About the Project

Expert Network

WGA research was conducted by experts from all EU member states. All of them have worked for or with their respective governments and therefore have first-hand knowledge of the organisation and procedures of governmental practice. The experts were supported by the Advisory Board.

Steven Blockmans

Head, Europe in the World programme, CEPS, Brussels
Steven Blockmans is Head of the Europe in the World programme at the Centre for European Policy Research (CEPS), a Brussels-based thinktank, and Professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Tough Love: the EU’s Relations with the Western Balkans (Asser Press, 2007) and The Obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) in addition to having published widely on the EU’s integrated approach to external action. He served as the Leading Rapporteur of task forces on ‘More Union in European Defence’ chaired by Javier Solana (2015) and ‘Regroup and Reform: Ideas for a More Responsive and Effective European Union’ (2017). Steven is a frequent media commentator and regularly advises governments of countries in wider Europe and in Asia on their relations with the EU. Before joining CEPS in 2012, he was Head of Research at the Asser Institute, an international law centre based in The Hague. From 2010 to 2014, he was a special visiting professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Leuven. Steven holds a PhD in International Law from Leiden University.
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Christian Strohal

Senior Diplomat, Austria
Christian Strohal is a senior Austrian diplomat. After having served from 2013 to 2016 as Austria’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, he was nominated to be Special Representative for Austria’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2017. Since retiring, he has been a Senior Adviser to the current Slovak OSCE Chair-in Office and a non-resident Fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD), which is affiliated with Princeton University. From 2008 to 2013, Christian represented Austria at the UN Office, the Conference on Disarmament and other international organisations in Geneva. From 2003 to 2008, he was Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE. Between 2007 and 2012, he also served as an alternate Member of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Earlier functions include Ambassador for the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights; Director for Human Rights at Austria’s Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs; and Ambassador to Luxembourg. Christian was educated in Vienna, London and Geneva and holds a Dr.iur. from the University of Vienna. He has also held lecturing positions at various institutions and published a number of articles.
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Alain Spoiden

Honorary Colonel, Counsellor, Public Centre for Social Welfare, Aubange
Alain Spoiden is Honorary Colonel (General Staff) and a former officer in the Belgian Army. He currently is a Counsellor within the Public Centre for Social Welfare in Aubange, Belgium. As a junior officer, he was Battery Commander within an Air Defence Artillery battalion in Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he held various staff positions in the General Intelligence and Security Service in Brussels, joined the Eurocorps HQ in Strasbourg, and was deployed to Pristina, Kosovo, within NATO’s KFOR 3 HQ. After that experience, he was appointed Director of Scientific Research at the Centre of Defence Studies and, later, as Director of the High Defence Studies of the Royal High Institute for Defence (RHID) in Brussels. He was posted as an Intelligence Officer for the UN Strategic Military Cell in New York. Alain ended his career as Military Adviser helping to prepare for Belgium’s EU presidency (2010) and, afterwards, at the Belgian Military Representation to the EU in Brussels. He served in the Army Reserve after his retirement as Faculty Adviser at the RHID.
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Antoinette Primatarova

Director European Programme, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
Antoinette Primatarova has been Director of the European Programme of the Sofia-based thinktank Centre for Liberal Strategies (CLS) since 2002. She is a Member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. Prior to joining the CLS, she held various positions within the Bulgarian diplomatic service. From 1993 to 1997, she was based in Stockholm as Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Iceland. From 1997 to 2001, she was directly involved in the process of Bulgaria’s preparation for EU accession as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997–1999), Ambassador to the European Communities and Head of the Bulgarian Mission to the EC in Brussels (1999–2001), and Deputy Chief Negotiator (2000–2001). Antoinette holds a master’s degree in Germanic Studies from the University in Leipzig, and pursued an academic career at the University of Sofia prior to joining the diplomatic service.
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Tonci Prodan

Director, Portus Et Navem, Split
Tonci Prodan is currently working as Director of the private security consulting company Portus Et Navem in Split, Croatia. He is active on several national and international security projects covering a broad spectrum of security issues, such as counterterrorism and other contemporary security threats. Furthermore, he is also active as an Interim Lecturer at the University Department of Forensic Sciences in Split and two other private institutions. Prior to joining Portus Et Navem, Tonci served as Assistant Director of the Office of the National Security Council of the Republic of Croatia. He has been professionally involved in issues related to national security for a number of years, and this has expanded to international security in recent years. Tonci holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from the University of Zagreb.
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James Ker-Lindsay

