The Mediterranean Gateway to the Energy Union: What strategy on power and gas?

Conference, Wednesday 22nd November

mercoledì 22 Novembre 2017 ore 14:45 - 18:30

European Committee of the Regions - Room JDE 70

Il giorno 22 Novembre, presso il Comitato Europeo delle Regioni (sala JDE 53), I-Com ha organizzato la conferenza “The Mediterranean Gateway to the Energy Union: What strategy on power and gas?”.

La conferenza ha avuto come obiettivo quello di analizzare il ruolo dell’energia nel contesto europeo e mediterraneo. Particolare attenzione è stata rivolta alle strategie da adottare, nel contesto dell’Unione dell’Energia, al fine di assicurare l’approvvigionamento energetico a tutte le regioni europee e mediterranee.

Lo studio è stato presentato e discusso insieme ai più influenti stakeholders, invitati a prendere parte alla discussione, tra cui associazioni dei consumatori, rappresentati delle industrie, ambasciatori, commissari europei ed europarlamentari.

I-Com presentation
Melchiotti presentation
Spyraki presentation
Termini presentation
I-Com paper

Speakers intervenuti:


MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, DMAG Committee


Inés Ayala Sender, is a Spanish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) within the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). She was elected to the European Parliament in 2004, and she is currently on her third term.

Last February she was elected Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union of the EU Parliament. Previously, she was a member of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries.

She is also a member of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) of the European Parliament which aims at strengthening the legitimacy of national electoral processes in third countries, avoiding electoral fraud, better protecting human rights and contributing to conflict solution. Her work in this committee is focused on improving the accountability of Parliamentarians in election observation.

Ayala Sender has participated in several European Parliament’s Election Observation missions leading the mission to Nicaragua in 2011 and more recently to Tanzania in 2016.

Ayala Sender has always shown particular interest in the Arab world and the promotion of democratic values in this region, in particular in the context of the Arab Spring. She has been a direct witness of the democratic awake process in North Africa and has actively participated in missions to Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco during the past years. More recently she took an active role at the EP’s electoral mission to Algeria in 2011. She is in direct contact with civil society and Parliamentarians from the Arab world promoting multiculturalism and human rights in different international fora.

During her mandate in the EP, she has been directly involved in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) where she held the Vice-presidency of the Economic Committee during the last legislative term.

Ayala Sender is also strongly committed to the advancement of women’s rights and this constitutes a fundamental part of her political work, particularly in areas where women’s rights are in peril. She regularly participates in meetings and conferences in North African countries on gender equality and on topics dealing with conflict resolution and support for civil society. Further to her work in supporting democracy and gender equality outside the EU, she is particularly active on fighting for equal treatment and opportunities between women and men within the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the European Parliament.

In addition, she is the spokesperson for the S&D group for the Committee on Budgetary Control and a member of the Committee of Transport and Tourism.

Before being elected MEP, Ayala Sender was a member of the Confederal Executive of the Spanish General Workers Union (UGT) with responsibility for social action (women, young people, social services, migration, environment, consumer affairs, social economy). Additionally, she also held various positions as Policy Adviser for the Socialist Group. Prior to joining the EP, she was appointed national expert in the Directorate-General for the Environment in the European Commission and of the European Economic and for Social Committee on combating exclusion.

She holds degrees in Spanish and English Philology and studies in Law from the University of Zaragoza. Furthermore, Ayala Sender completed her postgraduate studies in Sustainable Development at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.


CoR Member


Andrea Ballarè, after studying economics, started his career in the banking business. Later, he decided to pursue the career as a business consultant. In 2011 he became mayor of Novara, a city in the North of Italy. In 2016, he has joined the Committee of the Regions. He is a member of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI).

MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, EMPL Committee


Benifei is the youngest MEP among the Italian representatives of the Democratic Party. He participates as a full Member in the Committee “Employment and Social Affairs”. Benifei previously worked as the person in charge of European affairs for the Democratic Party in Liguria region of Italy and for the Young Democrats at national level. He has also been the Vice-President of ECOSY (PES youth organization) for four years, during which he took part in numerous educational and training activities on European topics. He joined the PES working group which drafted the preliminary version of the European Youth Guarantee, later adopted by the European Commission. Benifei is currently President of the EuLab Association, focused on campaigns and projects regarding EU policies for young people.
berti palazzi

International Relations Officer, DG Energy, European Commission


Works at the European Commission, in the International Relations Unit of Directorate General “Energy”, where he is in charge of the energy cooperation with the Southern Neighborhood partner countries. Since 2007 to 2009 he was posted to the Delegation of the EU in Morocco as Head of the Section “Economic cooperation and support to reforms”. Previously he held various positions at the European Commission, managing EU cooperation programmes with South-Mediterranean countries, and dealing with the European environmental and transport policy. Graduated in Economics at Bocconi University – Milan.

President, I-Com


Stefano is the president and principal policy analyst at I-Com, the Institute for Competitiveness, a think tank based in Rome and Brussels which he founded in 2005. He currently teaches political economy and economic policy at the Roma Tre University, in Rome. Stefano is a graduate of the Coripe Consortium for Research and Continuing Education in Economics (Piemonte, Italy), where he received a Masters Degree in Economics and the George Mason University (Virginia, USA) where he obtained his MA (Economics).

