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Speaker Biographies


Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes

Vice President and Commissioner for Digital Agenda, European Commission


Neelie Kroes is currently Vice President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda Commissioner. She was born 1941 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where she also attended school and helped to build her family’s transport business. She studied economics at Erasmus University, before working there for six years as an Assistant Professor. Her political career started on the Rotterdam Municipal Council, and in 1971 she was elected as a Member of the Dutch Parliament for the liberal VVD party. From 1982-1989 she served as Minister for Transport, Public Works and Telecommunication in the Netherlands. After politics she was appointed President of Nyenrode University from 1991-2000, and served on various company boards, including Lucent Technologies, Volvo, P&O Nedlloyd. Prior to serving as European Commissioner for Competition from 2004-2009, her charity work included advising the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and World Cancer Research Fund, and she has an ongoing interest in mental health issues.

Michel de Rosen

Michel de Rosen

Chairman and CEO, Eutelsat; and Chairman, ESOA


Michel de Rosen, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, Eutelsat Communications – joined Eutelsat Communications in July 2009 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2009. He is also a board member of Eutelsat Communications.

His career has included Chief Executive positions in international publicly traded groups and senior public service appointments.

He began his career in France in the Inspection générale des finances in the Ministry of Finance. He was Chargé de Mission in the office of the Ministry of Defence from 1980 to 1981 and from 1986 to 1988 was Chief of Staff of the Minister of Industry and Telecommunications.

Between 1983 and 1999 he held executive positions at Rhône-Poulenc, including CEO of Pharmuka from 1983 to 1986, CEO of Rhône-Poulenc Fibers and Polymers from 1988 to 1993, and CEO of Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (USA) from 1993 to 1999. From 2000 to 2008 he was Chairman and CEO of ViroPharma in the USA. He returned to France in 2008 to the position of Chairman and CEO of SGD.

Michel de Rosen is a graduate of the HEC business school and France’s National School of Administration (ENA - EcoleNationaled'Administration). He is also a Board member of ABB.

He is married with four children.

Lambert Van Nistelrooij

Lambert Van Nistelrooij

Member, European Parliament


Lambert van Nistelrooij is Member of the European Parliament. Member of the Committee on Regional Development and the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia. Substitute in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union, Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. Studied social geography at the Catholic University of Nijmegen (1979, cum laude). Worked for the Tilburg Urban Area (1979-1983). Policy adviser, province of Gelderland (1983-1988). Department head for management training and organisational development, North Brabant Christian Farmers Union (1987-1991). Member of the North Brabant Provincial Executive for public health, a comprehensive policy for the elderly, housing, urban renewal and internationalisation (1991-2003). Committee chairman and vice-chairman, Assembly of European Regions (1992-2003). Member of a delegation and rapporteur, Committee of the Regions (1995-2003). Has held various offices in the Regional Assembly of the Council of Europe (1995-2003). President of the Assembly of European Border Regions (2004-2006). Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Roberto Viola

Roberto Viola

Deputy Director General, DG Connect, European Commission


Roberto Viola holds a doctor degree in electronic engineering (Dr. Eng.) and a master in business administration (MBA).

He is Deputy Director General at European Commission - DG CNECT, with responsibilities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services Directorate, Cooperation Directorate - International and Inter-institutional relations, Stakeholders cooperation, Coordination Directorate - Growth and Jobs, Innovations and Knowledge Base, Media and Data Directorate.
Since 2005 to 2012 he has been the Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM (Italian media and telecom regulator).

He has been Chairman for 2012-2013 of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG), he was Deputy Chairman for 2011 and Chairman for 2010.

He was in the Board of BEREC (Body of European Telecom Regulators).

He was Chairman for 2007 of the European Regulatory Group (ERG).

He served in AGCOM (1999-2004), as Director of regulation department and technical Director being in charge of, inter alia, regulation in terrestrial, cable and satellite television, frequency planning, access and interconnection of communication services, cost accounting and tariff in telecommunication and broadcasting services.

From 1985-1999 he served in various position as a staff member of the European Space Agency (ESA) in particular, he has been head of telecommunication and broadcasting satellite services.

He is Professor of Business models for ICT at the Computer Engineering Faculty – University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

He pioneered novel communication systems (UMTS, satellite radio, digital broadcasting) publishing more than 100 scientific papers and holding key patents in the sector.

Vittorio Vallero

Vittorio Vallero

Deputy Coordinator, Infrastructures and Access, Digital Agenda for Piedmont Region


Vittorio Vallero is Deputy Coordinator, Infrastructures and Access, Digital Agenda for Piedmont Region. He has been involved in the regional broadband development programme WI-PIE since 2004 dealing in particular with wireless technologies and broadband mapping. He coordinated satellite based pilot projects for the Public Administration sector and he is currently the coordinator of the CIP-PSP funded EU thematic network project SABER (SAtellite Broadband for European Regions). He has 18 years experience in Telecom field and started working with VSAT satellite technology in 1998 with the FIAT group dealers network in Europe. He holds a degree in Telecom Engineering from Turin Polytechnic.



Thursday 17 October, 2013
10.00 to 13.30




European Parliament

Room 6Q1
Jozsef Antall Building
European Parliament