Joint PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and KU Leuven

Interests : Climate Democracy Gender Equality
Countries : Spain

Unai Gómez-Hernández is a joint PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and KU Leuven. His work focuses on how European radical right populist parties influence the EU’s external action vis-à-vis China. He is member of the EPRG and LINES research groups at Edinburgh and Leuven, respectively. His broader research interests deal with political parties, European external action, EU-China relations, and the Liberal International Order. Before embarking upon the PhD journey, he worked in the private sector, for the Basque Environmental Cluster in Bilbao, and in the public sector, as an advisor to the Delegate of the Basque Country in Brussels. He holds a BSc in Political Science (University of the Basque Country), BSc in International Relations (London School of Economics and Political Science), and a MA in International Relations and Diplomacy of the EU (College of Europe, Bruges Campus). On his free time, Unai enjoys reading, debating politics with friends, and playing League of Legends.

Expert in data analysis for public management and political analysis

Interests : Digital
Countries : Spain

Graduated in Political Science and Administration from the University of Barcelona with a master’s degree in Investigative Journalism and Data Visualization from the International University of La Rioja. He has the title of Expert in data analysis for public management and political analysis by the University of Barcelona. Former First Secretary of the Youth Socialists of Baix Llobregat (JSC, Spain) and now Councillor of Presidency, Strategic Projects and Open Government in the City of Sant Joan Despí. 

Deeply interested in social and territorial inequalities, focusing on gender and age variables, and the relationship of these factors to political and electoral behavior in liberal democracies.

Adjunct professor at the Universidad Carlos
III de Madrid.

Interests : Digital Economy
Countries : Spain

Kilian Wirthwein is a political consultant and has taught the subjects History of the World Economy and World Politics as an adjunct professor at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). He currently teaches Globalisation at the Rhein-Waal University. Previously, he was an associate consultant at Teneo International. He holds a BA in international relations from the Rhein-Waal University, an MSc in conflict studies from LSE and an MSc in global governance and diplomacy from the University of Oxford, for which he received a Talentia Scholarship from the Regional Government of Andalucía (Spain).

Post-doctoral researcher Maastricht University

Interests : Democracy
Countries : Belgium Netherlands Spain

Alvaro Oleart is a post-doctoral researcher at the at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University, and a scientific collaborator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is the author of the book Framing TTIP in the European public spheres: Towards an Empowering Dissensus for EU integration (2021), published by the series Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology. His fields of interest are the European public sphere,  the role of civil society in the EU policy-making, EU trade policy, populism and democracy in Europe, and the analysis of discourse and narratives.

Working Groups
Future of Europe

The paper outlines a vision of the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) from various perspectives and sets out proposals regarding how it should develop in order to contribute to making the EU more democratic. First, the paper discusses further steps the Conference should take towards bridging the gap between EU and national politics.

Second, the paper analyses previous initiatives of treaty reforms which may be incorporated into the Conference on the Future of Europe. Third, the paper lays out the visions of Europe in a half-century’s time among EU Commission officials. Last, the paper discusses citizens’ involvement in shaping EU future through a broader process of European deliberative democracy, and how the CoFoE could advance such a perspective.

Read the paper:
Citizens’ Europe - An institutional turn for an ever-democratic union?

Political Mentor: S&D MEP Domènec Ruiz Devesa
Academic Mentor: Michael Holms, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Liverpool Hope University