Thursday 1 December - 0930-1045

Brexit; a fragile currency; a refugee crisis; a stagnant economy; rising populism. Europe has a history of advancing through crisis. Can it do so again?



Markus Ederer

Dr Markus Ederer

State Secretary, Federal Foreign Office, Germany


Dr Markus Ederer was appointed State Secretary to the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin in 2014. He was previously with the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign ministry and diplomatic corps. He was Head of the EU delegation in Beijing from 2011, responsible for China and Mongolia. He was Head of Policy Planning at the Federal Foreign Office from 2005 to 2010, having served as Director for Political and Economic Intelligence at the Federal Intelligence Service in Munich and Berlin, and Chef de Cabinet to the Special Coordinator for the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in Brussels. He studied Law, International Relations and South-East Asian Studies at the University of Passau, Germany, and the University of Geneva, and has a Master of Laws from the University of Miami and PhD from Passau. He trained as a diplomat at the Foreign Service Academy in Bonn.

Michael Köhler

Director of Neighbourhood, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission


Dr Michael Köhler has been Director of Neighbourhood Policy at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in the European Commission (EC) since 2015. He is responsible for cooperation with Mediterranean Arab countries and Israel. Since joining the EC in 1994 he has held many positions including Director for the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in the DG for Development and International Cooperation; Head of Cabinet to the Commissioner for Energy; and Head of Cabinet to the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Before joining the EC, he worked as a representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Morocco and Tunisia, and later worked in the Policy Planning Department of the Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development in Germany. He has authored numerous books and articles on international Islamic studies and foreign policy. He is also a Professor of Europe and the Mediterranean at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He holds a DPhil in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Hamburg University (1987).
Robin Niblett

Dr Robin Niblett CMG

Director, Chatham House


Robin Niblett became the director of Chatham House in January 2007.Before joining Chatham House, between 2001 and 2006, he was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).During his last two years at CSIS, he also served as director of the CSIS Europe Program and its Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership.He is a frequent panellist at conferences and events around the world and has testified on a number of occasions to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as US Senate and House of Representatives Committees on European Affairs.He received his BA, MPhil and DPhil from New College, Oxford.Download Robin's full biography (PDF)
Alex Stubb

Dr Alexander Stubb

MP, Parliament of Finland; Minister of Finance, Finland (2015-16); Prime Minister of Finland (2014-15)


Dr Alexander Stubb has served as Finland’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister for Trade and Europe since 2008, and was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008. Before that, he worked as an expert adviser at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in President Romano Prodi’s team at the European Commission. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and has been a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges.