Maja Bakran

Deputy Director-General, DG MOVE

The Role of Infrastructure under the EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy

Ms. Maja Bakran has held various positions in the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs between 1996 and 2016. Based in Brussels from 1999 until 2011, she was responsible for horizontal coordination of the Croatian accession negotiations. In 2011, she moved back to Zagreb and was responsible for setting up and management of the system of national coordination of European Affairs. In 2015 she became Assistant Minister for Europe in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
On 1 December 2016, Ms. Bakran became Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, responsible for coordinating the activities related to investment, innovative and sustainable transport, in support of the Commission President’s priorities.

Paolo Ciccarelli

Head of Unit C5, DG DEVCO

The Role of Infrastructure under the EU-Africa Strategy

Paolo Ciccarelli is an Architect who has specialised in development cooperation in the private and public sectors. He has more than 35 years of experience in managing a broad range of infrastructure projects in Europe and Africa. His experience of living and working in Somalia, and in EU Delegations in Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia enable him to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment. Mr. Ciccarelli spent more than 25 years with The European Commission where he gained experience in policy and strategy negotiation in international forums as well as project appraisal and implementation in many sectors, particularly in the urban development, water and transport sectors.
Mr Ciccarelli is now working in DG DEVCO as Head of Unit "Cities, Local Authorities, Digitalisation, Infrastructure" managing a team of about 25 people.

Christian Elias

Head of Unit - Public Sector Operations Eastern and Southern Africa at EIB

The Perspective of the EIB, as the EU Bank, and Opportunities for European International Contractors

Christian is working at the EIB as Head of Unit for public sector operations in Eastern and Southern Africa. All in all he is working since 12 years at the EIB with prior experiences in the restructuring division of the Bank, covering work-out situations in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Before joining EIB, Christian has worked at KfW, mainly in aircraft finance, and at Airbus. Having started his career as an apprentice in a German savings bank, he holds a master degree in economics after studies in Germany and in France.

Paulus Geraedts

Team Leader - Investment and Innovative Financing at DG DEVCO European Commission

Lessons Learned from the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) for Infrastructure Finance for the new EFSD+

Paulus Geraedts is an engineer by education with more than 30 years of international experience. He has worked about 15 years in the private sector, mostly in infrastructure development in Europe and Asia. For the EU, he worked in Ghana and in Brussels on infrastructure and on relations with development finance institutions. He currently works on risk-sharing and guarantees in external action.