Programme 2022

DAY 1, 16 November 2022




Arnaud Thysen
Director General, European Business Summits



Opening Address

Ursula von der Leyen President, European Commission

Following on from her State of the Union address, President von der Leyen will give a special address at EBS 2022, focusing on the expectations of industry towards the European Commission, notably in terms of:

  • Energy & resilience, in particular for SMEs
  • The Green Deal agenda
  • Digital ecosystems
  • Supply chains, trade & security 




Prof. Jorge Vasconcelos
Chairman, New Energy Solutions (NEWES)

Frauke Thies
Executive Director, Agora Energiewende

Diego Pavia
CEO, EIT Innoenergy

Ann Metler
Vice President, Breakthrough Energy

Kim Mackrael
Wall Street Journal

Ursula von der Leyen recently announced that the EU is considering “a fundamental reform of the power market” to adapt to the energy crisis and new climate targets. Indeed, the EU’s energy markets were created in the 1990s, long before the Green Deal’s ambitious renewables, decarbonization and electrification targets were established. Many changes will thus be needed to adapt to our new reality, from more integration and coordination of our different energy systems to investments in energy networks.

  • What could and should the EU’s intervention look like?
  • How can we create a more cohesive and integrated energy market?
  • Could a different market framework lead to lower prices and more efficiency?
  • Is our current market design fit to scale-up low carbon technologies, and how can we accelerate decarbonisation?




Olivier Guersent
Director General, DG COMP

Javier Espinoza
Financial Times Correspondent

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Europe moves from crisis management to economic recovery, Europe is once again faced with a fresh crisis – the war in Ukraine, along with the related energy and inflation crises that have ensued.

  • How can the European Union, in tandem with member-state governments, further support companies across all sectors to mitigate the harsh economic impact of the current crisis in a way that is timely, coordinated, and effective, whilst also protecting the “level playing field” of the Single Market?
  • What will the impacts of the Temporary Crisis Framework be for business?
  • How can Member States use the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
  • What role for the Digital Markets Act, Foreign Subsidies Regulation and Market Definition Notice respectively?




Interview: the eu's values on the international stage

Raphaël Glucksmann
Member of the European Parliament

Jack Parrock
EU Reporter

The European Union, as a values-based organisation, has at times been criticised for its conduct by engaging with international partners who neglect these principles. The result can be an erosion of trust in EU institutions and the perpetuation of abuses against populations abroad. In order for the EU to remain a global leader, it must address these issues and more.

  • How can the EU promote democracy and the rule of law efficiently?
  • What measures are currently in place to ensure that the EU’s values continue to be respected in its engagements on the international stage?
  • How can the EU contribute to aligning the interests of international actors such as large companies to its own values and those of the general European public?
  • Why is it important for the EU to defend its core values and what impacts can asserting them have?



“Twin transitions”: How to digitalise the sustainable transition?

Dušan Chrenek
Principal Adviser for “Digital for the Green Transition”, DG CLIMA

Eva Maydell
Member of the European Parliament

Paul Hofheinz
President and Co-founder, The Lisbon Council

Jacqueline Pynadath
Director, Sustainability & Innovation, Google Cloud EMEA

Alice Hancock
Brussels Correspondent, Financial Times

Both the green and digital transition hold massive opportunities for the European Union and go hand in hand. We cannot achieve the Green Transition without using innovative digital technologies. Indeed, by digitalising the energy, transport, construction, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, carbon emissions in the EU could be cut by a fifth by 2030, as they allow for more efficiency notably in the management of resources. Likewise, carbon emissions of the digital sector will have to be managed.

  • How can we make sure the green and digital transition go hand in hand?
  • What role can digital tools play in reaching our climate objectives?
  • What investments will be needed?
  • How can we make sure new technologies align with our climate goals?



Interview: 3 Questions for Executive Vice-President Vestager

Margrethe Vestager
Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, European Commission

Silvia Amaro
CNBC correspondent

European Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager will engage with attendees on the importance of ensuring that the EU can remain competitive throughout both the green and digital transitions, along with ensuring that the EU can effectively respond to contemporary geopolitical and economic challenges. These include the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the trade dispute with the US, EU/US relations and more broadly and EU competition policy in general.

