Team

We are students, professionals, and enthusiastic supporters of Europe. Our focus is on the younger generations, whose futures depend on a functioning and successful Europe. We are currently operating from the locations listed below and plan to expand further across the continent.

Board of Directors

 Chairman: Brendan Simms

image_normalBrendan Simms is an Irish historian of international relations. A Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, he founded the Project for Democratic Union in early 2013 following his work on European integration and democratisation. His publications include Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire (2007) and, Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present (2013).

  • brendan.simms@democraticunion.eu

Deputy Chairman: Daniel Schade

Daniel SchadeDaniel is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Vienna School of International Studies. His research focuses on the foreign and security policies of the European Union. He has previously studied at Sciences Po Paris, Harvard University, the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Treasurer: Korbinian Rueger

Korbinian RuegerKorbinian is a PhD student at the University of Oxford. His research lies at the intersection of moral philosophy and the social sciences. He grew up in Munich and studied economics and philosophy in Germany, Canada and Britain, graduating from the London School of Economics in 2015. Korbinian joined the PDU in 2013.

  • korbinian.rueger@democraticunion.eu

Pan-European Team

Chief Executive Officer: Benjamin Zeeb

IMG_0661swBenjamin graduated in Early Modern and Modern History at LMU. In 2009, he witnessed the early stages of the ongoing global economic crisis as an Erasmus student in Madrid. Convinced that a full federal Union is the only solution to Europe’s problems, he co-founded PDU in 2013. Benjamin is married and lives in Munich.

  • benjamin.zeeb@democraticunion.eu

Chief Strategy Officer: Lukas Schmelter

Lukas SchmelterLukas is currently completing his Bachelor in Government and History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Germany, Lukas lived both in the Middle East and Asia for several years before moving to London for his studies. He is committed to working together with likeminded individuals towards a stronger Europe, that is capable of mastering the challenges of the coming decades.

  • lukas.schmelter@democraticunion.eu

Editor-in-chief: James Bartholomeusz

James BartholomeuszJames is currently studying for an MA in Philosophy at King’s College London. He received his BA from the University of Exeter in July 2013, graduating with a First Class Honours in English. He has also published a trilogy of young adult novels. British, but also of Dutch and German ancestry, his particular interests are in the common history and culture of Europe and political theory. He blogs at Thought Fox.

  • james.bartholomeusz@democraticunion.eu

PDU Podcast: Emilie Mendes de Leon

EmilieMendesdeLeon

Emilie graduated from Leiden University with an LLM in European Law in 2012. Since then, she has been working in commodity trading, training as a sommelier, and making audio pieces for PDU.  She believes in a European Union that encourages local decision-making and leads on the world stage.

 

Head of Campaigns: Korbinian Rueger

 

 

 Development Team

Head of Development for Germany: Dr. Wolfgang P. Warth

  • wolfgang.p.warth@democraticunion.eu

Head of Development for the United Kingdom: Daniel Donovan

  • daniel.donovan@democraticunion.eu

Munich Office

  • munichoffice@democraticunion.eu

Head of Office: Liam Fitzgerald

Liam FitzgeraldA recent graduate in Early Modern and Modern History and Business Administration at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Liam focuses on the historical background for creating political unions and how constitutional structures and ideas were paramount in forming policy. His interest in the PDU is to create a network of and a means for discussion among young Europeans in order to reconnect them with the Union.

  • liam.fitzgerald@democraticunion.eu

Nadja Bergelt

NadjaNadja holds a BSc in Economics and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Munich. In 2015, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. She grew up in Munich, has lived in Marseille and London and now lives and works in Berlin. Nadja is the coordinator of an interdisciplinary research group on international justice and institutional responsibility and is working on her doctoral dissertation. She joined the PDU in 2016, aiming to build, above all, a more just European Union.

Julia Berghofer

JuliaJulia is currently writing her Master thesis on nuclear disarmament. Originally from Munich, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political and Communication Sciences from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. She completed a Master’s prgram in Political Sciences at University of Hamburg. Julia is a freelance journalist and disarmament campaigner and spent time abroad in Vienna, Cape Town, Brussels and New York. She joined PDU because she strongly believes in the future of the European project. 

Amelie Buchwald

Amelie BuchwaldAmelie is currently pursuing her Bachelor in European Studies at Maastricht University. Having grown up in Germany, she also but spent time abroad in Canada, which sparked her enthusiasm for foreign policy, human rights and international politics. She joined PDU because a stronger and fully democratic Europe is needed to successfully face challenges that cannot be solved at a national level.

Anja Spoeri

Originally from Munich, Germany, Anja is a recent graduate from the Global Challenges Bachelor’s Program at Leiden University. During her studies Anja spent a semester in Buenos Aires and worte her Bachelor thesis on Brazil’s recent climate policy decisions. Coming from a multinational background and having lived in various European countries, Anja strongly believes in a united and federal Europe. Continuing with a master in political science, Anja’s intention is to learn more about European policy making and sustainability.

