Organised in cooperation with the rotating EU Presidency, these seminars build on Cedefop’s research and analyses to address issues relevant to current European debates on vocational education and training (VET) and employment.
Mara Brugia is the Deputy Director of Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
She has been involved in vocational education and training (VET) since 1994. As Head of Department from 2004 to 2014, she managed teams of European experts working in research and policy analysis to support the development and implementation of the Union policy in the field of VET, skills and qualifications.
She holds a university degree in Economics and a Master in Economics, politics and law of the European Union. Her mother tongue is Italian (born in Perugia) and she is fluent in English, French, Greek and Spanish.
Martin Fatura after completing his Master in Law at the Faculty of Law of Charles University, Martin worked at the Ministry of Regional Development as a specialist at the Department for the Legal and Legislative Affairs.
After 1 year he moved to the National Coordination Authority, where he worked for the next 5 years as the Head of the Legal Coordination of EU Funds Unit.
At the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Martin is responsible for the coordination of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU (CZ PRES) activities, EU policies in fields of education and youth, and the Erasmus+ Programme and European Solidarity Corps at the National Authority level.
Julie Fionda is Deputy Head of Unit for ‘Skills Agenda’ at the European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
As a British official, she has worked in the European Commission since 2002. Julie has a background in economics.
From 2014 to 2018 she was a member of the Cabinet of Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.
Earlier roles in the Commission have focused on higher education policy, on the European Semester of policy coordination, and on management of the European Social Fund.
Carlo Frising is Vice CEO at the Chambre des Salariés Luxembourg, CSL (professional chamber representing the interests of the employees).
He is in charge of the Luxembourg Lifelong Learning Centre, the CVET centre of the CSL.
Carlo is a member of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training (ACVT) of the European Commission and a member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Education and Training Committee.
Günter Hefler has been a researcher and consultant at 3s Research & Consulting, Vienna, since 2003.
He specialises in cross-country comparative research on lifelong learning, with a particular interest in the fields of learning at work and organisations’ training policies. Regarding the latter, he has served in various projects for the European Commission, Cedefop and in large-scale comparative projects funded by EU research funding frameworks.
He led the consortium working on Cedefop’s recent project ‘Financial and non-financial incentives to encourage provision of and participation in education and training’ and currently leads the consortium working on Cedefop’s project on the EU Member States’ responses to the Council Recommendation on individual learning accounts.
He holds a master degree in philosophy, sociology and political sciences from the University of Vienna, and a PhD in lifelong learning from the University of Klagenfurt.
Patrycja Lipińska has worked as an expert at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) since 2005.
She is responsible for research and policy analysis on VET financing.
Her current projects include financing CVET/adult learning with a focus on demand-side schemes, financial and non-financial instruments supporting training performance in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, individual learning accounts and integrated/coordinated support policies and systems for CVET/adult learning.
She holds master degrees in economics from the University of Gdańsk, Poland and the University of Exeter, UK.
Robert Plummer is a senior adviser at BusinessEurope, responsible for issues concerning migration and mobility, education and skills, social dialogue and the European Labour Authority.
Prior to joining BusinessEurope, Robert worked as a political adviser for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party.
He attended Keele University in the UK and holds a PhD in Industrial relations and human resource management, focusing on a comparative study of the demand for EU migrant workers in Sweden and the UK.
He also holds an MA in European industrial relations and human resource management, and a BA in Human geography and human resource management.
Felix Rohn's career started by exploring the markets of central and eastern Europe as they emerged in the early 1990s.
Equipped with this experience, he proceeded to work in a project team for monitoring and assessment of the EU Phare programme, which paved the way for the EU enlargement of 2004.
In 1998 he became a civil servant in the European Commission, where he worked in the policy fields of enterprise, higher education, and vocational education and training, before moving to skills and qualifications – his current focus.
In DG Enterprise he drafted the first EU funding guide for the tourism sector. In DG Education and Culture he worked for the Tempus programme in eastern Europe, and for the Leonardo da Vinci programme, coordinating the work of national agencies.
Today, in charge of the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills and working in the Pact for skills team, he is at the interface between the skills and qualifications unit in DG Employment and sectoral units in other DGs in the Commission.
Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019 as Executive Director.
Out of Thessaloniki, Cedefop supports the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies, skills policies, and qualifications policies, and contributes to their implementation.
As Executive Director, Jürgen is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board.
Before joining Cedefop, Jürgen served for more than 20 years as an HR manager with global governance and business-partner responsibilities at Siemens.
Jürgen earned his MSc in Economics at the University of Hamburg, and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Vienna.
Ernesto Villalba-Garcia has worked at Cedefop since 2011. He is currently responsible for Cedefop’s work on validation of non-formal and informal learning.
He has worked, together with the Commission, on the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the 2012 Council Recommendation on validation, as well as on several updates of the European inventory of validation and the European guidelines.
Ernesto has served in different committees and working groups of the European Commission, the OECD, and UNESCO. He holds a PhD in International and comparative education from Stockholm University and is on the editorial board of the European Journal of Education.
Liliane Volozinskis is the Director of Social Affairs and Training Policy at SMEunited, the European Employers’ organisation representing crafts and SMEs.
Her responsibilities include employment, social affairs, industrial relations with a particular focus on social dialogue, and education and vocational training policies.
In the field of training policy, she represents SMEunited in various European settings, such as the Directors General for Vocational Education and Training meetings, and ensures contribution, monitoring and follow-up of the European VET policies, initiatives and tools.