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Responsible Business in the 21st Century

Plastics - Not so fantastic  

Thursday 11 April | 20:00-22:00 |

The Church, Festival Village, Den Burg

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Jan Ernst de Groot

Chief Legal Officer & Member Executive Committee, Ahold Delhaize

Jan Ernst de Groot has served as Chief Legal Officer of Ahold Delhaize since July 2016. Prior to that, he was Chief Legal Officer and member of Ahold’s Executive Committee since February 1, 2015. Jan Ernst is responsible for Ahold Delhaize’s legal affairs, governance and compliance functions, safety, public affairs and product integrity.


Before joining Ahold, Jan Ernst was general counsel and managing director at TNT Express. Prior to that, he worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in a wide range of business and corporate roles, most recently as managing director and a member of the board of management.


Jan Ernst started his career at law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.


Jan Ernst is chairman of the supervisory council of Hivos, a supervisory board member of ADG Dienstengroep and a board member of the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam.

Jeremy Wates

Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau

Jeremy Wates has served as Secretary General of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Europe's largest network of environmental citizens' organisations, since May 2011. In a career that has included grassroots activism, freelance consultancy, working as an international civil servant and organic farming, respect for the environment has always been a central preoccupation.

Prior to joining the EEB, Jeremy served for more than a decade as Secretary to the Aarhus Convention with the Geneva-based United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The Aarhus Convention is the world’s most far-reaching international treaty on access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters.

During the 1990s, Jeremy led the campaign by the European ECO Forum, an NGO coalition, to persuade governments to start work on a treaty on environmental democracy and then coordinated the input from civil society organizations into the official negotiations over the text of what was to become the Aarhus Convention.

In the 1980s, Jeremy founded the Irish environmental organization Earthwatch, the Irish member of Friends of the Earth International, and led the organization for more than a decade. From 1991 to 1993, he represented the Irish EEB members on the EEB Board.

Jeremy holds an MA Honours Degree in Philosophy and Social & Political Sciences from Cambridge University, UK. His permanent home is in West Cork in the south-west of Ireland where in the ‘80s and ‘90s he combined his environmental activism with small-scale organic farming and where he and his wife brought up their four children in their early years. Hobbies include playing the mandolin (Irish traditional) and piano (mainly classical), singing in a choir, hiking, skiing and yoga.

In 2011, Jeremy was awarded the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Raoul Boucke

MEP Candidate for Dutch Social-Liberal Party Democraten 66 (D66)

Raoul Boucke was elected candidate number 2 for D66 for the 2019 European Parliament elections, but has long been engaged with and involved in European politics and policy. He has served as Transport Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the EU since 2015, where he worked on air transport service negotiations and smart and green mobility. Prior to that, he was Adviser on carbon markets at DG Climate Action of the European Commission in Brussels.


Raoul was born in Suriname but moved to The Netherlands (Delft and Rotterdam) to complete a Master’s in Chemical Engineering. Within D66, he is Diversity Ambassador of the Div66 Network. Raoul’s focus has been on sustainability, climate, energy, environment, transport, human rights, economic affairs, consumer rights, and international trade.

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Marc Jansen

Director, The Dutch Food Retail Association (CBL)

The Dutch Food Retail Association (Centraal Bureau Levensmiddelenhandel, CBL) is the branch organization for all supermarkets and food service companies in the Netherlands. 


CBL represents the interest of supermarkets and foodservice companies at the governmental, political level. CBL is also the counterpart for other organizations in the food chain and for non-governmental organizations.

CBL deals with issues such as Food Safety, Food Fraud, Health, Sustainability (including Food Waste), Staff Training, Wages, Logistics and Supply Chain issues and other Public Affairs issues such as opening hours, sale of alcohol etc. On a European level, CBL is a member of EuroCommerce, which defends the interest of retail and wholesale in Europe.