Erika Marty

Erika MartyOriginally from California, Erika Marty doubled majored in Global Studies and German at the University of California Santa Barbara receiving her Bachelor’s degrees in 2011.  She completed a Master’s degree program in International Relations and Diplomacy at Schiller International University in Paris, France, writing her thesis on Violence and the Narco-state in Guatemala.  Erika is currently located in Munich, Germany and her interest in PDU stems from her love for multiculturalism and unity.

Prague Office

  • pragueoffice@democraticunion.eu

Head of Office: Hakeem Smith

Hakeem_SmithHakeem has studied and worked in the USA, UK, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary. He holds a BA in Anthropology and a Trans-Atlantic MA in Political Science, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hakeem is particularly interested in the political foundations in Federalism, and a belief that the European integration process is the most important project for future generations of Europeans. An American living and working in Prague, Hakeem also works as a Public Affairs consultant for non-governmental organizations and civil society groups in the Czech Republic.

Brussels Office

  • brusselsoffice@democraticunion.eu

Head of Office: Welmoed Roeten

WelmoedWelmoed is a law graduate from Tilburg University in The Netherlands with specialisms in European law and civil law. She has worked as a legal adviser on European and Dutch law and policy matters. Currently, she is studying Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

  • welmoed.roeten@democraticunion.eu

 

Alessandra Croppi

Ale CroppiAlessandra Croppi studied at University of Turin. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development and Cooperation studies and a Master’s degree in International Relations (with a focus on human rights), writing her thesis on private security firms. Alessandra has been based in Brussels since September 2013 where she has been working for an NGO on women’s rights. Prior to her move to Belgium, Alessandra worked in Italy in university public administration. She is interested in project design, international relations, human rights and conflicts.

 

London Office

Policy Officer: James Bartholomeusz

James BartholomeuszJames is currently studying for an MA in Philosophy at King’s College London. He received his BA from the University of Exeter in July 2013, graduating with a First Class Honours in English. He has also published a trilogy of young adult novels. British, but also of Dutch and German ancestry, his particular interests are in the common history and culture of Europe and political theory. He blogs at Thought Fox.

  • james.bartholomeusz@democraticunion.eu

Cornelius Riethdorf

Cornelius is currently completing a PhD at Cambridge University in the history of political thought, with a focus on citizenship and natural rights in the medieval Roman law tradition. Before embarking on is doctorate, he graduated from Cambridge with a BA in History and an MPhil in Political Thought. Half German, half British, Cornelius is a convinced European and has a particular interest in the emerging notion of a European citizenship.

  • cornelius.riethdorf@democraticunion.eu

Budapest Office

  • budapestoffice@democraticunion.eu

Head of Office: Veronika Czina

Veronika CzinaVeronika began her studies in social sciences and international relations at Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, and recently graduated from the Central European University International Relations and European Studies program. During her semester at Sciences Po, her enthusiasm for the European project and Europe’s future grew. She works at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and her main interest lies in EU governance and the influence of small states in the EU.

  • veronika.czina@democraticunion.eu

Teona Surmava

Teona SurmavaTeo was born in Georgia and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Tblisi State University. Her excitement for Europe grew through her involvement with the European Youth Parliament from 2010 to 2012. She interned at the American Embassy, where she worked in the Press and Media division of the Public Affairs office. She is now completing her Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies at Central European University in Budapest.

Johannes Wachs

Johannes WachsJohannes was born in Germany, grew up in the United States, and has been living in Budapest since 2009. After receiving a Master’s degree in mathematics from Central European University in 2012, he worked in strategy and modeling at Morgan Stanley for two years before resigning to pursue his interests in European politics and public policy. He is most interested in central and eastern European integration into the EU, the Hungarian political situation, and political and economic corruption in the Visegrad Group.

Lisbon Office

  • lisbonoffice@democraticunion.eu

Head of Office: Corina Lozovan

António Saraiva Lima

 

Contributors

Emanuele Barbarossa

Emanuele is an Italian lawyer with a strong interest in European policy. Based in Brussels since the beginning of 2013, he worked in a consultancy before joining a German think-tank as a research assistant. Emanuele holds a Master of Laws from Trento University; during his studies, he spent a year at Uppsala University and was a legal intern in a German law firm. Fond of multiculturalism and European integration, he joined PDU to advocate for an ever more united Europe that may act as a credible international player.

Mario Zorro

Mario is a recent graduate from a Master in Public Policy at Erfurt University. He is a co–founder of the blog Globalpublicpolicywatch. His areas of interest (and research) are International Relations, Geopolitics, Security Studies, National Defence, Strategy, History and Philosophy. His main aim at the PDU is to research on the European Union Foreign and Security Policies, as well as the role the Union can take in the Geopolitical arena.

