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Program

Program

The conference is held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Eduard Heger and the Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic Karel Hirman.

Sunday, 20 November

19:00
Welcome dinner
(by invitation)

Welcome and introductory word
Amb Dr Urban Rusnák, Former Secretary General of the International Energy Charter (2012 - 2021)

Amb Dr Urban Rusnák

Former Secretary General of the International Energy Charter (2012 - 2021)

Amb Dr Urban Rusnák is Coordinator at the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. In 2012–2021, he was Secretary-General of the International Energy Charter. Since 2019, he has provided support for the negotiations on the Energy Charter Treaty modernisation (concluded in 2022). In his earlier career, he was Leader of Slovakia's External Energy Security Project (2009–2011), Slovak Ambassador to Ukraine (2005–2009), Head of the Political Analysis Division (2003–2005), Deputy Head of the Embassy in Ankara (1994–1998) and Desk Officer for Central Asia and Caucasus (1993–1994). As First Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund, he founded its HQ in Bratislava (2000–2003). Urban was also Director of the Slovak Institute for International Studies and Editor-In-Chief of the journal International Issues (1999–2000). He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas (1990) and received his PhD from Ankara University (1998). He also holds a Dr.H.c. from the Kyiv Slavonic University (2009). Currently he is advising the Brussels Diplomatic Academy at Vrije Universiteit Brussels on Energy Transition Diplomacy. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Dundee.

Monday, 21 November

8:30-8:45
Welcome and introductory remarks
Alexander Duleba, CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alexander Duleba

CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alexander Duleba is Senior Fellow at the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA) and Director of the Central European Energy Conference. In 2000–2019 he served as the RC SFPA director. Since 1995 he has been working for RC SFPA as the head of the Eastern Europe Research Programme. In 1993–1995 he was an analyst with the Slovak Institute for International Studies at the Slovak foreign ministry. In 2010 he became a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science at Prešov University. He was awarded a PhD in political science from the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 1998, made reader at Comenius University in Bratislava in 2009, and awarded a professorship from Masaryk University in Brno in 2019.

8:45-10:15
Panel I. Enhancing energy security
Europe’s reliance on imported natural gas from Russia has again been contested by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Unlike the debate after 2009 gas crisis, this time the question of cutting off Russian imports is on the table and specific steps have been made to decrease this dependence. What are the countries doing to increase their energy security and decrease dependence on Russian imports? What is the future of natural gas and oil sectors and nuclear energy without Russian fuels in these countries? How to strengthen regional energy cooperation and increase resilience? And how can energy security reconcile with EU climate policies?

Chair
Pavol Demeš, Member of the Board, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Pavol Demeš

Member of the Board, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Pavol Demeš is an independent foreign policy analyst, civil society expert and TV anchor. He is a non-resident senior transatlantic fellow with GMF US and is a board member of the European Endowment for Democracy. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 he served as Executive Director of the Slovak Academic Information Agency–Service Center for the Third Sector. In 1991–1992 he was Slovak Minister of International Relations and then Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Slovak Republic (1993–1997). From 2000 until September 2010 he was Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He has his own TV programme on international relations and diplomacy on tasr.tv and publishes articles and books on international relations and civil society. 



Speakers
Karel Hirman, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic

Karel Hirman

Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic

Karel Hirman was appointed Minister of the Economy of the Slovak Republic in September 2022. Prior to that he worked in energy and international trade and as a manager and member of the management bodies of several Slovak energy companies and the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency. He managed the ELENA energy efficiency project run by the regional government in Prešov. He was also an external energy adviser to Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajčák and Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and was the expert in charge of the energy section of the PS/Spolu election manifesto. He was an energy expert on the team of advisers to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hrojsman. He has also worked for the weekly Trend and regularly publishes on energy and international security issues. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the SFPA.


Yaroslav Demchenkov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine for European Integration (online)

Alexander Duleba, CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alexander Duleba

CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alexander Duleba is Senior Fellow at the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA) and Director of the Central European Energy Conference. In 2000–2019 he served as the RC SFPA director. Since 1995 he has been working for RC SFPA as the head of the Eastern Europe Research Programme. In 1993–1995 he was an analyst with the Slovak Institute for International Studies at the Slovak foreign ministry. In 2010 he became a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science at Prešov University. He was awarded a PhD in political science from the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 1998, made reader at Comenius University in Bratislava in 2009, and awarded a professorship from Masaryk University in Brno in 2019.





Q&A
10:15-10:30
Break
10:30-11:45
Panel II. Substituting Russian natural gas
As a reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the European Commission proposed a framework of a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels by 2027 outlining a series of measures to respond to rising energy prices in Europe and to replenish gas stocks for the upcoming season. The EU imports 90% of its gas consumption, with Russia providing around 45% of those imports. While Europe has been facing increased energy prices starting with economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, the uncertainty of supply only intensified the problem. The solutions were seeking to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gases and replace gas in heating and power generation. What has been done in the past months to decrease gas dependence on Russia? Should we invest more into gas storage capacities and LNG terminals? And what challenges are ahead of the gas sector?

Chair
Richard Kvasňovský, Executive Director, Slovak Gas and Oil Association

Richard Kvasňovský

Executive Director, Slovak Gas and Oil Association

Richard Kvasňovský has been Executive Director of the Slovak Gas and Oil Association since June 2019, where he is mainly responsible for industry communication. Most of his professional career has been associated with public media. In 1998–2007, he worked at Slovak Radio, where he alternated between the editorial office of international life and the domestic editorial office, where he was the editor and moderator of news and discussion programmes. Since 2009, he has worked for TASR press agency as head of the domestic editorial office and sits on the TASR Board of Directors. He has won several journalism awards for his work.



Speakers
Annamária Fehér, Head of CEO's cabinet, MVM CEEnergy

Annamária Fehér

Head of CEO's cabinet, MVM CEEnergy

Annamária Fehér is Head of the CEO's Cabinet at MVM Energy. As a manager she is responsible for developing the business strategy and for general affairs such as corporate communication and subsidiary governance. Annamária is a member of the IGU (International Gas Union) Sustainable Committee. Previously she was responsible for Hungarian Gas Storage's international and domestic lobbying activities and actively participated in the work of Gas Infrastructure Europe. In recent years, her work has focused on analysing the potential for innovation in the energy value chain from a business and regulatory perspective and drawing up plans for sector integration to achieve the 2050 decarbonisation targets. She is co-creator of the HGS’s hydrogen-related pilot project called Project Aquamarine. Annamária received a degree from Corvinus University of Budapest in quantitative economics and has more than ten years of experience in the gas industry.


Miroslav Kulla, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, SPP

Miroslav Kulla

Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, SPP

Miroslav Kulla is Chairman of the Board and General Director of Slovenský plynárenský priemysel. From 2002 to 2005, he held various positions at Slovak Telecom. From 2005, he worked at VSE Holding, first as Deputy Financial Director and Development Manager, then in 2006 to 2022 as Chairman of the Board, General Director, a member of the board and Commercial Director. From 2008 to 2022, he was the manager of RWE Gas Slovensko and its successor company, innogy Slovensko. Between 2013 and 2016, he was Operations Director and a member of the board of directors at RWE Hrvatska/RWE Energija. He is a graduate of ESCP-EAP, Paris Business School and the Faculty of Management at Comenius University in Bratislava.


Rastislav Ňukovič, Director General, EUSTREAM

Rastislav Ňukovič

Director General, EUSTREAM

Rastislav Ňukovič has been President of the Slovak Gas and Oil Association since September 2022. He started his career in the gas industry in 1998 in the Slovtransgas SPP division, where he worked as an IT systems administrator and later became the head of the assembly and technical support department. From 2005 to 2008, he was head of Centralised Maintenance and for the next four years head of the strategic projects section. Since July 1, 2014, he has been CEO of EUSTREAM. He is a long-term member of the executive committee of the Technical Association of the European Gas Industry (Marcogaz). Rastislav studied at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. Between 2000 and 2002, he completed his postgraduate studies, specialising in the gas industry at the Faculty of Environmental Protection of the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Prague


Sergii Pereloma, Chief Executive Officer, Ukrtransgaz

Sergii Pereloma

Chief Executive Officer, Ukrtransgaz

Sergii Pereloma has been Head of the Storage System Operator of Ukraine (Ukrtransgaz) since August 2020. In 2014–2021 Sergii Pereloma was First Vice President of the Naftogaz Group. Before that, he held key positions in large Ukrainian financial and industrial companies. He has many years of experience in building and implementing business strategies, managing large enterprises and investment projects in the energy, mechanical engineering, and bank sectors, and has an excellent knowledge of the energy sector and gas markets.  He graduated from the Institute of International Relations at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.



Q&A
11:55 – 12:40
Roundtable discussion: Regional cooperation and solidarity in the natural gas sector ahead of next winter
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 revealed high levels of economic dependence on the Russian Federation, notably in the energy sector. In Europe, especially Central and Eastern European (CEE), high energy dependence on Russian energy sources (natural gas, oil, but also nuclear fuel) limited the EU’s ability to respond immediately and impose sanctions on energy imports. Indeed, many argue that the immediate and complete cessation of imports would have come at the expense of regional energy security and caused substantial economic losses. But there are also questions about the reliance on Russian imports and the capacity to import gas from other countries. The discussions about the gas shortages and their impact on the economy and cooperation are therefore of central importance. Regional cooperation in the CEE region has been key, especially since the gas crisis in 2009. Therefore, the aim of this project is to refocus the discussion and launch a debate on the potential for regional cooperation and an intra-EU solidarity mechanism as solutions to the crisis.

Chair
Martin Jirušek, Assistant Professor, Masaryk University

Martin Jirušek

Assistant Professor, Masaryk University

Martin Jirušek is Assistant Professor at Masaryk University, Czech Republic, and Managing Editor of the Czech Journal of Political Science. He also works as a consultant and analyst. Martin has conducted several research projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the United States. He received a Fulbright research scholarship and spent ten months as a visiting researcher at George Washington University in Washington, DC (2021/2022). He was also selected for the International Visitors Leadership Program (2019), a prestigious professional programme run by the United States Department of State. He was also awarded the James S. Denton Transatlantic Fellowship by the Center for European Policy Analysis (2019). Martin regularly publishes in prestigious scientific outlets and publishing houses (e.g. Palgrave Macmillan, Elsevier). Martin’s work focuses on geopolitics, energy security, and the transatlantic dimension of energy relations.

12:00-13:15
Panel IIIa. Progress in developments of hydrogen infrastructure
Concerns related to both the energy transition and energy security have been thrown into sharp relief by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among other clean technologies that would immediately benefit from energy security is hydrogen, for its potential to replace natural gas in hard-to-subside sectors. Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in sectors such as industry and transport. Is hydrogen the right answer to energy security and decarbonisation? What are the sectors that could benefit from hydrogen use? How can we produce hydrogen in the region without relying on fossil fuels?

