From all over Europe

Lech Walesa
The former Polish president, and Peace Nobel Prize winner

Lech Walesa was the first President for the Solidarity-movement in August 1980, the Soviet bloc’s first independent trade union, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. He is today the symbol of democracy and freedom in Polen, and for a united Europe.

Basil Kerski
Director of European Solidarity Center (ECS)

Basil Kerski is the director of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk and since 1998 an editor-in-chief of the bilingual Polish-German journal DIALOG, and a contributor to Przeglad Polityczny [Political Review]. He grew up in Poland, Iraq and West Germany. He studied political science and Slavic studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Mr Kerski worked as an expert in international politics for the Aspen Institute Berlin, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the Social Science Research Centre (WZB) in Berlin, and the Bundestag. Mr Kerski received many awards and distinctions: The Gold Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland, the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis.

Pawel Adamowicz
President, City of Gdansk

Paweł Adamowicz is educated as a lawyer and legal advisor. He completed studies at the Law and Administration Department of the University of Gdańsk in 1989. Paweł Adamowicz was elected Mayor of the City of Gdańsk for the first time on 26 October 1998. He was then re-elected four times. In May 2015 Mr Adamowicz created the Council of Immigrants with the aim of making his city more immigrant-friendly. Paweł Adamowicz is proud of the history of Gdańsk and its role in the struggle for liberty and independence.

Patrick Penninckx
Head of Department, Information Society, Council of Europe

Patrick Penninckx is Head of Department – Information Society at Council of Europe. With 30 years of professional activity, Patrick Penninckx is currently Head of the Information Society Department under the Directorate General Human Rights and the Rule of Law at the Council of Europe. He works on Freedom of Expression, Protection of Journalists, Data Protection, Cybercrime and Digital Governance. Previously within CoE, he has developed partnerships with other international organisations and national partners, have been the Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in charge of political issues.

Manuel Mateo Goyet
Representative of EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society

Manuel Mateo is since July 2017 Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Gabriel who is in charge of the Digital Economy and Society portfolio at the European Commission. In his capacity, he follows the files of copyright, audiovisual, fake news, digital skills, Wifi4EU, eHealth and the relations with the Council. Manuel Mateo joined the Commission (DG INFSO/CONNECT) in 2006 where he held several positions, including that of Assistant to Robert Madelin, Director General, and of deputy Head of Unit dealing with inter-institutional relations. Prior to joining the Commission in 2006, Manuel gathered an extensive experience of industry by working in the private sector as a manager of a purchasing consultant’s team in Belgium, France and the Czech Republic. Manuel Mateo holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Free University of Brussels, a MBA in European Management that got him travelling through Spain (Deusto), France (Audencia) and the United Kingdom (Bradford Management Centre) and a Master in Political Sciences from the Free University of Brussels.

Harlem Désir
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

Harlem Désir was appointed as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on 18 July 2017 for a period of three years. Prior to this position, Désir (France) was French Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, since April 2014.

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård
President, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård is the President of the European Federation of Journalists from 2013, board member of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. President of the Danish Union of Journalists 1999-2015 and founding board member of International Media Support 2001-2016. Expert in Press Freedom, Labour Rights, Authors’ Rights and capacity building of organisations. Freelance International.

Elda Brogi
Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Instiute (EUI), Florence

Elda Brogi is Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence and EUI Research Fellow. The main project she coordinates is the Media Pluralism Monitor, aiming to assess the risks for media pluralism in the European Union and in candidate countries. She also teaches Communication Law at the University of Florence. She holds a degree in Law (University of Florence), a Ph.D. in Public Law and Constitutional Law (University La Sapienza, Rome) and she is an Italian qualified lawyer. Elda Brogi has recently served as a member of two expert committees at the Council of Europe: the Committee of experts on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership (MSI-MED) in 2016-2017 and the Committee of experts on protection of journalism and safety of journalists (MSI-JO) in 2014-2015.

Evin Baris Altintas
MLSA founder, journalist and blogger

Evin Baris Altintas, co-founder and president of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) was born in 1978. She graduated from the political science Middle East Technical University (METU), and later studied International Relations at University of St. Petersburg. Although she has mostly worked for agencies and newspapers in Turkey, she has been doing freelance jobs in the past few years and currently covers media freedoms in Turkey for Index on Censorship and sits on the board of Balkan Network of Science Writers. Her journalism focus is on freedom of expression, environment, women’s rights, Internet freedoms and science journalism.

