AER relies on the expertise of academics and experts throughout Europe to ensure a proper understanding of the development of regionalisation in the different parts of the continent. These experts follow and monitor the key developments in their day-to-day activities and have agreed to share their insight with AER in view of gathering a truly cross-cutting picture of where regions are heading and how they are evolving.
We are proud to showcase their work and analyses and to share their views with our members and readers and we thank them for their trust and dedication to assist us in defending and promoting the interests of regions in Europe!
Ms Azam-Pradeilles, French ENA graduate, international expert with an extensive experience in international cooperation, EU matters and Institutional Building, notably in the fields of public administration reform, governance, regional policy and capacity strengthening, in particular with the EU Twinning instrument, has graduated of the ENS of Cachan and Paris Sorbonne. She started her career as senior lecturer and research fellow in English at Paris V-René Descartes University. Since 1994, she has specialised in EU enlargement, then in European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries and more widely Africa, Asia and South America. She worked for public services and administration reforms in several countries: France, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Niger, Morocco… Since 1996 she is a lecturer at ENA, notably in CISAP. Her present projects focus on public administration reform and regional policy, both East (ENP) and South (FED) – economic, social and territorial cohesion and the balance of powers between administrative levels being true challenges everywhere.
Amélie BARBIER-GAUCHARD (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Assistant Professor in Economics with the higher degree “Accreditation to Supervise Research » at the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Strasbourg. She conducts research in the BETA Research Unit (Bureau of Theoretical and Applied Economics). As expert in the multi-level governance of public finance within the EU, her research topics are economic policy, fiscal policy tools and European integration.
Nicolas Bouzou is a French economist born in 1976. He founded Asterès, a consultancy firm, in 2006. He is Director of Studies in the MBA Law & Management program at the University of Paris II Assas. He is a television columnist of the “Matinale” broadcast on the I-Télé channel. He often writes articles for the French press (Le Figaro, Les Echos, Le Monde) as well as for the foreign press (Financial Times, Le Temps). He sits on the Conseil d’Analyse de la Société to the Prime Minister (2010-2012). He is also part of the keyser Söze group directed by Jacques Attali which counts the 26 best French economists. He wrote numerous books, such as Le Chagrin des Classes Moyennes (JC Lattès, 2011), La Politique de la Jeunesse (avec Luc Ferry, Odile Jacob, 2012) and On Entend l’Arbre Tomber mais pas la Forêt Pousser (JC Lattès, 2013). He will publish on January 2015 by Jean-Claude Lattès the story of a travel around Europe called “Le Progrès c’est ici, Voyage chez les Européens qui aiment l’Avenir”. His area of work are economic policies, territorial organisation, health and the philosophy of progress.
Murat Daoudov is university lecturer, senior international consultant and entrepreneur. He is skilled in leadership and communication in multi-cultural context, government relations, alternative diplomacy & negotiations, and international cooperation. He is founder and president of the Middle East Development Network (MDN), an international company specialized in public policy and development consulting, and lecturer at Marmara University.
Gratian Mihailescu graduated in communication and public relations. He specialized in European Affairs, International Relations and Development receiving scholarships from different countries. He was Erasmus student at Eberhard Karl University of Tuebingen and Erasmus Mundus at Trento University, Italy and Corvinus University of Budapest. Between the two masters, he worked and studied in Brussels, doing a postgraduate course in project management and community advisor. Since 2012, Gratian Mihailescu is back to Romania and is a consultant and columnist, cooperating with various think tanks on public policy issues, or with consulting companies. His main area of focus are EU policies, EU funds, Regional Development, Democracy & Good-Governance, Regionalisation and Subsidiarity principle. In 2013, he established an NGO, Local Development Institute aiming to support activities and initiatives that contribute to local and regional development in West part of Romania. In 2016, he launches a new platform called UrbanizeHub, supported by the Assembly of European Regions.
