Imagine we are in the year 2050 and Europe is on the way to the European Republic

Our story

The European Democracy Lab is an intergenerational think tank founded in 2014. By connecting research, advocacy and culture, we generate innovative ideas for Europe.

A co-working space in Berlin’s Neukölln district is where it all began. Equipped with no other means than motivation and a drive to impact the European discourse with concrete proposals, the lab set out on its journey to become the creative hub for European visions we are today. Having dedicated her life’s work to shaping the European project, Ulrike Guérot had become disillusioned by the abandonment of ambition for the European project. From the sovereign debt to the refugee crisis, division had replaced integration on the European continent and European nation-states began turning against one another.

To counter these developments, she left her European policy job to start the European Democracy Lab. Six years since we have worked tirelessly, conducting research, launching cultural projects, organizing lectures and events to build and engage a vast network of people seeking to create new European narratives.

Ulrike Guérot’s vision of a European Republic based on the equality of all European citizens before the law and the empowerment of the regions is our guiding vision. To spread this inspiring idea and make it happen, we connect research, advocacy and culture.

Our team

Ulrike Guérot

Ulrike Guérot


Ulrike founded the European Democracy Lab in 2014. She holds a professorship  at Danube-University Krems, in Austria and continues to support the Lab as a scientific advisor. She is a political scientist with 20 years of experience in the European think tank community and has taught at universities in Europe and the United States. She is the visionary behind the European Republic and the inspiration for the Lab’s overall agenda.

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Peter Jelinek

Peter Jelinek

Policy Advisor

Peter works as a political communication expert in the European Parliament and supports the lab with online communications and campaigning.


Simona Stockreiter

Simona Stockreiter

Research Follower

Simona is a PhD candidate at the Hertie School in Berlin. Her research focuses on the role that the various interest groups and citizens’ participation initiatives play in the EU institutions shaping the EU’s digital policy. Previously, she studied philosophy and sociology at the University of Vienna. Several studies and research stays withinin different European countries and traineeships – among others – in the European Commission made her feel more and more “European”. Since the beginning of her studies, she has been working on the topic of “democratic legitimacy of the EU”. For her, the EDL offers an opportunity to link theory with practice.

Niels Wiese

Niels Wiese


Niels supports the work of the European Democracy Lab as a Fellow since April 2021. He has worked on various NGO projects in Italy, Spain and Greece, where his main focus is on EU integration – specifically with regard to countries from Southern Europe. Niels received his Laurea Magistrale in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Università degli Studi Genova.

Carla Congiu

Carla Congiu

Research Fellow

Carla graduated in European and Global Studies (Laurea Magistrale) from the University of Padua. She joined the European Democracy Laboratory team in August 2021.
In her past experiences she has had the opportunity to collaborate with NGOs from different European countries, while in Italy she has collaborated with Amnesty International and LegAmbiente. She still collaborates as a content creator for a radio program in Padua on the issues of immigration and citizenship rights.
Within the European Democracy Lab she will mainly deal with communication channels such as social media and in the future the podcast.

Arjan van der Waal

Arjan van der Waal


Arjan joined the European Democracy Lab early 2021 as an ambassador: he takes the talk and action of the European Republic to the Low Lands and voices European ideas, vibes, and movement from the Low Lands back to the European Republic. He previously worked with democrats and human rights promotors around the world, for a variety of institutions, such as the European Commission and Amnesty International. He is a trained lawyer.

Rafal Fabianowicz

Rafal Fabianowicz


Rafal Fabianowicz joined the European Democracy Lab as a Research Fellow in the wake of the global pandemic. The work of the Lab is in line with his research as a doctoral student in political science at Andrássy University Budapest in Hungary. He focuses on how our European democracy needs to develop progressively to keep up with global challenges such as the fight against climate change. Rafal believes that theory needs to be put into practice; therefore, he hopes to bring the European community closer to its citizens with his engagement at the European Democracy Lab.

