Speakers

This page shows a selection of speakers at the Forum. For a full list of speakers please see the individual sessions in the programme.

 

Speakers

Valeriu Nicolae

Secretary of State, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Romania

Valeriu Nicolae is a human rights activist, film producer, writer, best known for his activities with children in one of the worst ghettos in Bucharest. He works for the Romanian Government, as State Counsellor at the Prime Minister’s Chancellery and as State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly. He is also the regional advocacy Director for World Vision for Eastern Europe, Middle East, South Caucasus region. He was also appointed to the Board of Trustees supervising the activity of the UN OHCHR representing Europe. He is the winner of the European Parliament’s 2013 European Citizenship Award. He is the founder of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, a Bucharest-based think-tank. He is also the co-founder of the European Roma Policy Coalition, which includes some of the most active NGOs in the field of human rights (Amnesty International, Minority Rights Group, Open Society Institute, European Roma Rights Center). During the last nine years, he has worked as a senior consultant for the Open Society Institute and some European Institutions, director and advocacy director for a network of European Roma NGOs (ERGO). Previously he was the deputy director and interim executive director of the European Roma Information Office in Brussels and the European Chair for the European Network Against Racism. He has been nominated three times in a row by the Foreign Policy (2012, 2013, 2014) as one of the top 100 Romanian thinkers for his contribution to the Romanian civil society. In his view, increasing focus on situation of the EU economy, employment and security needs to be balanced by reaffirming our most important values - European fundamental rights. Racism, bigotry and extremist nationalism cannot save Europe but rather the opposite - it can break it. We, Europeans, need strong and independent watchdog organisations capable of preventing a divided and belligerent European continent. We need the Fundamental Rights Agency to be both more visible but also more effective in influencing the European and national policies meant to ensure that the most vulnerable and most discriminated are protected within the EU.

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