Bernardus (Ben) Smulders, born in The Hague (Netherlands) on 25 June 1960, was educated at the
European School of Brussels (Uccle), graduated in law at Leiden University, obtained a Master’s
Degree at the London School of Economics and completed management executive programs at the
London Business School, INSEAD and Stanford Business School.
As from 1 March 2022 he is Deputy Director General in the European Commission’s DG for
Competition, after being Director in the European Commission Legal Service, heading the Trade
Policy & WTO team. Prior to this, he worked in the Legal Service as Director, heading the Institutions
& EMU team and served before as member of its Internal market-, State aid control & Competition
teams. Over a period of 12 years, he gained considerable experience in representing the European
Commission in litigation before the EU General Court and EU Court of Justice, the EFTA Court and
He served from 2014 until 2019 as Head of Cabinet to the European Commission First Vice President
Frans Timmermans. From 2004-2008, he was Head of Cabinet of the Competition Commissioner
Neelie Kroes, after having served as a member of cabinet of the Enlargement & External Relations
Commissioner Hans van den Broek (1995-1999) the Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein
(1999 – 2000) and the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi (2000 – 2004).
Prior to being employed by the European Commission in 1991 Ben Smulders was for six years
member of the Amsterdam bar and practised law in the international law firm Nauta Dutilh, of which
he was elected partner in 1990.
Since 2013, Ben Smulders has been a Guest Professor of International and European Competition
Law at the Free University of Brussels. He is also a Visiting Professor of Law of Rule of Law at the
College of Europe in Bruges, a member of the Scientific Council of its Global Competition Law
Centre, a Visiting Professor at the Collegio Europeo affiliated to the Universita' degli Studi di Parma,
member of the Scientific Board of its Centro di Studi in Affari Europei e Internazionali and teaches
yearly at the Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas. He sits in the Supervisory Board of the T.M.C. Asser
Institute in The Hague and is a substitute judge (Raadsheer plaatsvervanger) in the Court of Appeal
of The Hague (commercial chamber). Ben Smulders co-edits the Common Market Law Review ,
teaches and authored numerous publications on EU law related subjects, in particular on the
protection of the rule of law
Chiara Martinelli is the Director of the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe since October 2021. She leads the network with over 180 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens and represents Europe within CAN International governance. Chiara has more than 16 years of working experience in the development cooperation sector and, before joining CAN Europe as a director, she served as senior advisor with the International Family of Catholic Social Justice Organisations, CIDSE. Chiara has been leading CIDSE work on climate justice, food and agriculture, energy and sustainable lifestyles and played an active role in the management and coordination of the alliance and the relations with partners worldwide. Chiara's work in international development began with a one-year volunteer service in Benin (West Africa) working in a project for the socio-economic promotion and empowerment of women
David Herrero Fuentes is the Chief Operating Officer of Grupo Fertiberia, serving also on its board of directors. David joined Grupo Fertiberia in 2001, holding different executive positions both at site and corporate level. David is also board member of Fertilizers Europe, the European fertilizer producer’s association where he also serves as chairman of its Technical and Environmental Committee. In addition, David currently co-chairs one of the roundtables of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance initiative in the EU. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College of London and Universidad Politécnica of Madrid.