  • What will be next after the DSA and the DMA?
  • What vision exists for the remainder of the mandate?
  • How to respond to the energy crisis?
  • Evolving Europe’s support for Ukraine?



Switching Gears to Net Zero: Modernising Europe’s Electricity Grids

Stelios Kympouropoulos
Member of the European Parliament

Mark Kuschel
Chief Technology Officer, Siemens Energy


Christine Lützkendorf
Programme Manager on Flourinated Greenhouse gases, Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.

Thomas Duerr
Manager Standards and Regulations, Siemens AG

Fabian Lemke
Co-founder and Managing Director, Nuventura

Daniel Schiffbauer
Technology Executive at Toshiba International Corporation

Ana Rovzar
EU Reporter

The EU’s net zero target will require a dramatic growth in renewable power generation. Power grids need to be expanded and modernised with urgency to overcome bottlenecks that hamper the accommodation of these renewables. It is therefore a priority for the EU and its member states to overcome hurdles and accelerate investments in our grids. At the same time, power equipment often has life spans of over 40 years and will be in operation well beyond the 2050 hallmark. It is therefore a priority to ensure that the grid technologies we roll out today comply with the wider Green Deal targets and will not harm the climate, the environment, or human health.

  • Which steps are needed to accelerate investments and project implementation?
  • How can innovation make our grids future-proof?
  • How can we ensure that power grids themselves do not harm the climate, environment, or human health?



private roundtable: how to strengthen europe's industrial and competitive resilience (invitation only)

Margrethe Vestager
Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, European Commission

Mette Laursen
BLOX Global Ambassador

Strategic autonomy has become a central goal for the European Union, reflected in many of its policy orientations, especially for essential sectors such as health, energy and defence, but also electronics, such as chips and batteries. However, striking the right balance between competition, innovation and resilience in strategic sectors can prove challenging

  • How to create a coherent industrial policy across the EU?
  • What is the role of the IPCEI initiative?
  • What role will innovation, investments, skills, and human capital play?
  • How to encourage public-private partnerships and the involvment of SMEs
  • How to reindustrialise Europe while accomplishing the sustainable transition





Interview: Youth & Democracy

Kira Marie Peter-Hansen
Member of the European Parliament

Jack Parrock
EU Reporter

In the 2022 European Year of Youth, there has never been a more important time to explore the role of youth engagement in European affairs. As the European Youth Forum and Committee of the Regions co-create a European Charter for Youth and Democracy, what exactly does this mean for young Europeans? How can the EU better empower and involve young people across its decision-making processes to achieve a Europe that is closer to its young people? Join the European Parliament’s youngest representative, MEP Kira Peter-Hansen from Denmark to discuss how our young people are contributing to European democracy, along with the current challenges and opportunities that they face.




Henrik Hololei
Director General DG MOVE, European Commission

Andreas Marschner
Vice President, Amazon Transportation Services Europe

Renato De Filippo
Head of Regulatory Positioning Refining, Fuels, Mobility, ENI

Kim Jørgensen
Director General and Permanent Representative of the EIB to the EU Institutions

Tom Cobbenhagen
EU Governmental Affairs & Policy Development, Lightyear

Ana Rovzar
EU Reporter

Decarbonising road transport, freight, aviation, and maritime transport while encouraging smart and soft mobility systems is a priority of the European Union as expressed in the European Green Deal. From developing Europe’s electric fleet, hydrogen and biofuels, many solutions have been put forward. Moreover, it is essential to develop a consumer-centric approach, that ensures affordability and convenience for companies and citizens alike.

  • What investments and infrastructures are needed for a carbon-neutral mobility?
  • How to modernise transport systems?
  • What role for sustainable fuels and hydrogen?
  • How to provide realistic solutions for consumers and citizens?



Unlocking the potential of the digital transformation of European Businesses

Signe Ratso
Acting Director-General, DG RTD

Martina Dlabajová
Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur of the Digital Decade Policy Programme

James Waterworth
Director, EU Public Policy, Amazon

David Schwartz
Global Vice President Tech Venturing & Innovation, PepsiCo

Stefan Grobe
Reporter, Euronews

In the context of Europe’s Digital Decade 2030, the EU’s Digital Compass highlights the digital transformation of businesses as the key to fostering Europe’s resilience and competitiveness. It will also enable a more efficient use of resources and contribute to creating a level playing field in Europe and beyond. For this, new infrastructure and legislation but also digital skills are needed.

  • How can businesses be encouraged to adopt new technologies?
  • How we boost digital education in an inclusive manner? Which skills are needed the most?
  • How can we foster technological innovation by SMEs?
  • Can the EU strengthen its global role in the digital sector?



Exclusive Interview with the European Parliament president roberta metsola

Roberta Metsola
President of the European Parliament 

Silvia Amaro
CNBC correspondent

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola will reflect on what has been a challenging year for European citizens and businesses, focusing particularly on the war in Ukraine, the sanctions packages adopted by the EU and their impact, along with questions related to the energy crisis and energy storage.



coffee BREAK



Wolfgang Burtscher
Director General, DG AGRI

Andy Bounds
Brussels Correspondent, Financial Times

Frequent heat waves and droughts have greatly increased yield losses in agriculture over the last fifty years, while the war in Ukraine has plunged the world onto the verge of a major food crisis. The agriculture sector represents 11 % of all greenhouse gas emission in Europe. The climate crisis has thus highlighted the need to adapt Europe’s food production to fit a more sustainable model. The Farm to fork strategy, a cornerstone of the Green Deal calls for a reduction by 50 % of the use of chemical pesticides and aims to increase the share of organic farming to 25 % which will undoubtedly be a challenge for the agricultural sector.

  • What can be done to boost sustainable food production, processing, and distribution techniques while ensuring food security?
  • How to make sure that European food production remains competitive?
  • How to ensure sustainable and resilient food supply chains across the bloc?
  • What regulations for new genomic techniques?
  • Which innovations can help reduce the negative impact of pesticides?



ESGs: How to bring transparency to the business equation?

Alain Deckers
DG FISMA & Vice-Chairman of the European Lab@EFRAG Steering Group

Philippe Lamberts
Member of the European Parliament, Co-President of the Greens/EFA

Mirjam Wolfrum
Director, Policy Engagement, CDP

Olga Nowicka
Public Policy Manager EMEA, Workday

Rana Karadsheh
Regional Director for Europe, IFC

Silvia Amaro
CNBC correspondent

As investors are demanding more precise and more transparent investment decisions, the Council and the Parliament reached an agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) – which the first companies will already need to comply with by 2024. Part of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan, it aims to modernise the rules of social and environmental reporting to make sure that investors have access to the information they need to assess investment risks.

  • How to create common environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators in the EU and integrate them to existing processes?
  • How to make sure human rights, climate impact and transparency are respected?




Marco Buti
Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Gentiloni, European Commission
Karel Lannoo

Jack Parrock
EU Reporter

Against positive growth forecasts on the back of Europe’s strong recovery from the pandemic, the war in Ukraine has once again wreaked havoc with the European economy, bringing renewed disruptions in global supply chains and increases in commodity prices for industry and consumers. Furthermore, a resurgence of COVID-19 related economic shocks cannot be ruled out.

  • Against this heightened uncertainty, European reliance on imported fossil fuels and the highly globalised nature of the EU economy, what impacts will these factors have on both short and long-term economic outlooks in Europe?
  • As growth forecasts are downgraded, how can we anticipate and respond to these economic challenges? What actions can be taken to maintain consumer purchasing power and foster resilient growth in Europe?




Arnaud Thysen
Director General, European Business Summits




Andrew Himsley
CEO DeHavilland

DAY 2, 17 November 2022




Arnaud Thysen
Director General, European Business Summits



Can the green deal survive the Energy crisis?

