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New changes in the composition of the Martens Centre bodies


27 Apr 2023


Global Europe

Following the recommendation by the EPP Presidency, the Martens Centre General Assembly decided to renew the term of Mr. Mikuláš Dzurinda, as President of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (WMCES), and of Mr. Antonio López-Istúriz White, as Secretary Treasurer on April 26th, 2023.  

Moreover, based on the result of the elections of the Centre’s General Assembly of the same date, the new Executive Board of the Martens Centre will be comprised of the following members: 

  • Mikuláš Dzurinda – President and Executive Board Member of the Martens Centre 
  • Joseph Daul – Executive Board Member of the Martens Centre  
  • Antonio López-Istúriz White – Secretary Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the Martens Centre  
  • Roberta Metsola – Executive Board Member of the Martens Centre 
  • Maria da Graça Carvalho – Member of the European Parliament, chair of the Board of Directors of Instituto Francisco Sá Carneiro 
  • Peter Egardt – Chairman of Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, former Governor and former Head of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce 
  • Hans-Gert Pöttering – Former President of the European Parliament, former Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung 
  • Arjen Siegmann – Staff member of Wetenschappelijk Instituut voor het CDA and Associate Professor of Finance, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

The Executive Board drafts the annual programme of the Centre based on agreed research priorities. It is composed by a total maximum of eight members – including President and Secretary Treasurer – who ensure the legal representation and financial supervision of the Martens Centre’s activities and steer the expansion of its network of member organisations. 

In addition, the Centre’s General Assembly has reelected Mr. Tomi Huhtanen, as Executive Director of the Martens Centre. 

The Executive Director is elected for a 3-year term by the Centre’s General Assembly, which can be renewed and is responsible for the daily management and the implementation of the activities of the Centre while accordingly, reports to the Executive Board. 

Following the recommendation by the EPP Presidency, the Martens Centre General Assembly has also approved the renewal of the mandates of the following Individual Members: 

  • Timothy Beyer Helm – Former member of the cabinet of the Sec. Gen. of the EP 
  • Jacob Lund Nielsen – Executive Chairman Media Track Pte Ltd 
  • Kostas Sasmatzoglou – Former EPP Spokesman, DG HOME Communication & Information Officer 
  • Filippo Terruso – Political Advisor, Advisor to the first Vice President of the CoR 
  • Antti Timonen – Deputy Spokesperson of the President of the EP 
  • Marianne Thyssen – Former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility 
  • Nicolás Pascual de la Parte – Diplomat 

Notes to editors:

Mikuláš Dzurinda is the President of the WMCES since December 2013. He is the former prime minister of Slovakia (1998-2006) and has held various positions in government since first entering politics in 1990. After being re-elected in 2002, Dzurinda led Slovakia to become a member of the EU and NATO in 2004, a process which he actively took part in from the beginning. Since Slovakia gained independence in 1993, Dzurinda has also held the position of Minister of Transportation and more recently that of Minister for Foreign Affairs (from July 2010 to April 2012). Dzurinda is a founding member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS) and was chairman of the party from 2000 to 2012. From 2012 to 2016 he was a member of the Slovak Parliament. In 2007 he was awarded the F.A. Hayek International Prize for reforms and fight against bureaucracy. 

Antonio López-Istúriz White is the Secretary Treasurer of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, former European People’s Party (EPP) Secretary General (2002-2022) and a Member of the European Parliament. From 1999 to 2002 he worked as personal adviser to former Prime Minister of Spain, José María Aznar. He has also been the Secretary General of the Centrist Democrat International (IDC-CDI) since 2002, is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Partido Popular (PP), and serves as Vice-President of ANAR. 

Tomi Huhtanen is the Executive Director of the WMCES. From 1999 to 2007, he was a Political Adviser and subsequently a Senior Adviser for the EPP, mainly focusing on economic and social policy. During this period, he launched the European View policy journal, of which he became Editor-in-Chief. In 2007, he was put in charge of launching the political foundation of the European People’s Party, the Centre for European Studies (renamed the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in 2014). In 2014, he was nominated as the Centre’s Director, and is since October 2015 its Executive Director. He has provided analysis on a host of political issues for European and international outlets such as Euronews, the Hindustan Times, Deutsche Welle, and the Financial Times. 

About the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies:

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, established in 2007, is the political foundation and think tank of the European People’s Party. The Martens Centre embodies a pan-European mindset, promoting Christian Democrat, conservative and like-minded political values. It serves as a framework for national political foundations linked to member parties of the EPP.  

For more information, please contact Eleftheria Katsi, Communications and Press Assistant:    


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