Chair
Robert Jambrich, Head of International relations, EU affairs and Environment, Slovenské elektrárne

Robert Jambrich

Head of International relations, EU affairs and Environment, Slovenské elektrárne

Robert Jambrich has worked for Slovenské elektrárne since 2009 and is Head of International Relations, European Affairs and the Environment. His responsibilities include the analysis and implementation of Slovak and European regulatory and legislative frameworks pertaining to the environment, coordinating institutional relations with European and national stakeholders and analysing financing opportunities within European funding schemes for the company’s development projects. Previously, he worked at the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic. He graduated in 2005 with a degree in Corporate Finance from the Faculty of Business Management at the University of Economics in Bratislava.



Speakers
Aleš Doucek, Chairman of the Board, HYTEP

Aleš Doucek

Chairman of the Board, HYTEP

Aleš Doucek is Chairman of the Board of the Czech Hydrogen Technology Platform. He has been a board member since 2013 and is Head of the Hydrogen Technology and Innovations in Energy department. He has worked at ÚJV Řež since 2018, focusing on hydrogen technologies. Aleš is also a member of the coordination group for the National Clean Mobility Action Plan, co-chairman of the Working Group for Hydrogen Mobility at the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and a member of the hydrogen platform at the National Council for Hydrogen and the Hydrogen Coordination Group at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He graduated from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, where he obtained a doctorate in the field of chemical and energy fuel processing. 


Gábor Dudás, Head of Business Development, FGSZ

Gábor Dudás

Head of Business Development, FGSZ

Gábor Dudás is Head of Business Development at FGSZ – the Hungarian natural gas transmission system operator (May 2022). His main focus is short- and long-term network development, relations with other system operators and regional gas market analysis. Since 2012 he has held various expert and managerial positions at FGSZ. He was the company’s Brussels representative for the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) for 3 years. Gábor graduated with a degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from the Faculty of Earth Sciences at the University of Miskolc, Hungary.


Christophe Grudler, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group (video message)

Christophe Grudler

Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group (video message)

Christophe Grudler is a French Member of the European Parliament and belongs to the Renew Europe group. He is a historian and journalist by training and entered politics at an early stage in his career. He is closely involved in local politics in his home town of Belfort, where he has been elected as a local representative several times. Within the European Parliament, he is Vice-Coordinator of the ITRE Committee (Industry, research and energy) for Renew Europe. He also sits on the Foreign Affairs and Security and Defence committees. Furthermore, he is Vice President of the European Parliament's Sky & Space Intergroup. He is actively engaged in energy and industry issues. He was appointed European Parliament rapporteur for the Own Initiative report on Energy System Integration and shadow rapporteur for the report on Batteries and Waste Batteries. Under the Fit-For-55 Package, he was appointed shadow rapporteur for the revision of the renewable directive (RED II).


Tommy Isaac, Head of Hydrogen Research, Progressive Energy Limited

Tommy Isaac

Head of Hydrogen Research, Progressive Energy Limited

Tommy Isaac is Head of Hydrogen Research at Progressive Energy Ltd, based in the UK. Tommy is an engineering fellow and both a chartered chemical and mechanical engineer. He has nearly a decade of experience in the low carbon hydrogen industry, working across operational, commercial, and technical roles. The focus of Tommy's work is in the creation of technical and economic evidence to support the UK Government's hydrogen policy development programs, principally concerning the initial introduction of hydrogen into the existing system, and extending to the full conversion of the natural gas network and end users. He is a recognised expert in the UK on technical and regulatory matters within the hydrogen industry and a member of various government and parliamentary advisory groups, as well as an active member on several key hydrogen industry committees.


Ján Weiterschütz, Chairman, Slovak National Hydrogen Association

Ján Weiterschütz

Chairman, Slovak National Hydrogen Association

Ján Weiterschütz has been the Chairman of the Slovak National Hydrogen Association since June 2021. He graduated from the Technical University of Vienna with a degree in Renewable Energy Systems and has experience in project design, implementation and management in the field of renewable energy sources. He seeks to use his knowledge and experience to actively contribute to building a national hydrogen ecosystem to mitigate climate change, improve the state's energy security and stabilise energy prices. His aim is to help create new business opportunities and jobs in the nascent hydrogen sector of the economy. With the support of international hydrogen agencies, he transfers knowledge and experience to facilitate the construction and sustainable operation of emerging hydrogen valleys. He helped draft the National Hydrogen Strategy and is currently working on the Action Plan as advisor to the Minister of Economy for hydrogen issues as part of Slovakia's transition to a carbon neutral society. He cooperates with industry, municipalities, the third sector, scientists and researchers to identify barriers to the introduction of hydrogen technologies. He reviews strategic, legislative and regulatory documents so that his plans turn into reality and Slovakia becomes a better place to live.



Q&A
12:00-13:15
Panel IIIb. The Changing Role of the Smart Grid: Effective new approach to grid management, making full use of smart grids and smart grid technologies
Electricity generation from renewable sources will need to increase significantly to achieve the objective of doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030. Fortunately, there is growing evidence in many countries that high levels of renewable energy penetration in the grid are technically and economically feasible, particularly as solar and wind technologies increasingly reach grid parity in economic terms. However, continuous and expanded growth of the share of renewables in centralised and decentralised grids requires an effective new approach to grid management, making full use of “smart grids” and “smart grid technologies”. In order to expand efforts to enable energy transition in Eastern Europe, updating traditional approaches and principles of the electric power industry by incorporating innovation and modern solutions that have a positive effect on the industry and society are crucial. 

