WWWforEurope conference on social and environmental progress: Europe in a long-run perspective


Karl Aiginger is the director of the Austrian Insitute of Economic Research (WIFO). He teaches at the Vienna University of Economic and Business Administration and is managing editor of the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade (JICT). He is the coordinator of the project "WWWforEurope - a new growth path for Europe" which the WIFO is undertaking together with 33 partners within the 7th Framework Programme of the EU. He studied economics at the University of Vienna and Purdue University in Indiana, USA: He obtained the habilitation in 1984 with the book "Production Theory and Uncertainty".

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Kurt Bayer, studies in law (Graz), international relations (Bologna), economics (Maryland); economist at Austrian Institute of Economic Research (1971-95); deputy director general for economic policy at Austrian Ministry of Finance (1995-2008); board director at World Bank Group (2001-2004) and at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (2008-2012); emeritus consultant at WIFO, senior research associate at Vienna Institute for International Economics. Many publications in economic policy, development economics, global governance issues.


Jeroen van den Bergh is ICREA Research Professor and deputy director for research of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is also honorary professor of Environmental & Resource Economics at VU University Amsterdam (VUA). Previously, he was professor of Environmental Economics (1997-2007) at VUA. He was a member of the Energy Council of the Netherlands (2003-2007). He has a master degree in Econometrics and Operations Research from Tilburg University (1988) and a PhD in Economics from VUA. His research is on the intersection of economics, environmental science and innovation studies. His work has resulted in >160 journal articles and 16 books. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. He was awarded the 2002 Royal/Shell Prize and the 2011 IEC Environmental Prize (Premi Sant Jordi), and smaller prizes for a book and two articles.


Peter Dröll is in charge of Innovation Union and European Research Area in the European Commission's Research and Innovation Department. This Directorate is about creating the conditions for excellent research and innovation throughout Europe.

Peter Dröll is a lawyer by training with a doctorate degree in german constitutional law and European law. Before joining the European Commission in 1991, Peter Dröll worked as a lawyer in Germany.

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Marina Fischer-Kowalski founded the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna, where she teaches as professor of the Alpen Adria University. Her background is in sociology. She has taught at Griffith (Australia), Roskilde (Denmark), Yale University (USA) and the Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). She was president of the International Society of Industrial Ecology, and currently she is President of the International Society for Ecological Economics. As expert member of UNEP’s International Resource Panel, she became lead author to its publication, “Decoupling resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth” (2011). She is interested in social metabolism across history, on global, national and local scales, and investigates how it relates to social dynamics (quality of life, equity, division and quality of labour, time use) and to environmental change.

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Elena Flores is Director of Policy Strategy and Coordination, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission since 2011.

Previously, she was Director, Economies of Member States II (from 2007) and head of the unit for Public Finance in the Euro area and the EU (from 2002).

From 1999-2002, Ms. Flores served as Advisor in Commissioner Solbes’ office.

Ms. Flores was an assistant professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in the field of international economics from 1982 to 1986. She has a Master’s degree from the UAB (1982) and a Master in European Economy from the College of Europe in Brugge, Belgium (1984).

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Monica Frassoni was born in Veracruz, Mexico, on September 10, 1963.

In 1983, she became actively involved in the European Federalist Movement and in 1987 Monica Frassoni was elected European General Secretary of the European Organisation of Young Federalists (“JEF”), and moved to Brussels.

Monica Frassoni was elected a member of the European Parliament in 1999 for the Belgian Greens, first non-national elected in Belgium. (ECOLO).

In the European elections of June 2004, she was re-elected at the EP with the Italian Greens. From 2002 to 2009 Monica Frassoni was Co-President of the Green/EFA Group in the EP, together with Daniel Cohn-Bendit. In 2006, she led the European Union Electoral observation missions in Venezuela and Bolivia. From October 2009 she has been co-Chair of the European Green Party.


Miguel Gil Tertre is a member of the Cabinet of Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness at the European Commission: His main task is to coordinate the investment initiative. An economist by training, Miguel Gil Tertre holds an MBA by the Instituto de Empresa Business School and degrees by the Universities Paris IX-Dauphine and Autonoma de Madrid (first graduation prize). A Commission official since 2007, Miguel Gil Tertre joined the private office of the Director General in charge of Economic and Financial from 2011 to 2014, during the so-called Eurocrisis. Prior to that he worked for ten years in competition and regulatory issues on network industries (telecommunications), at both EU and national levels.

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René Höltschi has been the economic and business correspondent for the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) in Brussels since 1999. Before assuming this position, he was based in Vienna and covered the economic transition of Central and Eastern Europe. He has been working for NZZ since 1988. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a researcher at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.



Kumi Kitamori is Head of Green Growth & Global Relations Division at the OECD Environment Directorate. In this role she oversees the mainstreaming of green growth in the work of various policy committees of the OECD and in member and other partner countries. This includes a dedicated programme that promotes green growth policies, finance and investment in the Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region. Prior to this, she worked in the OECD Environment Directorate on various issues including tradable permits and taxes, water pricing, climate change, biodiversity, health & environment, among others. She led a flagship project OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 published in 2012. During 2005-2006, she served as Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General. Prior to joining the OECD in 2000, Kumi Kitamori was at the World Bank where she worked extensively in South and Southeast Asia on urban and environmental infrastructure projects (green finance for urban infrastructure, water supply & sanitation, cleaner production, etc). Kumi Kitamori holds BA and MSc in development and economics from New York University and London School of Economics.

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Kurt Kratena is an economics graduate of the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. He worked as an economic expert at the Federal Chamber of Labour of Austria, spent visiting scholarships at the universities of Madrid and Valladolid (Spain), at the MIT, at FEEM (Italy) and at Harvard. In 2008 he defended his habilitation thesis at IFF (social ecology), University of Klagenfurt. At the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), his main focus has been on quantitative methods (input-output and econometrics) used in economic modelling. Recently, he has published the description of a dynamic econometric input-output model for the EU 27 (FIDELIO) which is to be applied for economy/energy/environment policy analysis at the JRC/IPTS (Joint Research Centre/Institute of Prospective Technology Studies) of the EU Commission.

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Georg Licht is head of the department of Industrial Economics and International Management at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), in Mannheim, Germany. He has held this position since June 1994, before that he was a senior researcher at ZEW and at the University of Augsburg. He gained his doctoral degree at the University of Augsburg and holds a degree in economics from the University of Heidelberg. His research interests comprise the economics of innovation and technical change as well as on the economics of small firms and entrepreneurship. He was a member of various expert group advising the DG Research and Innovation, the OECD and the German ministry of education and research.

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Roger Liddle is a UK Labour member of the House of Lords, chair of Policy Network and a pro-chancellor of the University of Lancaster. He was for seven years from 1997 special adviser on European affairs to the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. From 2004-2007 he served in the European Commission, first in the Cabinet of the EU Trade Commissioner and then as economic adviser to the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. In 2013 he was elected as a member of Cumbria County Council.

Roger has written extensively on European and British affairs, including The Blair Revolution (with Peter Mandelson, 1996), Global Europe, Social Europe (with Anthony Giddens and Patrick Diamond, 2006) and Beyond New Labour (with Patrick Diamond, 2009), and most recently The Europe Dilemma: the drama of EU integration (2014) and the forthcoming pamphlet The risk of Brexit: Britain and Europe in 2015 (2015), as well as several other Fabian Society and Policy Network pamphlets.

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Józef Niemiec was elected Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) at the Athens Congress in May 2011. Responsible for: employment and labour market policy; Health & Safety; the Europe 2020 strategy: Sustainable Development; Energy and Climate Change; Industrial Policy and EU enlargement. Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation from 2003 to 2011.

Member of NSZZ Solidarnosc since 1980, with responsibilities at enterprise, regional and national levels. From 1992 to 2003, member of the National Commission, and its Secretary from 1998 and Vice-President from 1999 to 2002, with responsibilities related to internal affairs and European affairs.



Janneke Plantenga is Professor of Economics of the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.), the Netherlands. Her research interest focuses on labour market flexibilisation, the reconciliation of work and family and (European) social policy. She has written widely on redistribution of unpaid work, changing working time patterns, childcare issues and modernising social security. She is the Dutch expert and coordinator of the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality (ENEGE).

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Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist. He serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development.

Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.

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André Sapir is University Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Senior Fellow of Bruegel, the Brussels-based think tank and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). He is Vice-Chair (and was previously Chair) of the Advisory Scientific Committee and voting member of the General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Europe’s financial stability oversight body.  

Between 1990 and 2004, he worked 12 years for the European Commission, first serving as Economic Advisor to the Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, then as Economic Advisor to President Romano Prodi and Executive Director of his Economic Advisory Group. From 2005 to 2009 he was external member of President José Manuel Barroso’s Economic Advisory Group.   

André Sapir has written extensively on European integration, international trade and international macroeconomics. He received a PhD in Economics in 1977 from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he studied under Bela Balassa. He was Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977-1982) before returning to Brussels, where he was born and raised.

André Sapir was elected Member of the Academia Europaea in 2010 and of the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in 2012.


Atilim Seymen has a BA in Business Adminisration from the Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, and an MSc in Economics and Management from the Humboldt University, Berlin. He holds his PhD in Economics from the University of Hamburg. He was researcher at the research group "Business Cycles and Growth" of the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim from November 2007 to December 2013. He has been working at the Financial Stability Division of the Deutsche Bundesbank since 2014.

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Marianne Thyssen became European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility in November 2014. She was born on 24 July 1956 in Sint-Gillis-Waas, Belgium. In 1979 she obtained a degree in law at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL).

She was successively legal adviser, head of a research department and acting Secretary-General at UNIZO (a Belgian organisation for the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses).

She entered European Parliament in 1991 and was re-elected 5 times. During her almost 23 years as a member of European Parliament, she mainly focused on economic and social issues. Between 2008 and 2010 she was also the President of her party, CD&V (the Flemish Christian Democrats in Belgium).

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Frank Vandenbroucke studied economics in Leuven and Cambridge, UK, and received his D.Phil. in Oxford. He was Minister for Social Security, Health Insurance, Pensions and Employment in the Belgian Federal Government (1999-2004), and Minister for Education and Employment in the Flemish Regional Government (2004-2009). He is now a full time professor at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). He also teaches at the Universities of Antwerp (UA), where he holds the chair “Herman Deleeck”, and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), where he holds the chair “Joop den Uyl”. Frank Vandenbroucke's current research focuses on the impact of the EU on the development of social and employment policy in the EU Member States. He is an advisor to several European networks in the domain of social policy and the chair of a Commission on Pension Reform, set up by the Belgian Government, whose report was published in June 2014.

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Reinhilde Veugelers is a full professor at KULeuven, Belgium, at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation. She is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel since 2009. She is also a CEPR Research Fellow and a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences. From 2004-2008, she was on academic leave, as advisor at the European Commission (BEPA Bureau of European Policy Analysis). She was the President-Elect of EARIE (European Association for Research in Industrial Economics). She currently serves on the ERC Scientific Council. She is a member of the RISE Expert Group advising the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation.

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Thomas Wieser is the Brussels-based President of the Euro Working Group, and Chairman of the European Union's Economic and Financial Committee. Prior to that he was Director General for Economic Policy and Financial Markets of the Austrian Ministry of Finance, Vienna.

He has held a number of international functions, for example as Chair of the OECD Committee on Financial Markets, and as Chairman of the EFC from 2009 to 2011.

Thomas Wieser has a degree in economics and has worked in the banking sector, research, international organisations and the public sector.