Patrick Child
Deputy Director General, DG ENV, European Commission

Milan Elkerbout
Head of Climate Policy, CEPS

Jake Oster
Director, Environment and Energy Policy EMEA, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Erik Novaes
VP Procurement & Sustainability, Ab InBev

Alice Hancock
Brussels Correspondent, Financial Times

2022 has been marked as the “make-or-break” year for the European Green Deal, which has the power to transform our energy systems and achieve our objectives of sustainability and autonomy. Many changes will need to be implemented for this, including wide-spread electrification on the continent.

  • How to modernise and decarbonise existing infrastructures?
  • How to increase electrification?
  • What energy mix and which role for hydrogen, biomass, solar, hydraulic, and wind power?
  • How to realistically phase out natural gas, oil, coal and F-gases?
  • How to speed up permitting and the development of sustainable projects?



INTERVIEW: How can we decarbonise heating in Europe – and fast?

Bertrand Schmitt
CEO, BDR Thermea

Andy Bounds
Brussels Correspondent, Financial Times

As climate change intensifies and energy prices rise, Europe needs to drastically reduce carbon emissions and shift to renewables. The use of buildings account for 40% of EU energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, so rethinking Europe’s heating is an urgent imperative. Key EU initiatives such as Fit for 55 and RePowerEU set a clear path towards the fundamental, long-term redesign of our energy system that society needs. But time won’t wait. We need to take pragmatic action to decarbonise heating today as we work on the smart energy transition of tomorrow.

  • What is the role of heat pumps and hybrids in decarbonisation?
  • Can hydrogen become one of the green energy carrier of the future?
  • How can we ensure sufficient installers with the right skills to ‘install the energy transition’?
  • What should governments do to accelerate the switch to lower-gas systems across Europe?
  • How do we help homeowners play their important role in the energy transition?



coffee break



INTERVIEW: The EU reimagined?

Guy Verhofstadt
Member of the European Parliament, President of the COFOE

Chris Burns
EU Reporter

The Conference on the Future of Europe offered a significant opportunity for European citizens to debate and consider Europe’s challenges and priorities. In May 2022, the conclusions of the Conference were presented. EBS is delighted to welcome Guy Verhofstadt who will outline to importance of this process and outline the next steps for the EU to deliver on these recommendations.




Sabine Weyand
Director General, DG TRADE, European Commission

Shada Islam 
EU analyst

In 2021, the European Commission announced a new trade strategy in light of recent global challenges – namely the pandemic and the war which have shed light on the critical importance of diversifying supply chains. By focusing on “open strategic autonomy”, the EU seeks to contribute to the digital and green transitions, whilst ensuring that multilateral global trade remains fair.

  • What are the EU’s priorities and what new trade agreements might be considered by 2030?
  • How does sustainability fit within the EU’s trade strategy?  
  • What implications will the EU’s current trade priorities have for businesses operating globally?



Wars, macro-economic crises and behavioural economics: the role of policymaking in a challenging scenario

Sergei Stanishev
Member of the European Parliament 

Jindřich Vobořil
Czech National Drug Coordinator

Dr. Emanuele Bracco
Professor of Economics, University of Verona

Chris Burns
EU Reporter

The war in Ukraine and the ensuing macroeconomic crisis that is affecting the European Union and the world have direct effects on both the quality of life of European citizens and European member states‘ budgets.  Skyrocketing inflation, the rise in interest rates, and the increasing amount of debt (now more expensive to service) will affect everyone – particularly weighing on the most vulnerable. Rising inequalities and social instability will likely result, further clouding an already-difficult economic and political outlook.

How can policy-making support the business environment and private citizens alike? A modern approach, able to redefine the way the EU uses public resources is needed – now more than ever. The reduction of those unnecessary costs that weigh on the system, freeing up budget to be used in more efficient ways to support wealth-generating activities and the poorer part of the population seems to be the answer. European energy independency and consumption, health care, and innovation –  among others – are pivotal topics for better management of public resources.



Fostering lasting recovery and growth through stronger supply chains

Outi Slotboom
Director Strategy and Economic Analysis, DG Grow

Heiko Willems
EESC Member and Director, BDI

Georg Riekeles
Associate Director and Director of Europe’s Political Economy Programme, EPC

Shada Islam
EU Analyst

From trade wars to heavy dependencies on imports of raw materials, risks of shortages and sustainability concerns, sourcing strategies will have to keep adapting to the many challenges brought by an everchanging geopolitical situation. Growth forecasts for 2023 have been revised down, while inflation is rising throughout the bloc.

