During the conference, keynote speakers provoked debate about the political perspectives for Europe and for local development, and the counterpoint between local initiatives and the prevailing governmental and commercial systems.
The values and ideas promoted by AEIDL had also been previously summarised in a statement produced for the event:
“We are convinced that local initiatives, citizen involvement, social innovation and experimentation, the identification of and respect for shared assets, solidarity between regions here and elsewhere, and the invention of new forms of multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance, can all contribute to building the Europe we aspire to - a Europe rich in the diversity of its landscapes, its communities and its cultures, open to the world, and striving for a new economic and social equilibrium.”
Special Adviser at Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute
Marjorie Jouen is a Special Adviser at the Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, a European think-tank based in Paris. She works on EU policies related to regional development, rural development, territorial cohesion, local development and social innovation. She is a graduate of political science and a former student of the ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration).
Ms Jouen has held a number of high-level positions in the EU institutions and the French administration, including: deputy-head of the cabinet of the President of the EU Committee of the Regions (2006-2008 and 2010-2012); member of the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission (1993-1998); head of the "European Affairs" Unit at the Foreign Trade Department (2002-2006); and high-level expert on European issues at DATAR (1998-1999 and 2012-2013) in Paris.
Professor, University of Gloucestershire
Michael Dower is Visiting Professor of European Rural Development at the University of Gloucestershire. He has a long career in civil society and in government in England. For the last 30 years, he has also been actively involved in rural affairs in Europe, as a consultant to governments, as a teacher, as an adviser, and as a leader of civil society movements - ECOVAST, PREPARE, ARC2020, Euracademy and others.
He is a former coordinator of, and currently active within, the PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe, which works to strengthen civil society in the ‘new’ Member States and accession and neighbouring countries of the European Union.
Senior Lecturer at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva Secretary General of the European Cultural Centre
As a political scientist with a focus on political philosophy, François Saint-Ouen specialises in multi-level governance, bottom-up federalism, local democracy, local networks, sustainable development at local and regional level, and cultural processes in Europe. Since 1990, he has also been an expert, on behalf of the Swiss cooperation, on the promotion of local democracy and local autonomy, first in Central Europe and then in South-East Europe.
He has published twelve academic books, and was also the editor or co-editor of a further thirteen. Among them: L’Avenir fédéraliste de l’Europe: du traité de Maastricht à celui de Lisbonne [The Federal Future of Europe: from Maastricht to Lisbon], Brussels, 2011; Le fédéralisme [Federalism], Lausanne, 2006; Les grandes figures de la construction européenne [Prominent Figures of the European Integration], Geneva, 1998; Denis de Rougemont: introduction à sa vie et son œuvre [Denis de Rougemont: introduction to his life and works], Geneva, 1995; Les Partis politiques et l'Europe: une approche comparative [Political Parties and European Integration: a Comparative Approach], Paris, 1990. Work which he edited or co-edited include: Dialogue des cultures à l’aube du XXIe siècle [Intercultural Dialogue in the Early 21st Century], Brussels, 2007; Nationalismes en Europe centrale et orientale [Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe], Geneva, 1997; and Dictionnaire international du Fédéralisme [International Dictionary of Federalism], Brussels, 1994.
AEIDL Board Member
Yves Champetier has considerable experience in rural development at local, regional, European and international level.
He was the director of the LEADER Coordinating Unit from 1992 to 1994, and the European LEADER Observatory from April 1992 to January 2001. From 2001 to 2013, he was the director of business development at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Montpellier (France).
In parallel, Mr Champetier also runs a consultancy specializing in rural and/or local development at international level. In 2003, he worked for three months for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington to learn about and share information on rural development in Latin America. During 2004, he worked with the Andalucía Region in Spain to establish a rural development network between Europe and Latin America, and in 2008, he participated in the “Capitalisation task force” created by the URBACT Secretariat to prepare for the implementation of URBACT II. In 2006-2009, he assisted DG MARE with the preparations for the implementation of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund and he is currently an expert with FARNET, the European network of fisheries areas. In recent years, he has also been involved in local development projects in Tunisia.
Expert in international economic cooperation
Chris Brooks has worked in the field of international economic cooperation for over twenty-five years. An expert in the interaction between politics, the media and international affairs, he advises on the interface between politics, government and society. He has acted as a strategic advisor to chief executives of the OECD and of private companies. His career has involved actively leading change management in many areas – communications, public affairs and publishing, as well as supervising research and public policy development.
Chris was the creator and director of the first programmes in the OECD dealing with spatial economic development. A dynamic team builder with a successful track record in changing systems and cultures, he graduated from Nottingham University in economics in 1973 and is bilingual in English and French. He has created, managed and chaired a number of private not-for-profit groups working on issues of youth development, employment, education and training and local and regional economic development. He is currently a University teacher at Sciences Po in Paris and runs his own private consulting company.