High Level Panel 1: European Commission

Agriculture in the “New Normal”: Future-proofing food systems for a changing world


European Commission

Time: Friday, 20. January 2023, 01:30 p.m. – 03:00 p.m.

Languages: English, German, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish and Polish


The EU Commission’s High Level Panel focuses on creating crisis-proof and climate-friendly food systems which contribute to preserving biodiversity. We consider these topics to be strongly interlinked, as there is an urgent need to break down policy silos and think in terms of sustainability and resilience across the board. As the host of the Panel, the EU promotes the need for a holistic approach, which balances the needs of immediate urgencies and long-term commitments.
The Panel will bring together selected Agriculture Ministers and Heads of IOs to review what is being done in three thematic blocks of discussion. Starting with (1) current and future measures to improve the resilience of agri-food supply chains to sudden systemic shocks, participants will then be invited to expand to (2) the long-term challenge of mitigating and adapting to climate change, and finally also tackle the issue of (3) agriculture’s role in preserving the Earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity.
Participants will be drawn from a wide range of geographical regions, to emphasize the need for both global action on global problems, but also the importance of finding local solutions best suited for the circumstances under which agriculture operates around the world. The Panel will be structured into three blocks, each with a short scene setter and with specific guidance to panellists to put the challenges in context and find interlinkages, in order to provide the audience with best-practices and a range of ideas to take away. Thus, the High Level Panel will feed into the discussions of the GFFA Agriculture Ministers’ meeting.


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Born in Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland, in 1954

Member of the European Commission since 1 December 2019, responsible for Agriculture, lawyer, attorney.

He has advanced legal studies: Master’s degree in law, graduated from the University of Łódź, Department of Law and Administration. He was Member of the European Court of Auditors, representing Poland, from May 2016 to November 2019. He was also a judge, President of the Supreme Audit Office of Poland, Vice-marshal of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Member of the European Parliament of 3 terms (2004-2016); Member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals in the European Parliament since his 1st term in 2004; since 2014 till 2016 its President.

Author & co-author of the comments on the Polish Penal Code (5x); author of more than 100 articles and publications on criminal law in various legal magazines in Poland and author of articles on socio-legal issues.

Keynote Speaker

Johan Swinnen is director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and managing director of Systems Transformation at CGIAR. He is a member of the Advisory Committee On Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), USAID; Commissioner in the Food Systems Economics Commission; Co-Chair of the Think20 (T20) Task Force on Climate Change, Sustainable Energy, & Environment; and a member of the Champions 12.3 Leadership Group to Reduce Food Loss & Waste.

From 2005 to 2019, he was professor of economics & director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions & Economic Performance at KU Leuven (Belgium) and senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Earlier he was lead economist at the World Bank (2003-2004) and economic adviser to the European Commission (1998-2001). He has been a visiting professor at various universities and a frequent adviser to institutions such as the World Bank, OECD, FAO and EBRD.

Dr. Swinnen earned his PhD from Cornell University andholds honorary doctorates from the University of Göttingen and the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. He is a fellow of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) and of the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE). He served as president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (2012-2015).

Dr. Swinnen has published extensively on agricultural & food policies, international development, political economy, institutional reforms, trade, & global value chains. His recent books The Political Economy of Agricultural and Food Policies (2018) and COVID-19 and Global Food Security (2020) both received awards from the AAEA and EAAE

Panel Guests

Mrs. Frida Krifca assumed her position as Minister of Agriculture as of September 2021. During her mandate, she has held the Presidency of the SWG for the year 2022. She was also co-chair of the 33rd FAO Regional Conference for Europe, held in Łódź, Poland. During the 151st Governing Board meeting of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) held at the Institut Océanographique of Paris (France) on 18 November 2022, Mrs. Frida Krifca was elected President of the Governing Board.

Ms. Krifca graduated from the Department of Business Administration, at the Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana, where she studied during 1996 – 2000. She holds a Master in Business Administration from the Faculty of Business Administration at Akron University, Ohio. She takes pride of being a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship program of the State Department of the USA.

She has 22 years of experience in administration and management, with a special focus on the development and strengthening of the financial sector, use of financial services and business development, meeting national, international and international economic, legal and structural objectives.

During the period July 2017 – September 2021 she held the position of General Director in the Agency for Agricultural and Rural Development.

In the period October 2013 – July 2017, Mrs. Krifca has held the position of Director General of USAID Financial Services Voluntary Bodies, where she provided technical assistance to public financial institutions and has identified, developed and managed numerous development, financial, fiscal and legal projects in Albania and other countries.

Ms. Krifca is a supporter of constant personal and professional development and is always looking for improvement. She has participated in various personal and professional development programs at home and abroad and has attended leadership programs for economic growth from Harvard University.

During the period November 2020 – February 2021, Mrs. Krifca was a Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Agribusiness, Agricultural University of Tirana in the Rural Development Course, for the subject Rural Economics.


Murray Watt was elected as a Senator for Queensland in 2016. He is the Albanese Government’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management.

For over 20 years, Murray’s working life has been spent as an advocate for others, as a lawyer, a public servant and as Chief of Staff to former Premier Anna Bligh. Murray also served one term as a Queensland State MP and Assistant Minister in health and economic portfolios.

Since his election in 2016, Murray played a key role in Senate Estimates and a range of Senate Committees including the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee. As a Senator and Shadow Minister, he led a number of Senate inquiries into issues including regional development, energy and resources, emergency management and health care.


Jean-Marie Paugam is Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva since 2021. Before this, he was Permanent Representative of France to the WTO. Mr. Paugam has held various Senior Management responsibilities on Trade, Development and International Finance, with the French Treasury and with the UN system (International Trade Center). He also was Senior Research Fellow with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), France’s leading think-tank on international affairs. M. Paugam graduated in 1993 from the French National Administration School (ENA) and holds a Master Degree in Business Law as well as a Diploma of Political Sciences from the University of Aix-Marseille.



Peter Baader, a lawyer by trade and former judge in Germany, has worked in the European Commission for 26 years, almost always in posts relating to compliance, legal affairs and financial control. Before retiring in May 2021, he was posted to the Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development for 11 years as Senior Expert for compliance and anti-fraud. However, his hearts beats for the moderations of a variety of internal and external events, an activity which he continues in his present function as Active Senior.


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