How We Work
SEAP works via a Board overseen by a General Assembly and co-ordinated by the President of SEAP.
The General Assembly is held annually. It is the governing body of the Association, chaired by the President and open to all members.
The Association is run by the Board who are appointed by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The term of the current Board is 2021-2024.
Paul Varakas- President and Treasurer
Paul Varakas is the Director General of the European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA). In this role, Paul represents cigar manufacturers towards EU institutions and in national capitals. Before joining ECMA, he worked as an Account Director at Red Flag leading pan-European communications, regulatory and government affairs campaigns for global and European clients. He also has experience in the European Hunting Federation and the Council of the European Union. In addition, Paul holds a M.A. in EU Studies from UCL/St Louis University (Brussels). A French national, he speaks English, French and Spanish and is currently learning Finnish.
Emma Brown – Vice President
Emma is the Director of Public Affairs at CropLife Europe, representing sustainable crop protection solutions. Before joining CropLife Europe, Emma held various positions in Red Flag Consulting, a global campaigns consultancy, and acumen public affairs, a Brussels-based public affairs company working on different policy topics such as environment, agriculture, financial services, digital, consumer safety and healthcare. She also has experience in Toy Industries of Europe and the European Commission. Emma holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and European studies and two masters degrees in International Relations and Law.
Yiannis is a Greek national based in Brussels working in public policy and European affairs, leading engagements with government officials, non-government stakeholders such as business chambers, trade associations and other non-profit organizations. Prior to that, Yiannis was based in Singapore for six years having worked at the European Chamber of Commerce, responsible for the coordination of policy positions and industry advocacy maintaining relations with stakeholders and policy makers from Singapore, ASEAN and the EU. Yiannis is a Committee member of ALLILONnet, an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit initiative offering mentoring to young Greeks around the world. He holds a MSc from the London School of Economics in Political Economy of Europe and a BA in Politics & Economics from Sussex University. He speaks fluently English, French and Greek.
Roxana leads strategic media, public affairs and crisis communications campaigns for Red Flag, a global campaigns consultancy. She previously provided strategic advice to Romanian companies in the agricultural and fisheries sectors, worked for the legal service of the European Parliament, and for a legal consultancy carrying out compliance assessments for the European Commission.
Pierre Laffont is a strategy advisor to business and political leaders on EU affairs lobbying, in particular on EU industry, climate, energy and transport policies.
Pierre is currently the Director, EU Affairs and Head of the EU Office at France Industrie. In his previous roles, he was the EU Affairs Manager at the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, where he advised the Secretary-General on public affairs, strategic communications, and supported senior management. He kickstarted his career as a parliamentary advisor at the European Parliament, where he served as a political advisor and head of office to MEPs. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (Sciences Po Toulouse) and another in European Affairs (Spain).
Since 2019, Pierre is also the Secretary-General of GNL – Groupes des Nouveaux Lobbyistes.
Founder & CEO of management consulting, brokerage and EU lobbying company CBBS – Management Consulting & EU Lobbying Co. Ltd (Zagreb, Croatia), specialized in strategic partnerships/M&A, internationalization of the business and lobbying at national and EU level. He was successfully working with the partners from 20 countries in the period since the launch of the company (2007 – 2023), with more than 25 years of experience/work in the international business. Berislav held two mandates as a Board Member of the Croatian Lobbyists Association, with the last one ending in December 2022.
Entrepreneur, lobbyist (accredited lobbyist at the European Parliament), matchmaker, coach/teacher of entrepreneurship and lecturer at colleges/universities/EU workshops on the topics: internationalization of SMEs, international marketing, lobbying & networking, trade fair and MICE industry.