Our Story

Studio Europa Maastricht aims to position Maastricht as a meeting place for citizen dialogue and debate and establish a Centre of Excellence for research on Europe and European integration. In short: a workplace for a better Europe. For everyone. Our mission is to stimulate active, critical debate with citizen engagement at its core.

Our organisation consists of three branches:

  • The research of Europe: we are a leading Centre of Excellence for multi-disciplinary Europe-focused research with societal impact;
  • The stories of Europe: we stimulate active, critical debate with citizen engagement at its core and capture and share the stories of Europe;
  • The heritage of Europe: the Maastricht Treaty is the proud holder of the European Heritage Label since 2018 and we bring its history to life.

We are supported by the partners of the Maastricht Working on Europe programme: the Province of Limburg, the City of Maastricht and Maastricht University.

Why Maastricht?

Since 1992 the city’s been inextricably linked with Europe as the Maastricht Treaty sealed Europeans’ commitment to develop our collective identity. The signing of this milestone for European integration started a great, dynamic experiment, which carries on to this day.

While the Treaty may be the city’s claim to fame, Maastricht’s European character is more than just symbolic. The city is the place for Europeans to come together to work on that experiment. To think, debate and discuss Europe.

This is not a coincidence. Maastricht has always been a city defined by (crossing) borders. For centuries it’s been a melting pot of cultures where different peoples meet, trade, cooperate and, from time to time, wholeheartedly disagree.

To this day, it remains a forum for culture and commerce, and the impact of the surrounding Dutch-, French- and German-speaking industrial and cultural hubs is felt everywhere. At work, in leisure time and in education. This confluence continually gives rise to new opportunities, new questions and new ideas.

Our Partners

The Dutch province of Limburg is the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. It is in the southeastern part of the country, stretched out from the north, where it touches the province of Gelderland, to the south, where it internationally borders Belgium and Germany. Learn more about the province here.

The oldest city in the Netherlands has great appeal, not only for day trippers and tourists, but also for new residents. This can be seen in the city’s wonderful nicknames, such as the “Culinary capital of the Netherlands” and “Europe’s smallest metropolis.” Learn more about the city here.

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands with 16,300 students and 4,300 employees. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education. Learn more about the university here.

Our team

Gonny_Willems
Managing Director

Dr. Gonny Willems

Together with the Studio Europa Maastricht team, Gonny has the ambition to profile the city of Maastricht as a catalyst for Europe.

Dr. Gonny Willems (Ph.D) is managing director of Studio Europa Maastricht. Together with the Studio Europa Maastricht team, Gonny has the ambition to profile Studio Europa and the city of Maastricht as a catalyst for Europe. Gonny started her career as a researcher previously holding research and teaching positions at Maastricht University, the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and the Open University. Subsequently, she specialized as a manager at Maastricht University In educational logistics as head of the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering and head of department of Maastricht University's Student Desk (I.e., Admissions & International Services and Professional & Personal Student Development). Originally, she was trained in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience and Developmental Psychology. She is also licensee, coordinator and curator of the TEDxMaastricht community since 2014. She strongly believes in the contribution science makes to society and aims to bring researchers and their work closer to citizens.
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Caterina Di Fazio

Caterina is a philosopher and co-founder of Agora Europe together with Nadia Urbinati and Etienne Balibar.

Caterina Di Fazio is a philosopher and co-founder of Agora Europe together with Nadia Urbinati and Etienne Balibar. She received her PhD on Phenomenology of Political Space from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University in May 2018. She previously graduated summa cum laude with a master's degree in philosophy from Università degli Studi di Bologna, in recognition of the thesis she wrote at the Sorbonne. She has been a visiting scholar at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, at the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University in the City of New York and at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Western Australia. She is currently a postdoc at Studio Europa at Maastricht University and a visiting scholar at Columbia Political Science Department, where she is working on a comparative analysis of migration in Mediterranean and Transatlantic Europe.
PhD Researcher and Heritage Label

Eline Madeleine Schmeets

Eline explores the history and future of a two-kilometer-long ‘shared’ or ‘European’ street, located exactly on the national border between Herzogenrath (Germany), and Kerkrade (The Netherlands).

Next to working as a PhD researcher at Studio Europa Maastricht, Eline-Madeleine is a Teaching Fellow at University College Maastricht. She is working under the supervision of Mathieu Segers, Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration at Maastricht University, and Ben Highmore, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. Her thesis is a practical and theoretical research project that explores the history and future of a two-kilometer-long ‘shared’ or ‘European’ street, located exactly on the national border between Herzogenrath (Germany), and Kerkrade (The Netherlands). Previous to joining Studio Europa Maastricht, Eline worked as Policy Advisor Education for Maastricht University. She has an MSc by Research in Cultural Studies from The University of Edinburgh and a BA in Arts and Culture from Maastricht University.
Project Manager: Heritage Label & Europe Archive

Dr. Bart Stol

Bart is responsible for the coordination of the Europe archive, the oral history project and various outreach projects concerning the history and impact of the Maastricht Treaty.