Our board

Ulrike Guérot

Ulrike Guérot

Ulrike Guérot

Ulrike founded the European Democracy Lab in 2014. She holds a professorship  at Danube-University Krems, in Austria and continues to support the Lab as a scientific advisor. She is a political scientist with 20 years of experience in the European think tank community and has taught at universities in Europe and the United States. She is the visionary behind the European Republic and the inspiration for the Lab’s overall agenda.

Ulrike Leis

Ulrike Leis

Ulrike Leis

Ulrike has been connected to the work of the European Democracy Lab for many years.  She has held various policy and management positions in Berlin and Washington, D.C for more than 15 years. Her work has focused on international cooperation as well as climate and energy policies. Ulrike holds an MA in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Advisory Council

Our distinguished Advisory Council Members are passionate about the European project and devoted years of their work to achieving a stronger union


The Strategic Committee will advise the Lab on its operational agenda, media and outreach, on its cultural work as much as on advocacy and fundraising activities.

Alberto Alemanno is an academic, civic advocate and public interest lawyer. He’s currently the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris and Global Professor of Law at New York University School of Law in Paris. Due to his commitment to bridge the gap between academic research and policy action, Alberto pioneered innovative, gamified forms of civic engagement and activism in the transnational space via his civic start up The Good Lobby.

Alberto Alemanno


The Good Lobby

Daphne Büllesbach is the Managing Director at Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform. Before she was the Executive Director at European Alternatives. In 2012 she founded the Berlin office after having been an activist with EA for a couple of years. She is interested in the sustainable networking of civil society actors in Europe.

Daphne Büllersbach

Managing Director

HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform

Tilo Jung is a journalist and chief editor of the political webshow “Jung & Naiv”. Even before starting studies in Business Administration and Law, he worked as a freelance reporter for the regional newspaper. He then moved on to working for the radio and finally founding his own political talk show, which aims to make an accessible contribution under the headline “Politics for the Indifferent” by inviting interesting politicians, journalists and other well-renowned commentators. His current focus is regular press conferences of the German government.

Tilo Jung

Journalist and designer

Jung & Naiv

Ivan Krastev is a political scientist who works as chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and permanent fellow at the IWM Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna after having held fellowships in Oxford, Washington D.C., Budapest, Berlin and NYU. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of trustees of the International Crisis Group and the advisory board of Open Society Foundations, the Center for European Policy Analysis and the European Cultural Foundation. Furthermore, he has written for The New York Times as well as authored multiple books and essays.

Ivan Krastev


Centre for Liberal Strategies

Robert Menasse is a novelist and political-journalistic essayist. Having studied philosophy, political science and German studies in Salzburg, Vienna and Messina, his work mainly deals with European institutions, the idea of a Europe of Regions, Austrian history and the role of underdogs in society and literature. Before returning to Vienna in 1988, he taught as a guest lecturer at the University of São Paulo. He has also been honoured with various prizes.

Robert Menasse



Emilia Pasquier works as a foreign, economic and cultural policy consultant of the Swiss President Alain Berset. Previously, she was the Managing Director of the foreign policy think tank foraus as well as Deputy Secretary General for the UN Global Compact Switzerland and the Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Having studied political and economic philosophy, she also joined the Année Politique Suisse as a researcher and author, and is a board member of the Swiss Society for Foreign Policy and the European Forum Alpbach.

Emilia Pasquier


foraus – Forum Außenpolitik

Wolfgang Petzold is the deputy director for communications of the EU’s Committee of the Regions. He has previously worked for the European Commission’s Regional Policy and Employment and Social Affairs Directorate-Generals and is also an occasional researcher and part-time lecturer at the University of Osnabrück.

Wolfgang Petzold

Deputy director

Europäischer Ausschuss der Regionen (AdR)

Milo Rau is a theatre director, journalist, essayist and lecturer. Having studied sociology, German and Roman studies in Paris, Berlin and Zurich, he has published over 50 plays, films, books and actions since 2002, which have been shown at various major international festivals. He is the founder of the “International Institute of Political Murder”, a political theatre focussing on multimedia treatment of historical and sociopolitical conflicts such as those concerning the former Romanian dictatorship or the genocide in Rwanda.