Arjan Schakel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science of Maastricht University and worked previously for VU University Amsterdam and the University of Edinburgh. His research interests span the topics of multilevel governance, federalism, territorial politics, regional government, European and regional elections, and regionalist parties. Arjan has published numerous articles in top political science journals and his books have been published by Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, and Routledge. He is a member of the management team of the Standing Group of Regionalism and Federalism’ of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR), he is special book series editor on the Palgrave Macmillan series on Comparative Territorial Politics, and he is a member of the editorial board of ‘Multi Level Governance watch’. Arjan’s publications, papers and datasets can be retrieved from his personal website.
Adriana Skorupska is an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs in the Eastern and South Eastern Europe Programme.
Her interests include the international cooperation of self-government, cross-border cooperation and the decentralization reforms in the Eastern Partnership Countries, especially in Georgia and Ukraine.
Anita Sobják is an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs.
She pursued her studies in Romania, the Netherlands and in Poland.
Her main area of focus is Central Europe and the Republic of Moldova. Within that regional context she deals with European and foreign policies of the individual states, V4 cooperation, energy security, post-1989 political and economic transition processes, as well as minority issues.
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Country specific experts
Maura Adshead – Ireland
Maura Adshead, BA, MA (Limerick), Phd (Liverpool) is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Administration, Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick.
She is author of Developing European Regions? Ashgate, 2002, co-author (with Jonathon Tonge) of Politics in Ireland, Palgrave, 2009; and co-editor of Public Administration and Public Policy in Ireland: theory and methods, Routledge 2003; Contesting the State: lessons from the Irish case, MUP, 2008, and FOI@15. An examination of Freedom of Information in Ireland, MUP, 2015.
She has published a variety of articles on aspects of Irish politics and public policy and has carried out commissioned research for Combat Poverty, the Health Service Executive and the National Economic and Social Forum.
Algirdas Astraukas – Lithuania
Algirdas Astrauskas is an associated professor of the Institute of Public administration; Faculty of Politics and Management of Mykolas Romeris University.
Before starting to work at Mykolas Romeris University in 2001 he held several senior advisory and management positions in the state government institutions, including Specialist Advisor to the President of the Republic of Lithuania and vice-minister in the Ministry of Interior. He has over 40 publications to his name on public administration, regional policy, local self-government, public finances, strategic management.
Peter Bussjäger – Austria
Peter Bußjäger studied Law at the University of Innsbruck. Since 1987, he is working as a Civil servant of the Land Vorarlberg. From 2000, he was Associate Professor at the Institute of Public Law, Financial Law and Political Science at the University of Innsbruck. In 2014, he became Professor of Public Law at the University of Innsbruck. Since 2013, he is also Researcher on Law at Liechtenstein-Institute in Bendern/Liechtenstein. His main research subjects are Federalism (European and Austrian), reform of administra-tion and basic legal problems. Since 2001, he is also Director of the Institute of Federalism, Innsbruck. From 2003 to 2012, he was Director of the state parliament (Landtag) of Vorarlberg.
Giancarlo Cotella – Poland
Giancarlo Cotella is Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Torino, where he concluded his doctoral studies in 2009. In recent years, he participated in several international research projects including, including the FP7 MILESECURE-2050, ESPON 2.3.1 ESDP, ESPON 2.3.2 Governance, ESPON FOCI, ESPON INSTED, ESPON TANGO and LisGo. Dr. Cotella’s research focuses on EU territorial governance and spatial planning domestic contexts and, in particular, on the Europeanization of spatial planning in the new EU Member States. He taught and researched in Germany, Poland, Estonia, England, and has been actively involved in the Coordination Unit of the Association of European Schools of Planning since 2005.
Iain Deas – United Kingdom
Iain Deas is an advisor to the Assembly of European Regions. He is a senior lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Manchester. He is co-director of the university’s cross-disciplinary Centre for Urban Policy Studies.
