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EPD Executive Director

09:00 - 09:30

European Partnership for Democracy (EPD)

Executive Director


Ken Godfrey

Ken Godfrey is the Executive Director of the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and has led the organisation since 2015. Prior to joining EPD, Mr. Godfrey worked as an Electoral Advisor for the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste. He has also worked for the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan, at the European Parliament and as an external consultant for the European Commission. He holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics in Comparative Democratisation. Mr. Godfrey has also lived and worked in Argentina, Canada, China, Japan, Senegal and the United Kingdom.

Session 1

From Russia with Lessons: Democratic Values as a Key Foreign Policy Interest

09:30 - 10:45


European External Action Service (EEAS)

Managing Director

Belén Martínez Carbonell

Belén Martínez Carbonell is the Managing Director for Global Affairs of the European External Action Service (EEAS) since 2021. She has held multiple positions in the EU institutions over her career, including as Member of Cabinet for the Commissioner for Trade (2009-2010) and the Commissioner for External Relations and Assistance (2005-2009), and has diplomatic experience in the Americas and the Caribbean region. She was educated at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the College of Europe in Bruges.

Democracy Reporting International (DRI)

Executive Director


Michael Meyer-Resende

Michael Meyer-Resende is the Executive Director of Democracy Reporting International (DRI). A trained lawyer (LL.M. Bruges), he started his career at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, in charge of rule of law issues and later the Office´s work in the Western Balkans. After an engagement at the BBC`s Radio 4, he worked in the Human Rights Unit of the European Commission’s External Relations Department, where he negotiated the deployment of EU election observers with many governments around the world. In 2006 he co-founded DRI, which is headquartered in Germany and has offices in the MENA region, Eastern Europe and Asia and regularly writes in the media.


The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD)

Executive Director

Thijs Berman

Thijs Berman is Executive Director of NIMD since 2019. He has more than 30 years of experience in media, politics, and international development and began his career as a journalist working as a radio correspondent in Paris and Moscow, working for several prominent Dutch radio stations, television channels and print publications. He became a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Labour Party, as well as taking up the role of Chair of the Dutch social democratic delegation in Brussels. As an MEP he was a member of several committees, including on Development Cooperation and the Subcommittee on Human Rights. Mr. Berman has also headed several European election observation missions to Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Senegal, and worked as team leader of a European election support programme in the Central African Republic. Thijs also worked as the Principal Advisor to the OSCE Representative of Freedom of the Media.

Session 2

Knocking on the EU's door: Fundamentals first, or geostrategic investment?



Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability


Vukosava Crnjanski

Vukosava Crnjanski is a founder and director of the Serbia’s NGO CRTA whose work is aimed towards the establishment of innovative and practical mechanisms and tools for citizen engagement in advocacy for an open, accountable and democratic government. She has extensive knowledge, understanding and expertise in fostering democratization gained through engagement in years-long advocacy initiatives, in areas of oversight and raising demand for institutional accountability and openness, election observation, fact-checking and fight against disinformation. She received the international recognition for innovation, commitment and contribution to democracy through the National Democratic Institute’s W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award in 2013.


Carnegie Europe


Rosa Balfour

Rosa Balfour is director of Carnegie Europe. Her fields of expertise include European politics, institutions, and foreign and security policy. Her current research focuses on the relationship between domestic politics and Europe’s global role. She has researched and published widely for academia, think tanks, and the international press on issues relating to European politics and international relations, especially on the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, EU enlargement, international support for civil society, and human rights and democracy. Balfour is also an advisor to Women in International Security Brussels (WIIS-Brussels) and an associate fellow at LSE IDEAS. Since 2021, she is also an honorary patron of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES).

Session 3

Big budgets in the grey zones



Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Head of Public Transformation and Citizens

Pierre-Arnaud Barthel

Pierre-Arnaud Barthel is senior project manager and lead expert in the Local Governments and Urban Development Division at the French Agency for Development (AFD) in Paris. As a focal point in digital issues in urban development, he is also dealing with a portfolio of urban operations in Egypt, Ethiopia and Myanmar that AFD is financing. He was previously a senior lecturer in urban planning at the Institut Français d’Urbanisme (University of Paris-East) and wrote several papers and edited collective publications focusing on Arab Mediterranean Countries such as: Expérimenter la « ville durable » au Sud de la Méditerrannée (Éditions de l’Aube, 2011, co edited with Lamia Zaki) and “Arab cities, sustainable cities?” (Urban Environment, vol. 7, 2013, special issue co-edited with Éric Verdeil).

