Guest Speakers

Since its creation, Ceris has welcomed to its podium prestigious personalities from the world's academia and politics, such as the member of French Academy, Thierry de Montbrial (October 1989); the architect of the Prague Spring, Alexander Dubcek  (November 1990); former Romanian Prime Minister, Petre Roman (October 1991); the member of French Academy Hélène Carrere d'Encausse (October 1993); Paul Kagame (December 1994), then Rwanda's Vice President whose first visit out of Africa was dedicated to Ceris; Bronislaw Geremek (February 1996), who became Poland's Foreign Minister; prosecutor for the International Courts of former Yuglosavia and Rwanda, Louise Arbour (January 1998); Javier Solana (October 1998), then the Secretary General for NATO; Réginald Moreels (Octobre 2000), former belgian Minister of International Cooperation; European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen  (March 2002); former Prime Minister of Bangladesh and daughter of the state's founder, Sheikh Hassina (October 2002); President of the Ivory Coast's Workers' Party and Ivorian League of the Human Rights, Françis Wodié (May 2003); Robert Cooper (June 2004), Director for External Politico-Military Affairs to the Secretary General of the European Union Council; Ion Iliescu (October 2006), the former Romanian President; Robert Kagan (October 2007), senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Dimitri Rogozin (2008), Russian ambassador to NATO; Riccardo Petrella (2008) Figurehead of the anti-globalization movement; Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (2009),  Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and with IPCC Nobel Peace Prize 2007; Charles Michel (2009), Former Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and now Belgian Prime Minister; Jan Pronk (2010) former Netherlands Minister of Development Cooperation & Environment and Special Representative of the Security General of the UN in Sudan; Srgjan Asan Kerim (2010) former President of the United Nations General Assemnly; Sylvestre Ntibantuganya (2010), the former President of Burundi; Steven Vanackere (October 2010) Vice -Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium; François de Kerchove d'Exaerde (November 2012) Head of the Private Office of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs; André Flahaut (2013) President of the Belgian House of Representatives & Former Minister of Defence; Jorge Viana & Luiz Henrique (May 2013) Brazilian Federal Senators; H.E. Ihor Dolhov (May 2014) Ambassador Extrodinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Belgium, Luxemburg and Nato; Christiane Höhn (May 2015) Adviser to the European Union Counter Terrorism Coordinator at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union; Ambassador at the Permanent representation of Belgium to Nato H.E. François de Kerchove & Gilles de Kerchove (May 2016) EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator at the General Secretariat of the Council of European Union. Ceris is very proud to underline that both Reginald Moreels & Erkki Liikanen have attended the Master of Arts in international politics in the early nineties.


Thierry de Montbrial is a doctor in economics from the Universit of Berkley. he founded a department of Economics in the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris. In the 1970s the French government entrusted him with the creation of a Policy Planning Staff within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organism whose direction he insured for several years. He is the founder in 1979 and he currently presides the  French Institute of International Relations - IFRI, which publishes the annual report Ramses. He is a member of several academic committees and centers all around the world like the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute for International Economics or the Carnegie Moscow Center. He is elected in 1992 at the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences .


Alexander Dubeck is prominent figure in 1968 of "The Prague Spring", he was a Slovak politician that tried to reform the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He’s ambition was to give socialism a human face, and he sought this goal by giving more liberties to the citizens. In the late 60s he held the position of Secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party for a short period of time. From this position he was able to put in practice reforms meant to liberalize the Communist regime. His efforts were crushed by a Soviet-led intervention. After the overthrowing of the communist regime he supported the democratization process in Czechoslovakia and became the Chairman of Czecho-Slovak Federal Assembly as leader of the Social Democratic party of Slovakia

 

Petre Roman is a Romanian politician that held key positions in the post-communist Romanian governments. He was the first Romanian prime-minister after the end of the communist rule. Subsequently, he became chairman of the Defence Committee within the Chamber of Deputies, and afterwards president of the Senate. In 1999 he was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of prime-minister Mugur Isarescu. He is also a former Special Rapporteur to the North Atlantic Assembly and a former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Mr. Roman is the founder of the Romanian political party Democratic Force.


Hélène Carrere d'Encause: Permanent Secretary of the French Academy since 1999,  she is a historian specializing in Russian history. She is best known as the author of the book "L’Empire éclaté" that brought her media fame. In the book she tried to demonstrate, as early as 1978, the imminent end of the Soviet Union. Descendant of a family of Russian aristocrats she rejoiced a predisposition for history and political science. After graduating the elite Institute of Political Studies of Paris she taught these two subjects first at the University of Sorbonne and then at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris. In 1990 she was elected a member of the French Academy. She is a prolific writer and the author of several biographies including the biography of Lenin.


Paul Kagame is Rwanda’s president since March 2000. The people of Rwanda have elected him three times over the last decade in the hope that he will lead them on the path of development. Kagame’s political career started in Uganda where he helped the current Ugandan president to liberate the country from an oppressive regime. Back in Rwanda he rose as a political leader at the head of the political party the Rwandan Patriotic Front - FPR. In the aftermath of the genocide he became a member of the cabinet of president Bizimungu and in the later half of the 90s he occupied key positions in the government: vice-president and Defense Minister. He is seen as a public advocate for new models for foreign aid that will help recipient countries become self-sufficient.


Bronislaw Geremek: Polish historian and politician, he was a remarkable European that contributed to the democratization of Poland and to its integration in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in the European Union. During the communist period, in the early 80s, he was one of the key advisers to Lech Walesa’s Solidarność. Bronislaw Geremek played a crucial role as he managed to find a formula to obtain the consent of the communist leaders for free parliamentary elections. In 1997 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, position that allowed him to negotiate Poland’s treaty of accession to NATO and to push its country towards European integration. After Poland’s accession to the EU his career took a European turn as he was elected as member of the European Parliament.


Louise Arbour: is a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, she has made a brilliant career in the field of justice and human rights. She started off with a fruitful academic experience but later on she was appointed as judge by the state of Canada to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In the mid-90s she was appointed as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. From this position she indicted political personalities such as Slobodan Milošević or Milan Milutinović. At the moment she holds the position of President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. Madam Arbour is dedicated to the respect and advancement of human rights all around the world.


Javier Solana: one of EU’s most prominent figures in the last decade, the former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy was also an important player on the Spanish political scene. Doctor in physics, Javier Solana turned away from science towards politics and climbed the Spanish political ladder from member of the Parliament in 1977 to Cabinet Minister starting with December 1982. In the 90s his career turned international when he was appointed Secretary General of NATO. Subsequently he was named Secretary General of the Council of the EU, function that was be merged with the position of High Representative, in the pursuit to give the EU a face. Solana is acknowledged for his diplomatic and efficient methods of negotiation and for his abilities to build consensus.


Réginald Moreels: currently a representative to the region of the Great Lakes in Africa,  is best known as the former Secretary of State  and former Minister of international cooperation for the Belgium. He is the founder & the former president of "Médecin sans frontière-Belgium". He is concerned mainly by problems linked to the prevention and management of conflicts like peace-building and peace-keeping. He is also a former participant to the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe. In parallel with his humanitarian activities he is a visiting professor to the University Ghent and to the UN Centre for Peace and Disarmament. Mr. Moreels is also a graduate of the Master of Arts in International Politics at CERIS.


Erkki Liikanen, a graduate of the Master of Arts in International Politics at CERIS, was the first Finnish ambassador to the European Union and the first Finnish member of the European Commission, after Finland joined the EU. He was elected as a Member of the Finnish Parliament when he was only twenty-one years old. Liikanen experienced a steady rise in Finnish politics both within its political party where he took the position of Secretary General of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, and in the Finish government where he was appointed Minister of Finance. Currently he is the Governor of the Bank of Finland and member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, as well as Governor of the International Monetary Fund for Finland.


Sheikh Hassina is the daughter of the founder of Banglades. A fervent political activist ever since her college and student years, Hassima has experienced a tumultuous political life. Elected chief of the Student's Union of Eden Girls College she actively participated to the 1969 upsurge. After the murdering of her parents and siblings, she was forced into exile where she became the leader of the political party Awami League. On her return she pledged to fight for democracy and for the rights of the people. In the 90s Bangladesh returned to democracy and Hassima was first leader of the opposition and then prime minister. Her latest goal is to transform Bangladesh into a digital nation. She is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.


Françis Wodié is an Ivorian politician and a former Minister of Higher Education. He completed his superior studies in France where he became actively implicated in politics by joining the Federation of Students from Black Africa in France (FEANF). Upon his return to the Ivory Coast, he suffered political persecution that forced him into exile. In 1966 he started his career as a Professor of Law at the University of Abidjan. Later he became the dean of the faculty of law at this University. He is one of the founders of SYNARES (National Union for Research and Higher Education) and of the Ivorian League of Human Rights. In 1990 he is elected as the leader of the Ivorian Worker’s Party. At the moment Wodié is one of the candidates for the Ivorian presidency.


Robert Cooper is the author of The Post-Modern State (2002), and implicitly of the doctrine of “new liberal imperialism” that influenced Tony Blair’s thoughts,  he is a former Director-General at the Council of the EU. He joined the Diplomatic service of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1970. He worked mainly at the British embassies of Bonn and Tokyo before being nominated as Head of the Policy Planning Staff. Afterwards he was Deputy Secretary for Defence and Overseas Affairs. Before entering the Council of the EU he was the UK’s Special Representative in Afghanistan. Cooper is currently a member of the steering committee in charge of drafting Catherine Ashton’s proposals for the structure of EU’s European External Action Service.

 

Ion Iliescu is a Romanian politician who served twice as president of Romania (1990–96; 2000–04). He was Romania’s first post-communist president after the revolution of 1989 in which he played a leading role. He was formerly a protégé of Nicolae Ceausescu but gradually fell from grace two decades before the fall of the regime as he was perceived as a threat by the dictator. After the revolution he emerged as leader of the newly created National Salvation Front, the organization that seized power. He remained at the head of this political organization that turned into Romania’s Social Democratic Party. During his term as a president Romania became a member of the Northern Atlantic Organization and started its accession negotiations to the EU.


Robert Kagan is a Yale and Harvard graduate,  he is best-known as the author of the international bestseller Of Paradise and Power. Kagan started his career as a foreign policy adviser to American politician Jack Kemp. He then joined the State Department Policy Planning Staff and subsequently the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He was also the policy adviser of John McCain, Obama’s main opponent during the 2008 US elections. He is a columnist for the Washington Post and a contributing editor at both The New Republic and Weekly Standard. Considered as one of the leading neo-conservatives in the US, Kagan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relation and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin is a Russian diplomat, appointed in 2008 as Russia’s ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was one of the founders of the Congress of Russian Communities. In the early 90s, Rogozin exerted the function of president of the Association of Young Political Leaders of the Soviet Union, after which he was appointed in the Russian Duma. He was for a brief period the vice-speaker of the Duma. Subsequently he rose to hold the leadership of Russian nationalist party Rodina (Motherland) party. In parallel he worked as the president’s special envoy in dealing with relations between the EU and the Kaliningrad exclave. He is also very popular as a writer in Russia, where his books were bestsellers. Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin currently holding de position of Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

 

Riccardo Petrella is the Initiator and former president of the Lisbon Group,  is an Italian political analyst and economist. Currently a regular teacher at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve and at the Europa College Bruges, he has taught in many universities around the world. Mr. Petrella worked for the European Commission as supervisor of the FAST-programme (Forecasting and Assessment in Science and Technology). Before that he was secretary-general of the Italian committee for the development of social sciences and director of the European Center for Research in Social Sciences of UNESCO in Vienna. In the 90s he published a trilogy, the last book being Water Manifesto, that defends the universal rights to access water sources.

 

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele is a Scientific adviser to the United Nations conferences on climate issues,  he is a Belgian scientist specializing in modeling climate and the climate effects of human activities. He is a Professor at the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve) where he teaches climatology and environmental sciences and directs the Master programme in Science and Management of the Environment. He is also Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a member of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development. He received several prizes: “Energy and environment award” by the International Polar Foundation, the “Francqui Chair” from the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) & with IPCC the Nobel Peace Prize 2007.


Charles Michel is a Belgian lawyer and politician. He became Minister for Development Cooperation in the Belgian government (2007-2011). He is also "Bourgmestre en titre" of the city of  Wavre. Mr. Michel graduated the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) with a degree in law. Following his graduation he was accepted at the Brussels Bar as a lawyer. In October 2000 he was named Minister for Home Affairs and the Civil Service by the Wallonian community. Subsequently he was elected as member of the Belgian federal parliament. In February 2011 Charles Michel became President of his Party, the MR "Mouvement Réformateur" and since October 2014, he Currently Holding de position of Prime Minister of Belgium.


Jan Pronk is a familiar name in Dutch politics as well as in UN circles. A politician and diplomat, Jan Pronk has served four terms as a Minister in the Dutch government, particularly in the field of Development Cooperation before turning towards the international scene and the United Nations. With a previous experience in the international organization in 1985 when he held the position of Assistant UN Secretary General, he was named in 2002 UN Special envoy to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Tokyo. Two years later UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed him as the first UN Special Representative for Sudan. He holds at this time the position of Professor of Theory and Practice of International Development at the International Institute of Social The Hague.



Srgjan Asan Kerim is a Macedonian diplomat. In 1971, Kerim graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics and in 1982 he was granted a Ph.D. in economic scienceand. He is former President of the United Nations General Assembly, his term of office began on September 18, 2007 and ended on September 16, 2008. Previously, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia in 2000 and 2001, then acted as the Macedonian ambassador to the United Nations from 2001 to 2003.