He has published widely on the politics of urban regeneration and the governance of territorial policy, including recent articles on the development of city-regions (in Urban Studies, 2014), policy actor networks and sub-national economic development agencies in England (Local Economy, 2013), and agglomeration economics and regional policy (Environment and Planning A, 2014).
Annika Jaansoo – Estonia
Annika Jaansoo is lecturer, researcher and PhD student (“Providing public services across borders – why is it so rare among subnational governments within Europe?”) at the University of Tartu, Estonia.
In her lecturing courses, Ms Jaansoo focus on Public finance. Annika Jaansoo has been working in the public sector in the audit and planning and management field in Estonia from September 2010 to July 2014.
Through her work experience as Auditor (2012-2014), Development Manager (2010-2012) and Partner/Senior Consultant (2001-2002), Ms Jaansoo has expertise in compliance audit, project planning, budgeting for projects, preparation and managing EU structural Funds’ projects.
Martin Klatt – Denmark
After completing a M.A. in History, Political Science and Nordic Philology at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel in 1995, Martin Klatt became project associate at the Schleswig-Holstein Institute for Peace Research (Kiel, DE) in 1996 and research associate at the Studieafdelingen ved Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig later on, from 1997 to 2000. In September 2001, Mr Klatt became assistant professor of Contemporary History IFG and got his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Denmark the year after.
In January 2004, the IFG was merged with the University of Southern Denmark and renamed “Department of Border Region Studies”. In 2005, Martin Klatt was named Associate Professor of Contemporary History.
Between September and December 2013, he finally worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Victoria (BC, Canada), for the Centre of Global Studies.
Cian Finn – Ireland
Cian Finn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. He completed a Master of Arts in European Politics and Governance at the University of Limerick in 2012 and commenced PhD research in September 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Chris McInerney and Dr. Frank Häge. His PhD thesis analyses the depth of citizen and civil society participation in subnational government in Ireland.
His research interests include: Citizen Participation, Democratic Theory, Civic Engagement, Public Administration, Local Governance, and Public Policy.
Thomas Fleiner – Switzerland
Prof. Fleiner was Full Professor of the Law Faculty at the University of Fribourg (CH), specialised in General Theory of the State and Swiss Constitutional and Administrative Law (from 1971 to 2008).
He was also Director of the Institute of Federalism (1984-2008) and he has been Professor for general theory of state at the distant University of Brig since 2008.
He is President of the Curatorship of the Institute for European Constitutional Sciences of the Distant University Hagen Germany, member of the PhD Board of the University of Siena and member of the Centre of the European Constitutional Law (Tsatsos Foundation) in Greece.
His fields of Research and teaching are: Federalism, Rule of Law, Multicultural State Comparative Administrative and Constitutional Law, Political Theory and Philosophy, the Swiss Constitutional and Administrative Law as well as Legislative Drafting.
Davit Gabaidze – Georgia
After getting his PhD in administrative law at I. Javakhishvili State University in Georgia, Davit Gabaidze has been working as a lawyer since 2004. He worked, amongst others, for the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara. He is currently a lecturer at the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, and since April 2014 Head of the Legal and Human Ressources Department of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara. He is member of several associations such as the Georgian Young lawyers Association, Batumi branch, and the Georgian Bar association.
Rémi Gayno – Russia
Rémi Gayno studied “International Relations and regional integration” at the renowed French school SciencesPo Strasbourg (Institut for political studies, University of Strasbourg).
He spent one year (2012/2013) at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), during which he could familiarize with the Russian culture, increase his language skills, and deepen his knowledge in Russian history. His Master’s thesis was entitled: “The Franco-Soviet relations during the Euromissiles crisis from a journalistic point of view”. His aim was to analyse the dissensions, but also the coherence between the different views expressed in four newspapers (2 French and 2 Russian). Despite the fundamental differences of objective that the articles are serving, it is possible to identify a consistent picture of the crisis, which is particular to the journalistic world and different from the academic narrative. He would like to focus his future researches on the evolution of the Sino-Russian border, and its impact on the countries’ relations, especially related to the population living in the border area. Rémi Gayno was born and grew up in Tokyo. He can speak french, english, russian and german.
Jan Grasnick – Germany
Dr. Jan Grasnick is research associate at the Institute for Canadian Studies of the University of Augsburg. His research focuses on Democratization, analysis of multi-level systems (EU), processes of regionalization, policy analysis, and comparative politics.
2012: Regionales Regieren und Demokratie in der Europäischen Union, in: Jan Grasnick / Katja Walter (Hrsg.): Politik in Nordamerika und Europa – Analysen, Theorien und literarische Rezeption, Wiesbaden, S. 162-176.
2009: Die bayerische Landtagswahl vom 28. September 2008 – Betriebsunfall oder Ende eines Mythos?, zusammen mit Rainer-Olaf Schultze, in: Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 40 (2009),1, S. 34 – 55.
2007: Regionales Regieren in der Europäischen Union – Bayern, Rhône-Alpes und Oberösterreich im Vergleich, Wiesbaden.
Nico Groenendijk – The Netherlands
Nico Groenendijk is professor of European Economic Governance at the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences of the University of Twente, Netherlands. He is co-director of the Centre for European Studies. He has a background in public administration, public sector economics and EU studies. He has specialized in the EU budget, EU institutional development, economic policy coordination, and fiscal federalism. Recently he has done research into EU macro-regional strategies, cross-border cooperation in Europe, the role of regions in the Europe 2020 strategy, and the impact of EU regulation on subnational authorities in the Netherlands. Nico Groenendijk has been a visiting professor in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia and South Africa. Currently he is visiting professor of European Studies at the European College of the University of Tartu, Estonia.
Mujo Hadzic – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mujo Hadzic is currently head of Section for Coordination of EU Aid Programs and Regional Cooperation of the Government of Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Previously, he worked at many different positions, dealing with the coordination of EU assistance projects. From 1997 to 2002, he was also involved in the International Police Task Force / UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina as language assistant to the Special Response Unit. He is writing a PhD about “The role of culture-specific values in Conflict Management and Psychological Operations”(University of Belgrade).
Ulla Higdem – Norway
Ulla Higdem is Dr.scient and associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and Organization Science at Lillehammer University College. She is affiliated with the Centre of Innovation in Services – public and private. She has a background in the field of regional planning and developmental work and has been the administrative leader of the Eastern Norway County Network, which at that time represented Norway’s counties at the board of the AER (1994-97). Dr. Higdem undertook her doctoral studies at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (2007). Her Dr.scient. thesis, “Regional partnerships and their constructions and implementations”, is a case study of three counties in Norway and their partnerships that were constructed to enhance regional development. Her research is focused on such regional issues as policy-making and innovation, planning, directing and governance structures, and regional foresight. Dr. Higdem’s research interests include the new and changing forms of directing, steering (governance), and planning – regional partnerships, innovative networks and processes for regional and local planning and development, deliberation, partaking and partnership in a democratic perspective, and meta-governance.
Pekka Kettunen – Finland
Pekka Kettunen defended his doctoral thesis in 1994 at the University of Turku. The thesis analysed the various theories of implementation research, and tested the bottom-up-approach empirically. Since then Dr. Kettunen has worked also at the Abo Akademi University, Tampere University and Jyväskylä University and published over one hundred scientific publications in the areas of policy analysis, evaluation, local government research, comparative analysis, and democracy. He has recently co-authored articles in Local Government Studies, Regional and Federal Studies, and Evidence & Policy. He has also co-edited two special issues of journals: in 2012, Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, on evaluation, and in 2013, Halduskultuur (Administrative Culture) on decentralization and governance. Dr. Kettunen has given presentations in several Japanese Universities and made longer visit to several European Universities in the U.K., Denmark, Estonia, Croatia and Slovenia. He has also conducted evaluation for Icelandic, Estonian and Slovenian Research Agencies. His current research interests include the issue of effectiveness of public interventions, as well as the methods applied in analyzing impacts.
Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas – Greece
Nikolaos-Komninos Hlepas is Associate Professor (specialised in Regional Government and Self Government) within the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He studied Law in Athens and got his PhD (in Law) in Bremen (DE). His main teaching and research topics are: Regional Administration and Local Self Government, Comparative Public Administration, Local Public Sector Reforms, Political Leadership, Administrative Modernization, Democracy, Public Law. He has published several books and articles in Greek, English, German and French and has been Deputy Chair of the Committee that drafted the law on the “Kallikratis” Reform project. Prof. Hlepas has also been the Chairman of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government, in Athens (2010-2012).
Finally, he is Ordinary Member of the Independent Group of Experts of the Council of Europe – Congress of Local Authorities and Regions (ECLR).
Snežana Kresoja – Serbia
After graduating from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, Snežana Kresoja became adviser to the President of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia.Areas of professional interests are: processes of democratic transition and institutional consolidation as the cardinal stone of political, economic, social post-communist transformation, issues of facing/dealing with the past as well as identity politics – understanding and acceptance of European values and standards as a basic concept of strengthening and building up multidimensional European identity patterns.
Santiago Lago-Peñas – Spain
Prof. Lago-Peñas has been Full Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Vigo, Spain, since 2011 and is at the head of the Department of Applied Economics. He is also executive director for the Governance and Economics research Network (webs.uvigo.es/infogen) and co-director (with Jorge Martínez-Vázquez – Georgia State University) of the RIFDE (www.rifde.es).
Moreover, he has been Associate editor of Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics since 2012 and member of the Editorial Board of European Journal of Government and Economics since 2011.He is an expert called by several organisations such as the Forum of Federations and the Argentine Senate, the Agence Française de Développement, the Corporación Andina de Fomento (Peru), and, of course, the AER. Prof. Lago-Peñas has been working as an expert for the Directorate-General for Regional Policy in the appraisal, Implementation and mentoring of cohesion policy interventions, (2012-) and also worked for the reform of the Spanish regional financing system (Ministry of Finance 2006-2008), for the Spanish R+D+i plan (in 2012) as well as for the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. He was also Counselor at the Galician Socioeconomic Council (2003-2011), consultant for the regional government of Andalusia (2005) and currently is adviser and consultant for the regional government of Galicia (2005-).
Damir Magaš – Croatia
Prof. Damir Magaš is the head of the Centre for Karst and Coastal Research, University of Zadar (HR), (since 2007) as well as Full Professor of Regional Geography (esp. Geography of Croatia), Geoaspects of Regionalization and Spatial Planning and Urban Geography for the Department of Geography at the same University. He completed a BA in Geography (1975), a MA in Urban Geography (1983) and a PhD. also in Geography (1992). He was Spatial and Urban Planer (1976-1993), Head of the Department of Geography in Zadar (1994-2000), Dean of the Faculty of Arts in Zadar (2000-2003), Rector of the University of Zadar (2002-2007), Member of the Zadar-Knin County Government (1993-1997), and Zadar County Government (2000-2004).
Prof Magaš also led various research projects such as Geographical Bases of Small Croatian Islands Development (1996-2006) or Geographical Bases of Croatian Littoral Regions Development (2006-2013). His special interests are regional geography of Croatia, processes of regionalization, historical geography and urban geography.
2013: Geografija Hrvatske / Geography of Croatia, Sveučilište u Zadru / University of Zadar, Meridijani, Zadar, p. 600.
2011: The Concept of Territorial Organisation of Adriatic Croatia, Geoadria 16/2, Zadar, 211-236.
2005: Croatia: Towards the Concept of Euroregions, in: Anton Gosar (ed.), Globalized Europe, Annales, Univerza na Primorskem, Koper, 2005, 247-258.
2003: Contemporary Aspects of the Geographical Regionalization and Administrative-Territorial Organization of Croatia, Geoadria, 8/1, Zadar, 127-147.