University of Birmingham 

Professor of Democracy

Nicholas Cheeseman

Nic Cheeseman is Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham and was formerly the Director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford University. He mainly works on democracy, elections and development and has conducted in-country research in a range of African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, but has also published on Latin America and post-communist Europe. In recognition of this academic and public contribution, the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom awarded him the prestigious Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a mid-career scholar in 2019. The same year, he was a finalist in the ESRC’s prestigious Celebrating Impact prize.

European Commission

Team Leader, Team Europe Democracy (TED)

Secretariat, GIZ

Alexandra Kurth

Alexandra Kurth is currently Team Leader of Team Europe Democracy (TED) Secretariat at GIZ, where she held other position such as Project Manager of the 2030 Agenda in Guatemala, Programme Advisor on in Guatemala. She also worked at Cities Alliance as a Senior Urban Specialist in the Programme Unit where she was Manager for the Ghana Country Programme and the focal point for the Habitat III Joint Work Programme.


European Partnership for Democracy

Policy Advisor

Sergio Rodríguez Prieto

Sergio Rodríguez Prieto is Policy Advisor at EPD. An international development practitioner specialised in democracy support and institutional reform, he has 20 years experience in formulating, implementing and evaluating programmes in Latin America, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the Mediterranean Region. For the last 12 years he has been working with EPD and its member organisations in the design of methods and interventions that promote civil society participation in policy making and the engagement of democratic actors in the EU’s development cooperation.

Session 4

Beyond tokenism: addressing the challenge of diversity in democracy




Co-founder and Programmes Coordinator

Aisha Dabo

Aisha Dabo co-founded and coordinates AfricTivistes, a Pan-African organisation bringing together change actors and makers to promote democratic values, human rights and good governance on the continent through digital tools and technologies. AfricTivistes has 400 members in 40 African countries and Haiti. She coordinates the implementation of all projects which are mostly civic tech initiatives. Programmes focus on women and youth, building capacities on citizen engagement, leadership, democratic governance, cybersecurity, investigative journalism, countering fake news and heinous messages online, among others.

Hungarian government

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Kinga Gönzc

Kinga Göncz held numerous positions in the Hungarian government from 2002-2009 – including Minister of Social Affairs, Minister of Equal Opportunities and Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was also a member of the European Parliament (EP) from 2009 to 2014 and Vice-Chair of the Civil Liberties and Home Affairs Committee of the EP. Previously, she was Associate Professor at the Social Policy and Social Work Department of the Institute for Sociology at ELTE University in Budapest, and a Visiting Professor at the Central European University. Between 1994 and 2002 she served as the director of Partners Hungary, teaching democracy skills, negotiation and mediation. She began her career as a medical doctor and psychiatrist, graduated from the Semmelweis University of Medicine in Budapest in 1972.

Session 5

S4D3: What role for European actors and is it worth it?

13:45 - 15:00


International IDEA

Programme Coordinator

Julia Keutgen

Julia Keutgen is a Programme Manager for the Supporting Team Europe Democracy project (STED) with the Regional Europe Programme in Brussels. Julia joined International IDEA in April 2022 and will be overseeing the STED project, which provides evidence on democracy and democracy support, and helps to establish a ‘Team Europe Democracy’ approach towards the Summit for Democracy. As such, she will be working closely with Democracy Assessment Programme, the Washington DC office, and also regional programmes. Julia previously worked as a Senior Transparency Advisor at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy advising on issues of openness, participation, civic technology and enhancing the role of civil society in public policy making and government oversight. She previously worked at the UNDP Brussels Liaison Office on inclusive political processes and UNDP headquarters in New York on anti-corruption and rule of law.

European External Action Service

Head of Divison Democracy and Electoral Observation


Neal Mac Call

Mr Neal Mac Call has been an EU official since 1995. Following studies in International Relations in the UK, he obtained a postgraduate degree in European Political Studies in Belgium. During his career at the European Commission and at the External Action Service he served, among other, as desk officer on the aerospace industry (Enterprise DG); coordinator for the European Commission’s participation in the G8 process (Secretariat General); assistant to the Deputy Director General (External Relations DG); desk officer in the Mercosur Countries division (EEAS); Deputy Head of Division for regional policies for the Southern Mediterranean (EEAS); Deputy Head of Division for Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific; and Head of Division for Israel, occupied Palestinian territory and Middle East peace process (EEAS). As of September 2022 he is the Head of Division for Democracy and Electoral Observation in the EEAS.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD)

Chief Executive

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith has been Chief Executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy since August 2014. He was previously International Relations Director in the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Europe Director in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Anthony’s career began in 1986 as a diplomat in the FCO, where his roles focused on EU and wider European issues including trade policy, the Balkans, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Eastern Europe and Cyprus. In 1996, Anthony moved to DFID where he worked on Environment Policy, EU development policy, Southern Africa, and multilateral affairs including the UN, OECD, G7/8 and the G20. He was also Private Secretary to the Development Minister. Anthony is a member of the British Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Human Rights.


Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD)

Executive Director

Lisbeth Pilegaard

Lisbeth Pilegaard is Executive Director of the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD), which works with Danish political parties to support the development of well-functioning democratic political parties, multi-party systems and other institutions globally. Pilegaard was previously the Executive Director of the Danish Fund Outside, working for the rights of socially marginalized groups. Lisbeth Pilegaard has been a member of the Board of Governors and is the chair of the Executive Committee of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) since its establishment in 2013. She has undertaken several missions with EED to Ukraine, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey/Syria, and Moldova to engage with former and current democracy activists. Pilegaard founded and ran a Foreign Policy Consultancy from 2012 to 2017 serving the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Society, think tanks and the UN.

Session 6

Show me the money: new democracy aid data

13:45 - 15:00


European Partnership for Democracy (EPD)

Research and Data Officer

Evelyn Mantoiu

Coming soon.

European Commission

Team Leader INTPA G1 Democratic governance

Thomas Millar

Tom Millar is Team Leader for Democratic Governance in unit G1 (Gender Equality, Human Rights & Democratic Governance) of DG INTPA.Before joining the unit in 2016, he worked on governance and democracy issues in EU Delegations in Nigeria, Jamaica and Uganda, as head of both political and operational sections. His first post with the EU was in the 90s, working in the EU Delegation in Ukraine, before (briefly) working in the private sector. He has degrees from Oxford University and the London School of Economics, as well as an MBA from INSEAD.

Session 7

A better digital world in 2030

13:45 - 15:00


Coming soon

Coming soon

Coming soon

Coming soon.

Session 8

New initiatives for democratic participation in Europe

15:15 - 16:30

HEC ParisJean Monnet Professor of European Union Law & Policy

The Good LobbyFounder


Alberto Alemanno

Alberto Alemanno is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law & Policy at HEC Paris. His research has been centered on how the law may be used to improve people’s lives, in particular through the adoption of power-shifting reforms countering social, health, economic, and political disparities of access within society. He’s the author of more than sixty scientific articles and a dozen books. His first trade book – ‘Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society’ – provides a timely analysis  and guide to levelling the democratic playing field by empowering ordinary citizens to speak up and inform policy decisions at local, national and international level. Alberto is also a permanent visiting professor at the University of Tokyo School of Public Policy, the College of Europe, in Bruges and a scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law as well as fellow at The Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation at Rutgers University.

European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA)

Executive Director

Antonella Valmorbida

Antonella Valmorbida is the Secretary General of ALDA since 1999 and Member of the Advisory Board of Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development, Armenia. She has a senior experience in promoting local democracy, empowerment and participation of civil society, and good governance in: Europe, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean sea. She has been Chair of the EPAN working group of CONCORD until 2016, Chair of the Committee on Democracy and Civil Society of the Conference of the INGO of the Council of Europe from 2008 to 2011, and was the coordinator of the subgroup on local government and public administration reform of the Civil Society Forum for Eastern Partnership. She has worked as a consultant and trainer for major programmes of UNPD and the European Commission on local governance, democracy, local authorities and civil society empowerment.


Carnegie Europe

Senior Fellow Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program


Richard Youngs

Richard Youngs is a senior fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at Carnegie Europe. He works on EU foreign policy and on issues of international democracy. He is also a professor of international relations at the University of Warwick. Prior to joining Carnegie in July 2013, he was the director of the European think tank FRIDE. He has held positions in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as an EU Marie Curie fellow. He was a senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, DC, from 2012 to 2013 and authored fifteen books. His most recent works: Rebuilding European Democracy: Resistance and Renewal in an Illiberal Age (Bloomsbury/Tauris, 2021), The European Union and Global Politics (Macmillan, 2021), Civic Activism Unleashed: New Hope or False Dawn for Democracy? (Oxford University Press, 2019) and Europe’s Eastern Crisis: The Geopolitics of Asymmetry (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Session 9

Understanding the Defence of Democracy Package
16:45 - 18:00

Civil Liberties Union for Europe

Senior Advocacy Consultant

Linda Ravo

Passionate human rights lawyer, Linda holds a PhD in EU law and has more than 10 years of working experience on legal research and analysis, litigation, policy and advocacy work in EU and international bodies and in the NGO sector. Her fields of expertise include rule of law and justice issues and the protection of civic space and rights defenders. Linda supports as senior advisor the work of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties), a non-governmental organisation promoting and protecting human rights in the EU which builds on a network of national civil liberties NGOs from 18 EU countries.

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