Key figures of supermarket and foodservice industry in The Netherlands: 28 companies, 4300 shops, 54 billion euro’s turnover (37 billion in supermarkets), 300,000 staff.


Marc graduated in 1994 in Agricultural Economics at the Wageningen University. He started his career as deputy secretary of GemZu, the umbrella organisation of Dutch Dairy Trade. After that, he was secretary Dairy Farming of LTO Nederland, the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture Organisations. In 2002 he moved to the Dutch Food Retail Association, where he is now Director.

Therese Noorlander

Sustainability Director Europe, Coca-Cola

Therese is responsible for driving the corporate sustainability agenda in Europe for Coca-Cola. As such she works together with Coca-Cola bottling partners to ensure that her organization meets the sustainability commitments set by The Coca-Cola Company. Her organization has many global commitments in place, like World Without Waste or the women empowerment goal called 5by20. Next to realizing these global commitments for the European markets, the focus is in Western-Europe is on a joint sustainability plan with the bottler called This is Forward.

Therese studied business administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). She has experience in both the public and the private sector, having previously worked at Heineken, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, Pfizer and the Dutch Ministry of Health. After 6 years in the public sector she joined Coca-Cola. There she started as Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director in the Netherlands. Since the end of last year she is responsible to lead Sustainability in Europe for Coca-Cola.

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Magnus Berntsson

President, Assembly of European Regions

Magnus grew up on the little island of Fotö in the northern archipelago of Gothenburg with a mother working in the private sector and a father working as a fisherman and a trawl maker who later studied to become a Psychiatric Nurse. Magnus committed himself to the regional level, which in Sweden is in charge of healthcare and regional development issues. He believes in a region where no one is held back or left behind. He also believes that this should be true regarding the whole of Europe.

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Margriet Keijzer

Head of EU Office, Detailhandel Nederland

Margriet Keijzer is an experienced public affairs professional, working in EU Affairs since 2001. As Senior Adviser for the Dutch Retail Association (Detailhandel Nederland), she is representing the Dutch retail sector (both food and non-food) in Brussels on all issues relevant to the sector.

Margriet Keijzer’s previous work experience includes positions at the European Parliament, the European Commission and Amcham EU. Margriet is a Dutch national with a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Petros Fassoulas

Secretary General, European Movement International 

Petros has been the Secretary General of the European Movement International since July 2015.

Previously Petros worked as ACCA’s Head of Public Affairs Europe. He was also EU Affairs Adviser at the UK’s Financial Services Authority and before that he was EU Affairs Adviser at the UK Parliament.

Petros also spent 5 years in Brussels, working for the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions as well as in advocacy and lobbying.

Petros comments frequently on EU issues and has featured on BBC News, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera as well as the Guardian, Le Soir, El Pais, Ta Nea, Der Spiegel, Euractiv, Politico Europe among others.

He holds a degree from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a Masters from the London School of Economics. Petros speaks Greek, English and French.


MODERATOR: Neil McMillan 

Director, Advocacy & Political Affairs, EuroCommerce

Since 2015, Director for Political Affairs and Trade at EuroCommerce, representing retail and wholesale in Europe. He has long experience as a senior government official and diplomat, as well as in political lobbying and communications. He is responsible at EuroCommerce for relations with political stakeholders in Brussels, setting the organisation’s overall political and lobbying strategy. He also oversees communications and work on international trade and taxation. Previously he was Partner, Brunswick LLP a public affairs agency in Brussels; Head of political affairs at the energy company RWE in Brussels; Director, Prime Minister’s European and Global Issues Secretariat, Cabinet Office; Director (Europe), Department of Trade and Industry, London; UK Permanent Representative to WTO, Geneva; Director; EU Internal Market, Dept. of Trade and Industry, London; Director, International Communications Policy, DTI. He was Chairman, WTO Negotiations on Basic Telecoms Services (1994-97). Studied Modern Languages University of Exeter, UK; Universität Kiel, Germany; Universität Regensburg, Germany. 

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