Enrico Martial – Italy
Enrico Martial (1962) graduated in Philosophy, served at EIPA (European Institute for Public Administration) in Maastricht, at the Valle d’Aosta Region, at the Italian Ministry of Public Works and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Director of the Italian Conference of Presidents of Regional Assemblies, he has been Secretary General of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE).
He wrote articles on EU integration and Italian affairs in national and international reviews (Il Mulino, Relazioni internazionali, Limes Economia Exterior”, and Raum – Österreichische Zeitschrift für Raumplanung und Regionalpolitik).
Gratian Mihailescu – Romania
Gratian Mihailescu graduated in communication and public relations. He specialized in European Affairs, International Relations and Development receiving scholarships from different countries. He was Erasmus student at Eberhard Karl University of Tuebingen and Erasmus Mundus at Trento University, Italy and Corvinus University of Budapest. Between the two masters, he worked and studied in Brussels, doing a postgraduate course in project management and community advisor.
Since 2012, Gratian Mihailescu is back to Romania and is a consultant and columnist, cooperating with various think tanks on public policy issues, or with consulting companies. His main area of focus are EU policies, EU funds, Regional Development, Democracy & Good-Governance, Regionalisation and Subsidiarity principle.
In 2013, he established an NGO, Local Development Institute aiming to support activities and initiatives that contribute to local and regional development in West part of Romania.
Ilona Pálné Kovács – Hungary
Ilona Pálné Kovács (1954), graduated as a lawyer, defended her PhD in political science, and was elected as a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2013.
She is a scientific adviser in the Institute for Regional Studies, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, HAS and full time professor at the Department for Political and International Studies of University of Pécs. She is a leader of PhD programme in political science here. The focus of doctoral programme led by her is territorial, time and social aspects of governance.
Her scientific interests are regional governance and local governments, management of regional policy teaching also public administration and constitutional law. She was a leader and participant of many domestic and international research projects among them several EU framework, ESF, INTERREG, TEMPUS, ESPON, UNESCO, EC DG Regio programmes.
She has published several books and hundreds of scientific articles. She is a member of several national and international professional organisations (like ESF, IGU, RSA, NISPACee)
Primož Pevcin – Slovenia
Primož Pevcin is currently an associate professor for public sector economics and management at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Administration.
He defended his doctoral dissertation in 2004, and thesis focused on the empirical verification of factors affecting size of government as well as on the possible determination of the optimal size of government.
His research interests are widely associated with the public sector economics and management topics, including also subnational government financing and organization. This involves addressing the topics like intergovernmental transfers, efficiency of subnational governments, economics of decentralization and regionalization, subnational government consolidations etc.
He has been involved in several national and international research projects that addressed various public sector issues. During his career he has also performed several managerial posts at the faculty, where he served as a vice-dean for international cooperation and scientific research, and currently as a vice-dean for academic affairs.
Paul-Henri Philips – Belgium
Paul-Henri Philips obtained a Master in Public Management (with mention) from the Solvay Brussels School in 1997.
Since january 2001, he is European and International Coordinator at the Region of Brussels.
Since december 2013, he is also President of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) at the Council of Europe.
Lee Pugalis – United Kingdom
Lee Pugalis is an advisor to the Assembly of European Regions. He holds a Readership at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University where he leads the Research group for Economic Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (REDIE). Before taking up an academic position at Northumbria University in 2010 he held several senior management and advisory positions across local, regional and national government, including Specialist Advisor to a Regional Development Agency.Lee has over 100 publications to his name, is the UK Editor of Local Economy and Early Career Editor of Regional Studies, Regional Science, and is a World Social Science Fellow.
Māris Pūķis – Latvia
Māris Pūķis is lecturer at the University of Latvia (Associate Professor). He is the author of more than 200 articles in matters of public administration and regional development. In a range of papers, he proves the potentially positive impact of regional governments on the social and economic development of Latvia in the future.