Stefano has served in key advisory or expert positions on a number of taskforces or scientific boards, including:

  • Director at the Observatory on Energy Policy of the Einaudi Foundation;
  • Expert Member of the Technical Secretariat for the Protection of Nature in the Italian Ministry of the Environment;
  • Expert Member of the Eurelectric Task Force on Investment;
  • Scientific Director of the La Scossa Association;
  • Board member of the European Foundation EYPROM;
  • Vice President of the Health City Institute.

He has authored numerous publications on economic themes, particularly with regard to policy and regulation of the energy market and infrastructural services and the governance of the institutions, and his opinions and analysis has featured in major Italian newspapers including Il Foglio, il Sole24 Ore, Huffington Post Italia and more. Stefano has also undertaken study and consultancy assignments for Italian and international public institutions, including the Senate of the Republic, the Department for EU policies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the OECD, leading Italian and foreign companies and non-profit organizations.


Franco D’AMORE
Vice President and Director Energy Area, I-Com


He is Vice President and Director of Energy Area of the Institute for competitiveness, an independent Research Institute that he helped to establish in 2005 and that promotes themes and analysis on competitiveness with an innovative emphasis, within the European and international policy-economic framework . He is a member of the Scientific Committee of UNCEM – Unione Nazionale Comuni Comunità Enti Montani. He works or has worked as a consultant for public institutions and private authorities on issues of local development, innovation and European planning. He carried out numerous studies and research on energy and environmental issues, with a particular focus on sustainability of energy systems, renewable energy and energy efficiency, on policies for the containment of greenhouse gases emissions and energy innovation. To the study and analysis activities added an intense activity of implementing projects in the field of energy and environment, for both private and public authorities. Before dealing with energy he worked in the area of research of optical properties of matter for photonic applications. He graduated in physics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (1998). Later he earned a Master’s degree at the European School of advanced studies in material Science (University of Pavia – 2000) and a Master’s in Energy resources management (SAFE – 2004).

Michele Mario ELIA
Country Manager Italy, Trans Adriatic Pipeline


After studying electronic engineering, he joined Ferrovie dello Stato (FS). He continued his career acting as a CEO at Rete Ferroviaria Italiana first and at Gruppo FS after. Currently, he is part of the board of directors at ERA (European Railway Agency) and President at Rail System Forum. In 2016, he has joined as a Country Manager the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Turkey to the EU


Maurizio MASSARI
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU


Maurizio Massari is the Italian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the EU. He studied politics and he joined the diplomacy in 1985. In 1986, he became responsible for the press in Moscow and he played an important role during the Maastricht Treaty. In 1998, he moved to Washington as a political advisor for the Italian Embassy. In addition, he also worked in the Balkans and in Egypt. In 2015 he became Ambassador.

Head of EU Public Affairs and Regulation, Enel


Nicola is in charge of European Public Affairs and Regulation for Enel, working closely with European institutions and stakeholders on the transformation of energy markets. Before moving to Brussels he spent 10 years of his career in Latin America, where he acted as Area Manager for Mexico and Central America leading the growth of the company in the region through significant investments in renewable projects. Prior to joining Enel, Mr. Melchiotti worked for McKinsey as management consultant. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and Masters in Engineering from Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité (France) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Stefano MAULLU
MEP, Group of the European People’s Party, ENVI Committee


Stefano Maullu, born in Milan in 1962, started his political career at a local level. In 2000, he became regional councillor for Lombardy. In 2006, he became president of the AATO, the authority that takes care of the aspects related to water in Milan. In 2015, he joined the European Parliament, showing a strong commitment concerning the health, the culture, the bilateral relations and the environment.

Alberto PONTI
Head of Strategy and Market Analysis, Terna


Alberto Ponti is the Head of Strategy and Market Analysis at Terna SpA. Previously, he was the Head of European Utilities at Société Général in London and director at CITI. He studied at Bocconi University in Milan, where he has also been Professor of the Master’s courses in Green Management, Energy and Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, he attended several courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

MEP, Group of the European People’s Party, REGI Committee


Maria Spyraki is the spokesperson of Nea Demokratia. At the European Elections of 2014 she was elected first Member of the European Parliament with Nea Demokratia and she joined the European People’s Party. She is a member of the Committees on Regional Development (REGI) and on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), as well as a member of the EU-FYROM Joint Parliamentary Committee.

She has worked for 22 years as a journalist and she is a member of the Union of Editors of Macedonia and Thrace (ΕΣΗΕΜΘ). Since 1992 she worked at the newspapers «Ependitis», «Exousia», «Thessaloniki», «Aggelioforos», «Imerisia tou Savvatou» and at the TV Stations SKAI, STAR, ALTER, and MEGA, from where she resigned on April 4th of 2014 when the former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras asked her to run for office with Nea Demokratia at the upcoming European Elections of the 25th of May. As a journalist she has participated in missions to Southeast Europe (Skopje, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro). Since 1998 and until March 2014 she worked as a political reporter. She has also worked in the Press Office of the European Parliament in Athens during the period of 2003-2004, as well as the office of Greek Commissioner to the EU, Mr. Stavros Dimas, for the period 2004-2009.

photo of Mr. Mohammad  Tarawneh 2016

Deputy Head of Mission, Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the EU and the Kingdom of Belgium


Mr. Mohammad TARAWNEH is Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission at the the Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the EU. Before he served at the Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations in New York where he covered issues of Security Council.

Commissioner AEEGSI and Vice President MEDREG


Valeria Termini is a commissioner at AEEGSI and Vice President at MEDREG and at CEER. In addition, she is professor at RomaTre University and, for several years, she gave her contribution within several commissions of the Italian government, showing a strong commitment about energy.

Lorenzo VELLA
Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU