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#SaferInternet4EU Ambassadors

Last year, on Safer Internet Day (SID), Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, launched the #SaferInternet4EU campaign to promote awareness raising on online safety, media literacy and cyber-hygiene. The campaign has included an Ambassadors' scheme in which appointed Ambassadors act as multipliers of the messages of the campaign at local, national, regional and European level - see the biographies of the Ambassadors below...
 

 

Ivelina Atanasova

Ivelina AtanasovaIvelina Atanasova is a serial entrepreneur, business development and strategic marketing consultant. Intunity coach. Mother. Author of the theory for "digital kids" and main engine for the global initiative for education transformation DigitalKidZ: "Open Source School".
 
She believes that innovations in education should follow the principles of sharing, transparency, ethics and trust, and should be in unison with the (professional) skills and digital literacy necessary for the 21st century.
 
Her professional achievements include:
 
- Recognition in the ranking "40 to 40" for being within people who are changing the Bulgarian society.
- Recognition "Woman of the year" – 2016 in the category of "Innovations and technology".
- Recognition by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, for high community contribution in the sphere of computer sciences – award "John Atanasov" 2017.
- Nominations for special contribution in influencing the development of web and digital technologies in Bulgaria.
- Entrepreneur and owner of Newtrend Marketing Agency.
 
 
 

Branko Baričević

Branko BaričevićBranko Baričević is Head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia. He had been working as a doctor for more than ten years before turning to European Affairs when, in 1995, he became Head of the Department for Humanitarian Affairs in the MFA. He then became, in 1996, Head of the State Protocol Department in the MFA. 
 
Between 1998 and 2005, Mr. Baričević worked as Deputy to the Ambassador of Croatia in Washington, and as Assistant Minister for Diplomatic Protocol. In 2005-2012, he was appointed Ambassador, Head of Mission of Croatia to the European Commission. In 2012 and 2013, he became Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia to the Republic of Cyprus during the presidency of the Council of the European Union. In 2013, Branko Baričević was appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Potugal, and shortly after, in July 2013, became Head of the European Commission in Croatia.
 
 

Laurentiu Bunescu

Laurentiu Bunescu
Laurentiu Bunescu is the CEO of ALL DIGITAL, leading a European community of thousands of digital competence centres that support citizens to contribute to and to benefit from today's digital society. Laurentiu is a strong advocate for digital skills and for a proper use of digital technologies towards better employability, social inclusion, education and wellbeing.
 
Laurentiu has an experience of over 15 years – leading and contributing to projects and campaigns in the areas of digital inclusion, digital competences and ICT education, in a multi-cultural, international context. Skilled in the management of networks, Laurentiu has a strong background in the non-profit sector and vast knowledge of the European policies on digital competences.
 
Laurentiu is a Steering Committee member of LifeLong Learning Platform, one of the most active EU networks in the fields of education, training and youth. He has been leading the ALL DIGITAL Week campaign for several years, and he has been involved in various other awareness-raising campaigns.
 
Before ALL DIGITAL, Laurentiu started one of the first digital competence centres in Romania. Laurentiu's early experience in Eastern European grassroots community development provides a major insight in understanding the network of digital competence centres across the whole of Europe.
 
 

Dita Charanzová

 
Image of Dita CharanzováMs Dita Charanzová is a Czech Member of the European Parliament in the ALDE Group. Ms Charanzová completed a doctorate degree from the University of Economics, Prague, and graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in Madrid. She is a former diplomat, whose postings included the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU during the Czech Presidency. She has also worked at the Council of Europe.
 
Ms Charanzová is currently Vice President of the ALDE Party, Vice Chair and ALDE spokesperson of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and a substitute in the International Trade Committee. Ms Charanzová was named "MEP of the Year" in the field of Foreign Affairs in the 2016 MEP Awards. She was also among the twenty most influential women to shape Brussels politics in 2017 as a "Tech Titan", according to Politico. As society becomes more and more digital, Ms Charanzová has been actively working to make the internet more accessible and safe for everyone in Europe, with particular attention to children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
 
 
 

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt

Anna Maria Corazza BildtAnna Maria Corazza Bildt is a Member of the European Parliament, elected in Sweden. She is the first Vice Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Vice Coordinator in the Women Rights Committee, as well as the European Parliament Coordinator for Children's Rights. She is also a member of the Civil Liberties Committee as well as of the EU Delegation to Ukraine and Joint Parliamentary Committee with Turkey. In the current mandate (2014-2019), Anna Maria Corazza Bildt is the Rapporteur of the Implementation Report on the Directive on the implementation of Directive 2011/93/EU on combatting the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, as well as of the Report on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women.
 
