Where agriculture & environment meet

FFA2017 – 10th Forum for the Future of Agriculture: Time for solutions

FFA2017 took at the Square in Brussels on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Below is a summary of the overall timings and speakers.


08:00 – 16:00
Registration
09:00 – 09:10
Introduction
Introductory comments
Moderators:
Stephen Sackur, Journalist
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Journalist
09:10 - 09:25
Opening
Opening statements
Speaker:
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation
09:25 - 10:20
Opening keynote address
Opening keynote address by Kofi Annan
Keynote address:
Kofi Annan, Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations  (1997-2006), Nobel Peace Laureate

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Stephen Sackur, Journalist
10:20 - 11:20
Session 1
The impact of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on policy-making: enabling change
Keynote speakers:
Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister for Economic Development, New Zealand
Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Discussants:
Izabella Teixeira, former Minister of the Environment, Brazil
Olivier De Schutter, Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems - IPES-Food

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Stephen Sackur, Journalist
11:20 - 11:30
Special address
10 Year special address
Speaker:
Franz Fischler, President, European Forum Alpbach, Chair FFA2008-2014
11:30 - 12:00
Networking break
Grab a coffee or tea and network with colleagues and visit the exhibitor stands
Exhibitors
European Commission Food 2030
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
ApexBrasil
CEMA European Agricultural Machinery
Deutz-Fahr
The ELO family
Fertilizers Europe
12:00 - 13:00
Session 2
Is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) fit for the SDG age?!
Keynote speakers:
Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Discussants:
Allan Buckwell, Director of the RISE study on ‘CAP: thinking out of the box’
Giovanni La Via, Member of the European Parliament, Former Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, President, Familienbetriebe Land und Forst

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Stephen Sackur, Journalist
13:00 – 14:15
Networking lunch break
Grab something to eat and drink, plus network with colleagues or visit the exhibitor stands
Exhibitors
European Commission Food 2030
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
ApexBrasil
CEMA European Agricultural Machinery
Deutz-Fahr
The ELO family
Fertilizers Europe
14:15 - 14:45
Keynote address
Towards a circular and regenerative food system
Speaker:
Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Journalist
14:45 – 15:45
Best practice examples
Practical implementation of the UN’s SDGs: what are the current best practices in Europe and around the world?
Speakers:
Jacob van den Borne, Owner, Van den Borne Aardappelen
Leontino Balbo Junior, Executive Vice-President of Native, a company of Balbo Group
Allan Savory, Founder and President, Savory Institute

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Journalist
15:45 - 16:45
Session 3
Driving sustainable food chain transition: how to turn challenges into opportunities?
Keynote address:
Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission

Discussants:
Geneviève Pons, Director, WWF European Policy Office
Jon Parr, President, Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Syngenta
Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission

Questions & answers:
Moderator: Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Journalist
16:45 - 17:00
Closing
Closing statement
Speaker:
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation

Speakers, panellists & respondents


In 2017, the FFA marked its 10th year by renewing its commitment to catalyse and pursue ideas that drive sustainability from the farm to the dinner table. FFA2017 extended a broad-based call to action; a call to focus on the practical issues of implementation; a call for leadership from all stakeholder groups, including a commitment to cooperation and collaboration, which will deliver comprehensive benefits throughout the value chain.

Speakers, panellists & discussants at FFA2017 (in alphabetical order)



Kofi Annan
Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), Nobel Peace Laureate
More >Close >
Leontino Balbo Junior
Executive Vice-President of Native, a company of Balbo Group
More >Close >
Jacob van den Borne
Owner, Van den Borne Aardappelen
More >Close >
Allan Buckwell
Director of the RISE study on CAP: thinking out of the box
More >Close >
Daniel Calleja Crespo
Director-General, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission
More >Close >
Kofi Annan, Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), Nobel Peace Laureate