Chair
Mark Ossel, Member of the Board, OSGP Alliance, Member of the European Commission Coordination Group – Smart Electricity Grid

Mark Ossel

Member of the Board, OSGP Alliance, Member of the European Commission Coordination Group – Smart Electricity Grid

Mark B.M. Ossel is a board member of the OSGP Alliance and Senior Vice President of the NES Corporation. He focuses on the Energy Transition and the impact on the Smart Grid and Smart City. Mark sits on various standard committees in CEN/CELELEC, IEC, ETSI and is a member of the European Commission Coordination Group Smart Energy Grids. As part of the Networked Energy Services Corporation (NES), he is globally responsible for partnerships and strategic relations. He has been Executive in AMR since 2001, when Echelon started Enel (It), the world’s largest AMR project, and has been involved in most large scale deployments in Europe. Mark is also a member of Rotary International (Club President, PHF) and a non-executive member of various boards. He has a degree in marketing and economics, and a background in international management in ICT and Energy & Utility markets. 



Speakers
Peter Dovhun, General Director, SEPS

Peter Dovhun

General Director, SEPS

Peter Dovhun has been Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Slovak Electricity Transmission System (SEPS) since February 2021. He has over 25 years of managerial and business experience in team building and leading, managing organisational change, development and sustainable growth and as part of the executive management team. Before being appointed to his current post, he worked as a consultant and advisor to heads of private companies and public organisations, including the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic and related organisations. Peter graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Trade at the University of Economics in Bratislava.


Peter Simko, Founder and CEO, PowereX Energy

Peter Simko

Founder and CEO, PowereX Energy

Peter Simko is Founder and CEO of PowereX Energy. Peter is an experienced energy professional who focuses on designing and developing solutions relating to energy infrastructure resilience, energy decentralisation, artificial intelligence and energy decarbonisation. 


Ruslan Slobodian, State Inspectorate of the Energy Supervision (online)

Ruslan Slobodian

State Inspectorate of the Energy Supervision (online)

Ruslan Slobodian has been Chairman of the State Inspection of Energy Supervision in the city of Kyiv since September 2021. Between May 2011 and October 2015 he was deputy marketing director at JSC Khmelnytskoblenergo and from October 2015 to August 2016 he was Deputy CEO responsible for management development and IT director. From August 2016 to September 2017 he was IT director at JSC Khmelnytskoblenergo and then, until September 2021, technical director in the city of Khmelnytskyi. He graduated from the State Technical University in Vinnitsa in 2009 with a master's degree in electrical engineering, then he specialised in economics at the National University of Economics in Ternopil and in 2021 was awarded a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from the Khmelnytskyi branch of Donetsk National University. 



Q&A
13:30-14:00
Lunch
Presentation: The gas supply of Democratic Belarus after political regime change
Uladzimir Rak, Head of the Energy Security Department of iSANS 

Uladzimir Rak

Head of the Energy Security Department of iSANS 

Uladzimir Rak is Head of Energy Security and is working on energy reforms in Belarus. Previously Uladzimir worked at the Joint Institute of Power and Nuclear Research and at the Institute of Power Engineering at the National Academy of Science. He helped develop Belarus’s Energy Security concept, energy system development forecasting and National Determination. He was a technical expert for the Covenant of Mayors in Belarus. He graduated from the Belarusian State Technological University. 

14:00 – 15:00
Judging the essay competition, “How the energy crisis will change Europe.”
The European Union is facing what may be its biggest energy crisis since it was founded. Raw material supplies from Russia are at a historic low and the war against Ukraine has prompted Europe to impose sanctions, so we have to look for new sources and solutions. 

The students attempted to find answers to these questions: What steps should EU countries, the European institutions, or you yourself take so the European project can successfully tackle this challenge? Does the European Union have sufficient tools at its disposal to handle this crisis? Is it possible to find a balance between comfort and the cost of living? Is switching to alternative sustainable energy sources the solution? What lessons could the EU take from these events? Will the EU come out of this situation stronger? How would you proceed?

The competition was announced by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Tuneg, Púčik and Tesár Foundation and members of the European Parliament Ivan Štefanec and Luděk Niedermayer. 
14:10-15:00
Panel IV. Presentation of the World Energy Outlook
It is a long-running tradition that the International Energy Agency flagship World Energy Outlook Report is presented at the CEEC conference. Published every year based on objective data and dispassionate analysis, The World Energy Outlook provides critical analysis and insights on trends in energy demand and supply, and what they mean for energy security, environmental protection, and economic development.

Chair
Ingrid Brocková, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Ingrid Brocková

State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Ingrid Brocková has been State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic (MFEA) since April 2022. Prior to that she was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the OECD (2011–2015, 2018–2020). In the interim years she was Director General for Economic Cooperation at the MFEA and from 2001 to 2008 Country Manager of the World Bank in Slovakia. She joined the MFEA in 1993. Her areas of expertise are mainly economic diplomacy and development assistance. She holds a Doctorate in Economics from the Slovak Technical University, Bratislava. In 1999 she obtained a Masters in International Public Policy (MIPP) from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, USA.



Speaker
Tim Gould, Chief Energy Economist, International Energy Agency

Tim Gould

Chief Energy Economist, International Energy Agency

Tim Gould was appointed the Agency’s Chief Energy Economist in 2021. As Chief Energy Economist, he provides strategic advice on energy economics across a wide range of IEA activities and analysis. He is also Head of the Division for Energy Supply and Investment Outlooks, in which capacity he co-leads the World Energy Outlook and oversees the Agency’s work on investment and finance, including the World Energy Investment report. Prior to joining the IEA, Mr Gould worked on European and Eurasian energy issues in Brussels and has ten years of experience in Eastern Europe, primarily in Ukraine. He graduated from Oxford University and has a post-graduate diploma from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.



