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The Strategic Council brings together thought leaders and experts from diverse background and nationalities. They bring fresh insights and forward-looking perspectives on the major challenges facing the European Union. Once a year, they meet with our analysts to reflect on the strategic priorities of the Union and their implications for the work and strategic direction of the European Policy Centre.


Brigid Laffan
President, European Policy Centre
Herman Van Rompuy
Honorary President, European Policy Centre; President Emeritus of the European Council
Joaquin Almunia
Former European Commission Vice-President for Competition
Lionel Barber
Former editor of the Financial Times
Hendrik Bourgeois
Vice President Government Affairs Europe, Intel
Elizabeth Collett
Special Adviser to the Director-General, International Organization for Migration
Marta Dassù
Senior Director European Affairs, The Aspen Institute; Editor-in-chief, Aspenia
Catherine Day
Former Secretary General, European Commission
Monica Frassoni
President of the European Alliance to Save Energy; President of the European Centre for Electoral Support
Ricardo Borges de Castro
Ricardo Borges is a Senior Adviser to the European Policy Centre

Ricardo was Associate Director and Head of the Europe in the World programme at the EPC. He previouslly served as Adviser for Foreign Affairs and then as Adviser on Strategic Foresight to the European Political Strategy Centre, the European Commission’s in-house think tank, reporting directly to President Jean-Claude Juncker. Ricardo led the EPSC’s work on foresight, focusing mainly on global trends, ‘anticipatory democracy,’ and policymaking. During his tenure, he spearheaded efforts to mainstream anticipation and foresight across Commission services. He was also the European Commission’s project leader for the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), an EU inter-institutional collaboration on global trends and strategic foresight.

Before joining the EPSC, Ricardo served as Member of Cabinet and Personal Assistant to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, as well as spokesperson for ‘Europe and the World’ at the Commission’s Spokespersons’ Planning and Coordination Unit. In these roles, Ricardo regularly accompanied and assisted President Barroso in his meetings with heads of state and government of EU Member States, in summits with third countries and Strategic Partners (USA, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, etc.) and in international fora, including the G20, G8/G7, NATO, ASEM, and the UN.

In Portugal, Ricardo served in the Prime Minister’s Office as Political Adviser to the Prime Minister after spending four years in the Portuguese Parliament as Policy Advisor for foreign affairs, national defence policy, and East Timor.

Ricardo taught international relations at Lusíada University in Lisbon, was a Course Assistant at Harvard Kennedy School, and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Political Studies at the Catholic University in Portugal. He also contributes to executive trainings on ‘strategic foresight’ and ‘evidence-based policymaking’ at the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Ricardo is currently an Associate Fellow, Global Fellowship Initiative, at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Ricardo holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a DPhil (PhD) in International Relations from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College).

Besides Portugal, he has lived in the US, UK, Turkey, and lately in Belgium.

Ricardo enjoys running and the outdoors.
Anthony L. Gardner
Former United States Ambassador to the European Union
Heather Grabbe
Senior Fellow at Bruegel, Visiting Professor at the University College of London & Senior Advisor to the President of the Open Society Foundations.
Arancha González Laya
Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, SciencesPo; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation of Spain
Shada Islam
Senior Adviser on Asia, Africa and international trade
Hywel Ceri Jones
Former Chairman of the EPC; Member of the Welsh Government‘s European Advisory Group
Jean-Claude Juncker
Former President of the European Commission
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard
Member of the House of Lords
Gerald Knaus
President of the Executive Board, European Stability Institute
Jo Leinen
Former Member of the European Parliament
Erika Mann
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Anand Menon
Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College London
Antonio Missiroli
Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO HQ
Federica Mogherini
Former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Almut Möller
Former Head of European Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin office & Senior Policy Fellow
John Palmer
Former Political Director, European Policy Centre
Kristina Persson
Founder of Global Challenge; Former Swedish Minister and Former Member of the European Parliament
Jean-Claude Piris
Former Director General, Legal Service of the Council of the European Union
Janez Potočnik
Former European Commissioner for Environment
Jana Puglierin
Head of European Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin office & Senior Policy Fellow
João Vale de Almeida
Senior Adviser on global affairs and transatlantic relations
Conny Reuter
Global Coordinator, Progressive Alliance
Verena Ringler
Founder and Director, European Commons network
Maria João Rodrigues
Former Member of the European Parliament; Professor of Economics at the University of Lisbon
Dennis Sammut
Director, LINKS
André Sapir
Professor of Economics, ECARES, ULB
Wolfgang Schüssel
Former Federal Chancellor of Austria
Daniela Schwarzer
Executive Director for Europe and Eurasia, Open Society Foundation
Peter Semneby
Former EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus
Constanze Stelzenmüller
Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings
Rita Süssmuth
Former President of the German Bundestag
Pawel Swieboda
CEO EBRAINS, Human Brain Project
Nathalie Tocci
Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Special Advisor to HRVP Mogherini and Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen
Loukas Tsoukalis
Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po
President of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
Baron Frans van Daele
Former Head of Cabinet to the King of Belgium; Former Ambassador of Belgium to the EU
Jean-Charles van den Branden
Partner at Bain & Company
Jordi Vaquer
Regional Director for Europe, Open Society Foundations
Zeger Vercouteren
Vice President Government Affairs & Policy EMEA, Europe, Johnson & Johnson

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