Michele Fiorillo
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Political Philosophy and Democratic Theory

Interests : Democracy Foreign Affairs
Countries : Italy

Michele Fiorillo is a political philosopher and activist.
Born in Verona, after studies at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and at the College of Europe in Warsaw, his researches focus on theories and practices of deliberative democracy.
He is co-initiator of CIVICO Europa (www.civico.eu) - an organisation for transnational participatory democracy- and of Citizens Take Over Europe (citizenstakeover.eu), a coalition of over 50 NGOs.
Currently is coordinating the project for the building up of a European Citizens' Assembly.

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

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yHIayD_W1-s
Members

Political scientist, Philosopher
University of Žilina, Slovakia
Research fellow

Interests : Democracy Social Europe
Countries : Slovakia

Jakub Švec is a young researcher. Jakub’s current occupation is the head of the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Žilina, Slovakia. He completed his bachelor's and master's studies at the Catholic University in Ružomberok (2012-2017), Slovakia, in the field of political science, and his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts of the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (2017-2020), Slovakia, in the field of systematic philosophy. Jakub participated on various study and research stays abroad: Institute for Social and European Studies in Kőszeg, Hungary (2014), Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland (2016-2017), Institute of Advanced Studies in Kőszeg, Hungary (2016-2017), University of Ostrava, Czech Republic (2018), University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland (2019). Jakub’s scientific research is focused on social and political philosophy, especially aimed to issues of social justice, equality and freedom, mostly in the context of early liberalism. He is the author of several scientific articles in the Web of Science and Scopus databases as well as the scientific monograph "In the Captivity of Freedom - The Need for a Philosophical Reinterpretation of Freedom." As a member of the working group "Social Europe" within the FEPS Young Academics Network, he tries to present in the output publication the ideological and value background of the origin, development, and current problems of the European left, which according to him must return to its original idea. The current intention in scientific activity is to defend two kinds of freedom.

Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post-COVID-19 recovery

Working Groups
Social Europe

Through its eclectic 20 principles, the European Pillar of Social Rights is an opportunity to break silos and look at social development as the network of challenges that it truly is.

Departing from the rather long history of European social rights, the implementation of the EPSR must follow a holistic approach, identifying synergies with discussions it already hints at in its 20 principles.

In order to contribute to the identification of such synergies, this paper attempts to shed light on three transversal issues that national governments and the European Commission must bear in mind when implementing the EPSR: civil rights; labour relations; and gender equality. The analysis departs from the setting of the current model of welfare state in post-World War II Europe and it ends with the Porto Summit 2021, reflecting on the documents approved and what they can mean for a post-COVID-19 Social Europe.

Read the Paper:
Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post- Covid 19 recovery

Political Mentor: YES Vice President and S&D MEP Alicia Homs
Academic Mentor: Matjaz Nahtigal, Associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

Members

Research and Teaching Associate at the Ecological Economics Institute (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Interests : Climate Economy
Countries : Austria

Halliki Kreinin is a Research and Teaching Associate at the Ecological Economics Institute (Vienna University of Economics and Business) where she is also working on her PhD on Social-Ecological Transformation, Sustainable Work and Environmental Labour Studies.

She is a trade unionist and environmental activist, and was one of the coordinators of the Vienna Degrowth Conference, which took place online at the end of May this year (https://www.degrowthvienna2020.org/).
Halliki is interested in how and on what basis trade unions and environmental organisations can work together, and what the barriers to closer cooperation for social-ecological transformation are (i.e.: different conceptions of the goal and the "good life for all" - consumption-based vs other emancipatory formulations of wellbeing; the role of work in society and emancipation "from"/ or "of" work; different conceptions of the multiple crises; and different formulations of the answer(s) to the crises).

Trade Unions and the multiple crisis of environment, society, economy and work

Working Groups
Trade Unions

This policy study focuses on trade union approaches to the multiple crises in a sector critical for the sustainability transformation: aviation. Based on empirical research, the authors find that unions, under pressure to face contradictory and complex problems, take divergent positions on societal-environmental issues and their solutions - verging from social-ecological transformation-focused to defensive stances, also in their collaboration with social movements for change.

Read the paper:
Trade Unions and the multiple crisis of environment, society, economy and work

Political Mentor: EP Vice President and S&D MEP Evelyn Regner
Academic Mentor: David Bailey, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government, University of Birmingham

Members

PhD candidate London School of Economics and Political Sciences

Interests : Economy Social Europe
Countries : Ireland

Neil is a Sociology PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he is investigating the proposals for the socialisation of investment in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, and their failure. He holds a research Masters in History, which looked at the unemployment policy in the British Labour Party in the 1980s and 1990s, and a BA in History and Political Science from a Trinity College Dublin. He was previously also a Vice-President of the Young European Socialists (YES), where he was a founder and coordinator of the YES-IUSY Political Economy Working Group. His strongest academic interests are in questions of political economy and economic policy, with a particular focus on European socialist and social democratic parties, and methods of historical sociology.