Milo Rau



David van Reybrouck is a cultural historian, archaeologist, journalist, dramatist and author.

David van Reybrouck

Journalist and author


Elke Schmitter is an author and journalist who has led the German newspaper “taz.die tageszeitung” and written for “Die Zeit”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “Der Spiegel”. Having studied philosophy in Munich, she has also published various collections of lyrics as well as novels which have been translated into 12 languages.

Elke Schmitter

Journalist and novelist


Sławomir Sierakowski is a sociologist and political commentator who works as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw, President of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association and fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, Harvard, Yale and Princeton. He has written on Polish and European politics for The New York Times, the Guardian and other well-known journals such as Le Monde and Haaretz. He founded the Krytyka Polityczna, a magazine and movement of liberal intellectuals, artists and activists in Eastern Europe.

Sławomir Sierakowski

Founder and Head

Krytyka Polityczna

Martin Wiesmann



The Academic Committee will provide guidance for the Lab in the setup and framing of its research activities with respect to European Republicanism in political thought and its academic articulations, research on civil society and civic participation as well as modern European regional studies.

Armin von Bogdandy is director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg as well as Professor for Public Law at the Goethe University Frankfurt. He has been President of the OECD Nuclear Energy Tribunal, member of the German Science Council and Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and held positions at NYU, the Xiamen Academy of International Law and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, amongst others.

Armin von Bogdandy



Stefan Collignon is a political economist, professor and author with a focus on the economic governance of the EU. While having taught at the University of Hamburg, SciencePo Paris and Lille, College of Europe Bruges, FU Berlin, Harvard, LSE, and now being professor at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa as well as International Chief Economist of the Centro Europa Ricerche in Rome, he has also previously worked for the German Ministry of Finance and Association for the Monetary Union of Europe.

Stefan Collignon

Professor of Political Economy

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

Erik Oddvar Eriksen is the Director of the ARENA Centre for European Studies, editorial board member of multiple scientific journals and a Professor of Political Science with a focus on political theory, public policy and European integration. He has previously been a professor at the University of Tromsø, the University of Bergen, the Centre of Professional Studies and the University College of Oslo and is currently at the University of Aalborg.

Erik Oddvar Eriksen

Professor of Political Science

Universität Oslo

Timothy Garton Ash is a Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford as well as fellow at the St Antony’s College and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As historian, his main interests are modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe, the EU’s relationships with partners as well as communism. He has also authored multiple books and regularly writes articles for the Guardian and other publications.

Timothy Garton Ash

Professor for European Studies

University of Oxford

Senka Neuman-Stanivukovic is Assistant Professor of European Integration at the University of Groningen. Her research interests include European multiplicity, contested territorialities in EU accession, protests and popular uprising in South-East Europe as well as theorizing (dis-)integration and citizenship. Besides research and teaching, she sits on the Programme Board of the Erasmus Mundus Euroculture Programme and contributes to the Colours of a Journey Collective.

Senka Neuman-Stanivukovic

Assistenzprofessorin für europäische Integration

University of Groningen

Jürgen Neyer is a Professor of Political Science with a focus on the institutional order of the EU, International Relations and Global Governance. He taught and researched at the Goethe University Frankfurt, the University of Bremen, FU Berlin, LMU Munich, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) and UC Berkeley.

Jürgen Neyer

Professor for Political Science

Europa-Universität Viadrina

Saskia Sassen is a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University with a focus on the role of inequality, gendering and digitalization with respect to cities, immigration and states in the world economy. She has authored numerous books and contributions to the world’s biggest newspapers, directed several large-scale research projects, served scientific juries and various boards and received various grants, prizes and over ten doctor honoris causa.

Saskia Sassen

Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology

Columbia University