Dr. Bart Stol (Ph.D.) is project manager on the field of European heritage and The Maastricht Treaty at Studio Europa. He is responsible for the coordination of the Europe archive, the oral history project and various outreach projects concerning the history and impact of the Maastricht Treaty. Bart is a historian and previously held research and teaching positions at Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam and the Centre for Parliamentary History at Radboud University Nijmegen. Originally, he is trained as a journalist and writes for various newspapers and magazines since 1999. His main fields of interest are European and diplomatic history since 1789.
Office Manager

Helene Vliegenthart-Peereboom

Helene is the first point of contact for the majority of Studio Europa Maastricht's incoming communications.

Helene is the first point of contact for the majority of Studio Europa Maastricht's incoming communications. She makes sure that our processes and projects run smoothly. Writing and checking off to-do lists is her professional guilty pleasure.
Previously, Helene was a financial-administrative officer for an architectural office. She has a background in Cultural Studies and is mainly interested in European identity, heritage, and citizen science.
Secretary & Executive PA

Hadeel Alnashawati

The expertise of Hadeel is examining the nature of power that the European Union exercises in the world, particularly in the war-torn countries of the Middle East, and how the war affects the EU policy approach.

Hadeel Alnashawati has a BA in Humanities and English literature and MA in European Studies, with a specialization in European Politics and International Relations. She obtained her master’s degree from Maastricht University. Her expertise is examining the nature of power that the European Union exercises in the world, particularly in the war-torn countries of the Middle East, and how the war affects the EU policy approach. Before joining Studio Europa, she obtained extensive work experience in an administrative position, participated in student conferences and completed an internship in political lobbying and policy-making at a nonprofit organization in the Netherlands. In addition to speaking English and Dutch, Hadeel is Arabic native speaker.
Mathieu_Segers
EuropaChair

Prof. dr. Mathieu Segers

Mathieu Segers is Europa-Chair at Studio Europa Maastricht and Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration at Maastricht University.

Mathieu Segers is Europa-Chair at Studio Europa Maastricht and Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration at Maastricht University. He has been a Fulbright-Schuman fellow at the Center for European Studies of Harvard University and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and IR at the University of Oxford. He has held the position of Assistant/Associate Professor of European Integration and International Relations Utrecht University at Utrecht University from 2008-2016. His research focuses on the history and pre-history of European integration and trans-Atlantic relations, on which he publishes in international scholarly journals of different disciplines. Focussing on the historical roots of the modern EU, Segers is currently interested in the ‘Maastricht order’ (and its outlook) and the origins of the Maastricht Treaty, focussing on the EMU, the European social market economy, and the EU’s position in international politics.
Christian_Surubaru
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Neculai-Cristian Surubaru

Neculai-Cristian focuses his research on administrative state capacity & politicisation in relation to the management of EU funds in Central and Eastern Europe.

Neculai-Cristian Surubaru is a postdoctoral researcher in European Studies. He obtained a PhD in Political Science from Loughborough University. Prior to joining Studio Europa, he was a researcher at the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In his research, he has focused on administrative state capacity & politicisation in relation to the management of EU funds in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, he has contributed to several reports and evaluations commissioned by EU institutions and national governments, and has helped establish the annual Eurosfat forum held in Romania. His work was published by journals such as Regional Studies, the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS), European Politics and Society and East European Politics.
PhD Researcher

Thales Costa Bertaglia

Thales focuses his current research on characterizing the opinion of youth on European issues, using Artificial Intelligence techniques for social media analysis.

Thales Bertaglia is a PhD researcher at Studio Europa and the Institute of Data Science. He is working under the supervision of Catalina Goanta (Assistant Professor in Private Law), Michel Dumontier (Distinguished Professor of Data Science), and Mathieu Segers (Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration). His current research focuses on characterizing the opinion of youth on European issues using Artificial Intelligence techniques for social media analysis. Thales received his Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Computational Mathematics from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil. Before coming to the Netherlands, he spent some time working as a Data Scientist in the UK and Germany.
Marketing & Communications Advisor

Roos Stalenhoef

At Studio Europa, Roos is in charge of corporate communication and project communication.

Roos has an educational background in International Business Communication, Spanish and International Management. She worked at a strategic communications agency for 8 years and developed into an analyst, strategist and project manager. She loves complex issues in an international context. At Studio Europa, Roos is in charge of corporate communication and project communication.
Student Assistant Events & Communications

Femke Hamers

Femke performs both communication and operational tasks related to the organization of the various events that Studio Europa Maastricht initializes.

Femke Hamers performs both communication and operational tasks related to the organization of the various events that Studio Europa Maastricht initializes. By growing up in a region where three countries meet (Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany), she has a strong affinity with the Euregion and Europe. Femke has completed her bachelor at the Hotel Management School Maastricht and is currently completing a master in International Business - Supply Chain Management at Maastricht University. Before working for Studio Europa Maastricht, she has completed an internship in event management at lawyers firm NautaDutilh. Next to that, she gained a lot of experience in the hospitality sector both in the Netherlands and abroad such as in Paris and Hong Kong. Besides speaking Dutch and English fluently, Femke also speaks French, German and a little bit of Spanish.
Communications Officer

Stephanie Ifill

Femke perStephanie focuses on content development, strategy and brand positioning within Studio Europa Maastricht.