Commentary
Jan Osička, Associate professor, Masaryk University

Jan Osička

Associate professor, Masaryk University

Jan Osička is a researcher and lecturer in energy politics at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. His academic background is in International Relations and International Political Economy. His research expertise is on energy transitions, energy trade and the cross-border effects of national energy policies. He leads working groups in the COST action Foreign Policy New Realities and the Jean Monnet network Green Deal Net. He has been involved in research projects on natural gas trade and infrastructure, local acceptance of energy infrastructure and energy transition in Europe.



Q&A
15:00-15:15
Break
15:15-16:30
Parallel Panel Va. Industry on the road between free allowances and carbon border adjustment mechanism
As part of the EU climate efforts, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) has been proposed that should prevent the risk of carbon leakage and support the EU’s increased ambition on climate mitigation while ensuring WTO compatibility. The CBAM will progressively become an alternative to the Emissions Trading System (ETS), which is the world’s first international emissions trading scheme. The European Commission states that ETS has been effective in addressing the risk of leakage but it also dampens the incentive to invest in greener production at home and abroad. How will the CBAM approach influence the industry´s imports and exports to third countries? What is the answer to the new system from the industrial players? Is the combination of CBAM and free allowances feasible? And what are the barriers to and driving forces for industrial energy efficiency improvements that would lead to a decrease in energy consumption in the industry?

Chair
Zsolt Gál, Department of Political Science, School of Arts, Comenius University

Zsolt Gál

Department of Political Science, School of Arts, Comenius University

Zsolt Gál is assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. He holds an MA degree in Political Science from the department and a PhD degree in Economics from Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary. His research interests include public finances, economic aspects of European integration, economic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe and international migration. He teaches several courses in these fields at Comenius University. He is the author of the book The 2007–2009 Financial Crisis: What Went wrong and What Went Different? (2011) and his work has been published in several edited volumes and academic journals. Recently, he contributed a chapter (From Economic Transformation to Energy Transition: The Legacy of Thirty Years of Post-Communist Development) to From Economic to Energy Transition. Three Decades of Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, edited by Matúš Mišík and Veronika Oravcová and published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.



Speakers
Kateřina Davidová, Analyst, Europeum Institute for European Policy

Kateřina Davidová

Analyst, Europeum Institute for European Policy

Kateřina Davidová is Senior Research Fellow at EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy where she leads the climate team. She focuses on EU and Czech climate and energy policy, and the Central European region’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Kateřina is also affiliated with the Centre for Transport and Energy and has worked in both the public and the private sector.


Radovan Ďurana, Analyst, Institute of Economic and Social Studies

Radovan Ďurana

Analyst, Institute of Economic and Social Studies

Radovan Ďurana works as an analyst at INESS. After completing his studies at the Faculty of Management of the Comenius University in Bratislava, he worked in the credit risk department of a foreign commercial bank. Since the founding of INESS in 2006, he has performed economic analyses of the public finances and state economic policy. Recently, his interest has turned to decarbonisation and he is the author of How to Compensate Industry for Indirect Carbon Costs and the New Tax Slovakia has had for a Long Time: Consumption Carbon Tax on Motor Fuels.


Tomáš Jungwirth Březovský, Head of the Climate Team, Association for International Affairs

Tomáš Jungwirth Březovský

Head of the Climate Team, Association for International Affairs

Tomáš Jungwirth Březovský is the founder and Head of AMO Climate Team. He focuses on numerous challenges related to climate change and the low-carbon transition, and follows developments in the Western Balkans. In the past, Tomáš has worked as a policy officer for the Czech Migration Consortium, and as a political analyst, campaign manager and school teacher. He graduated in law and went on to study human rights and democratisation in Sarajevo and Bologna. He was later awarded a fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence where he studied climate mitigation and adaptation in a transnational context. At present, he is working with the Environment Ministry on negotiations relating to the 2022 Czech Presidency to the Council of the EU.


Michal Pintér, Director of Governmental and EU affairs, U. S. Steel Košice

Michal Pintér

Director of Governmental and EU affairs, U. S. Steel Košice

Michal Pintér has been Director of Government, EU Affairs & REACH at U.S. Steel Kosice (USSK) since January 2007. He represents USSK in the Slovak National Union of Employers as Chair of the European and Foreign Affairs Committee, as Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia, in the Czech Steel Union as a member of the Supervisory Board and in the European Steel Association EUROFER. Michal is also coordinator for delegates in the Employers Category of the Consultative Commission for Industrial Change at the European Economic and Social Committee, representing Eurofer and APEAL.  Prior to joining USSK, he was Senior Economic Specialist at the United States Embassy in Bratislava for nine years. He also has several years of experience in financial news reporting


Daniel Urban, Chairman of the Board, Steel Union

Daniel Urban

Chairman of the Board, Steel Union

Daniel Urban is Chairman of the Board of the Steel Union, which brings together major Czech and Slovak steelmakers. He is involved in a wide range of issues from energy and climate policy to international trade on both the national and European levels. Previously, he worked as Public Affairs Manager for ArcelorMittal Ostrava and has held various positions in the energy sector, focusing on regulation, market liberalisation and security of supply. Daniel has a degree in Political Science from Charles University in Prague.



