Roundtable on Europe’s Energy Future / Postponed Until Further Notice

Roundtable on Europe’s Energy Future
”Adding Fuel to the Fire: The Role of Energy in EU- Turkey Relations”

 | Postponed Until Further Notice |

Webster Vienna Private University, Praterstrasse 23, 1020 Vienna

This panel discussion will reflect on the challenges to Europe’s Energy security in general and on Turkey’s potential role of an Energy Hub.  As such, it assess the state of play in economic policies both in Turkey and in the EU, considering the current tensions in the wake of conflicts with Cyprus.


  • Elina Brutschin, Research Scholar in the Energy, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
  • Janez Kopač, Director, Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna, Austria
  • Reinhard Mitschek, Senior Vice President - Gas Logistics & International Projects, OMV Gas & Power GmbH, Vienna, Austria
  • Değer Saygın, Shura Energy Transition Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Moderator: Johannes Pollak, Director & Professor, Webster Vienna Private University

This public debate is part of a series of international public debates sponsored by the Jean Monnet VIADUCT network, a large academic network of universities and partner institutions from the EU, Turkey and surrounding countries. The objective of the network is to promote research, teaching and policy dialogue, as well as build knowledge on EU-Turkey relations.

The first two public debates took place in Helsinki and Athens focusing on security and politics as well as migration and identity. Vienna will be the third one in this series highlighting Europe’s energy security in the 21st century.

Join us for this important discussion and stay for a reception co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.




Elina Brutschin
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Elina Brutschin joined IIASA as a Research Scholar in the Energy (ENE) program in October 2019, with a research focus on bridging insights from the political economy and modeling studies of energy. In her past research she has for example, analyzed political drivers and constraints of investments in renewable energy, the role of international cooperation in the diffusion of nuclear energy and the conditions for a successful coordination of regional gas policies. Dr. Brutschin has published in journals such as Energy Policy and Energy Economics, and with publishers such as Oxford University Press and Palgrave. 
Prior to joining IIASA, Dr. Brutschin was Assistant Professor of International Relations at Webster Vienna Private University (WVPU). After completion of her PhD in political science on the liberalization of the European gas market at Konstanz University, Germany, she devoted her post-doctoral research to investigating the political economy of energy. She completed her undergraduate studies at the same university and she also holds a post-graduate degree in EU Multi-Level Governance from the Institute for Advanced Studies, located in Vienna, Austria.


Janez Kopač
Director, Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna, Austria

Janez Kopač has been leading the Energy Community Secretariat since 2012. His mission is to extend the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. Prior to this position, he worked as General Director for Energy at the Ministry of Economy of Slovenia for nearly 4 years. He acted as Slovenian Minister of Finance (1992) and Minister of Environment (2000-2004). Mr. Kopac holds a Master’s degree from Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana.


Reinhard Mitschek
OMV Gas & Power GmbH

Reinhard Mitschek has been senior vice president of gas logistics and international projects at OMV Gas & Power GmbH since 2018. He initiated his professional career at the OMV in 1982 and since then he has carried out various functions within OMV Gas, amongst others Senior Vice President - Gas Transport International and Head of International Pipeline Projects at OMV Gas International. From 2009 to 2013, parallel to his work at the OMV, he was also the managing director of the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH and Shareholder. Mr. Mitschek holds a degree in “Social and Economics Sciences“  with specialization in  “Transport and Logistics” as well as “Industrial Business Economics” of the University of Economics in Vienna.


Değer Saygın
Shura Energy Transition Center

Değer Saygın works as the Director of the SHURA Energy Transition Center. In his former role at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Deger has developed and led the global renewable energy roadmap (REmap) program between 2013 and 2017. This program assisted the world’s largest energy using 70 countries in accelerating the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to operationalize the goals of the seventh Sustainable Development Goal and the Paris Agreement. Prior to joining IRENA, Deger has worked as a researcher at the Utrecht University carrying out projects for intergovernmental organizations, countries and the private sector about more sustainable uses of energy and resources in the manufacturing industry where he also received his Ph.D. He received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.


Johannes Pollak (Moderator)
Webster Vienna Private University

Johannes Pollak is Director and Professor of Political Science at the International Relations Department at Webster Vienna Private University. He is also Chairman of the Executive Board, Institute for European Politics (IEP), Berlin, Germany. Prior to joining the WVPU he was head of the Department of Political Science at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna and senior expert at the Academy of Sciences, Department for European Integration Research. He lectures at the Universities of Vienna and Salzburg and has sound experience with the evaluation of European Framework Program projects, ERC and ITN evaluations. Trained as a political scientist in Vienna and the London School of Economics and Political Science, he received a postgraduate degree at the IHS, was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the EUI, Florence, Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Reading, and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the LSE.