Sylvestre Ntibantunganya is a former president of Burund. He was elected by the National Assembly after the assassination of president Ndadaye, leader of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) that had won the elections in 1993. Formerly Ntibantunganya was a speaker of the National Assembly of Burundi appointed in 1993. The same year he served briefly as Foreign Minister. During his term the national security situation deteriorated due to a significant influx of Rwandan refugees and to constant tensions between the two main "pseudo-ethnic" groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. As a consequence he was overthrown from power by a Tutsi intervention. At the present, Ntibantunganya is a Senator for life as all Burundi former Heads of State.

 

Steven Vanackere is a Belgian politician and member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party (CD&V). He is Federal Deputy Prime Minister continuously since 2008: Successively Public Service, Public Enterprises and Institutional Reforms in the Van Rompuy government (2008-2009), He held the portfolios of Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Institutional Reform in the Leterme II government (2009-2011) and Finance and Sustainable Development, in charge of the Civil Service in the Di Rupo government since 2011.


His Excellency François de Kerchove d’Exaerde started his diplomatic career in 1989 and held consecutive posts in Kuwait City, Tokyo, Osaka and Berlin. In Belgium, he was responsible for the Afghanistan and Pakistan dossiers, before becoming Director of the Royal Institute for International Relations (Egmont). He then became Deputy Director for Security Policy, after which he took over the management of the department. He has served as Belgian Ambassador in the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) since June 2011. He became Director of the Private Office of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Déc 2011). H.E. François de Kerchove d'Exaerde is Currently Ambassador at the Permanent representation of Belgium to Nato since 2014.

 


André Flahaut joined the Belgian Socialist Party in 1973. From 1989 to 1995 he served in various posts in the administration of Walloon Brabant. He has served in the local council of Walhain, in the provincial council of Walloon Brabant and as deputy governor of Walloon Brabant. From 1995 he served as Minister for the Civil Service in the second government of Jean-Luc Dehaene. Since 12 July 1999 he has served as Minister of Defence in both governments of Guy Verhofstadt, Verhofstadt I (1999–2003) and Verhofstadt II (2003–2007). From 20 July 2010 to 30 June 2014 he was President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Flahaut is the current Minister of Budget in the Government of the French Community (Federation Wallonia-Brussels). André Flahaut is Minister of State since 7 December 2009 and Commander of the Order of Leopold Since 2015.

Luiz Henrique da Silveira is a Brazilian politician and lawyer. He has represented Santa Catarina in the Federal Senate since 2011. He was governor of Santa Catarina from 2003 to 2006 and 2007 to 2010. He is a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. He is an advocate of the Brazilian equatorial forest.

Jorge Macedo Ney Viana Neves is a Brazilian politician, currently governor of the state of Acre. He was elected to first term in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, with 64% of votes (the best results of all Brazilian states). He is an advocate of the Brazilian equatorial forest.

His Excellency Ihor Dolhov is Deputy Head of the Department of Political Analysis and Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (1997-2000), Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for Foreign Policy (2000-2001), Director of the Department for Policy and Security - Head of the Directorate for Political Analysis and Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2001-2002), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Republic of Turkey (2002-2004), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2004-2006), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Federal Republic of Germany (2006-2008), Head of the Main Directorate for Foreign Policy, Secretariat of President of Ukraine (2008-2009), Ambassador at Large of the Department for Information Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2009-2010), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Belgium, Luxemburg and NATO since 2010.

Dr. Christiane Höhn is an adviser to the European Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, covering a broad range of counter-terrorism issues. She joined the Council of the European Union in 2004. In her previous assignment, she worked on non-proliferation and disarmament. From 2004 to 2009, she was an Administrator Transatlantic Relations, working on EU-US and EU-Canada relations as well as on issues relating to counter-terrorism and international human rights and humanitarian law. She holds the German State Examinations in law, an LL.M. (Harvard Law School) and a Ph.D. in international law (Heidelberg University). Ms Höhn also studied at the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva and Passau University. Prior to joining the EU in 2004, she was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for International Law in Heidelberg and an Affiliate at the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, where she worked on leadership development.

Gilles de Kerchove is the Coordinator of the EU Counter Terrorism at the General Secretariat of the Council of European Union since 2007. Former Director of Justice and Home Affairs (HJA) in the Council Secretariat of the European Union from 1995 to 2007.

H.E. François de Kerchove is Ambassador at the Permanent representation of Belgium to Nato since 2014. Former Director of the Private Office of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Déc 2011). He has served as Belgian Ambassador in the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC) since June 2011.