Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, European Commission
Historian, Executive Director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation
Photo: Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen/Arthur Schmidt
MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Věra Jourová is European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Her responsibilities include ensuring swift adoption of the EU data protection reforms and negotiations with the United States to protect the privacy of EU citizens.
Before coming to the European Commission in 2014, Jourová held the position of Minister for Regional Development in the Czech Republic. Previously, from 2006 to 2013, she worked in her own company as an international consultant on European Union funding and consulted in the Western Balkans about European Union Accession.
In 2003, Jourová was appointed deputy minister for regional development, a position she held for three years. Previously, she worked as head of the Department of Regional Development in the Vysočina Region, from 2001, and before that as secretary and spokesperson of the Třebič Municipal Office from 1995 to 2001.
Ms Jourová holds a law degree from Charles University, Prague and a master's degree in the theory of culture from the Charles University, Prague.
Dr. Hubertus Knabe was born in 1959 in Unna. From 1978 to 1983 he studied history and German studies in Bremen and subsequently worked for two years as a press speaker of the Green Party's parliamentary group in Bremen.
Knabe did his Ph.D. on environmental protests in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Hungary at the Freie Universität in Berlin and spent two years in Budapest for his research project. From 1987 to 1988 he worked as lecturer at the University of Bremen, and from 1988-1990 as a study director of the Evangelische Akademie Berlin (West). In 1991, he completed his doctorate with a dissertation on "Possibilities and Limitations of Problem Articulation in Socialist Systems. A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Discussions in the GDR and Hungary".
From 1992 to 2000, Knabe worked as research assistant in the research department of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records in Berlin. From 1993-1996, he was a guest lecturer at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He did intensive research about opposition movements in the GDR and Eastern Europe and published several studies. On behalf of the German Bundestag, he researched the Stasi´s operations against the western world, especially the Federal Republic of Germany. His work resulted in the publication of several books.
Since 2001, Knabe has been the scientific director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation on the site of the former central remand prison of the Ministry of State Security. He continues to publish books on GDR history, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, and the aftermath of the dictatorship in the reunited Federal Republic of Germany. He also publishes reports from victims of the GDR regime. In the year 2009 Knabe was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.
Marju Lauristin is a member of the European Parliament and a former member of both the Estonian cabinet and the country’s Riigikogu (Parliament). She occupies a highly visible role in the development of European Union data protection initiatives, including the E-Privacy Regulation that many predict could be as influential as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Lauristin is vice-chair of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. She is an active member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and serves as the committee’s rapporteur for the Data Protection Directive and the E-Privacy Regulation. She also served as the committee’s rapporteur on its opinion about contracts for the supply of digital content.
Lauristin’s 40-year academic career spans social sciences and media studies, including audience surveys and content analysis. She has been a professor emeritus at Estonia’s Tartu University since 1995. In addition, she is currently involved in a research project about the future of the cultural press in Estonia.
She was one of the establishing members of ‘Rahvarinne’ in 1988, the first large-scale independent political movement in Estonia since the beginning of the Soviet occupation. After Estonia regained its independence in 1991, Lauristin served as chairman of the Estonian Social Democratic Party, deputy speaker of the parliament, and minister of social affairs.
Lauristin holds a doctoral degree in journalism and has been a professor of social communication at Tartu University in Estonia since 2003.
Born in Cardiff and now living in New York, Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer. His non-fiction books including: So You've Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures With Extremists, Lost At Sea and The Men Who Stare At Goats have all been international and New York Times bestsellers. The Psychopath Test spent nearly two years on the UK bestseller list and ten weeks on the New York Times list.
The Men Who Stare at Goats was adapted into a film starring George Clooney. In 2014, his first fictional screenplay—Fran—starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal met with great critical acclaim.
In the U.S., he’s a regular contributor to the PRI show This American Life and GQ magazine and has appeared twice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In the U.K., he writes regularly for The Guardian and his many documentaries include Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, The Secret Rulers of The World, and seven series of the multi-award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme Jon Ronson On…
His two most recent projects are the Netflix movie Okja, which he co-wrote with Bong Joon Ho and was released to critical acclaim in June, and The Butterfly Effect, an Audible series about the adult entertainment industry.
Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud
Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud were both born in Zurich and live and work in Berlin. They have participated in numerous international exhibitions and have been awarded many international prizes. Their works include open-source projects that uncover forms of Internet censorship, undermine the concentration of political power, and even resolve the dependency on infrastructure. Online tools that artist provide are used by communities in the USA, Europe, Australia, and in countries such as Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, India, China and Thailand. Even North Korean activists participate. But not everyone is fond of these projects.
When their project HOTEL GELEM won the Council of Europe cultural event label in 2012, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls organised a nationally broadcast counter-manifestation against it. China has denied Wachter and Jud entrance to the country since 2013.