Managing Director

Dr. Gonny Willems

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 strongly believes in the contribution science makes to society and aims to bring researchers and their work closer to citizens.
Europa Chair

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. 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 at Utrecht University between 2008 and 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.

The Team

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 (full-time)

Helene Vliegenthart-Peereboom

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
Programme Maker (full-time)

Annelies van Rijen

Annelies van Rijen works on communication, programme making and the research agenda at Studio Europa Maastricht. She obtained a 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.
Communications Advisor/Editor (full-time)

Valentino Vondenhoff

Marketing & Communications Advisor (part-time)

Roos Stalenhoef

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 programme communication.
Programme Maker (part-time)

Job Zomerplaag

Job is program editor at Studio Europa Maastricht. Driven by curiosity and imagination, he crafts and coordinates projects that stimulate meaningful exchanges and collaborations between the research, stories, and heritage of Europe. Job completed a bachelor’s in media and communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He went on to study in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid as part of the Erasmus Mundus Master in urban studies. After his graduation, he returned to the region he grew up in to join Studio Europa’s team. He is currently completing a master’s in public policy and innovation governance at Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT. Previously, he has worked as a creative project manager, multimedia journalist, and research assistant.

Research Team

Special Chair Limburg and Europe

Prof. Joep Leerssen

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Neculai-Cristian Surubaru

Neculai-Cristian focuses his research on European politics, Rule of Law and EU funds, Central and Eastern Europe, and East-West relations.

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.

Nicole Basaraba
Post-doctoral Researcher

Dr. Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba's research focuses on the creative practices for developing and evaluating interactive digital narratives for cultural heritage, tourism, public history, and digital humanities projects. As part of the Working on Europe programme, she is investigating the emerging concept of creative placemaking and how the techniques can be used to contribute to storytelling about the heritage and identity of citizens in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. Her work is supported by her interdisciplinary collaborations within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage) and the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering).
Nicole Basaraba holds a PhD in Digital Humanities from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), which was funded by the ADAPT Centre – The Global Centre for Digital Content Technologies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta (Canada). After submitting her thesis, Basaraba completed a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. Her work as been published in Frontiers of Narrative Studies, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, and her monograph titled Transmedia for Cultural Heritage: Remixing History is forthcoming with Routledge, UK.
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Ivan Rubinić

Ivan Rubinić is a postdoctoral economic researcher in European integration. He holds PhD in Economics obtained from the School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana. He has been awarded the University of Ljubljana Recognition for the Best Study Achievements, the Danubius Young Scientist Award, and the URPE Doctoral Fellowship. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Review of Economics and Economic Methodology. Before joining Studio Europa Maastricht, Working on Europe project, Ivan was a political economy lecturer at the University of Rijeka. Ivan is committed to exposing that excessive cross-country inequalities stand in the way of the European vision of shared prosperity, equality, and cohesiveness. In this regard, his theoretical and empirical efforts aim to overhaul the ideological oppositions to render the admirable European integration sustainable, prosperous, and aligned with its founding values. His scholarly record is comprised of a number of peer-reviewed publications, recognized by many renowned scientific outlets, including Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, and Oxford University Press.
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 post-doctoral researcher at Studio Europa for the Maastricht Working on Europe research agenda. She also is assistant Professor in Private Law at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University and is one of the managers of the Maastricht Law and Tech Lab.

Alvaro Oleart - klein
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Alvaro Oleart

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Studio Europa Maastricht and the Department of Political Science (within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, FASoS) of Maastricht University. I am the author of the book "Framing TTIP in the European Public Spheres: Towards an Empowering Dissensus for EU Integration", published by the Palgrave series in European Political Sociology. Previously, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the context of the Horizon 2020 project ‘RECONNECT: Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law’. I hold a PhD in political communication from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and an active member of the Jean Monnet Network ‘OpenEUDebate’.

The core of my academic research has been the interactive relationship between national and European politics, both from a public sphere and an institutional perspective, and my main fields of interest are political communication, the European public sphere, the role of civil society in the EU policy-making, transnational social movements, EU trade policy, populism and democracy in Europe, and the analysis of discourse and narratives. My research has been published in international high quality peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of European Integration, the Journal of Contemporary European Research, Communication & Society or Politique Européenne.

Clar Fenwick image
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Clare Fenwick

• Clare Fenwick is a postdoctoral researcher in Political Economy. Her research focuses on better understanding how uncertainty in the labour market affects voters' policy and party preferences in Europe, and how this in-turn leads to consequences for European welfare states and socio-economic outcomes. Clare's work is supported by inter-disciplinary collaborations from within the School of Business and Economics (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, ROA) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Department of Political Science). Clare's PhD from the Department of Economics, Leiden University was a part of the multidisciplinary research project 'SOLID: solidarity under strain – A legal, criminological and economic analysis of welfare states and free movement in the EU' and examined the ways in which immigration structurally challenges and changes the organisation and conceptual boundaries of national welfare states in Europe. Her paper entitled ‘The political economy of immigration and welfare state effort: Evidence from Europe’ was awarded Leiden Law School’s 2020 Meijer’s Prize for best published article. Before joining Studio Europa Maastricht and prior to her PhD, Clare worked in International Development on parliamentary strengthening programmes to improve the functioning of Parliaments and policy processes in countries such as Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan. Additionally, she studied the double degree MSc Public Policy and Human Development with a specialisation in Migration Studies at the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) & Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG).
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Dr. Caterina Di Fazio

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 Fellow and Heritage Label

Eline Madeleine Schmeets

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.
PhD Researcher

Akudo Kyoshia McGee

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.

Thales Costa Bertaglia


Office & Events Manager (student-assistant)

Chris Bergmans

Chris Bergmans works as student-assistant events and communications at Studio Europa Maastricht. She performs both communication and operational tasks related to the organization of the various events that Studio Europa Maastricht initialized. Born and raised in Maastricht, Chris is very proud to help positioning the city as a central player within Europe. Chris has completed her bachelor at the Hotel Management School Maastricht and is currently completing a master International Business with specializations in Strategy & Innovation and Strategic Marketing. Before working for Studio Europa Maastricht, she has completed an internship in campaign management at Digitial Influencer Marketing Agency; Imagency Amsterdam.