Anna Maria is the former co-chair and founder of the Intergroup on Children's Rights and currently chairs the Single Seat Campaign. Her main areas of activity are migration, the Digital Single Market and food issues. In particular, she works to combat trafficking in human beings and to eradicate any kind of violence against women and children. Previously, as a peacemaker, human rights- and development activist, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt has been the longest serving civilian for the United Nations during the war and its aftermath in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Earlier on, in 1991, she served as Special Assistant to the Undersecretary General for Human Rights, United Nations in Geneva. From 1988 to 1991, she worked with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation in Rome and at the Delegation to the OECD, Development Aid Committee and the World Bank Consultative Groups in Paris. She has also served as a member of the board of the Swedish Red Cross 2003-2008. She has also been an active entrepreneur and received several prizes for her high merits in promoting Italian food abroad and for building bridges between Sweden and Italy. She speaks fluent English, French, Italian and Swedish.
 
 

Jutta Croll

Image of Jutta CrollJutta Croll is Chairwoman of the Board of the German Digital Opportunities Foundation. She advocates children's right in the digital world as a Senior Manager in the project "Child Protection and Children's Rights in the Digital World" funded by the German Federal Ministry on Family Affairs.
 
She is a member of several steering groups and advisory boards of European and national projects and works also in close co-operation with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, UNESCO, and further transnational bodies. Since 2018, she has served as a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group to the Internet Governance Forum appointed by Secretary-General of the United Nations.
 
Jutta Croll graduated from Georg-August-University, Göttingen in political science, media science and German literature in 1991. She does research in national, European and international projects concerning the use of digital media, issues of child protection and children's rights, internet safety, data security and privacy, digital literacy focussing especially on disadvantaged groups with a lower level of access to the Information Society, accessibility and usability for disabled people, e-government and the impact of digitisation and social media on democracy. 
 
 

Philippe De Backer

Philippe De BackerIn May 2016, Philippe De Backer (40) joined the Belgian government as Secretary of State for the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and North Sea. Since December 2018, he has been Minister of Digital Agenda, Postal Services and Telecom, responsible for Administrative Simplification, the Fight against Social Fraud, Privacy and North Sea. Prior to that he was a Member of the European Parliament, at ALDE group.
 
In his first legislature – 2011-2014 – he was full member of the Transport Committee and substitute member on the Economy and Monetary Affairs Committee. After the elections of 2014, Philippe became full member of the Industry Research and Energy Committee and substitute member of the Economy and Monetary Affairs committee.
 
Before joining the European Parliament, Philippe worked as Technology Transfer Officer and as Business Analyst, in different venture capital firms specialised in the life-sciences.
 
Philippe holds a PhD in biotechnology from Ghent University (Belgium) and an MBA from Solvay Business School (Belgium). He is married to Marie and has a daughter, Sophia.
 
 

Bongki Engel

Bongki Engel, LEGO GroupBongki Engel heads up the Government and Public Affairs Strategy team within the LEGO Group. He began in the organisation in 2012 by developing and initiating their Local Community Engagement Programme, playing an integral role in inspiring and developing children across the world through play-based, community activities.
 
He now plays a central role in building strong relationships with local, national and regional governments, where he promotes the importance of play-based learning for all children in order to support the development of a breadth of 21st century skills. He also serves on the Board of the Danish Toy Association, a role he has occupied since March 2016.
 
Before joining the LEGO Group, Bongki worked in the Ministry of Transport in Copenhagen and later in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a long-serving diplomat of 12 years, taking assignments as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Danish Embassies in Sofia and Buenos Aires.
 
Bongki holds a Master of Science in Development and International Studies from Aalborg University and an Advanced Management Programme from IMD, Lausanne. He is happily married with two children.
 