Visiting Professor, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
James Ker-Lindsay is Visiting Professor at LSEE-Research on South East Europe, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University. His research focuses on conflict, peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkans, and he has published 14 books. In addition to his academic work, James has served as an Adviser to a number of international bodies, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is also a regular media commentator on regional affairs. James holds a BSc in Economics from London University and an MA and PhD in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent.
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Vít Dostal

Research Center Director, Association for International Affairs, Prague
Vit Dostal is a Research Center Director at the Association for International Affairs (AMO), a non-partisan thinktank based in Prague. He focuses on Czech foreign and European policy, Central European cooperation, and Polish foreign and domestic policy. Vit has worked for AMO since 2006. During that time, he has authored or edited many publications dealing with Czech foreign policy and Central Europe. He completed a PhD programme on European Studies at Masaryk University in Brno in 2017 with a dissertation titled ‘Paradiplomacy of Czech Regions – Regions as Actors of International Relations’.
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Peter Viggo Jakobsen

Professor, Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College, Copenhagen
Peter Viggo Jakobsen is Professor at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College, and Professor (part time) at the Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark. He has acted as an advisor and consultant for several governments and international organizations, is frequently used by the Danish and international media as a commentator on defence and security issues, has won awards for his teaching and public dissemination skills and has written extensively on civil-military cooperation and the integrated approach, coercive diplomacy, Danish and Nordic foreign and security policy, NATO, peace and stabilization operations, UN, and use of military force. He holds a PhD from University of Aarhus, Denmark, in International relations.
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Maili Vilson

PhD Research Fellow, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, Tartu University
Maili Vilson is currently working as a PhD Research Fellow and PhD Programme Coordinator at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies and at the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS), both at the University of Tartu (Estonia). She is finishing a dissertation on the Europeanisation of national foreign policy of EU member states. Previously, Maili was involved in UPTAKE, an EU-funded twinning project in the field of Russian and East European Studies, and has served as a Country Expert on Estonia for several thinktanks. She has published on the Europeanisation of foreign policy as well as on the Eastern Partnership. She holds an MA in EU-Russia Studies from the University of Tartu.
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Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Helsinki
Juha Jokela is Director of the European Union research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He previously worked in the EU Institute for Security Studies as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, as an Adviser in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and as a Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies of the University of Helsinki. Juha holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK), and is a member of the board of Trans-European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA). His current research interests include the political implications of Brexit, differentiated integration (in the EU’s external relations), and EU sanction policies. His previous projects and publications covered issues including security developments in the Arctic, the political dimension of the EMU reforms, the EU’s role in the G20, the EU’s Asia policies, the Europeanisation of foreign and security policy, and Finland’s EU policies.
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Francois Gaulme

Associate Researcher, Institut français des relations internationales, Paris
Francois Gaulme is currently Associate Researcher at the Africa Centre of the Institut francais des relations internationales (IFRI) in Paris. He has specialised in African and fragility-related issues for his entire professional life. Prior to serving in the Globalisation Directorate-General of France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and in the French Development Agency (AFD), Francois was a Teacher in Africa and an Editor for the publications Marchés tropicaux and Afrique contemporaine. He holds a PhD in Ethnology as well as a Doctor in Arts from the Sorbonne University in Paris.
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Stefani Weiss

Senior Expert, Future of Europe Programme, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Brussels
Stefani Weiss is currently working as Senior Expert in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s ‘Future of Europe’ programme. She is based in Brussels and a Resident Expert on a broad spectrum of European and international relations. She was a Member of the German Federal Government’s Advisory Board for Civil Crisis Prevention until 2017, and published the book Diplomacy, Development and Defense: A Paradigm for Policy Coherence. A Comparative Analysis of International Strategies in 2010. Before joining the Stiftung, she was Director of Research on European Law and Policy at the Gustav Stresemann Institute in Bonn (Germany), Assistant to the president of Atlantik-Bruecke e.V. in Berlin, and Lecturer/Project Manager in the Department of Political Science of the University of Bonn. Stefani holds an MA in Political Science, Sociology, and International and Public Law from the University of Bonn.
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Giorgos Triantafyllou

Research Fellow, South-East Europe Programme, Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Athens
Giorgos Triantafyllou is a Research Fellow at the South-East Europe Programme of the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and a Research Associate at the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) of Greece’s Ministry for Citizen Protection. Based in Athens, his research interests include international and European security, conflict in the Balkans, security and migration, international institutions and peace operations, peacebuilding and statebuilding, NATO and the EU. Giorgos previously worked as a Consultant for the Western Balkans and the Peacebuilding programmes of the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund. From 2008 to 2012, he was an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Kent, where he taught International History, International Relations and International Governance. Giorgos holds a PhD and MA in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent, where he focused on the provision of security during peacebuilding operations in the Balkans. He also holds a BA in International and European Studies from Panteion University in Athens.
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Gyorgy Tatar