Q&A
15:15-16:30
Parallel Panel Vb. Towards cleaner and more efficient heating systems?
District heating is an important element in enhancing energy security in Central and Eastern Europe. Although regional, this solution is the only available source of heat for millions of households mostly located in urban areas. In fact, CEE countries take more advantage of district heating as a core heat source than the rest of the block. Nearly 6 million households in Poland, out of a total of around 14 million, use district heating. In the Czech Republic, this number accounts for up to 4 million and in Slovakia, more than one-third of the population relies on this source of heat. For CEE countries, facing challenges regarding decarbonisation of district heating, high-efficiency cogeneration is currently the most preferred technology due to required temperature parameters and large installed capacities, being harder to replace with low-temperature renewables. At the same time, the need for energy savings has put at the forefront also the question of the efficiency of heating systems and there have been discussions on possible energy savings, especially before the upcoming heating season. What can be done in a short-term perspective? What kind of measures could be used to make heating systems more efficient? How these can be further decarbonised? And what are the legislative barriers in making heating systems cleaner and more efficient?

Chair
Martin Hájek, Director, Association for the District Heating of the Czech Republic

Martin Hájek

Director, Association for the District Heating of the Czech Republic

Martin Hájek has been Vice President of the European heating industry association Euroheat&Power since 2020. In 2010 he was appointed Director of the Executive Department of the Heating Association of the Czech Republic. Prior to that, he worked at International Finance Corporation, where he was involved in the Programme for the Development of Commercial Financing of Energy Saving Projects (CEEF) in the Czech Republic and other Central and Eastern European countries. Before that he worked at Pražská teplárenská, where he was Advisor to the General Director for Strategy. Martin Hájek studied Economics and Energy Management at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague. 



Speakers
Wanda Buk, Vice-President of the Management Board for Regulatory Affairs, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.

Wanda Buk

Vice-President of the Management Board for Regulatory Affairs, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.

Wanda Buk is Vice-President for Regulatory Affairs of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. She holds the title of attorney, having graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Łódź, as well as the Faculty of French Business Law at the Université de Poitiers in France.  She also attended the prestigious Leadership Academy for Poland programme organised by the Center for Leadership in cooperation with Harvard University. In September 2020, she was appointed to the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. and made Vice-President for Regulatory Affairs. She has held the position of Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Digital Affairs since July 2018. She has also been a member of the Committee for European Union, the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers and the Joint Central Government and Local Government Committee.


Biljana Grbić, Consultant, Energy Community

Biljana Grbić

Consultant, Energy Community

Biljana Grbić is an energy lawyer with more than seven years of diverse experience in the energy field. She has been working for the Energy Community Secretariat for three years, helping Contracting Parties align their legislation with the EU heating and cooling legislation. Before that she worked for a district heating company in Serbia for three years and at the Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Vienna, where she researches regulatory and policy aspects of district heating. 


Eva Hoos, Policy Officer, Renewables and Energy System Integration Policy, DG ENER, European Commission (online)
16:30-16:45
Break
16:30-17:30
Roundtable discussion: Decarbonisation through the V4 experience. What have we learned?
The findings of an analytical publication produced by the Czech think-tank EUROPEUM in partnership with the SFPA, INE-ISD and the Equilibrium Institute on the V4’s experiences with decarbonisation will be presented during the roundtable discussion. The aim of the publication was to summarize the coal phase-outs in each of the V4 countries, focusing on the involvement of civil society organisations. Based on the analysis of the V4 experience and the lessons learned, the authors made specific recommendations on how to support the decarbonisation process not just in the V4 region, but also in Serbia and other Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership.

The publication is part of a project focused on improving advocacy skills among Serbia’s civil society actors and enhanced participation in policymaking under the green transformation, focusing particularly on the coal phase-out through the transfer of know-how between V4 countries and Serbia. The project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

Chair
Michal Hrubý, Research Fellow, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Michal Hrubý

Research Fellow, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Michal Hrubý is an analyst at EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. Michal has a master's degree in Economics from Škoda Auto University and is currently pursuing a master's in Mineral Raw Materials at the VSB Technical University of Ostrava. His research focuses on green economics, decarbonisation of heavy industries, and transport. He regularly contributes to reputable Czech media outlets. As part of EUROPEUM's climate team, Michal contributes to efforts to ground the public debate in relevant facts and information and to connect with and inform various stakeholders about developments in EU legislation.



Speakers
Dóra Csernus, Senior Climate and Environmental Policy Expert, Equilibrium Institute

Dóra Csernus

Senior Climate and Environmental Policy Expert, Equilibrium Institute

Dóra Csernus is Senior Climate and Environmental Policy Expert at Equilibrium Institute. As an expert on environmental issues, she has worked for the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations and the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, representing the Hungarian position in different EU, UN, and OECD fora. She was also Director for International Policy Development at Klímapolitika Research and Consultancy and an independent expert in climate and environmental issues. Her main focus is climate policy and air-quality control.


Alžbeta Gavalcová, Junior Researcher, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alžbeta Gavalcová

Junior Researcher, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Alžbeta Gavalcová is a junior research fellow at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association. She studied at the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics in Bratislava and focuses on the energy transition. Currently, she is completing a degree at Masaryk University in Brno. The topic of her thesis is energy policy coherence. She also completed a traineeship at the European Commission.