Photo of Andrey Kovatchev EPP European parliamentAndrey Kovatchev

Dr Andrey Kovatchev is Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament and Head of the EPP Group Bulgarian Delegation. A Member of the Presidency of the European Parliament as well as the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for Relations with the US, Dr Kovatchev is also a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Delegation to the EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Prior to his election to the European Parliament in 2009, he was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and European Affairs and Vice-International Secretary of political party GERB. He has also held the position of Regional Director with Elsevier BV, Territory Manager with John Deere International GmbH and Sales Director Bulgaria for Tetra Laval Group. He earned a degree from the University of Saarland Germany and holds a PhD in Natural Sciences.

 

Sonia Livingstone

Sonia LivingstoneSonia Livingstone DPhil (Oxon), FBA, FBPS, FAcSS, FRSA, OBE is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is author of 20 books on children's online opportunities and risks, including "The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age." She researches media audiences, especially children's and young people's risks and opportunities, media literacy, and rights in the digital environment. She currently directs the projects Children's Data and Privacy Online, Parenting for a Digital Future and Global Kids Online (with UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti). Since founding the 33-country EU Kids Online research network, Sonia has advised the UK government, European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Europe, among others, on children's internet risks, safety, media literacy and rights in digital environments. She blogs at www.parenting.digital.
 
 

Vesela Mareva

Photo of Vesela MarevaSince 2016, Vesela Mareva has worked as a manager of the International Youth Center - Stara Zagora (Bulgaria). For the period 2014-2016, she worked as a youth worker in the same organisation. The main mission of the center is to provide a safe place for young people, to educate them and let them have fun. Vesela Mareva has four years of experience as a journalist in local television, and is currently a PhD student in the field of social sciences.
 
Commenting on her role as a #SaferInternet4EU Ambassador, Vesela Mareva comments: "I have a strong desire to work with and for young people and their personal growth. Today, it is a challenge for the whole of society to remain safe on the world wide web. That is why I want to focus my work on this challenge."

 

Eva Maydell

Eva MaydellEva Maydell (née Paunova) is a Member of the European Parliament and President of European Movement International, the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe. She is co-founder of Education Bulgaria 2030 and initiator of #Regulation4Innovation series.
 
Maydell's work focuses on advancing digital skills creation and the use of innovation and new technology, and supporting entrepreneurs and investment in Europe. In the European Parliament, she is a member of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and the key Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, as well as being widely recognised as an expert on the Digital Single Market – in areas such as privacy regulation, digital content, digitising industry and cloud computing. She was also the EPP Group's rapporteur on the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the New Skills Agenda and the FinTech report.
 
Eva has been awarded the European Parliament's MEP of the Year Award twice. She has also been included in FT's own "New Europe 100" ranking of CEE's emerging change-makers, European Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, and is one of Politico's "most eye-catching 28 people from 28 countries who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe".
 
Currently, Eva Maydell is a rapporteur for Charges on cross-border payments in the Union and currency conversion charges.
 
 
 

Harry McCann

Harry McCannHarry McCann is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Media Pundit and Public Speaker. At just 20 years old, Harry is already the founder of the first Digital Youth Council, a not-for-profit organisation that works to give young people a voice in STEM and education. He is also the Managing Director of Trendster Media, a youth digital media agency he founded back in 2016 which specialises in content creation for Generations X, Y and Z.
 
While leading a not-for-profit and a start-up, Harry also works as an advisor for policymakers and industry leaders on subjects including data protection, online safety, youth affairs and education. His work in the business world along with his leading role in the RTE1 television series, "Making Ireland Click" has made Harry one of the most sought-after young public speakers and media pundits in the world. As a result, Harry can regularly be heard on the radio, seen on the television and found on stage speaking at events all around the world for major brands and organisations.
 
Harry is also a proud ambassador of the #SaferInternet4EU campaign and was the recipient of the Junior Chamber International Top Ten Outstanding Young People of the World Award for 2017.
 
 
 

Yuliya Morenets

Yuliya MorenetsToday, Yuliya leads non-profit organisation TaC-Together against Cybercrime International, which works on the empowerment of users in the field of safe and responsible internet, child online protection and internet governance issues.
 
Yuliya is an expert belonging to a number of international organisations on cybercrime and cybersecurity, and author or co-author of a number of regulatory texts in different countries. She regularly advises governments and private sector entities on cybersecurity strategies.
 
