At SFM each working group is guided by a tutor throughout the five days. In addition, representatives from the European Commission provide the groups with problem statements and introduce the Commission’s position in the area. Various experts from the field visit the working groups and share their insights and views with the participants.

Below you can find an initial overview of the tutors, Commission representatives and experts who have confirmed their attendance at SFM 2015.

EU Energy Union

Commission representative: Peter van Kemseke

Cabinet Expert Energy Portfolio

Mr Van Kemseke studied in Leuven, Hull and Los Angeles and holds a PhD in the history of international relations. He has joined the Belgian diplomatic service in 2001 and has served at the OSCE, NATO and the UN in New York. Before he joined the Cabinet of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister in 2011, Mr Van Kemseke acted as COREPER I-Ambassador. He then became Deputy-Head of Cabinet of European President Herman Van Rompuy. He teaches ‘Politics currents in Europe and Belgian Foreign Policy’ at the KU Leuven.

Visiting Expert: Diederik Peereboom

Senior Director at Burson Marsteller

As a Director at Burson Marsteller, Mr Peereboom is responsible for advising clients in the fields of EU environment and energy policies. In the past, Mr Peereboom has worked as EU Affairs Manager for the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers where he was responsible for advising international companies on EU policy development. Mr Peereboom obtains also extensive experience with the EU policy-making process as he has served as a political advisor to a Dutch Member of the European Parliament.

Representatives from Statoil and Eurogas also confirmed their attendance.

EU Asylum policy


Tutor: Dersim Yabasun

PhD candidate, Law Faculty, Maastricht University

Dersim Yabasun will be the tutor for the working group on asylum policy. Dersim is currently a PhD candidate at the Law Faculty of Maastricht University. His expertise and specialisation is in the fields of European Union Law on Asylum, European Migration Law as well as International Refugee Law. Furthermore, he already did a traineeship at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament.

Commission Representative: Polykarpos Adamidis

Deputy Head of Cabinet of Migration Commissioner

The agenda of the Commission in the field of asylum policy will be introduced by Polykarpos Adamidis. He is the deputy head of cabinet of the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos. As such he is responsible for a variety of portfolios including Foreign Affairs, security matters and visa policy.

Visiting Expert: Lilian Tsourdi

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Lilian Tsourdi will provide expert knowledge on the topic of asylum policy in the European Union. Since October 2010 she is undertaking a PhD at the Law Faculty and the Institute for European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Her thesis is focused on European asylum policy and in particular the notion of a “Common European Asylum System”. Moreover, Lilian is a member of the coordination team of the Academic network for legal studies on immigration and asylum in Europe (Odysseus Network) as well as a research assistant at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Université catholique de Louvain.


Visiting Expert: Dr. Aspasia Papadopoulou

European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

Aspasia Papadopoulou is a Senior Advocacy Officer at the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). She leads and develops ECRE’s work on the external dimension of European asylum policy including factors such as refugee protection in third countries, resettlement, protected entry procedures and the relation between displacement and development. The focus of her academic research is on the asylum-migration nexus. Prior to joining ECRE, she worked in the European Commission EuropeAid Cooperation Office, with UNHCR in Tunisia and Greece, the Global Commission in International Migration and NGOs.

Visiting Expert: Katrin Huber

European Parliament

Katrin Huber works as an administrator in the secretariat of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in the European Parliament. Previously, she has worked in the secretariats of the Committee on Transport and Tourism as well as of the Conciliation Committee. In the first semester of 2012, she was EU Fellow at the European University Institute.


Independence of Regions in the EU


Tutor: Guayasén Marrero Gonzales

PhD Candidate, Law Faculty, Maastricht University

Guayasén is an expert in issues relating to regional independence in EU, in particular the situation of Catalonia.He regularly posts articles on the blog Maastricht Law News & Views on the situation of the independence of Catalonia.

Expert: Roger Albinyana i Saigí

Catalonian Representation

He is a Catalonian Politician and currently Secretariat for Foreign and European Union Affairs (Secretaria d’Afers Exteriors i de la Unió Europea).


Expert: Emmanuel Dalle Mulle

Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

He is a researcher at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, International History and Politics. His research area is focused on the independence movements in Catalonia, Scotland, Northern Italy and the Flanders.


