Presenters and Participants Profiles:

Ryszard Czarnecki is an European Conservatives and Reformists Group Member, Vice-President of the European Parliament. He graduated at the University of Wroclaw with a Master’s degree in history. He is MEP since 2004.


Dieter Korczak has a Ph.D. in sociology and Diploma in Economics. He is a member of Consumer Debt Network (CDN) from 1994-2000, a Founder member of European Consumer Debt Network (ECDN), Consultant for the European Commission, DG Internal Market and Services. He also works as: Expert Forum of Financial Services Users (Fin-USE Group), 2008-2010; Peer reviewer social inclusion for DG Employ, 2004 and 2007; Standard reference for over-indebtedness and debt advice in Germany; Reports on poverty and over-indebtedness for the German Federal Government; Numerous publications on over-indebtedness, debt advice, financial education and credit scoring. Since December 2015 he is a President of ECDN.

Sille Krukow With more than 10 years of experience in designing and testing nudges Sille Krukow is also the Founded of KRUKOW – Behavior Design Team and the co host of the TV show “The Power of Habits”. Together with her team of Behavioral Designers, Project Managers and Behavioral Economists she works to create choice architecture that makes it easy to do the right thing. “Nudging consumers all over the world to greener, healthier and safer decision making”.

Francesco Gaetano is a policy officer of the European Commission and works in the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers. He deals since several years with consumer protection issues, in particular in the area of financial services. In this context he has coordinated the Study on households’ overindebtedness that the EU Commission has published in 2013 and the Workshop on Debt-Advice that the Commission has organised in June 2015 during the Consumer Summit.

Professor Beata Anna Świecka is a Head of the Department of Banking and Comparative Finance at the University of Szczecin; author of 120 publications, including 10 books including e-banking, credit cards; the Ambassador of the Polish National Bank; expert: Foundation for the Development of the Education System; member of Polish Association of Banking and Finance, Polish Society for Program of Neurologic and Academic Association of Economic Psychology; participant in numerous training courses in finance and banking in Poland and abroad.

Christina Rehnberg and Sara Ehrenberg coordinate the County Administrative Boards and work to monitor how it works to pay and get paid in Swedish society. Christina has followed the developments since the County Administrative Boards was commissioned in 2009 and will talk about the opportunities and difficulties that arise along the way toward a cashless society. Sara is responsible for the latest current status report just presented to the Swedish government and will provide a current picture of the situation in Sweden today.

Christa Kerschbaummayr is employed at ASB Schuldnerberatungen since 2001, EU-Project Co-ordinator from 2001 – 2010 (asb is a founding member and the applicant organization of the ECDN network in 2007), involved in the development and actualisation of Reference Budgets in Austria, Programme manager of educational training for debt advisers since 2012.


As a Nibud advisor Marion Weijers works at the Practical Application of Research Communication and Budget Information. Her area of interest is debt prevention and behavioral change. As a Nibud advisor she translates research data into budget information for consumers. My area of interest is debt prevention More information and written articles, can be found on the website:

Melina Mouzouraki is a lawyer in the Bar of Athens since 1991 and specializes in consumer protection law in financial services and civil law. She has been a member of the National Consumer Council of Greece (1995-2001), a member of the Hellenic Competition Committee as a representative of consumers’ interest (1995-2000). Former legal adviser of the Hellenic Consumers’ Association E.K.PI.ZO, a major Greek consumers’ association. Melina Mouzouraki has been representing E.K.PI.ZO in the European Consumer Debt Net (ECDN) and specializes in the issue of consumer over-indebtedness in Europe and Greece.

Miroslav Nikolov is an expert on project management, researcher and trainer, works as a consultant and international business expert. He has implemented successfully more than 18 international and European projects for SMEs, education, social inclusion and culture sectors. His main fields of expertise and know-how covers the following areas: SMEs development, risk capital and venture, franchising, conflict management and resolution, including ethnic conflicts and social affairs. In 1997-1999 he was appointed Director of Euro Info Center in Sofia under EC DG 23 SMEs, Cooperatives and Enterprises, liaison officer of the IRCC (Inter-institutional Reform Commission) at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Bulgaria. Member of Bulgarian Institute of Standardization – BDS, European Federation of Medical Informatics, European Institute of Health Records EUROREC, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The four authors come from the University of Economics – Varna, Bulgaria. They are fourth-year students in the Bachelor’s Programme International Business. Antonia Vasileva, Diana MarinovaSimeona Georgieva, Velimira Kavrakova (from left to the right). They are initiative, responsible and loyal. Being responsible and able to impact the world through their work is part of their vision for professional development.

Christoph Mattes, Dr. phil. Main areas of interest: Study of social work, economics and education. He is employed in debt counseling for many years. Now he is a lecturer at the University of Social Work FHNW in Basel, Switzerland.



Hans W. Grohs is lawyer, manager and social Entrepreneur. He ensured the development of a nationwide network of debt advice and debt prevention. He led the Austrian debt counselling umbrella association for almost 25 years. Moreover he co-founded the “Austrian Anti Poverty Network” and was president of the ”European Consumer Debt Network” from 2007 to 2015. In 2016 he worked with Three Coins – a Viennese Start Up on Financial Capability and as an active member of the advisory board of FLIP – the Financial Life Park of Erste.