Yuliya co-initiated such projects as: Youth IGF since 2011, which is composed of more than 35 countries; Working group on better participation of vulnerable groups in the Information Society or the Empowerment of vulnerable children online. Yuliya is a former member of the Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), advising the Secretary-General of the United Nations (for three terms), and is a former Vice-Chair of the EURALO constituency at ICANN.
 
She is a lecturer at Strasbourg University and co-coordinator of the research team at the Faculty of Social Sciences, studying the use of ICTs by young people from difficult/deprived areas. Yuliya is a former Deputy Head of the unit on Cybercrime at the Council of Europe.
 
She is a graduate from the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris, and also holds a Master's degree in European Affairs, as well as a LLM in Internet Law.
 
 

Andrey Novakov

Andrey NovakovAndrey Novakov is the youngest Member of the European Parliament, who joined the institution in November 2014.
 
He is Vice-Coordinator in the Committee on Regional Development and the EPP Rapporteur for the post-2020 Common Provisions Regulation.
 
In 2016, he was awarded the Forbes' 30 under 30 prize.
 
Andrey's key activities relate to regional policy and EU investments in infrastructure, SMEs, and entrepreneurship. He was apportioned for the fourth consecutive year as one of the negotiators on the 2019 EU Budget. He authored and shadowed a line-up of key reports, resolutions and opinions on the future of EU investments, Erasmus+, Youth Guarantee, Youth Employment Initiative, SMEs, Horizon 2020, simplification of EU funding, the European Fund for Strategic Investments. His latest reports authored are on implementation of sustainable transport and infrastructure, and on the right mix of financial instruments and grants in the EU cohesion policy.
 
In 2018, he launched the first Bulgarian programme of the EU - A.L.E.C.O. (Achieve Leadership in Entrepreneurship and Cooperation Opportunities). The project has become an integrated part of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. By now, over 200 European entrepreneurs have expressed an interest to participate and learn from the global entrepreneurship hubs in the USA, Singapore and Israel.
 
 
 

Nina Obuljen Koržinek

Nina Obuljen KoržinekNina Obuljen Koržinek, current Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, has been working as a research associate at the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb. Her research interests include cultural and media policy. She has been publishing books and articles, as well as expert studies in Croatian and international journals.
 
She has been working as an expert on various projects for UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the European Cultural Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Parliament, and so on. She received the European Cultural Policy Research Award for her research on the impact of the EU enlargement on cultural policies that was published in the book "Why we need European Cultural Policies: impact of EU enlargement on countries in transition, Amsterdam, 2006".
 
She was a member of the negotiating team for the Croatian accession to the EU, responsible for the fields of culture and education as well as information society and media.
 

Plamena Papazova

Photo of Plamena PapazovaPlamena Papazova is a youth worker at the International Youth Center - Stara Zagora (Bulgaria), working with children and youth at risk.
 
Regarding her role as a #SaferInternet4EU Ambassador, Plamena Papazova states "I consider it very important to be able to save our future - the children, from the possible dangerous threats in the recent informational devices and applications."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maria Spyraki

Maria SpyrakiMaria Spyraki is a strong proponent of the transformative power of digital technologies and strives to take citizens on board to harness the digital revolution. She hosted a two-day seminar followed by a school competition for tech start-up ideas on the topic of "Investing in Education and Innovation" in Thessaloniki with the support of the European Ideas Network.
 
In Vienna, at ICT2018, she spoke about the opportunities in digitalisation as well as the challenges for the digital transformation of government. She promoted the Digital Economy as an accelerator for regional growth in Central Macedonia, where Commissioner Gabriel was the keynote speaker, and she strongly promoted the Commission's WiFi4EU programme among local and regional authorities.
 
She is hosting, in Thessaloniki in cooperation with the Cyber Security International Institute, the workshop: "Digital Life safety and security for young people" to raise awareness of children and their families about cyberbullying and cybersecurity.
 
 
 

Wim Wenders 

Wim WendersWim Wenders (born 1945) came to international prominence as one of the pioneers of the New German Cinema during the 1970s and is considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary German film.
 
In addition to his many prize-winning feature films, his work as a scriptwriter, director, producer, photographer and author also encompasses an abundance of innovative documentary films, international photo exhibitions and numerous monographs, film books and prose collections.
 
He lives and works in Berlin, together with his wife Donata Wenders.