President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
Sonja Licht was part of the Yugoslav dissident movement from the late sixties, and from the mid-eighties founded numerous local and international non-governmental organizations. Between 1991 and 1995 Sonja Licht was the co-chair of the international Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly. From 1991 to 2003 she was first Executive Director and then President of the Fund for an Open Society (Soros Foundation) in Yugoslavia (later Serbia), a major donor of a vigorous civil society. Sonja was the head of the Task Force of the Bratislava Process (established in July 1999 under the auspices of the East-West Institute in order to support the democratic opposition of Serbia). In 2010 she participated in the Council of Europe’s Group of Eminent Persons that prepared the report: Living Together: Combining Freedom and Diversity in Europe of 21st Century. She has been a member of boards of outstanding international organizations and is the laureate of numerous awards including the Star of Italian Solidarity and the French Legion of Honor. She is a Richard von Weizsacker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy for 2015.
Assistant Professor, Law School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Andreas Takis graduated from the Law Faculty of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, received the title of Master of Arts in Legal Theory from the postgraduate school of the European Academy of Legal Theory of the Facultés Universitaires St Louis and Katholieke Universiteit Brussel, and was awarded a Doctorate in Law by the Law Faculty of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He is an assistant professor at the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), where he has been teaching Philosophy and Methodology of Law since 2012. He has served as Head of the Human Rights Department of the Greek Ombudsman’s Office (2003-2009), as well as Secretary-General of Immigration Policy of the Ministry of Interior (2009-2011). Takis has served as an expert of the Greek Ombudsman and the Council of Europe on human rights issues and he has participated in many missions in the Balkans and the former USSR. For many years, Andreas Takis was also a member of the National Commission for Human Rights and he also participated as an ex officio member, representative of Greece, in the Executive Board of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union. In addition, he has served as Special Adviser to the Mayor of Thessaloniki on human rights issues. From 2015 until today, he remains Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State Museum of Contemporary Art, now Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki (MOMus). Andreas Takis has authored many books, such as The moral indifference of the Law. Legal positivism and Analytical Philosophy (in Greek, Polis, 2006), On Artistic Freedom. An Essay of Constitutional & Political theory (in Greek, Savalas, 2009), Introduction to Legal Science (with prof. Kostas Stamatis, in Greek, Sakkoulas, 2015). He has also translated or supervised the translation of several political and legal philosophy works in Greek, among which are John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice (Polis, 2001) and he has edited collective volume, such as the Terrorism and Rights, together with Antonis Manitakis (Savvalas 2004). He has also contributed many articles to the fields of jurisprudence, legal reasoning and political theory. Andreas Takis’ research interests in the current period focus in particular on the theory of rules, legal interpretation, and political ontology.
Graduated from the Athens Medical School, where he is a Cardiology doctoral candidate. Currently he is a trainee doctor at the corona virus Athens hospital Pammakaristos.
From 2008 he works on social integration of refugees and migrants and other vulnerable groups in Greece. He has been a trainer since 2011 with National School of Public Health and IOM on Intercultural Mediators. In 2013 he was one of the founders of Almasar, a diaspora organization working on social inclusion, intercultural education and the rights of second-generation migrant youth. During the 2015 recent refugee reception crisis, he volunteered at the first irregular refugee settlement in the mainland (Pedion Areos). He then became Coordinator of Eleonas, the first official refugee site in Athens, with approximately 2,000 refugees residing. He has been a special adviser to the Ministry of Immigration Policy, 2015-8, on issues related to refugees, first reception, education and integration. He then focused on urban integration with the City of Athens in the fields of housing, education, sport, psychosocial support and employment. He is member of the Migrant Integration Council of Athens Municipality.