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Foundation for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, Budapest
Gyorgy Tatar, a retired career diplomat, currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities of the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was Head of the Task Force for Horizontal Security Issues and Conflict Prevention in the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit of the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy between 2004 and 2010. Between 1977 and 2004, Gyorgy worked in Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where his positions included Commissioner of the Minister for the affairs of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Water Dam and EXPO’96, Chief of Cabinet of the State Secretary for EU Integration, and Coordinator of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. He served in the Hungarian Embassies in Baghdad, Prague and Vienna. Gyorgy is a graduate of the Moscow State University for International Relations. He also holds a PhD in International Economic Relations from the University of Economics in Budapest.
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Isaac Bennett

PhD Researcher, UCD School of Politics and International Relations, Dublin
Isaac Bennett is a second-year PhD Researcher at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations in Dublin. His research focuses on the relationship between advanced military technology and casualty aversion in democratic countries. Prior to this research, Isaac worked as the owner and operator of Bennett Research Services, a political and security affairs consultancy. He was engaged in several projects for lobby groups and individuals, including a large, in-depth analysis of alleged police and judicial corruption in Ireland (2015). Between 2015 and 2017, he worked for the Cork County Council as part of a change management team to improve local government service provision to citizens and to enhance communication links via a new website. Isaac holds a BA in History and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin (2012), and an MA in International Security and Conflict Studies from Dublin City University (2014).
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Luca Giansanti

Former Diplomat, Italian foreign service, Rome
Luca Giansanti is a former Diplomat with the Italian foreign service. He is currently based in Brussels, where he deals with European government affairs for a public company. After joining the diplomatic service in 1984, Luca held various positions, including Director General for Political Affairs/Political Director, Ambassador to Iran, Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee, Director General for Multilateral Political Cooperation and Human Rights, Deputy Director General for European Integration, and CFSP/CSDP Coordinator. He holds degrees in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (SciencesPo) in Paris and the LUISS university in Rome.
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Maris Andzans

Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Foreign Policy Institute, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC
Maris Andzans is currently a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He is a Research Fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and an Assistant Professor at Riga Stradins University. Maris has a decade of experience in the public administration of Latvia, where he served in various positions related to the coordination of EU and NATO issues, security of transport and communications, civil-military cooperation, aviation, electronic communications and postal issues. He has also chaired the National Cyber Security Council of Latvia and the Dangerous Goods Movement Consultative Council of Latvia. Maris holds a PhD in Political Science from Riga Stradins University.
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Dovile Jakniunaite

Professor, Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University
Dovile Jakniunaite is Professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University and Head of the Institute’s International Relations Department. Her current research focuses on borders in the context of territorial conflicts, mobility studies, and relations between security and identity in contemporary politics. Her fields of expertise also encompass foreign policy analysis, security studies, international relations theory, Russian foreign policy, conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine, de facto states and EU Eastern Partnership policy. She has written books on Russia’s neighbourhood policy (2007) and the role of borders in Georgian territorial conflicts (2017), and has edited a book on Lithuania’s foreign policy in the 2004–2014 period. Dovile holds a PhD in Political Science from Vilnius University.
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Patrick Heck

Minister Plenipotentiary, Policy Planning and Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Patrick Heck is currently Minister Plenipotentiary for Policy Planning and Global Issues in Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFA). After two years in Customer Relations at the Bank of Sante Fe in New Mexico (USA), Heck joined the MFA in 1995, spending five years as a desk officer responsible for Asia/Oceania and EU Common Security and Defence Policy within the Directorate of Political Affairs. For the next five years, he served as either Deputy Permanent Representative (2000–2005) or Charge d’affaires a.i. (2002–2003) of Luxembourg’s Permanent Representation to NATO before spending four years as a legal adviser to the general manager of the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) in Capellen, Luxembourg. After joining Luxembourg’s National Intelligence Service in 2009 as the Head of the Operations Branch, he served as the organisation’s Director for over five years beginning in March 2010. Between January 2016 and April 2019, he served as the Director of the Department of Defence in the MFA. Heck earned an LLM and Master of Public International Law at Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg, France, in 1993. The following year, he earned a national law certificate at the University of Luxembourg.
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Roderick Pace