Stephanie focuses on content development, strategy and brand positioning within Studio Europa Maastricht. Stephanie is a team member of Studio Europa’s partner organisation CUBE, the social start-up founded by Maastricht University alumni, which advocates for an inclusive participation channel for young and marginalised people in Europe. Stephanie is currently completing her Masters in Politics and Society at Maastricht University. She adds a fresh and critical voice to the European social and political arena. Her research interests are situated within social and political thought; and the specialism of her work lay in her ability to draw on and situate the perspectives and social location of groups who have traditionally been marginalised from the political sphere. European themes include: Democracy, Justice & Freedom.

Stephanie is an established marketing specialist who completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours, at the University of the Arts London. Stephanie is skilled in making research findings tangible and accessible for broader audiences; her work has gained media attention nationally in the UK; and has been featured internationally in Lisbon, Buenos Aires, New York and Australia. Her most recent position before moving to Maastricht was as the Editor for a Building Economist Journal in Sydney, where she published their first ever women centered Edition.

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Catalina Goanta

The current research of Catalina addresses decentralization and platform governance, with projects such as the regulation of social media influencers.

Dr. Catalina Goanta is postdoctoral researcher at Studio Europa (Maastricht Working on Europe), Assistant Professor in Private Law at the Faculty of Law and manages the Maastricht Law and Tech Lab together with Gijs van Dijck and Marcel Schaper. Her current research addresses decentralization and platform governance, with projects such as the regulation of social media influencers, where she looks at the moderation and contractual control of monetized content on social media. For this project, she has been collaborating, among others, with technology artist Paolo Cirio, who designed a campaign to raise awarness about the advertising of controversial products.
Miriam_Urlings
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Miriam Urlings

Within Studio Europa, Miriam studies the translation of scientific evidence into policy by European Agencies, such as the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medical Agency.

Miriam Urlings is a postdoctoral researcher within Studio Europa Maastricht. She obtained her PhD in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science of Maastricht University in July 2019, after a bachelor and master in the field of health sciences and nutrition. Her PhD research concerned the occurrence of selective citation within scientific publications. By means of quantitative citation analyses in six biomedical research fields she assessed which factors influence the chance of being cited and how this impacts knowledge development. Within Studio Europa Miriam studies the translation of scientific evidence into policy by European Agencies, such as the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medical Agency. In this project she collaborates with researchers from the medicine and law faculty. Additionally, she teaches bachelor and master students in the field of epidemiology and statistics at Maastricht University.
PhD Researcher

Akudo Kyoshia McGee

Akudo focuses her research on examining the emergence and maintenance of Eurosceptic sentiment in order to identify internal fault lines across the EU.

Akudo Kyoshia McGee is a PhD researcher at Maastricht University. She is working under her primary supervisor, Mathieu Segers, Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration and second supervisor, Ferenc Laczó, Assistant Professor of History. With an eclectic background in cultural and identity studies, she hopes to approach research about strengthening the European Union's internal integration capacity from an interdisciplinary perspective that addresses the topic on a policy level and from a historical perspective, but that also examines popular support for the Union and is ideational about what its future could look like. Her thesis will focus on examining the emergence and maintenance of Eurosceptic sentiment in order to identify internal fault lines across the EU. Akudo previously studied Identity and Integration (European Studies) at the University of Amsterdam, where her focus was on refugee integration in challenging economic and social environments. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in German Language and Cultural Studies.
Melih_Özkardes
Programme-Maker

Melih Özkardes

Melih is responsible for programme development, organisation and execution at Studio Europa.

Melih Özkardes is responsible for programme development, organisation and execution at Studio Europa. Arranging a great event calendar at Studio Europa Maastricht is his highest goal. He is passionate about thinking out of the box and organizing events, which fosters great European dialogue. He has Turkish, German, Georgian and Bulgarian roots and speaks six languages. He lived in Turkey, Germany and Netherlands. Previously, he has been working in Germany in the sport field as event coordinator and in the European education field as project manager. Europe and sport are a important part of his identity.
Annelies_van_Rijen
Communications Officer

Annelies van Rijen

Annelies works on fostering an interdisciplinary research community on European affairs at Maastricht University as well as translating the complexity of European politics to a broader audience.

Annelies van Rijen works on communication, programme making and the research agenda at Studio Europa Maastricht. She obtained a bachelor and master’s in international relations and European integration history from Utrecht University and a master from the College of Europe in Warsaw. Currently, she is working on fostering an interdisciplinary research community on European affairs at Maastricht University as well as on translating the complexity of European politics to a broader audience in the interesting local context of the Euregion. Previously, Annelies wrote on European Affairs for Het Financieële Dagblad, worked as a lecturer at Utrecht University and worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. In addition to Dutch and English, Annelies is also fluent in French and has some basic knowledge of Italian as well as Spanish.