Tatiana Mindeková, Junior Researcher, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Tatiana Mindeková

Junior Researcher, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

Tatiana Mindeková is Junior Researcher and Project Manager at EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. She focuses on a wide range of climate and decarbonisation issues, including the Czech decarbonisation experience, green disinformation and EU climate policies. She also has a keen interest in geothermal energy. She studied International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University. She holds a master’s degree in Environment, Politics & Society from University College London.


Wojciech Szymalski, Director, Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation

Wojciech Szymalski

Director, Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation

Wojciech Szymalski has been working for the Institute for Sustainable Development in Warsaw since 2009. He is involved in projects focusing on climate change and adaptation to climate change. In 2010 he was leader of a LIFE+ project called Good Climate for Counties (DOKLIP). In 2014 he led another LIFE+ project, ADAPTCITY, where the main aim was to prepare a City Adaptation Strategy for Warsaw. Since 2019 he has collaborated on international teams for a number of other ISD Foundation projects, such as LIFE_UNIFY and LIFE_Together_For_1.5. The projects focus on climate policy in Europe.

16:45-18:00
Panel VI. Towards green(er) buildings
Energy efficiency is a powerful instrument to secure clean energy transitions, but it often takes time to deliver major results. Not only dependence on Russian gas, but also high natural gas prices have incentivized EU countries to push for more energy efficiency measures to help decrease Russian gas imports. Moreover, CEE countries still rely on coal for heating, which is also a problem connected to poor air quality. This panel will discuss short-term and long-term measures that should be deployed to accelerate decarbonisation and energy savings. What kind of measures should be adopted in order to gain energy-efficient results in buildings? Which materials could be used towards greener buildings? Are heat pumps an efficient and cost-effective way to heat homes that could replace boilers using gas or other fossil fuels? 

Chair
Katarína Nikodemová, Director, Buildings for the Future

Katarína Nikodemová

Director, Buildings for the Future

Katarína Nikodemová is Director of Buildings for the Future. She specialises in public policy and advocacy and has expertise at both the national and European level. After graduating with a degree in Political Science and European Studies, she worked for the European Commission and European Parliament in Brussels, the Slovak parliament and several reputable NGOs. She has knowledge and professional policy experience in energy efficiency, sustainability and climate change. Buildings for the Future is a platform of associations active in the building sector. Its main mission is to actively shape public policy with the aim of promoting high-quality building construction and renovation, while paying particular attention to energy efficiency, the quality of the indoor environment and building regulations.



Speakers
Justyna Glusman, Managing Director, Fala Renowacji

Justyna Glusman

Managing Director, Fala Renowacji

Justyna Glusman is Managing Director of Association Renovation Wave Poland which promotes energy efficiency improvements in the building sector. Previously, she was Deputy Mayor and Sustainable Development Head Coordinator at Warsaw City Hall, where she was in charge of implementing the air quality improvement programme, climate adaptation and mitigation policies for the city of Warsaw as well as improvements to vegetation and metropolitan green space management and integration. Justyna graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics with an MA and from the LSE, where she obtained a PhD in the political economy of European integration as well as an Executive MSc in Cities.  She is an expert on public affairs, territorial self-government, regional policy design and implementation. She is also a member of the Climate & Space Commission at the Ombudsman Office and a member of the Civic Congress Programme Council.


András Reith, CEO, Advanced Building and Urban Design

András Reith

CEO, Advanced Building and Urban Design

András Reith is Associate Professor at the University of Pécs, Pollack Mihály Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Hungary, and CEO of Advanced Building and Urban Design. He has worked in sustainable architectural planning and consultancy for more than two decades. He was an expert reviewer for the fifth UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, leading author of the Climatic and Energy Concept of the Budapest Urban Development Concept and former President of the Hungary Green Building Council. He was a visiting researcher at Harvard and has been invited to speak at many universities. In 2019, he received the Dennis Gabor Award, the highest national prize in the field of innovation and research in engineering. Currently, his research and work focus on sustainable and regenerative urban design, especially the digital twins of positive energy districts and energy communities.  He has studied in Hungary, Germany and Spain. In 2005, he defended his PhD thesis and received the highest honours.


Ľubica Šimkovicová, President of Passive House Institute Slovakia, Manifest2020

Ľubica Šimkovicová

President of Passive House Institute Slovakia, Manifest2020

Ľubica Šimkovicová is an expert in sustainable concepts in the building industry, design of buildings and urban development. A graduate of the STU Faculty of Civil Engineering, she has worked in project management and lectured and consulted on sustainable research projects. She has been CEO of the Passive House Institute Slovakia for the past nine years. She has also coordinated several EU projects managed by the Chief City Architect's Office, City of Bratislava, dealing with a wide range of issues related to climate change, housing stock renovations and the creation of energy positive districts. Ľubica launched Manifest2020, an initiative set up to address the impact of the building sector on the environment, climate and biodiversity in Slovakia. She helped Ukrainian refugees by responding to Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's call to use the Paper Partition System invented by his team.


Lívia Vašáková, Director General of the Recovery Plan Department, Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Lívia Vašáková

Director General of the Recovery Plan Department, Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Lívia Vašáková is Director General of the Recovery Plan Section at the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic. Previously she was Head of the Economic Analysis Section at the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia and at the Directorate General for Energy in the European Commission in Brussels. In 2016, she was the only woman to feature among the Euractiv 40 most influential people in the Slovak energy industry. Lívia studied at the University of Economics in Bratislava and at several universities abroad. She also has a postgraduate studies diploma from the Europa-Kolleg in Hamburg and a PhD from Comenius University in Bratislava.