Professor, Institute for European Studies, University of Malta
Roderick Pace is a resident full-time Professor at the Institute for European Studies of the University of Malta, where he held a Jean Monnet Chair. His research and teaching cover world politics, the external relations of the EU, Euro-Mediterranean relations and small states in world politics. He has published on Malta in the EU and Maltese politics. Since 2009, he has been on the editorial board of the journal South European Society and Politics, published by Taylor and Francis. He has over 120 academic works, including books, co-edited books, articles, chapters and papers. Pace co-founded and served as the Director of the Institute for European Studies from 1990 to 2016. He holds a BA (Honours) in Philosophy from the University of Malta; an MA in International Affairs from the School of Advanced International Studies (Bologna Center) of the Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Politics from the University of Reading (UK). His latest article (2019) is ‘Malta and the European Union’ in The Oxford Encyclopedia of European Union Politics.
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Erik de Feijter

Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy, Canberra
Erik de Feijter currently serves as Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands’ Embassy in Canberra. Before that, he was Deputy Representative of the Netherlands at the Political and Security Committee of the EU; Coordinator for the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region and Senior Policy Officer of the Task Force Uruzgan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Head of the Political Affairs department of the Netherlands’ Embassy in India; Political Adviser to the Dutch Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghlan, Afghanistan; and Humanitarian Coordinator Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea in the Netherlands’ Embassy in Ivory Coast. Erik holds an MA in Astronomy from the University of Utrecht.
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Adam Balcer

Lecturer, Centre of East European Studies (SEW), University of Warsaw
Adam Balcer is a Political Scientist specialising in the area of Central-Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and Polish foreign policy. He works also as a National Researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and a Lecturer at the Centre of East European Studies (SEW) at the University of Warsaw. He cooperates on the permanent basis with the journals Nowa Europa Wschodnia (New Eastern Europe) and the Aspen Review Central Europe as well as the website ‘Dialog Forum: Perspektiven aus der Mitte Europas’. He also hosts ‘Lechistan’, a podcast about Poland’s historical relations with the Muslim world in association with the radio station TOK FM. Adam served as an Expert in the Balkan section of the Department of Central Europe (2001–2009) and Project Leader of the Turkish programme at the Centre for Eastern Studies (2005–2009). He has also been Director of the ‘Enlargement and Neighbourhood’ programme at demosEUROPA–Centre for European Strategy (2009–2013), a Member of the Advisory Group to the Committee of Foreign Relations of the Polish Parliament (2010–2012), and Adviser at the Presidential Expert Program (2013–2015). In 2015, Adam was Director of the annual conference ‘Polish Eastern Policy’, the largest event in Poland dedicated to Eastern Europe. In addition to numerous articles and reports, he has authored the books Polska na globalnej szachownicy (Poland on the Global Chessboard), Orzel i Polksiezyc. 600 lat polskiej publicystyki poswieconej Turcji (The Eagle and the Crescent: 600 Years of Polish Publications about Turkey) and Turcja, Wielki Step i Europa Srodkowa (Turkey, the Great Steppe and Central Europe).
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Francisco Seixas da Costa

Diplomat and Strategic Consultant, Member of the Board of several international companies
Francisco Seixas da Costa is a retired Diplomat currently working as a Strategic Consultant and a Member of the Board of several international companies. He is a Member of the Consultative Council of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and a Member of the Independent General Council of the Portuguese public service broadcaster RTP. He is also a newspaper columnist. Francisco was Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Portuguese government, Executive Director of the North-South Center of the Council of Europe, and a Visiting Professor at several Portuguese universities. As a diplomat, after being posted in Oslo, Luanda and London, he was Permanent Representative to the UN, OSCE and UNESCO as well as Ambassador to Brazil and France. He holds a degree in Political Science and has published books on European and international affairs.
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Oana Popescu-Zamfir

Director and Founder, GlobalFocus Center, Bucharest
Oana Popescu-Zamfir is Director and Founder of GlobalFocus, an independent foreign policy and strategic analysis thinktank based in Bucharest. Previously, she served as a State Secretary for EU Affairs, Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of the Romanian Senate, Programmes Director of the Aspen Institute Romania, and Senior Editor of the Romanian edition of the journal Foreign Policy. In her earlier career, she was a Journalist covering foreign affairs. Her expertise mainly covers geopolitics and security in the EU/NATO neighbourhood, transatlantic relations, global political risk and strategic analysis, EU policies, democratisation and transitions, hybrid threats and shifting models of governance. Oana is an international Consultant and Media Commentator, as well as Writer and Lecturer. She coordinates international research as well as public and expert strategy events in addition to being Editor-in-chief of Eastern Focus, an international affairs quarterly. She was a Fulbright scholar at Yale University, where she studied emerging threats, post-conflict reconstruction and democratisation, with further executive studies in leadership at Harvard University and on terrorism at University of St Andrew. She has an MA in Conflict Analysis from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest.
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Tomas Valasek

Member of Parliament and Chair EU Affairs, National Council of the Slovak Republic
Tomas Valasek is Member of the Slovakian Parliament and Chair of EU Affairs. Beforehand he served as Director of Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focused on security and defence, transatlantic relations and Europe’s Eastern Neighbourhood. Previously, Tomas served as the Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to NATO for nearly four years. Before that, he was President of the Central European Policy Institute in Bratislava (2012–2013), Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the Centre for European Reform in London (2007–2012), and Founder and Director of the Brussels office of the World Security Institute (2002–2006). Between 2006 and 2007, he served as Acting Political Director and Head of the Security and Defence Policy Division of the Slovak Ministry of Defence. Tomas is the author of numerous articles in journals and newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. He has advised the Slovak ministers of defence and foreign affairs, the UK House of Lords, and the Group of Experts on the new NATO Strategic Concept.
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Milan Jazbec

Slovene Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia, Skopje
Milan Jazbec has been the Slovene Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia since September 2016. He is also Professor of Diplomacy at the University of Ljubljana and teaches diplomacy at the Faculty of International and European Studies of New University in Nova Gorica. Milan served as the Slovene Ambassador to Turkey from 2010 to 2015, and was also accredited to Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. He has been Director of the Policy Planning and Research Department (2006–2010), the Department for European States (2015–2016), and the Consular Department (1996).
He was also State Secretary for Defence Policy at the Ministry of Defence (2000– 2004) and the first Slovene Consul in Klagenfurt. He has published more than 50 books in nine languages, one-third of them on diplomacy. He is a Member of the Slovenian Association for International Relations, Editor of the academic journal European Perspectives, and a Member of the Slovene PEN since 2017. In 2019, Milan received the Racin Award for his achievements in literature and, in 2005, the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star for services to the Republic of Austria.
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Felix Arteaga

Senior Analyst for Security and Defence, Elcano Royal Institute, Madrid
Felix Arteaga currently serves as Senior Analyst for Security and Defence at the Elcano Royal Institute, a Spanish thinktank based in Madrid. Previously, he was Professor of EU Common Security and Defence Policy at the University of Navarra and the Instituto Universitario General Gutierrez Mellado of the Open University (UNED) and the Ministry of Defence. Before that, he was a Lecturer at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, the Universidad Autónoma and the Universidad Complutense, as well as Senior Analyst at the Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales (INCI) and the Instituto Universitario de Seguridad Interior (UNISCI). Between 1999 and 2001, he directed the European Commission’s Security Sector Reform Programme in Paraguay. A former Military Officer (retired), Felix holds degrees in Law (Open University) and Political Science (Complutense University of Madrid), a PhD in International Relations (Complutense University of Madrid), and a diploma in National Security (National Defence University, Washington, DC).
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Lars Niklasson

Senior Researcher, The Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS), Stockholm
Lars Niklasson is a Senior Researcher at the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS) as well as Deputy Professor of Political Science at Linkoeping University. Before joining SIEPS and Linkoeping University, Lars was a Policy Analyst for several Swedish ministries, agencies and consultancies. He is also a National Expert for the OECD. His research focuses on the global role of the European Union, including its relations to Africa and its role in the global implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He teaches International Political Economy and Comparative Politics with a focus on global challenges and governance. Lars earned a PhD at Uppsala University in 1992, and has been a Visiting Researcher at a number of European and American universities, as well as at the University of Nairobi. His latest book is Improving the Sustainable Development Goals: Strategies and the Governance Challenge (Routledge 2019).
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Laura Cleary

Director, Oakwood International Security
Laura R Cleary is the Director of Oakwood International Security. Prior to establishing her own business in 2019, she was Head of the Centre for International Security and Resilience at Cranfield University. Laura joined Cranfield University in 2002 to head its Defence Diplomacy Education programme ‘Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context’. As the programme’s Academic Director, she taught 150 nationalities across four continents and acted as a Consultant and Adviser to MODs and parliaments in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. A leading expert in the fields of International Defence Engagement (IDE), governance and defence transformation, her research in the field has contributed to British policy formation and strategic planning. In 2017, Laura was shortlisted for a Women in Defence Award for her ‘outstanding contribution to British defence’. In 2006 and again in 2019, she was awarded the Director’s Commendation for Contributions to the United Kingdom’s Defence Relations at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. She holds a PhD in Soviet Defence Conversion from Glasgow University and a BA in International Politics and History from Indiana University.
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