He was a self-government politician during the period from 1989 until 1994.
Since 1994, he has been working at LALRG, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments.
Pablo Simón-Cosano – Spain
Dr. Simón-Cosano is a current member of the ESCE project: This project aims at contributing to people’s understanding of electoral systems in Europe, giving access for 31 European countries to the details of the electoral system they have used since their first democratic elections for the lower chamber. The project also provides people with access to the electoral laws of these 30 countries (in national language and in English for some articles). Secondly, researchers of the ESCE project produce analysis and research notes on the adoption and transformation of electoral systems in Europe. Dr. Cosano works as a Postdoc. Researcher for the CEVIPOL at the Université Libre of Brussels.
Malin Stegmann McCallion – Sweden
Dr. Malin Stegmann McCallion is currently a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Karlstad University. Dr Stegmann McCallion’s research interests covers the regional level in society with focus on what role it has and how this role is changing. Of special interest are processes of Europeanisation, Multi-level Governance and Sub-state Diplomacy / Paradiplomacy. Her research mainly focuses on the Swedish regionalisation processes in a ‘EU’ropean perspective. She has published in Journal of European Integration, Regional and Federal Studies, and Regional Studies. Dr Stegmann McCallion undertook her doctoral studies at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland (PhD awarded 2005). Her PhD thesis was titled ‘EU’ropeanisation: Challenges to Regional Administrative Structure and Regional Policy in Sweden. She has previously held lectureship posts at University of Limerick, University College Dublin both in the Republic of Ireland and she was a Research Fellow at Department of International Politics Aberystwyth University, Wales before moving back to her native country and to Karlstad University. Dr Stegmann McCallion is currently working with Professor Alex Warleigh-Lack (University of Surrey), Associate Professor Philomena Murray (University of Melbourne) ‘awkward partners’ in regional integration.
Lorena Totoni – Albania
Lorena Totoni (1972) graduated in Hydrotechnical Engineering from Tirana Polytechnic University and completed a Master in Public Administration at Economy Faculty of Tirana University. She has worked for more than a decade in the field of Regional Development and European Relations, holding the position of Director for Regional Development and International Relations at Tirana Region. She has a rich background in the field of regional and strategic planning, regional policy, policy-making, international policy, project management, directing, governance structures, developmental work, regional partnerships and community development. Since 2014, Mrs. Totoni works also as assistant professor at the Management Department of Economy Faculty, Tirana University. Her thesis of Public Administration Master consisted in a deep research study about “Regional Development in Albania under the framework of European Integration” – an analysis of the preconditions for effective implementation of EU Regional Development policies in the Albanian context.
Vesselina Troeva – Bugaria
Vesselina Troeva is the executive director of the National Centre for Regional Development as well as professor in Landscape and Urban Planning at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia. She was contractor and coordinator of the project for establishing the first planning major in Bulgaria in collaboration with Herriot Watt University (GB) and the University College of Dublin, accredited in 2002 and leading to Planning being recognised in the National Classification of Professions and Occupations in 2006. Mrs Troeva has been named “honourable member of the Royal Town Planning Institute” and is vice president of the AESOP (1994-1998) and member of the Best Planning Publication Commission (2004-2008). To be stressed is also her participation in over 25 international projects funded by the World Bank, EU, UKKHF, BC and SFS, among which “Urban Knowledge Arena” and “Urban Crime prevention” COST actions and a BC Creative Collaborations project “Children City Culture Concept (4C)”. She acted as a team leader of many large-scale pilot projects such as the National Concept for Spatial Development of Bulgaria (2013-2025), the Integrated Plan for Urban Regeneration and Development of Sofia 2020 and the Strategy for development of Sofia-city district 2014-2020. She also received three national awards from the UAB for innovative planning (1997, 1999, 2000) and from ESRI for GIS (greographic information systems) implementation in planning (2000). She has contributed to more than 100 publications in national and international media.