Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
With the announcement of the partnership between European Horizons and EPIS ThinkTank e. V., a line of cooperation has taken place. EPIS had been given a great opportunity to compose a team made of our fellows Mihnea Turcitu, Dema Elya, Björn Kühn, and Marvin Katsole, to take part in the Transatlantic Leaders Fellowship Programme by EuH. As a result, our representatives will be pursuing 8 masterclasses on European Policy Making and Transatlantic Cooperation tied by two conferences in London and Brussels.
Their journey has already begun as they have just wrapped up at the Fall Policy Convention in London. After having launched the Transatlantic Leaders Fellowship Program in Washington D.C., from the 16th to the 17th of November 40 Students and young professionals from all over Europe gathered at Europe House in the United Kingdom to fully immerse into a truly transformative journey to achieve a higher and more nuanced understanding of transatlantic affairs and current geopolitical issues.
Day One unfolded with speakers such as Susanne Oberhauser, the Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO) in the United Kingdom, and Danuta Hübner, a Member of the European Parliament. Our delegates developed notable exchanges with Dr. Hübner, on climate change, EU reform, and criticism of the EU’s foreign policy trajectory. In between, a democratic crisis simulation came to fruition where the cohort tackled on the whim challenges akin to real-life situations.
On Day Two of the event, attendees were treated to an even higher concentration of knowledge, along with a warm morning greeting from Stefano Sannino, the Secretary General of the European External Action Service. The day featured a range of informative activities, including two policy-making workshops, an alumni panel, and a round table discussion titled “2024: The Year of Groundbreaking Elections for the Transatlantic Community”. The discussion was graced by prominent figures in the transatlantic community, such as Anthony Teasdale, the former Director General of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE, and Jeffries Briginshaw, Senior Director at the Transatlantic Policy Network and Head of EMEA Government Relations at NETAPP. Also joining the panel were Jill Rutter, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government, and Elena Lazarou, the Head of the External Policies Unit of the EPRS, along with Andrew Moravcsik, the Founding Director of the European Union Program and the International Relations Faculty Colloquium at Princeton University.
The Fall Policy Convention (FPC) in London, organized by European Horizons, successfully brought together a diverse and ambitious group of professionals, academics, and practitioners who are all dedicated to further experiencing what transatlantic cooperation and collaboration means in today’s world. The combination of thought-provoking presentations, interactive simulations, and networking opportunities contributed to a rich and collaborative environment. As the conference concluded, participants left with new insights, valuable connections, and a shared commitment to addressing global challenges through innovative and cooperative means.
This post was contributed by our delegation to the Transatlantic Leaders Fellowship Programme organised by our partners European Horizons.
Björn Laurin Kühn is a bachelor's and FGGA (Faculty of Global Governance and Affairs) Honours student of Political Science, specialising in International Relations and Organisations at Leiden University. He is particularly interested in Eastern Europe and the MENA region with a focus on security policies, crisis and security management, intercultural negotiation and transatlantic relations. Besides his studies, he is currently a member of the AC committee at the JASON Institute for Peace and Security Studies and is actively engaging in University politics as the IRO (International Relations and Organisations) representative for the Bachelor’s Programme Committee.
Dema Elya is currently studying International Relations & Organisations (IRO) at Leiden University. Having organized a congress on “Diplomacy with Autocracies”, she has gained interest in diplomacy, in particular, in mediation. How do we get two completely different countries to still sit at the table together? How do we continue to promote dialogue? Furthermore, she is interested in the EU's coordinated foreign policy. How effective are these coordinated policies of the EU? Think of the EU’s migration deal with Tunisia. Lastly, as the Dutch Youth Delegate to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, she has learned the value of the international community. She is therefore interested in investigating the role and effectiveness of International Organisations and Non-governmental organizations in the international arena. The topic of diplomacy, specifically multilateral diplomacy, comes back to this topic.
Marvin Katsole is a Bachelor's and Honours student in Political Science, with a specialization in International Relations and Organizations at Leiden University. His academic focus lies in the intricate interactions between the African and European continents. Beyond his academic pursuits, Marvin actively contributes as a Board member of Leiden University's Refugee Initiative. In this role, he passionately advocates for increased educational opportunities for refugees in the Netherlands.
Mihnea Turcitu is a highly accomplished Hounors Political Science student at Leiden University with a specialization in International Relations and Organizations. He is an influential and dedicated board member of Stichting IncLUsion, a foundation committed to supporting asylum seekers in their academic pursuits in the Netherlands. Having lived in the Northern Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Mihnea possesses a profound interest in the Middle Eastern region. He is determined to address crucial issues such as defence, resilience, and the role of diplomacy in conflict mediation. Mihnea is passionate about building a successful career in diplomacy, with a focus on developing and implementing innovative resilience strategies with strategic partners. With the knowledge he has acquired in the lecture hall and on the ground, Mihnea has been able to receive several accolades such as "Future Leader of the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Forum.". Currently, Mihnea is focusing his energy on the academic front and is pursuing the Transatlantic Leaders Fellowship Program of European Horizons, where he is honing his European Policy Making Skills. In the background, he works on promoting educational programs as an International Relations and Organizations Student Representative and on mentoring 1st-year students.