How to unlock the European Investment Bank’s potential: four reforms

Working Groups
European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU’s multilateral development bank. In this FEPS YAN policy study, the authors suggest four reforms that would help progressive policymakers to utilize unlock the EIB’s potential to play a greater role in the EU economy and its transition to a more resilient, climate-neutral, and progressive economy.

First, the authors suggest the EIB adopts more comprehensive lending targets based on social and environmental criteria. Second, they highlight the need for a stronger focus on equity-like instruments rather than debt instruments, especially in the ongoing response to the Covid-19 crisis. Third, they propose to strengthen the EIB’s accountability towards the European Parliament to ensure a legitimate political direction and democratic control of its activities. Fourth, they propose to convert the EIB’s retained profits into paid-in capital, unlocking up to €110 billion of additional lending capacity. To simultaneously accomplish increased democratic accountability, the authors suggest converting the EIB’s retained profits into EU capital and thus making the EU an EIB shareholder.

Read the paper:
How to unlock the European Investment Bank’s potential: four reforms

Political Mentor: EP Vice President and S&D MEP Pedro Silva Pereira
Academic Mentor: Carlo d' Ippoliti, Associate professor of political economy at the Department of Statistical Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome.

Members

Research Support Officer at Eurofound

Interests : Economy Social Europe
Countries : Germany Italy

Chiara was always driven by curiosity and interest in research, during her education in Rome, Paris, Frankfurt and Melbourne. Chiara obtained in 2016 a Bachelor in Economics and Business and, in 2019, a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance, together with a second international excellence master called QTEM (Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Management), with a final dissertation about the impact of flexicurity on Managerial practices. Workwise, she has been intern in various institutions, was an analyst at the ECB and it is currently working as a Research Support Officer at Eurofound, the agency of the European Union for improving working and living conditions.

Post doctoral researcher Hertie School

Interests : Democracy Digital
Countries : Germany

Niklas Kossow is a researcher, political activist and project manager from Berlin. He recently defended his PhD on the use of digital technologies in the context of anti-corruption movements at the Hertie School. During his PhD, Niklas also worked as a researcher and consultant for Transparency International, the GIZ, the UNDP and Freedom House. Currently, Niklas is working as a project manager at CityLAB Berlin where is working redeveloping Berlin’s Smart City strategy and citizen participation projects. He is a candidate of the German Social Democratic Party for the Berlin state parliamentary elections 2021.

Trade Unions and the multiple crisis of environment, society, economy and work

Working Groups
Trade Unions

This policy study focuses on trade union approaches to the multiple crises in a sector critical for the sustainability transformation: aviation. Based on empirical research, the authors find that unions, under pressure to face contradictory and complex problems, take divergent positions on societal-environmental issues and their solutions - verging from social-ecological transformation-focused to defensive stances, also in their collaboration with social movements for change.

Read the paper:
Trade Unions and the multiple crisis of environment, society, economy and work

Political Mentor: EP Vice President and S&D MEP Evelyn Regner
Academic Mentor: David Bailey, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government, University of Birmingham

Members

PhD candidate Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

Interests : Gender Equality Social Europe
Countries : Bulgaria

Lora is a PhD Students at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Her research topic is “Political actors and interest groups, which influenced and shaped the European Pillar of Social Rights”.

Lora has 4 years Political Science Bachelor degree at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridshi”. At that time, her main research interests are the transition political and economic systems in the Eastern European countries. She is Erasmus student at Copenhagen University when she researches the development of women labour market in Denmark.

Lora obtains European Master in Women's and Gender History. She has done her research work at two universities part of the master programme - Vienna University in Austria and Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" in Bulgaria. She focuses her research of development of women's labour market during 20th century mainly in Austria and Bulgaria. Her master's thesis is „Bulgarian Women’s Movement and The Development of Women’s Labour Market (1901 - 1944) “

Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post-COVID-19 recovery

Working Groups
Social Europe

Through its eclectic 20 principles, the European Pillar of Social Rights is an opportunity to break silos and look at social development as the network of challenges that it truly is.

Departing from the rather long history of European social rights, the implementation of the EPSR must follow a holistic approach, identifying synergies with discussions it already hints at in its 20 principles.

In order to contribute to the identification of such synergies, this paper attempts to shed light on three transversal issues that national governments and the European Commission must bear in mind when implementing the EPSR: civil rights; labour relations; and gender equality. The analysis departs from the setting of the current model of welfare state in post-World War II Europe and it ends with the Porto Summit 2021, reflecting on the documents approved and what they can mean for a post-COVID-19 Social Europe.

Read the Paper:
Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post- Covid 19 recovery

Political Mentor: YES Vice President and S&D MEP Alicia Homs
Academic Mentor: Matjaz Nahtigal, Associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

Members

PhD candidate Université Paris 13

Interests : Climate Economy
Countries : France

Paul is a PhD student in energy macroeconomics from Paris, France. His researches focus on the  structural changes our economies need to undertake to move to a low-carbon world. In contrast to mainstream economics, a heterodox  standpoint on the issue allows for a realistic vision where the transition is not only a cost to put in balance with other economic benefits, but a thermodynamic necessity as well as an opportunity to rebuild a better economy.

