Dr. Charalambos Kasimis

Charalambos Kasimis is a Professor of Rural Sociology at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the Agricultural University of Athens. In March 2015, he was appointed as Secretary General of Agricultural Policy and Management of European Funds of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, in charge of CAP, Rural Development and Fisheries Development Programmes of Greece as well as International Relations.

He has served as the Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (2013-2014) and as the Director of the Postgraduate Studies MSc. Programme “Integrated Rural Development and Management of Rural Space” (2010-2014). Between September 2014 and March 2015 he was appointed as Deputy Rector of the Agricultural University of Athens. In the period 1986-2003 he served as a member of staff at the Department of Economics of the University of Patras and between 1995 and 2000 as the Director of the Institute of Urban and Rural Sociology at the National Centre for Social Research. For a number of years, he served as a member of the Executive Committee of the European Society for Rural Sociology and between 2013 and 2015 as President.

His academic interests focus on issues of rural transformation and development in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean region and more particularly on family farming, employment and rural community change. Migration and, more precisely, the implications of international migration on rural regions have become one of his main research topics in the past years. Recently, he has been dealing with the study of the implications of the economic crisis upon the rural areas and the ‘return to the land’ movement in Greece.

Since 2016 Charalambos Kasimis is a member of the Governing Board of International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM).

Mr. Tassos Haniotis

Tassos Haniotis is Director for “Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis” in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission. The mission of the Directorate is to contribute to the overall strategic orientation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by (i) providing policy perspectives and analysis on topics related to the agriculture and rural economy in the European Union, including in the development of the EU’s annual outlook baseline, (ii) coordinating the DG’s impact assessment of major policy initiatives by providing evidence-based analysis to support legislative proposals, and to support the adaptation of the CAP through the evaluation of its effectiveness, efficiency and impact based on its common monitoring and evaluation framework.

He has also held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, as Head of Unit in the Units for Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives, and for Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis in DG AGRI, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US.

Tassos holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece, and was a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, focusing on EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations before joining the European Commission.

A member of the Executive of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium during 2012-14, Tassos currently represents the European Commission in the G20’s Rapid Response Forum and GEOGLAM Advisory Committee.

Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp

Caspar Veldkamp is ambassador of the Netherlands to Greece since 2015.

The Embassy initiated a startup incubator in Athens, called Orange Grove.

He was ambassador to Israel from 2011-2015. Previously, he worked in high-level positions in The Hague on European affairs and international financial institutions. He was embassy counselor in Washington and private secretary of the Dutch minister for European Affairs. He has been a Dutch delegation member to many EU ministerial and summit meetings. He worked in junior-level diplomatic positions in The Hague and Warsaw from 1992. Before joining the diplomatic service, he worked for US senator Richard G. Lugar in Washington and served as a reserve officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

He graduated from Erasmus University (Rotterdam) and Leiden University, studied at Indiana University and Georgetown University and followed executive programs at Harvard University and INSEAD.