EU Minimum Wage Policy


Tutor: Dr. Eliyahu Sapir

Lecturer, Maastricht University

Eliyahu (Eli) Sapir is a lecturer in Quantitative Research Methods at Maastricht University. His teaching and research interests are in the fields of European Union politics and social policy. Before joining the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University he was a Post-Doctoral researcher in the University of Nottingham, and member of the Technical Feasibility Working Group of the PIREDEU project (EES2009).

Commission Representative: Eric Meyermans

DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Eric Meyermans joined the European Commission in 2006 and works in the Social Analysis Unit of DG EMPL. Before joining the Commission he worked for the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau, the International Monetary Fund and the Centre for Economic Studies in Leuven. His professional experience covers labour market analysis (including wages, employment effects of transition to a greener economy, active ageing), macro-econometric model building and Eastern European economies in transition.

Visiting Expert: Dr. Thorsten Schulten

Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI)

Dr. Thorsten Schulten is the head of the research unit “Labour Politics and collective bargaining in Europe at the Institute of Economic and Social Research of the German Hans Böckler foundation. His fields of expertise are wage policy in a cross-national comparative perspective, labour studies, and industrial relations. He has published a great variety of articles in international journals dealing with the topic of European minimum wage policy.

Visiting Expert: Claire Dhéret

European Policy Centre

Claire Dheret is a Senior Policy Analyst in the EPC’s Europe’s Political Economy Programme and the Leader of FutureLab Europe, a programme aiming to empower the voice of young people. She has been working on various research projects, including with the EU institutions, and has been leading several Task Forces, in particular on the mobility of EU workers and industrial policy. Further topics belonging to her area of expertise are the European Social Model, including social cohesion and labour market policy. Prior to joining the EPC, she was responsible for the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation, a French think tank.


Data Protection and Digital Market


Tutor: Giuseppe Mazziotti

Associate Research Fellow, CEPS

Giuseppe Mazziotti, an Associate Research Fellow of CEPS – one of Europe’s biggest Think Thanks- holds a PhD in Law from the European University Institute in Florence. Due to his specialisation in intellectual property law, media law and information technology law, Mazziotti is an expert in the field of ‘Data Protection’ and the ‘Digital Single Market’. One of his own projects Mediartis aims at offering various stakeholders personalised solutions on how to best approach the European Digital Market. Mazziotti’s most recent publication addressed the issue of copyright in the EU Digital Single Market.

Commission Representative: Céline Deswarte

Policy Officer, DG Connect

Céline Deswarte, a representative of the European Commission, is a Policy Officer a spart of the “Trust and Security” Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). The primary mission of her department is to support as well as to coordinate research for the development of trustworthy ICTs that respect citizen’s rights and protect their privacy and personal data. Research priorities aim dominantly at the development of the Future Internet.

Visiting Expert: Dr. Jamal Shahin

Lecturer, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Shahin is a part-time University Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam as well as part-time Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). His research and teaching interest focus on the EU as an international actor in terms of ICTs (Internet, telecommunications) and Information Society policies. Dr. Shahin has been involved in many expert groups at the EU and on the international level regarding eGovernment and EU-governance related issues. Furthermore, he has participated in Consultancy Projects in areas of eGovernment as well as eDemocracy at EU and national levels. As a Member of the Editiorial Board Information and Communication Technologies & Human Development and the UN Public Administration Network, Dr. Shahin convinces with a high amount of practical experience in his field of interest. Recent work includes an IES Policy Brief on the DG Connect’s Stakeholder Engagement Strategy (2013) and a book chapter “The European Union’s Performance in the International Telecommunication Union”.

Visiting Expert: Francesco Versace

Regulatory Affairs Manager, ETNO

Mr. Versace holds the position of the Regulatory Affairs Manager at the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO). He is responsible for the management and coordination of the Competitive Markets, Spectrum Policies, Research and Innovation, Tax Policies and External Trade Issues Working Groups of ETNO. His prior working experience includes a position in the Public and Regulatory Affairs department of Telecom Italia as well as the European Commission and United Nations.

One of ETNO’s main goals is to contribute to the digital single market strategy and achieve a stronger digital union.