Lenka Vaněk, Head of the Innovation and Decarbonisation, ČEZ ESCO

Lenka Vaněk

Head of the Innovation and Decarbonisation, ČEZ ESCO

Lenka Vaněk is Director of the Department of Innovation and Decarbonisation at ČEZ ESCO Group. The role of the department is to identify trends, potential and innovations, and incorporate them into the company’s strategy. ČEZ ESCO group is a strong player in green energy. Lenka's primary focus is strategy, innovation and development. 



Q&A
18:00-18:15
Break
18:15-19:30
Panel VII. Making use of waste and the secondary materials in cities
The new geopolitical and energy market reality requires us to accelerate the clean energy transition and increase Europe’s energy independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels. The European Commission emphasized that following the invasion of Ukraine, the case for a rapid clean energy transition has never been stronger and clearer. While energy efficiency measures and deployment of renewables are key in the energy transition process, the use of waste plays an important role in transitioning to a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. The European Green Deal waste policy aims to contribute to the circular economy by extracting high-quality resources from waste as much as possible. What measures should be implemented for better usage of secondary raw materials? Should we use more waste for energy purposes? What are the innovative projects in cities in terms of waste usage?

Chair
Diana Motúzová, Editor, Energie-portal.sk

Diana Motúzová

Editor, Energie-portal.sk

Diana Motúzová is an editor of the professional daily news website Energie-portal.sk. She studied international relations at Charles University in Prague, specialising in Russia and the post-Soviet space. After graduating from university as a marketing specialist, she created external communication content for a company developing new technology in the field of geothermal energy. She later worked as an assistant to a member of the Slovak parliament. Since 2018, she has worked as editor for Energie-portal.sk, Odpady-portal.sk, and Voda-portal.sk, which provide news, analysis and commentaries targeted at industry representatives, entrepreneurs, institutions and municipalities.



Speakers
Tamás Jászay, Power Plant Director, Metropolitan Waste to Energy Plant - Budapest Utilities (BKM)

Tamás Jászay

Power Plant Director, Metropolitan Waste to Energy Plant - Budapest Utilities (BKM)

Tamás Jászay has been Power Plant Director of the Waste to Energy Plant at BKM, Budapest Utilities since 2021. He is an expert in energy and finance with many years of experience. He has held multiple high-ranking positions such as Corporate Development Director at RWE Hungária, ELMŰ/ÉMÁSZ, board member and Executive Director of Eurocorp International Finance, and Secretary to the Board of Directors of MVM. He has also worked in the public sector as personal assistant to the State Secretary for Energy at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He was awarded an MSc from the Technical University of Budapest. Tamás Jászay also studied at the Banff School of Advanced Management in Canada.


Miloš Kužvart, Executive Director, Czech Association of Circular Economy

Miloš Kužvart

Executive Director, Czech Association of Circular Economy

Miloš Kužvart has been Executive Director of the Czech Association for the Circular Economy since 2018. He has a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors, focusing especially on the environment and energy. He has held a range of positions such as Minister of Environment of the Czech Republic, 1998–2002; Member of Czech Parliament 2002–2006, Director of the PHARE programme management unit for the Czech Republic for the non-profit sector. He was also a lecturer at the Faculty of Science at Charles University in Prague and at the Faculty of Environment at the University of Jana Evangelisty Purkyně. Furthermore, he was CEO of TÜV NORD Czech and project manager for secondary energy sources at SGS CZ. He undertook postgraduate studies in Earth Remote Sensing at Charles University, Faculty of Science in Prague.


Ivana Maleš, Institute of Circular Economy 

Ivana Maleš

Institute of Circular Economy 

Ivana Maleš is co-founder of the Institute for the Circular Economy of the Slovak Republic (INCIEN). Her work involves creating policies and strategies for the circular economy that are both practice-oriented and targeted at sustainability and climate neutrality solutions.


Miroslav Mravec, Technical Director, Veolia Energia Slovensko

Miroslav Mravec

Technical Director, Veolia Energia Slovensko

Miroslav Mravec is Technical Director of the Veolia Energia Slovakia group. He is senior manager at the Technical Directorate with responsibility for investment processes and investment activities, acquisitions, digitization and the implementation of technical projects within the framework of Veolia's global goals. Miroslav manages several important group projects, such as projects on greening the group and the strategies of selected subsidiaries. He has worked for Veolia Energia Slovensko group since 2014, where he started out as renewal specialist for Petržalka and was gradually promoted to business partner and then senior manager at C-bau, a subsidiary company. He has worked in heating and energy since 1998.


Michal Struk, Sustainability and Circularity Institute

Michal Struk

Sustainability and Circularity Institute

Michal Struk works as a researcher at the Sustainability and Circularity Institute and the Department of Regional Economics and Administration at Masaryk University in Brno. He is Head of the Department of Finance and Accounting at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University. His work is primarily on the economics of municipal waste management including environmental economics, public administration, public (municipal) finance and public project evaluation (including non-market effects). He is keen to further explore ways of improving people’s behaviour and habits regarding waste generation and separation, among other things, and the wider performance of related public services.  

19:30
Concluding remarks
Veronika Oravcová, CEEC Executive Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Veronika Oravcová

CEEC Executive Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Veronika Oravcová is a Research Fellow at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association and a Research Assistant at the Department of Political Science at Comenius University in Bratislava. Her research interests are centred on energy transition and energy security in Central and Eastern Europe, she is a co-editor of From Economic to Energy Transition. Three Decades of Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe (Palgrave: London, 2021), several chapters on energy transition, and several papers on Slovak energy policy.

19:40
Glass of wine