Moderator: Jean Lambert, former MEP, Vice Chairperson of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) Board of Directors
Carlo Ruzza, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy
Carlo Berti, Research Fellow at the School of International Studies, University of Trento, Italy
Pierluigi Brombo, Head of the Foresight, Studies and Assessment unit at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Paolo Cossarini, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University, Denmark
Assya Kavrakova, Executive Director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
Zsolt Boda, Director General of the Centre for Social Sciences – Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence and principal investigator of DEMOS – Democratic efficacy and the varieties of populism in Europe – Horizon 2020 project
Kalypso Nicolaidis, professorial Chair of Global Affairs at the EUI School of Transnational Governance in Florence, where she convenes the EUI Democracy Forum.
Salvatore Finamore, member of the Analysis and Research team of the General Secretariat of the Council.
June Bedaton, in charge of the Secretariat of the EESC Group on Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law.
Prof. Bruce Edmonds, Director of the Centre for Policy Modelling at the Manchester Metropolitan University and Professor of Social Simulation.
Q&A with the participants
Bringing together academics, members of European institutions and agencies, and leaders of civil society organizations, this book bridges the gap between research and practice. It explores and describes how populism has impacted on European institutions and civil society, and what their reactions and strategies to overcome the challenges posed by populists have been in recent times. Using a unique approach, the book combines academic research with direct practitioners’ experience to delve into how the EU is being changed by populism, and what have been the responses in terms of discourses, practices, and policymaking.
Jean Lambert is a former Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/European Free Alliance group. She was a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee working on issues including immigration, social inclusion, workers’ rights and free movement, and a substitute member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. She was also the spokesperson for the Greens on asylum and refugees. Jean’s interests include democracy and human rights, refugee rights, anti-discrimination and social inclusion. She has also written a book on Green politics “No Change? No Chance”. Jean Lambert is the Vice-Chairperson of the ECAS Board.
Carlo Ruzza is Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy. He has widely published on radical right populist parties and political movements in southern Europe, particularly in Italy, and on civil society advocacy roles. His current research interests focus on civil society organisations specialising in anti-discrimination and human rights policy at the EU level and the impact of populism on EU institutions.
Carlo Berti is Research Fellow at the School of International Studies, University of Trento, Italy. His current research activities focus on populism and anti-populism in the European Union, journalism and social media, political corruption. His work has been published in international journals such as Journalism Studies; Media, Culture & Society; New Media & Society. He is co-editor of The Impact of Populism on European Institutions and Civil Society (Palgrave, 2021).
Pierluigi Brombo holds a Master degree in Political Sciences and one in Sociology and Social Research. He is the head of the Foresight, Studies and Assessment unit at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Previously, he was heading up the unit dealing with relations with organised civil society and, before that, he was responsible for immigration and integration policies at the EESC. He regularly writes publications on social sciences and law reviews on the theme of EU governance and democracy, on EU immigration policy and on EU family policy.
Paolo Cossarini is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University (Denmark). He has previously worked at the University of Trento (Italy), and at Loughborough University (UK). His has published on populism and nationalism, Italian and Spanish politics, protest movements, and civil society organisations. He is co-editor of “Populism and Passions. Democratic Legitimacy after Austerity” (2019), and co-editor of “The impact of Populism on European Institutions.
Assya Kavrakova is the Executive Director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) an international non-profit association, based in Brussels, with a pan-European membership and nearly 30 years of experience in empowering citizens to exercise their rights and campaigning for an inclusive, transparent and democratic Europe. Ms Kavrakova has more than twenty years of experience in senior management positions in the non-governmental sector and in-depth knowledge of European Citizenship, European Rights Framework, EU civic participation formal and informal mechanisms. Assya Kavrakova has a Master’s degree in Law and another Master’s degree in European Studies. She is also a member of the Board of EUobserver – a not-for-profit, independent online newspaper.
Zsolt Boda is research professor and Director General of the Centre for Social Sciences – Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence as well as part-time professor of political science at the ELTE University of Budapest. He holds an MA in economics and a PhD in political science. His academic work focuses on the problems of governance, public policy, as well as institutional trust, its social roots and its consequences for policy effectiveness. He is currently the principal investigator of DEMOS – Democratic efficacy and the varieties of populism in Europe, a consortial H2020 project.
Kalypso Nicolaidis is professorial Chair of Global Affairs at the EUI School of Transnational Governance in Florence, where she convenes the EUI Democracy Forum. She is currently on leave from the University of Oxford where she has been professor of International Relations and a governing body fellow at St Antony’s College at the European Studies Centre since 1999. Previously professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at ENA, she has worked with numerous EU institutions, including as a member of the European Council’s reflection group on the future of Europe chaired by Felipe González (2008-10). Her research interests revolve around internal and external aspects of European integration as well as global affairs, theaters of recognition, demoicratic theory, transnational legal empathy and social solidarity, global governance and international trade, sustainable integration, post-colonialism, myth and politics and the import of new technologies on international relations. Her last books are: A Citizen’s Guide to the Rule of Law – Why We Need to Fight for the Most Precious Human Inventions of All Time (with Adis Merdzanovic, 2021) and Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings of Brexit (2019).
Salvatore Finamore holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge. He worked formerly as managing editor of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and as an external lecturer at the ESSCA School of Management in Paris and Angers. He joined the General Secretariat of the Council in 2017, and has been a member of its Analysis and Research team since 2020.
June Sorensen Bedaton is a civil servant in the EESC and has since 2018 been team leader on the work with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Before she worked on Roma-issues, as well as justice, and employment affairs. She has worked for the EU Court of Justice, the ITUC, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Ombudsman.
Bruce Edmonds is Director of the Centre for Policy Modelling and the Professor in Social Simulation at the Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the coordinator of the H2020 project “Populism “and Civic Engagement” (http://popandce.eu), and was the bridge between social and formal scientists in the 5-year UK EPSRC funded “Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity” project. He co-edits the handbook on “Simulating Social Complexity” with his colleague, Ruth Meyer. For more about him and his research see the centre’s website at http://cfpm.org or browse his publications at http://cfpm.org/~bruce/pubs.html.