European Natura 2000 Award
MEP, Chairman of the EP Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food safety
Matthias Groote was born on 21 October 1973 in Leer, Germany. He has a professional background in industrial and sales engineering and received a diploma in engineering and management at the University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven. He has been a member of the SPD since 1996 and Member of the European Parliament since 2005. He became the chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in January 2012.
Director General of DG Environment, European Commission
Karl Falkenberg has significant experience as a negotiator in the European Commission. He started his career in the Commission as textiles negotiator, has dealt with international fisheries issues and since 1985 with the GATT. In 1990, he served as foreign policy advisor to EU President Jacques Delors, with particular focus on the German unification process. He was involved in the Uruguay Round negotiations and negotiated the telecommunications and financial services agreements in the World Trade Organization.
From 1997 to December 2000, he was in charge of the coordination of all WTO issues. In 2001, he was appointed Director in charge of sectoral trade policies and bilateral trade relations with North America, Japan, the Mediterranean area and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and in 2002 Director for Free Trade Agreements, agricultural trade questions, ACP. From 2005 to 2008, he coordinated all bilateral trade policies as Deputy Director General. In January 2009, he took up the position of Director General of the Environment, covering the EU’s environmental policy in both its domestic and international dimensions. Karl Falkenberg is a trained economist and journalist.
Chairman of municipal Council of Keila Rural Municipality
Kadri Tillemann holds a Master’s degree in environmental sciences and her previous as well as current academic activities as a PhD student are concentrated on biodiversity and ‘green infrastructure’ issues. She has been an active practitioner of sustainable local development in Keila Rural Municipality in Estonia since 2001, where she has held various posts from land-use advisor to mayor. She currently holds a position as chairperson of the municipal council. Since 2010, she has been an active member in the Committee of the Regions ENVE (Environment, Climate Change and Energy) Commission, she has represented CoR in several environmental events and she is currently a rapporteur drafting an outlook opinion, requested by the European Commission, on ‘Multilevel governance in promoting the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 and implementing the international Aichi targets’.
Thierry de l’Escaille
Secretary General of the European Landowners’ Organisation
Born in 1955, the Belgian lawyer Thierry de l’Escaille runs a family agricultural business in Belgium, France and the Netherlands producing a range of vegetables as well as wheat pollinator strips and flowers. Since 1996, he has been Secretary General-CEO of the European Landowners’ Organisation asbl, Deputy CEO of the RISE Foundation and an administrator of numerous organisations of national and EU-wide importance in the areas of private property, land profitability, ‘environmental real estate’ and finance. He has extensive experience in strategic management at EU level. He is in possession of an impressive list of contacts across Europe, notably at decision-making level in Brussels.
He has been author and co-author of several reports on the future of agriculture, agricultural markets and CAP, as well as on environmental issues related to biodiversity. He is president and member of the board of several commercial companies active in agribusiness and real estate and has proven economic experience in land-management. He is an advisor to different businesses. He is also member of the board of several NGOs as well as member of consultative committees such as the French Farmers’ Society. In addition to this, he is Secretary General of Friends of the Countryside and of the Habitats Foundation. Thierry de l’Escaille is one of the founders of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, the major agricultural forum in Brussels, and of the Wildlife Estate initiative.
Executive Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) European Policy Office
Tony Long is Executive Director of the World Wide Fund for NatureWWF European Policy Office, Brussels. He has 35 years of experience leading environmental non-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom and Europe. He founded and heads the WWF European Office in Brussels which opened in 1989. Prior to that, he worked for WWF in the UK (1986-88), the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) (1981-85) and several local authorities in north-west England. He serves on the Assembly of WWF International, the main decision-making committee of the organisation, and is a board member of WWF Greece.
In 1977-79, he worked in the US Congress in Washington DC and at state levels of government as a joint holder of a Congressional Fellowship of the American Political Science Association and a Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. He was Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges (1997-2002) teaching a course on environmental lobbying. He is a graduate of Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, in Town and Country Planning. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).