy commodities, vegetable proteins, grains, fats, vitamins, minerals and additives. Marcel is also active as new business development manager for the Van Drie Group.
Previous to this position, Marcel was a trading manager at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate NV, in Mouscron, Belgium in 2015-2016 and between 2007 and 2015 he worked as export manager in dairy commodities and ingredients for the Hoogwegt Group, in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Marcel holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from University of Groningen, The Netherlands, with a specialization in international political economy.