Sandy Reid

After 4 years at Cambridge University where he gained an MPhil in International Relations, as well as three rugby union ‘blues’, Sandy is currently an Associate at AlphaSights – a next generation information services firm. Sandy supports the PDU because he believes there must be a more coherent and forward-thinking pro-European narrative in the public sphere; one which articulates a European Union for the 21st Century, boldly democratic and capable of meeting the social, economic, digital, ecological and security needs of our time.

Oskar Achten

Oskar is a recent graduate of the MSc in Economics program at the LMU Munich and also holds a BSc in Mathematics from the Technical University Munich. His additional work at the ifo Institute for economic research has focused his academic interests particularly on EU climate and energy policy. Oskar’s interest in the PDU’s work stems from the belief that a strong and united Europe needs to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

Ece Kepekci

Ece KepekciBorn and raised in Turkey, Ece currently studies BA Politics and East European Studies at University College London. She initially moved to the UK to study at UWC Atlantic College in Wales and to represent her country in a boarding school with students from all around the world. In addition to her studies and her work for PDU, Ece is currently the assistant director of a London-based charity that works against human trafficking. Ece is particularly interested in European history, culture and, coming from Turkey, the topic of EU enlargement.

Niamh Baker-Loughlin

Niamh Baker-LoughlinNiamh began her studies by reading Philosophy and German at King’s College, London, which included an Erasmus year in Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. Her studies at King’s allowed Niamh to engage with debates in political philosophy and she went on to study for a Masters degree in European politics at the College of Europe in Bruges where she completed a thesis on euroscepticism. Her research interests include the advance of extremism in Europe and the democratic deficit, which she thinks are inextricably linked, highlighting for her the importance of the work of the PDU.

Roisin Berghaus

Roisin BerghausRoisin Berghaus is a recent graduate of the International Relations and European Studies Master’s Program at Central European University, Budapest. Her primary research interests include EU-Middle East relations, EU energy policy coordination, and EU enlargement and neighborhood policy. She currently lives in Munich and is both a British and Canadian citizen.

Bilquees Daud

bilquees-daudOriginally from Afghanistan, Bilquees is a recent graduate of the Public Policy Master’s Program at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt, where she specialized in non-profit organization management and European public policy. She has extensive work experience with local and international organizations in Afghanistan, and has published articles on websites such as BBC Pashto. For the PDU she aimes to conduct research on the European Union’s policies outside its frontiers.

Corinna Goodman

Corinna GoodmanCorinna is studying Political Science, International Affairs, and Music at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Originally from Munich, she was born to an American father and a German mother. She joined PDU because she believes that the idea of a federal and more democratic Europe is worth fighting for and that is is the new generation that can bring about change through creative thinking and active engagement.

 

Hugo Kaminski

Hugo KaminskiHugo is studying Economics and International Relations at Keele University in England. After volunteering in Argentina, he could add Spanish to his German, English, French, and Polish language skills. To establish peace and prosperity based on solidarity, he strongly believes in the common European values like democracy, human rights, and justice and wants to promote them within the framework of PDU.

Dimitar Nikolov

Dimitar NikolovOriginally from Bulgaria, Dimitar is enrolled in a BA in Political Sciences and Law at the University of Munich. Additionally, he studies Business Administration and Economics (BSc) at the University of Hagen. Due to his multicultural background he believes that the establishment of a European education system plays a key role in the creation of an united Europe. His further research interests lie in economic policies and the efficiency of political institutions.

Maxence Salendre

MA recent graduate in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin with a thesis on EU development aid, Maxence joined PDU as he supports a federal Europe that would respect the specificities of each region while ensuring that the EU remains a leading voice on the world stage. Interested in foreign aid and development issues, he currently works in media and communications. A French citizen, he now lives in Dublin where he also works as a press correspondent for Ijsberg.

 

Sophie Thurner

Sophie ThurnerBorn in Munich Sophie spent most of her academic life in the UK. In 2013 she graduated from Newcastle University with a first class BA in Politics and Economics. Currently she is studying for a Masters in Finance and Financial Regulation. Sophie has a vivid interest in finance and is particularly fascinated by the impact of the financial crisis on Europe. Other fields of interests include political philosophy and voting systems.

Emily Jennings

graduationOriginally from the UK, Emily studied BA English Literature at University of Leicester. During her time there, Emily founded and ran the campaigning society Activista, part of the youth branch of Action Aid. In her second year, exploring her interest in politics and language, she and two team members competed in the semifinals of a debating competition. In the summer of 2013, she completed a sponsored trek from Lukla to Everest base camp raising money for Childreach International. Since graduating, she has moved to Munich to learn German and further her interests in human rights, ethics, and activism.

Felix Lettau

Felix LettauFelix is studying MSc European Public Policy at University College London. Born and raised in Germany, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Amsterdam University College and worked in China for the German Academic Exchange Service and Handelsblatt newspaper. Felix’s interest in European integration and PDU stems from international experiences and a research focus on CFSP that he developed during his studies.

Webmaster

  • daniel.schade@democraticunion.eu

PDU is always looking for motivated and interested contributors. If you want to help our cause, contact us!

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