Trainees Welcome Conference March 2018

Thursday, 12th March
in the European Parliament

Themis Christophidou, Director General, DG EAC

Chaired the opening session


  • Tibor Navracsics

    EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
  • Eva Maydell

    Member of the European Parliament
  • Majd Khalifeh

    Journalist and documentary filmmaker and author of award winning book "Herboren"

Photos of the Conference:

Slideshow Gallery


Session 1: "European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018"

Speaker Catherine Magnant, DG EAC

Catherine Magnant, Advisor, European Commission - Head of the Task Force of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage


Catherine Magnant, a French citizen, graduated in international relations and Russian language from the Sorbonne, Paris. She started her career in Moscow, where she headed the Press and Information Section of the European Commission Delegation. Back in Brussels, she was part of the team preparing the 2004 EU enlargement to central and Eastern Europe. She then joined the EU's external relations service where she worked to promote human rights in third countries. In 2006 she decided to change focus and to contribute to EU internal policies. She ran the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for all, and then moved to culture policy. Until 2017 she was Deputy Head of Unit for cultural policy and innovation in the Directorate General for Education and Culture, working on the creative economy and fostering cooperation between EU countries in the field of culture. Catherine is now Head of the Task Force of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, which is taking place in 33 countries.


Catherine speaks French, English and Russian fluently. She has some basic Italian and is learning Chinese.

  • Moderator: Chiara Bellani
  • Rapporteur: Ivan Puskar

Session 2: "European Education Area"

Speaker Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot, DG EAC

Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot is Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She is in charge of Europe's flagship programme Erasmus+, the newly launched European Solidarity Corps, youth policy and supporting the modernisation of education systems. She has previously held various positions within the Commission in the field of strategy and investment in education, higher education policy, employment policy, European structural and investment funds and the European social fund. She studied international economics and did her Erasmus student exchange in France. She is an Eisenhower Fellow.

  • Moderator: Anita Toien Johansen
  • Rapporteur: Abderezak Ali Abdurehman

Session 3: "Europe in the world"

Speaker Matteo Arisci, European External Action Service (EEAS)

Matteo Arisci, works at the Strategic Communications division of the EEAS. His main tasks include social media, campaigns and communications for the EEAS and the High Representative. He was part of the team during the negotiations in Vienna for the Iran Nuclear Deal. He joined the EEAS in October 2013 as a bluebook trainee. Previously he worked in local politics and communications in Italy (more precisely in Sardinia) and he wrote for two years on a foreign policy website he cofounded at the University.

  • Moderator: Victor Aguilar
  • Rapporteur: Zinaida de Boon

Session 4: "Europe and the clean energy transition"

Speaker Adalbert Jahnz, SG

Adalbert (32 years old) has worked at DG Climate Action since 2013, as coordinator of the international negotiations team and responsible for relations with Japan, Korea, and with the European Parliament. Upon joining the Commission in late 2010, he first spent three years helping improve EU asylum law and policy in DG Home Affairs. To prepare for an EU career, he did a Master's degree at the College of Europe in Bruges, after working for 3 years in London as public sector management consultant and investment banker. Studies took him to 5 universities in 4 Member States – and teaching, to one. He grew up in a village on Central European plains.

  • Moderator: Daphné Robberechts
  • Rapporteur: Jakub Kollar