Philip List was appointed director of the Erste Financial Life Park at the beginning of May 2015. Before that he was heading the Marketing position for Erste Group for more then six years. Being head of Marketing he was from the very beginning on one of the key drivers of this important financial education initative. Before that has gained a lot of experience in diverse international management positions within Erste Group. Philip List, who was born in the province of Upper Austria, was Head of Sponsoring & Community Affairs as well as part of the Group Identity team at the Holding prior to switching to his new job.

David Smejkal is a director of Debt Advisory Center – Counselling in Stringency (“Poradna”) in the Czech Republic, Prague. The center is a Public Benefit Organization and operates 3 branches in the Czech Republic. After university he worked in a consumer group as a chairman.


Juha A. Pantzar is an Executive Director in Guarantee Foundation. Minna Mattila Information Manager in Guarantee Foundation. Minna Markkanen Development Manager in Guarantee Foundation. Guarantee Foundation is a national NGO, which assists private persons struggling with a financial crisis in solving their debt and payment problems. We provide counselling, voluntary arrangements and develop different kind of preventive self-help equipments and materials.

Caroline Siarkiewicz is Head of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service; she joined the Service in 2012 and with her team manages over £48m of grant funding to deliver debt advice across the UK. The teams varied and extensive work streams help to ensure that organisations can continuously improve the quality, consistency and availability of free debt advice. Previously Caroline was CEO at the Institute of Money Advisers where she developed the Certificate of Money Advice Practice a professional qualification for debt advisers. Caroline began her career at the Halifax and then moved to the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors where she worked on standards and professional practice. Outside of work Caroline is a City Councillor in Wolverhampton where she has held a seat for the last 20 years and had chaired a variety of different committees and working groups.

Birgit Bürkin Delegate and member of Counselling for household and consumption committee, German Society for Home Economics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hauswirtschaft e. V.). Birgit Bürkin has a German Diploma in Home Economics and a Master degree in Consumer Economics and Family Resource Management of Oregon State University, U.S. She is working in the field of budget advice since many years.


Mariusz Mówka Project Manager and Evaluator in SKEF. His position in SKEF is representative of the SKEF’s Board for international cooperation. His area of interest are: strategic analysis, advisory for NGOs and SMEs.



Sandy Madar is the founder and CEO of the Danish organisation The Social Legal Aid (Den Sociale Retshjælps Fond), which was founded in 2007. With here more than 10 years of experience within debt – and legal issues, she has been able to create an organisation, which is now one of the leading debt -and legal counselling organisations in Denmark. The goal of The Social Legal Aid is to secure a uniform and qualified debt counselling to Danish citizens, in order for the citizens to feel secure with addressing themselves to debt counsellors with their own personal issues.”

8th ECDN Conference on Debt Advice in a Cashless Society

Virtual Money and Cashless Society: A Risk for Over-Indebtedness?
Start: 12:00 o’clock
12:00-13:00 Registration
13:15 Opening by ECDN President
13:30 Welcome address by Bratislava Representative
13:45- 14:15 Cashless society: Pro’s and Con’s
  Beata Swiecka, Head of the Institute of personal and behavioral finance, University of Szczecin
14:15-14:45 The Swedish experiences with virtual payment
Christina Rehnberg, Sara Ehrenberg – National Coordinators for basic payment services at the County Administration Board Dalama
14:45-15:15 Coffee Break
15:15-16:00 World café: Risks and chances of a cashless society
16:00-17:00 Plenum: Effects of cashless society on debt advice
17:00  End of the First Day of the Conference
17:15-19:00 General Assembly Agenda
19:00 International exhibition of food

Professionalization of Debt Advice – Factors for Success
9:30 Registration
10:00-10:20 Speech by Vice-President EU Parliament Mr. Czarnecki
10:20-11:00 Status of Debt Advice in UK
Caroline Sarkiewicz, Head of UK Debt Advice Services
11:00-11:30  The personal approach – Designing for a better decision making
Sille Krukow, Behavioural Designer
11:30-12:00  The Slovakian Experience with Debt Advice
Anna Galovicova,Chairman of Slovakian Antipoverty Network
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Good practice examples from different European countriesFrancesco GAETANO, European Commission – DG Justice and Consumers, Policy Officer, in charge of consumer protection on financial services. Debt advice – what we learned so far and what we are considering to do.
Moderator: Melina Mouzouraki

15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-17:00 World Café: Factors for success

Station One: Educational background of advisers and ways of certification

Station Two: Professionalisation of debt advice: curricula and training modules

Station Three: Financial support of debt advice: church, welfare organisation, municipality, state, bank

Station Four: Ways of debt advice: face-to-face, online or telephone advice

17:00-17:15 Break

17:15-18:00 Summary by reporters of Stations One to Four: Key Findings and Definition of Success Factors

18:00 Farewell by ECDN President. End of the conference.