Monika Valecic
Programme Coordinator, Croatian Journalists’ Association

Marton Gergely
Editor, HVG Weekly, former Editor of Nepszabadsag

Márton Gergely is editor of the domestic news desk of Hungary’s largest current affairs weekly HVG. Gergely reads History and Journalism in Budapest and Hamburg. He was a contributor of the Hungarian weekly Magyar Narancs, and after an internship became a correspondent for the Berlin daily taz, die tageszeitung. He joined the Népszabadság newsroom in 2003. He became lead editor of online in 2008. In 2014 he was appointed deputy editor in chief of the paper, Hungary’s most widely read daily. He remained in this post until production ended as a result of a politically-motivated hostile takeover in October 2016.

Alexandra Rybinska
Board member, Association of Polish Journalists (SDP)

Aleksandra Rybińska, political scientist, graduate of the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris (Sciences Po). Before becoming a feature writer for the online newspaper “wPolityce.pl” and the weekly “Sieci”. She worked as a reporter for the daily newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”, and was the foreign editor for the daily newspaper “Gazeta Polska Codziennie”. Member of the board and treasurer of the Polish Journalists Association (SDP).

Tomasz Milkowski
International secretary of the Main Board, Association of the Republic of Poland (SDRP)

Tomasz Miłkowski, PhD, journalist, theatre and literary critic, editor of several journals. Author of more than a dozen books. President of the Polish Section AICT/IACT since 2000, Honorary Vicepresident IATC/AICT. Editor in Chief of the online quarterly Yorick since 2004. Sectretary SD RP.

Krzysztof Bobinski
Society of Journalists (TD)

Krzysztof Bobinski,  a member of the board of Poland’s  Society of Journalists  and co chair of the steering committee of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership was born in London in 1949 and went to school and studied in the United Kingdom. From 1976 to 2000 he was the Warsaw correspondent of the Financial Times and also contributed to the Economist as well as the Washington Post and other western newspapers. From 1998 to 2003 he published Unia & Polska , a bi monthly magazine devoted to EU matters. He has contributed to openDemocracy, an online publication. He is also a member of the fledgling Polish chapter of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ).

Galina Arapova
Director, Mass Media Defence Centre

Galina Arapova has a law degree in world economy and international relations (Russian Academy of Sciences), graduated from Institute of European Law (University of Birmingham, UK, Human Right Law and practice program conducted in cooperation with Council of Europe).  Galina Arapova has worked in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of information, she is a director and senior media lawyer at the Mass Media Defence Centre (since 1996). She has rich experience as an expert and trainer, conducting training for journalists, lawyers, judges in Russia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe. Vice-chair of international Board of international human rights organization ARTICLE 19 (Global Campaign for Free expression, London, UK), Board member of a European Center for Press and Media Freedom (Leipzig, Germany). 

Tomasz Wróblewski
Polish journalist, former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek Polska, Rzeczpospolita and Wprost.

President of Warsaw Enterprise Institute. Recently worked as an editor in chief of political weekly magazine Wprost. Frequent guest for various television and radio programs in Poland. In the past, he worked as an editor for major polish daily newspapers including “Rzeczpospolita” and “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”. He was the first editor and publisher for Polish edition of “Newsweek” as well as the publisher for the polish edition of monthly “Forbes ” magazine. Studied History at the University of Warsaw and graduated from Political Science at the University of Houston. Started his media career as the correspondent for Radio Free Europe in Washington DC. After 1990 and collapse of communism, he run first foreign bureau for the first private polish radio RMF FM in Washington DC. 1992 published his book on Bill Clinton. And in 2010 on polish journalism “Pisać Skutecznie”.

Wout van Wijk
Director, News Media Europe

Wout van Wijk is Executive Director at News Media Europe, representing over 2200 news media titles, since July 2016. Prior to this, Wout held the position of senior EU affairs manager at Huawei Technologies in their Brussels office. He also worked for the European Commission’s DG Information Society and Media (now DG CONNECT) and for the trade association of Europe’s direct marketing industry, FEDMA. Wout holds an Msc in Communication Studies from the Twente University, The Netherlands and an MA in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Maja Vasic-Nikolic
Project team coordinator, Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia

Maja Vasic-Nikolic was born and raised in Belgrade, but gained her working experience in London, UK, while volunteering as a junior researcher with the Amnesty International.  From 2001 – 2003 she worked for Brook Lapping  production as an archive assistant and researcher on an award winning series  The Fall of Milosevic. Maja spent next couple of year freelancing as a researcher and working for the Centre for Strategy and Communication before returning to Serbia to take a post of project manager with the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia. She is now Association’s project team coordinator and manages regional project focussed on media freedoms and safety of journalists. At the same time she is heavily involved in IJAS advocacy efforts. Find out more about Maja’s work on her LinkedIn profile.

Jean Philip de Tender
Director Media at European Broadcasting Union

Jean Philip De Tender is Director Media at the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva, in charge of strategy, management, network and representation of everything related to content. For more than 25 years Jean Philip De Tender worked for VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster in Belgium. He started off as journalist for various television and radio programs. Later as television program manager he became responsible for a wide range of programs in all genres (fiction, entertainment, current affairs, reality, …). From 2007 till 2013 he was the channel manager of the biggest television channel in Flanders. Social media became his second nature.  In 2010 he published his first book  “Alles is een verhaal”. His drive in life : “Create order in the chaos and chaos in the order”.

Gulnara Akhundova
Head of Department for Global Response at International Media Support

Gulnara Akhundova is the Head of Department for Global Response at International Media Support (IMS) in Copenhagen. As part of her global portfolio, Akhundova oversees IMS’ programmes in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She brings a deep knowledge of the key technical issues, politics, applicable research and best practices pertaining to regional programmes and issues. Akhundova is a human rights defender with wide-ranging international advocacy expertise. Akhundova has reported on and advocated for scores of writers and journalists who have been censored, threatened, intimidated, unjustly prosecuted, imprisoned, attacked, blackmailed or murdered. She has contributed stories on violations of press freedom to a number of international media outlets, including French Liberation, the Independent, and Huffington Post.

Grzegorz Nawrocki
A former journalist of the Polish National Television

Grzegorz (Greg) Nawrocki. Journalist, current affairs programmes host. A graduate of Cambridge University, Preston (UCLAN) as well as American Studies Center at  Warsaw University. A British Chevening Scholar and a scholar of Robert Schumann Institute in Budapest. Formerly a host of the Polish Public Television political shows. With intensive experience with the BBC TV (e.g. HardTalk) as well as Danish media. An editor and host of Oxford style debates realised with Onet.pl in Teatr Polski in Warsaw. Media skills coach. Specialising in political interviews and current affairs analysis. President of British Alumni Society in Poland.

Mieczysław Struk
Marshal, Pomorskie Voivodeship

Mieczysław Struk is the Marshal of Pomorskie Voivodeship (President of the Region) since 2010. Before Struk was Deputy Marshal. Since 2002 councilor-member of the Pomorskie Voivodeship Sejmik (regional parliament). President of the Pomorskie in the European Union Association. Graduated from Tourism and Recreation Faculty at Wrocław University. Completed postgraduate studies – Management and Organization Faculty at the University of Gdańsk and 3-year doctoral studies – Management and Economic Faculty at the University of Szczecin. Awarded with Grzegorz Palka prize – so called “Oskar for Selfgovernment achievements”.

Matthew Caruana Galizia
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist (ICIJ)

Kjersti Løken Stavrum
CEO, Tinus Trust

Kjersti Løken Stavrum is CEO of the Tinius Trust (the largest share holder in Schibsted Media Group), former secretary general of the Norwegian Press Association, member of the board of Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and PEN Norway. Has had various managerial positions within Norwegian media – net, magazine and paper, incl. editor in Aftenposten. She has a master’s degree in political science and an exec. master of management.

Marilyn Clark
Professor, University of Malta

Marilyn Clark is an Associate Professor with the Department of Psychology at the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. She is a social psychologist with a criminological background and a particular in interest in victimization. She holds a doctorate from the University of Sheffield and is published internationally. Prof Clark is currently researching the experiences of journalists working under pressure in the Council of Europe member states.

Tom Law
Director of Communication, Ethical Journalism Network

Tom Law has led the Ethical Journalism Network’s international media ethics campaigns on hate speech, migration reporting, media literacy, good governance and self-regulation since 2015. For four years Tom was the associate editor of Sudan Tribune, a leading regional news website and in 2005 Tom was one of the founders of The Juba Post – an independent newspaper for South Sudan. Tom has also worked for UNICEF, women’s right groups and civil society organisations in Sudan and for two years led the Taught Not Trafficked campaign with SOLD, an award-winning feature film about child trafficking from Nepal to India.

Marina Tuneva
Executive Director, Media Ethics Council Macedonia

Marina Tuneva, PhD, is an Executive Director of the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia as of January 2015. She also holds a position as a Docent Doctor at the Institute for Communication Studies in Skopje. Her previous experience includes working for several international programs as part of UNDP and USAID. Marina Tuneva was a member of the coordination body of the MEDIANE Programme implemented by the Council of Europe and the European Union in the period 2012 – 2014. She is an author of the books: “Ethical Reporting in Media”, “Media, Citizens and Intercultural Communication”, “Diversity Reporting Handbook”, “Introduction to Public Relations” and “How to contact the Media”. 

Scott Griffen
Deputy Director, International Press Institute (IPI)

Scott Griffen is deputy director at the International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, publishers and journalists defending press freedom since 1950. He is the author of numerous IPI reports on diverse topics related to press freedom and independent journalism and has led or participated in dozens of IPI press freedom missions around the world. He holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Yale University and a master’s degree in global ethics from King’s College London.

Silvia Chocarro
Senior Consultant, IFEX

Silvia Chocarro is a consultant on freedom of expression. She is currently Global Advocacy Strategist for IFEX, member of the Center for Freedom of Media at the University of Sheffield and non-resident fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University. She also teaches at the Universidad Jaume I in Spain. In the past, she worked at UNESCO in the development of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. This work was the basis for her PhD dissertation entitled The Promotion of the Safety of Journalists: the Role of the United Nations from 1945 to 2015. For several years, Silvia was a journalist in Spain, Mexico and the United States.@silviachocarro.

Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz
Chief Coordinator for the Strategic Litigation, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz is a Chief Coordinator for the Strategic Litigation in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland. She litigated several groundbreaking cases regarding discrimination, freedom of expression and personal rights’ protection. She is also responsible for the human rights advocacy before the United Nations’ treaty bodies on behalf of the Commissioner. Before joining the Office in 2015, she was a barrister at one of the biggest Polish law firms where she was dealing with litigation and arbitration and handling firm’s pro bono practice. She was an active member of the Bar Council and a judge at the Disciplinary Court.

Freja Wedenborg
Journalist, specialized in legislation regard data

Freja Wedenborg is a Danish journalist and author of the book ‘Cryptoguide for journalists’. She is Brussels based and currently works in the European Parliament. Freja teaches digital self-defense for journalists at the Danish School of Media and Journalism and is also a board member of the Danish Union of Journalists. @FrejaWedenborg on Twitter.

Jodie Ginsberg
CEO, Index of Censorship (IOC)

Jodie Ginsberg is the chief executive of London-based freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship, which monitors threats to free speech worldwide and campaigns against censorship. Index’s work includes a monitoring platform – Mapping Media Freedom – that documents media freedom violations in Europe and neighbouring countries. The organisation also publishes an award-winning quarterly magazine featuring censored writers and artists. A former London Bureau Chief for Reuters news agency, Jodie worked for more than a decade as a foreign correspondent and business journalist. She was previously Head of Communications for Camfed, a non-profit organisation working in girls’ education.

Flutura Kusari
Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press & Media Freedom, (ECPMF)

Flutura Kusari is a media lawyer. She is currently working as legal advisor for the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in Germany. Previously, she has worked in different civil society organizations in Kosovo including the Balkan Investigative Reporting network (BIRN). For several years she has legally edited complex investigative articles and TV programs and worked closely with Kosovar journalists on fact checking, protection of sources, whistleblowing and access to public documents. She writes on the latest legal developments regarding the right to freedom of expression and the freedom of the media at Sbunker.net. She holds a LLB and LL.M degree in law and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. studies in media law at Ghent University.