Tomas Vanheste (Oostende, 1968) studied applied mathematics and philosophy of science, technology and society at the University of Twente. In 1996 he published his PhD-thesis in the history of science. He worked as an editor for De Bezige Bij, a major Dutch publishing house. From 2004 until 2013 he was a journalist for the Dutch opinion weekly Vrij Nederland. There he specialized in science journalism. In August 2014 he started to work for De Correspondent, an online journalistic platform that came into being after the world record in crowd funding for journalism. He is “Correspondent Europe between power and imagination”. On the one hand he tries to find out how the power game between EU member states, European Commission and European Parliament works. On the other hand he searches for new ideas for European renewal.
Viviane Reding was born in 1951 in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. After obtaining a PhD degree (University Sorbonne, Paris), she worked as professional journalist for 20 years.
In 1999, having served ten years in the Luxembourg Parliament and ten years in the European Parliament, she became European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. In 2004, she became EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. In 2010, she became the first Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
During her time in the Commission she has been responsible for several major policy initiatives, including the creation of the “Erasmus World” Programme, a reform of the telecommunication sector, the slashing of telecom roaming costs and the initiation of the “Justice for Growth” and “Justice for Citizens” agenda. In addition, she strengthened the rule of law in Europe and launched the Europe-wide “Citizens’ Dialogue” series, ahead of the EU-Elections. In 2011, she launched the “My Europe” Initiative and is its European patron since.
In 2014, she got once again elected as a Member of European Parliament.
Find all her contributions to Spotlight Europe hereand take a look at her Facebook and Twitter presence.
Benedict (19) participated in our workshop in Vienna, Austria in 2013. He studies History of Art at University College London (UCL). In the future, he would like to work in the field of arts management and curation.
For me, Europe is…
Cosmopolitanism in the age of populism.
If you could, what would be the first thing you would change in Europe?
I would push for a stronger sense of community in EU ideals of freedom, equality and respect.
Activities for the Youth Council:
Member of the Working Group on Diversity (since 2015)
Member of the Working Group on Immigration (2013-2015)