Kofi A. Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations and is the founder and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. In 2001, he and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Kofi Annan joined the UN in 1962 and served in various roles in Geneva, Addis Ababa, Ismailia and in New York before becoming Secretary-General. He set up the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to mobilise leaders of all sectors to provide leadership where it needed, working on the premise that there can be no long-term peace without development and no sustainable development without peace. The Foundation helps catalyse effective action on the promotion of food and nutrition security, sustainable development, and support for good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Mr. Annan is the founding Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and has held a number of positions at Universities around the world. He is a board member, patron or honorary member of a number of organisations, including the United Nations Foundation.
Leontino Balbo Junior, Executive Vice-President of Native, a company of Balbo Group

Leontino Balbo Junior is Executive Vice-President of Native, a company of the Balbo Group, and was Agricultural Director of São Francisco and Santo Antonio Sugar Mills from 1988, Commercial Director of São Francisco Mill since 2003 and more recently Executive Vice-President of Native Organic Products since 2011. He graduated as an Agronomist Engineer in 1984 from the “Julio de Mesquita Filho’ São Paulo State University’s School of Agriculture in Jaboticabal. He developed and implemented the “Green Cane Project” covering 22,000 hectares, aiming at the organic production of sugarcane. Leontino idealized and created a new ecological production system which goes beyond organic. The new production system, called ERA -Ecosystem Revitalizing Agriculture, provides more yields than conventional without using any chemical fertilizer nor defensive methods.
Jacob van den Borne, Owner, Van den Borne Aardappelen

Jacob van den Borne, owner of Van den Borne Aardappelen, is a farmer in the south of the province of Babant, the Netherlands. He is a frontrunner in the use of precision agriculture, technology and data on his land. All data of his farm is available on the cloud, he uses drones for field mapping and he uses satellite data for the precision agriculture. In 2004 he graduated as a Bachelor in Agriculture from HAS in Den Bosch.
Allan Buckwell, Director of the RISE study on CAP: thinking out of the box

Emeritus Professor Allan Buckwell is the Director of RISE's study of Nutrient Recycling and Reuse in European Agriculture and the Director of the Foundation's previous study on the Sustainable Intensification of European Agriculture. Two thirds of his career has been as an academic agricultural economist specialising in agricultural and rural policy. This has involved his work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (since 2012), 14 years at Newcastle University and then from 1984-1999 as Professor of Agricultural Economics, Wye College University of London (which was merged into Imperial College). He specialised on teaching and research into all aspects of European rural policy dealing especially with the Common Agricultural Policy, trade issues, and technology and structural change in farming and its impacts.  During 1995/6 he was seconded to the analysis and conception unit of DG Agri in the European Commission where he chaired a policy integration group who laid out a model for the evolution of the CAP. He joined the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as Policy Director in 2000. Since then he has been involved in debates on how to balance the CAP as a policy for Food and Environmental Security.
Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission

Mr Calleja has been Director General of DG Environment from September 2015. Previously he was Director General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (Jan 2015 to Aug 2015) and Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, Special Envoy for SMEs (Feb 2012 to Jan 2015). Before that he was Deputy Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry (Feb 2011 to Jan 2012). Mr Calleja was Director for Air Transport at the European Commission (2004 to 2011). Between 1999 and 2004, he was Head of Cabinet of the Vice-president of the European Commission and between 1995 and 1999 was the Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Marcelino Oreja, In 1995, he was the legal adviser in the Cabinet of the President of the European Commission. In earlier roles he advised the Transport Commissioner and was Member of the Legal Service of the Commission and represented the institution in numerous cases before the European Court of Justice. Mr Calleja is the author of several publications and has lectured in European Law in several universities and institutes of various Member States. Mr Calleja has a degree in Law and in Business Administration from the University of Comillas, Madrid.