  • What is the economic outlook for the EU and how to prepare for it? How can we ensure long-term growth?
  • How to create resilient supply chains and mitigate the negative impacts of inflation?
  • How to adopt a consumer-centric perspective?
  • How to adapt to and follow due diligence guidelines?



WHAT drives investment in the pharmaceutical sector?

Dhaval Patel
Executive Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer, UCB

Nathalie Moll
Director General, EFPIA

Javier Espinoza
Financial Times Correspondent

The pharmaceutical sector is the largest contributor to the European trade balance of any sector. As the EU revises its pharmaceutical, orphan medicines and paediatric medicines legislation, the decisions made today will go a long way to define Europe’s health and economic future for decades to come.

  • What are the drivers of pharmaceutical investment in R&D and manufacturing?
  • What policy framework should the EU develop to scale-up critical research-based industries across Europe?




Jane Arroyo
Research Assistant at the CEPS Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and Digital Economy Unit and CEPS Young Thinkers Coordinator


Stella Meyer
CEPS 2022 Young Thinker

EBS is delighted to welcome CEPS who will present their Young Thinkers initiative:

  • How can young voices contribute to current policy debates?
  • Why did participants become interested in the Young Thinkers Initiative in the first place?
  • What have been the highlights of this initiative for participants?
  • Why should young people be involved in policy debates?



networking lunch


Can a Blue Cooling Initiative buy more time and slow down sealevel rises?

Hans van der Loo
Co-Founder of

Wouter van Dieren
Member of the Club of Rome

Billions of people and trillions of assets are present in coastal areas. Climate Change in the Arctic is 5x faster than average, leading to sealevel rise. The effects of the industrial revolution have accelerated this. It is the task of the COP Process to find ways to tackle the cause of Climate  Change. However, in 26 years of talking about reducing GHG emissions, they have actually more than doubled. Mitigation alone can no longer avoid the loss of low-lying coastal areas. Dedicated action aimed at tackling the symptoms of Climate Change are needed too. One method is biomimicry method, using sea salt to reduce the droplet size in dark cloud systems, as result of which they become lighter and reflect back more incoming solar radiation. The Blue Cooling Initiative can serve as an airbag for the almost certain crash humanity will be in, what is needed to ensure the airbag will deploy in time and at scale to save the human eco-system ?



interview: europe's 2030 digital agenda

Roberto Viola
Director General, DG CNECT, European Commission

Javier Espinoza
Financial Times Correspondent

Through several fundamental pieces of legislation, such as the Data Act, the Cyber Resilience Act or the Artificial Intelligence Act, the European Union aims at building integrated, efficient, and safe online ecosystems, resilient to threats but also competitive. However, finding the right balance between regulation and innovation is also key.

  • How to build coherent digital strategies at the EU level?
  • How to promote digital and technological innovation?
  • What has the impact of the DSA/DMA been?



creating a sovereign european data space

Anna Ludin
Policy Officer, DG CNECT

Pilar del Castillo Vera
Member of the European Parliament

Alexandre de Streel
Academic Director, CERRE

Philip von Brockdorff
EESC rapporteur on Digital Sovereignty and Deputy Dean at Malta University

Marc Reinhardt
Public Sector Global Leader, Capgemini

Jennifer Baker
EU Tech Reporter

The Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown that the sovereignty of nations’ supply chains and IT is strategic. While aiming for a digital transition by 2030, one of the EU’s main digital challenges is to create a competitive and integrated data market, while protecting consumers.

  • Practically, how can European governments achieve digital transformation on their own terms, and how far should they go to reach sovereignty?
  • What can be expected of the European Data Act?
  • Can it drive cross-European digital initiatives, interoperability and common standards?
  • What solutions have countries developed, and how is the technology market changing to meet requirements for sovereignty?




Stefano Grassi
Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Simson, European Commission

Andy Bounds
EU Correspondent, Financial Times

The current energy crisis translates into insecurity of supply and soaring energy prices. To counter this, is it tempting to compromise on green transition objectives. However, the transition towards clean energy might be part of the solution to the present crisis. The Commission’s REPower EU Plan aims at making Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030”, when they accounted for about 40 % of imports before the crisis. To achieve this, diversifying supply sources is key, as well as reducing our energy consumption by an enhanced energy efficiency and an accelerated green transition.

  • How to secure global supply chains for energy and natural resources?
  • How to replace Russian gas in Europe’s energy mix in the long term?
  • How to limit the repercussions of the gas crisis on electricity prices, for consumers and businesses?
  • How to ensure affordability for all and tackle energy poverty?




Pearse O’Donohoe 
Director, Future Networks, DG CNECT, European Commission 

Jordi Solé
Member of the European Parliament

Konstantinos Masselos
Incoming 2023 Chair, BEREC

Siada El Ramly
Director General, DOT Europe

Tony Shortall 
Director, Telage
Jennifer Baker 
EU Tech Reporter 

Network and connectivity digital infrastructures in Europe have become increasingly essential to our society and have mainly been financed by both telecoms and public authorities, costing billions. With an ambitious 2030 digital strategy, including the development of fibre, 5G infrastructures and semiconductors, more investments in digital infrastructures and networks will be needed, putting the concept of “fair contribution” from beneficiaries, including tech platforms at the centre.

  • How to finance the development of those technologies in Europe?
  • Should online platforms partially finance the development of fixed and mobile telecom networks?



coffee BREAK



The Sustainable consumption pledge: putting the spotlight on companies who go the extra mile towards more sustainable consumption and production

Didier Reynders
EU Commissioner for Justice

Bram Wingens
CEO, Renewd

Astrid Van Parys 
Head of Sustainability, Colruyt Group

Dan Michaels 
Brussels Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal

50+ C-level industry representatives

European Business Summits, supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders will host a special session with 50+ other C-level representatives from some of the most active companies operating in Europe. Inviting companies to take a voluntary pledge to support sustainable consumption, beyond what is required by law, the Sustainable Consumption Pledge (SCP) launched by the European Commission aims at furthering companies’ actions in the following fields: carbon emissions, environmental impact, circularity and social sustainability.

  • How can this help build further trust between companies and consumers?
  • What impact has the pilot phase of the SCP had?
  • How does it complement existing legislations?



Interview: Increasing EU cooperation in the indo-pacific

Barbara Plinkert
Head of Division, Southeast Asia and ASEAN, EEAS 

Sulaiman Syarif
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Indonesia to the EU

Shada Islam 
EU analyst

While both the EU’s Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum for Cooperation and the Indo-Pacific Strategy wereovershadowed by the geopolitical context in 2021 and 2022, the region has still increasingly gained the interest of European businesses. Indeed, it holds 60% of global wealth, 3/5th of the world’s population, and most of all has a growing strategic footprint in the changing geopolitical balance, key to multilateralism, trade, and sustainability objectives. This year, the EU also celebrates the 45th anniversary of its partnership with ASEAN, central to the EU – Indo-Pacific cooperation.

  • How can the EU contribute to fostering regional stability in the Indo-Pacific?
  • What are the main challenges and opportunities for European businesses in the Indo-Pacific?
  • As other geopolitical actors step up their trade engagement in the region, can the EU give more focus to its strategic partnership with ASEAN?



Closing interview: The ministerial outlook on europe's geopolitical situation

Taras Kachka
Deputy Minister for the Economy, Ukraine 

Marek Havrda 
Deputy EU Affairs Minister, Czech Republic

Jessika Roswall
EU Affairs Minister, Sweden

Miltiadis Varvitsiotis
Alternate Foreign Minister, Greece

Tiago Antunes
Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Portugal

Dan Michaels 
Brussels Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal

Ahead of the General Affairs Council on November 18th in Brussels, EBS is inviting European ministers to share insights on the current geopolitical situation in Europe, fostering solidarity and reconstruction in Ukraine, along with EU’s current priorities.  



closing remarks

Arnaud Thysen
Director General, European Business Summits





Programme 2022