He is also passionated about issues related to the  nature of money, to auto-organisation problems, and to the complexity of social material relations. Aside from his interest in abstract issues, he is also deeply interested in  the political dynamics that frame the world he lives in and want to participate in it. His activism has  been so far concentrated in university movements and in other national causes against  the neoliberal agenda or against other forms of  domination.

Taking the temperature of the EU Green Deal

Working Groups
EU Green Deal

The European Green Deal (EGD) aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 while ensuring a just transition for all. However, the EGD’s high level of ambition and broad scope is not adequately reflected in member states’ commitments, and interest groups attempt to shape the EGD according to their preferences.

Given these circumstances, how can the promise of a green and just European Green Deal be realised? To shed light on this research question, the authors of this FEPS YAN Policy Study build on insights from political economy on the influence of interest groups in policymaking. Analytically, the authors propose a framework that integrates distinct sources of power (structural vis-à-vis instrumental) and a range of political strategies (quiet vis-à-vis noisy politics).

Empirically, they study two cases central to the EGD: the ‘EU Biodiversity Diversity Strategy for 2030’ to protect nature and ecosystems; and the ‘Hydrogen Strategy’ to power a climate-neutral economy. Based on lobbying activities with members of the European Commission and the European Parliament, the authors identify key stakeholders, their framing, and strategies. The findings have important implications for understanding the interplay of relevant actors and EU institutions and their influence on European policy.

Read the paper:
Taking the temperature of the EU Green Deal

Political Mentor: S&D MEP Delara Burkhardt
Academic Mentor: Robert Ladrech, Emeritus Professor of European Politics, Keele University, UK

Members

PhD candidate University of Erfurt

Interests : Economy Foreign Affairs
Countries : Germany

Johannes G. v. Luckner is a doctoral researcher in law at University of Erfurt in Germany. Born and raised in Germany, he studied law in Frankfurt (Main), Rome and Florence. His professional experience is spread out over various areas, ranging teaching in a high school during a voluntary service in Panama, over diplomacy in the German Foreign Office (Embassy to Italy, Rome) to European politics in the European Commission (DG Justice, Criminal Law).

In his PhD, he works on differentiation in European law, especially on the enhanced cooperation mechanism.

How to unlock the European Investment Bank’s potential: four reforms

Working Groups
European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU’s multilateral development bank. In this FEPS YAN policy study, the authors suggest four reforms that would help progressive policymakers to utilize unlock the EIB’s potential to play a greater role in the EU economy and its transition to a more resilient, climate-neutral, and progressive economy.

First, the authors suggest the EIB adopts more comprehensive lending targets based on social and environmental criteria. Second, they highlight the need for a stronger focus on equity-like instruments rather than debt instruments, especially in the ongoing response to the Covid-19 crisis. Third, they propose to strengthen the EIB’s accountability towards the European Parliament to ensure a legitimate political direction and democratic control of its activities. Fourth, they propose to convert the EIB’s retained profits into paid-in capital, unlocking up to €110 billion of additional lending capacity. To simultaneously accomplish increased democratic accountability, the authors suggest converting the EIB’s retained profits into EU capital and thus making the EU an EIB shareholder.

Read the paper:
How to unlock the European Investment Bank’s potential: four reforms

Political Mentor: EP Vice President and S&D MEP Pedro Silva Pereira
Academic Mentor: Carlo d' Ippoliti, Associate professor of political economy at the Department of Statistical Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome.

Members

Lecturer, University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest

Interests : Democracy
Countries : Romania

Mihail Caradaica is a Lecturer in European Studies at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. Since 2019 he is the coordinator of The Democratic Left Foundation, designing and implementing progressive projects. One of the most relevant projects he implemented for the foundation consisted in coordinating a book entitled: “The Left and the Romanian Social Agenda” a progressive collection of articles from leftist Romanian thinkers.

Regarding his experience in the political field, Mihail Caradaica worked between 2015 and 2016 as a Political Adviser of the Chamber of Deputies President, between 2016 and 2017 as a Political Adviser for MEP Office of Victor Negrescu, and today is a member of PES activists, as vice-president of PES Bucharest.

A Progressive Framework for Remote Working: Fairness, Sustainability and Digital Inclusion

Working Groups
Remote Work

This policy brief is an attempt to sketch out the baselines of a new progressive approach towards remote work. An approach that fosters social justice. An approach that takes seriously the promises and perils of digital transformation. Crucially, an approach that is compatible with ecological boundaries. In other words, the fact that proximity does not seem to play as big a role in shaping our world of work as it used to play does not have to go hand in hand with the erosion of workers’ rights. It does not have to exacerbate the worst excesses of digital capitalism. And it does not have to compound the destruction of the planet. These drawbacks are outcomes of political choices – not of natural laws. They are not inevitable.

Across three strategic levels, the policy proposals illustrate that progressives all across Europe have powerful strategies and tools at their disposal to prevent these outcomes: information; institutions; and labour law.

Read the paper:
A Progressive Framework for Remote Working: Fairness, Sustainability and Digital Inclusion

Political Mentor: S&D MEP Brando Benifei
Academic Mentor: Stewart Wood (Lord Wood of Anfield), Chair of the United Nations Association – UK

Members