Franz Fischler
President of the European Forum Alpbach, Chair of FFA2008-2014
More >Close >
Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister for Economic Development, New Zealand
More >Close >
Phil Hogan
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
More >Close >
Jyrki Katainen
Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission
More >Close >
Mari Kiviniemi
Deputy Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
More >Close >
Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach, Chair of FFA2008-2014

Franz Fischler holds a doctorate in agriculture from the University for Soil Science, Vienna, where he led research projects and lectured about agriculture and related issues. He spent ten years at the Tyrol Chamber of Agriculture, about half of which as its Director. In 1989 he became Austria’s Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry holding this post until 1994. He was elected twice (1990 and 1994) Member of the Austrian National Parliament (Nationalrat). In 1995 he became a Member of the European Commission responsible for agriculture and regional development and, from 2000, also for fisheries. Fischler prepared Austria’s agriculture for accession to the EU and was Austria’s chief accession negotiator for the sector. At the European Commission, he led several reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, was EU Chief negotiator for agriculture in the Doha Round and several international treaties and accords, and led also the first reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. He is also the President of the Alpach Forum and was the Chair of FFA until 2014. After leaving the Commission in 2004, Fischler became i.a. Executive Director of Franz Fischler Consult Gmbh, Director of Austria’s Eco-Social Forum and the Global Marshall Plan Initiative and lecturer at three universities. In 2007 he co-founded the Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation of which he was the Chairman.
Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister for Economic Development, New Zealand

Nathan Guy is the MP for Otaki and the Minister for Primary Industries, Racing and Associate Minister for Economic Development. Nathan entered Parliament as a list MP in 2005 and has been Junior and Senior Whip prior to becoming a Minister in 2009. Nathan won the Otaki Electorate seat in 2008 and has continued to grow his majority through hard work and being a strong voice for Horowhenua and Kapiti in Government. Since 2009 he has been the Minister of Internal Affairs, Immigration and Veteran Affairs, as well as the Associate Minister of Justice and Transport. He has now been Minister for Primary Industries and Racing for over three years. Nathan had an extensive political career before entering Parliament, previously serving eight years on the Horowhenua District Council. He also has a background in agriculture, having managed the family dairy and beef farm and receiving a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study beef exports to the United States.
Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Phil Hogan has been the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since November 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Minister for the Environment and Local Government in the Irish Government. He has also occupied various senior posts at local, national and European level, including President of the Council of EU Environment Ministers in 2013 and Chairman of the European People's Party of Environment Ministers from 2012 to 2014.
Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, European Commission

Jyrki Katainen is currently Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. He joined the Commission in July 2014 as Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the euro. Before that he served as Prime Minister of Finland, 2011-2014 and Minister of Finance, 2007-2011. He was Member of Finnish Parliament 1999-2014 for the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus). He was Member of the Finnish Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 2003-2007, Member of the Administrative Council of the Finnish Broadcasting Company 2003-2005, Member of the Finish Delegation to the Western European Union Parliamentary Assembly 2004-2005 and the Deputy Member of the Finnish Delegation to the Nordic Council 2001-2003. Jyrki Katainen has MSc in Political Science from the University of Tampere, Finland (1998) and he did an Erasmus exchange year at the University of Leicester, UK.
Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Mari Kiviniemi took up her duties as OECD Deputy Secretary-General in 2014. Her role consists of sharing her extensive experience to help increase the impact and relevance of OECD work and to contribute to the public policy challenges of promoting inclusive growth, jobs, equality and trust. She is responsible for the strategic oversight of the OECD’s work on Efficient and Effective Governance; Territorial Development; Trade and Agriculture, as well as Statistics. She is also responsible for advancing the Better Life Initiative. Ms. Kiviniemi was Finland’s Prime Minister from 2010 to 2011. Previously, she was Special Advisor on Economic Policy to the Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Minister for European Affairs and Minister of Public Administration and Local Government. Elected for the first time at the age of 26, she was a Member of Parliament from 1995 to 2014, chairing and participating in a vast number of committees. She also held a variety of leadership positions in her political party, the Finnish Center Party. An economist by training, she studied political science at the University of Helsinki and holds a Master's degree in Social Sciences.


Giovanni La Via
Member of the European Parliament, former Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
More >Close >
Dame Ellen MacArthur
Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
More >Close >
Jon Parr
President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Syngenta
More >Close >
Geneviève Pons
Director, WWF European Policy Office
More >Close >
Janez Potočnik
Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation
More >Close >
Giovanni La Via, Member of the European Parliament, former Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament

Giovanni La Via has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. He has been Rapporteur for the new Common Agricultural Policy (2014-2020) and General Rapporteur for the EU budget (2013). Since July 2014, he has served as Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament. He was Regional Minister for Agriculture and Forest in Sicily (2006-2009) and is a full Professor at the University of Catania. As a delegate of the Rector of the University of Catania, he started and co-ordinated the “European Office” working on European projects planning and management between 1994 and 2000. He has been responsible for several research projects (Sprint, Rittz, Fair) and has been named as expert evaluator of the 5th RTD Framework Programme. He is the author of many scientific papers and articles published in referred national and international journals.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Ellen MacArthur made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever, having won the Ostar, the Route du Rhum and finished second in the Vendée Globe at just 24 years of age. Having become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies upon, she stepped away from professional sailing to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010, which works with education, business and government to accelerate the transition to a regenerative circular economy. The Foundation has published seminal macro-economic reports featuring analysis by McKinsey, which have received accolades at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Dame Ellen acted as Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Meta-Council on the circular economy, and has sat on the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency Platform between 2012 and 2014. She received the French Legion of Honour from President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, three years after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Jon Parr, President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Syngenta

Prior to his current role as President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Jon Parr was Chief Operating Officer EAME & Latin America for Syngenta (2015–2016). Before that, he was Head of Global Crops & Assets for Syngenta in 2014 and Regional Director for EAME from 2009 to 2013 and Head of Syngenta Flowers from 2007 to 2008. From 2004 to 2007 he was Head of Marketing and Strategy and European Manufacturing Manager from 2000 to 2003. Before joining Syngenta, he worked for AstraZeneca from 1998 to 2000 as a Factory Manager, Global Product Manager Fungicides and Supply Chain Project Manager. From 1987 to 1994, he held Project and Engineering Management roles at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
Geneviève Pons, Director, WWF European Policy Office

Geneviève Pons took over as Director of WWF’s European Policy Office in July 2015. She is an honorary Director of the European Commission, having served 22 years at this institution. She started at the Commission as a member of the environment team in the Legal Service. She was in charge of environment and climate matters in Jacques Delors’ Cabinet during his two last mandates as President. She played an important part in the design of the first sustainable development agenda for Europe. In 1995 she moved to the Commission’s Industry department where she held several management positions. She took part in the Commission’s Impact Assessment Board (2008-2010) and joined the Better Regulation Directorate of the Secretariat-General (2010). She was appointed Director of the Legal Service of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2013. She holds a law degree from the Sorbonne, a diploma from Sciences-Po in Paris and is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA).
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation

From 2010 until November 2014, Janez Potočnik was Commissioner for Environment. In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as Shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In November 2014 he was appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme.  He is currently Chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and Chairman of the RISE (Rural Investment Support for Europe) Foundation.


Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm
President, Familienbetriebe Land und Forst
More >Close >
Allan Savory
Founder and President, Savory Institute
More >Close >
Olivier De Schutter
Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems - IPES-Food
More >Close >
Izabella Teixeira
Former Minister of Environment, Brazil
More >Close >
Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, President, Familienbetriebe Land und Forst

Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm was born in 1953. He takes care of the family land, with interests in forestry, agriculture and wine. Prinz Salm studied business administration at the universities of Mainz, Freiburg and Munich. Sustainability is one of his main aims. Prinz Salm is a pioneer for organic winegrowing which he started in 1988. The wine estate dates back to 1200 and is reputedly the world’s oldest estate remaining within one family. In addition  Prinz Salm is founder of the Salm-Salm & Partner GmbH, a consulting firm for family offices. Furthermore, he is the president of the Association of Landowners in Germany called “Familienbetriebe Land und Forst”, as well as the vice president of the European Landowners' Organization and president of the Friends of the Countryside.
Allan Savory, Founder and President, Savory Institute

Allan Savory, born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa, pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and later as a farmer and game rancher in Zimbabwe. In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions. He served as a Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe and became leader of the opposition. Exiled in 1979, as a result of his opposition, he immigrated to the United States, where he worked with land managers through his consulting business. In 1992 Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed a non-profit organization in Zimbabwe, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management and in 2009, Savory, Butterfield, and a group of colleagues co-founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Allan Savory received Australia’s International Banksia Award “for the person or organization doing the most for the environment on a global scale,” and Savory (and the Africa Centre) received the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Challenge award for work that has “significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.” A TED talk Savory made in 2013 received over 3.4 million views and was voted one of the 50 most intriguing TED talks of all time. The Savory Institute is one of 11 finalists in the Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialization of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts.
Olivier De Schutter, Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems - IPES-Food

Professor Olivier De Schutter teaches at the University of Louvain (UCL) and at SciencesPo (Paris). He was the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the right to food between 2008 and 2014 and is currently a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He co-chairs the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) and is a member of the Lancet Commission on Obesity.
Izabella Teixeira, Former Minister of Environment, Brazil

Izabella Teixeira is the former Brazilian Minister of Environment having served under both the Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff administrations (2010-2016). A prominent sustainable development expert, Teixeira has actively engaged in multilateral negotiations including as Brazil’s Chief negotiator for the UNFCCC Paris Agreement. In this role, she brought a wealth of experience gained through her participation in the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panels on Global Sustainability and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Teixeira was also amongst the key leaders of Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and represented the Brazilian Government at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun and the UN Biodiversity Conference in Nagoya. She also led the Brazilian Delegation on the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Moderators (in alphabetical order)



Scheherazade Daneshkhu
Journalist
More >Close >
Stephen Sackur
Journalist
More >Close >
Tanya Beckett, Journalist

Tanya Beckett is currently one of the most experienced business journalists on British TV. Tanya spent three years broadcasting from New York and Washington DC as the ‘BBC World US’ Business Anchor. While in the States, she also fronted ‘BBC World News’ on PBS. Since her return she has been working for BBC World News and ‘Newsnight’ on BBC2. Tanya has a degree in Metallurgy and Science of Materials from Oxford. She previously worked as an investment banker. Tanya is a very experienced facilitator at conferences, seminars and other business events.
Scheherazade Daneshkhu, Journalist

Scheherazade Daneshkhu is Consumer Industries Editor for the Financial Times, covering food and beverage producers and fast-moving consumer goods. She has been a staff journalist at the Financial Times for the past 27 years, joining the media organisation in 1990. Prior to her current job, she was Paris correspondent, covering French banking and consumer industries, including the luxury sector. Her previous roles include Economics Correspondent, Leisure Industries Correspondent, personal finance writer and she has also covered Iran for the paper. She worked previously for the Institute of Petroleum in London, W1, now known at the Energy Institute. She has a PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics, and a BA honours degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University. She has broadcast for BBC television and radio and anchored debates at international institutions, including the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Scheherazade speaks English, French and Persian.
Matthew Dempsey, Journalist

Matt Dempsey retired as Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal after 25 years in March 2013. He is Chairman of The Agricultural Trust, publishers of the Irish Farmers Journal and The Irish Field. He is also one of the foremost authorities on national and international agricultural policy and industry trends; his knowledge, critique and assessment of Government and EU policy is highly valued by the agri-food sector.
Stephen Sackur, Journalist

Stephen Sackur has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986. Since becoming presenter of HARDtalk in 2004, he has interviewed prominent international personalities, cultural figures, leaders and politicians from around the world. Before taking over on the BBC News Channel and BBC World flagship current affairs interview programme, he was based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent.