European Ideas was founded in July 2011 by Olivier Gergely and Simon Leissinger.

The Founders:

Olivier Gergely is the co-founder and Director of European Ideas. He currently works as Public Affairs Consultant in Brussels. Olivier holds an MPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford and a BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, where he also initiated the “Business and Politics from an Austrian Perspective Lecture Series” while he was President of LSE’s Austrian Society. The speakers of this lecture series included some of Austria’s most reputed Ambassadors, a former Chancellor and the current Austrian Vice-Chancellor. Olivier also gained work experience as the trainee of a Member of the European Parliament, as a volunteer at the Austrian Cultural Forum in London and as an assistant to a Professor at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He also wrote articles about international affairs for a leading Austrian newspaper (Die Presse) and worked for an international consulting firm specialised in EuropeAid projects. Olivier is Austrian and French and driven by the belief that the big problems of our time create an ever-greater convergence of European national interests, which ultimately form a rational basis for creating an ‘ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’.


Simon Leissinger founded European Ideas with Olivier and is also Director of the platform. He has a profound interest in Europe and has lived in several different European capitals. He is fascinated by the political system of the European Union and the interplay of economic and political issues. Simon is currently studying International Business at Saint Louis University at the Campus in Madrid. Beforehand he studied at Regents College in London where he started to work on several international projects. For Simon a good understanding of different cultures is essential, and he therefore considers European Ideas as a great possibility to be in contact with fascinating persons from all over the world. 


The European Ideas Ambassadors: 


Maximilian Baldinger is Deputy Director and European Ideas Ambassador at King’s College London and at the Université de Strasbourg. A wholehearted European, he studied Italian language and culture in Perugia, Italy. He then moved on to study Law in Vienna, Strasbourg (Diplôme de Droit International, Européen et Comparé) and London where he currently reads for his LL.B. (Hons) with European Legal Studies at King's College. Besides his legal eduction he studies for the traditional King's College London degree program in Theology, Philosophy and Ethics, the Associateship of King's College (AKC). Maximilian has worked in a variety of institutions including an external affairs consultancy in Brussels, the Austrian Embassy in Rome, a Viennese asset management firm, the European Parliament and the Austrian Federal Armed forces. Privately, he takes a great interest in political, economic and legal theory as well as in history. He pursues these interests outside university in various clubs, fora and societies. (Joined European Ideas in November 2011; 20 Contributions)


Philippe Ternes is the Administrator of the ´European Ideas - Our Common Future` initiative, European Ideas Discussion Workshops, and thereby its main contact person. Philippe is a graduate of the Master Programme at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He also holds a Diploma in theory and practice of international relations from the same institution as well as a Magister Artium in Music Education and Spanish from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the University of Vienna, Austria. Philippe is a firm believer that policy-making of the future will have to be guided by our common human needs. In this sense, European Ideas Discussion Workshops aim at fostering a non-exclusive European identity that will allow us to focus on these common needs. 

Contact: philippe.ternes

Lisa Schwarz is the European Ideas Ambassador at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the John Hopkins University Bologna Center. She holds a BSc in International Business Administration and is currently doing a Master in International Studies to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between business and politics. Lisa likes working for European Ideas to meet great leaders and to closely follow the debate about Europe. (Joined European Ideas in November 2011; 7 Contributions)


Juliette Roche is one of our two European Ideas Ambassadors at the London School of Economics. She holds a Master in Political Science and Sociology From Paris Dauphine University. She worked for several think thanks in Brussels and Paris and one of the leading public affairs consultancies in the world (APCO Worldwide). (Joined European Ideas in December 2011; 7 Contributions)


Gael K. Ludwig Gunubu is the European Ideas Ambassador at the London School of Economics. He has gained professional experience in Brussels and London concentrating on European Consumer protection polices and financial regulation. Apart from European Union social and monetary policy his interests include the dialogue between Europe and sub-Saharan African countries. For Gael European Ideas provides the opportunity to contribute to an understanding of theoretical conceptions of Europe. His vision for the future is to see European Ideas grow into the biggest platform for academics and policy-makers to share their ideas with young Europeans. (Joined European Ideas in October 2011; 5 Contributions)


Vicko Marelic is the European Ideas Ambassador for Vienna and the Eastern Adriatic. He was born in London, where he studied at King’s College, London as well as at Sciences-Po, Paris. Originally from Croatia, he currently works in Vienna for the British Council whilst doing research for a PhD in transnational history. He is fascinated with the dynamics of the overlapping ideas, identities and ideologies that simultaneously drive and depress the notion of Europe. By contributing to a European public sphere, he hopes to help Europeans make more sense of their region through active, positive and transnational dialogue.(Joined European Ideas in December 2011; 4 Contribution)


Yuri Fenopetov is our Ambassador at Webster University Vienna where he is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business. As an Austrian citizen with a Russian background, he enjoyed an international upbringing, and is currently applying for a Masters degree in Advanced International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. His interests and work revolve around diplomatic and military relations. Apart from being an avid European, Yuri also puts strong emphasis on Central Asia in his studies, and has gathered practical experience in the delegation of the European Union in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as well as in the sphere of international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization on Security and Co-operation in Europe at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria. (Joined European Ideas in January 2012; 4 Contributions)


Philipp Requat is the European Ideas Ambassador at the University of Edinburgh. Because of his multicultural upbringing and years of travel he considers himself a European and global citizen. Philipp founded his first company during his military service at the Austrian National Defense Academy and has worked as Entrepreneur with a focus on Real Estate and Advisory in Emerging Markets throughout Asia, Africa and South America ever since. He is currently pursuing a M.A(Hons) in Politics and Economic & Social History at the University of Edinburgh. (Joined European Ideas in March 2012; 3 Contributions)

Michael Dellmour is European Ideas Ambassador at the University of Vienna. He is studying Law and Slavic Studies, where he is focusing on the so-called "Balkans"-region and its languages Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Bulgarian. His special interests are in the integration process of the south-east european countries and their cultural and historical background as he also gained working experience in Croatia and studied in Bulgaria. Besides, he is organizing the European Ideas - Our Common Future Workshop at the Faculty of Law in Vienna. (Joined European Ideas in September 2012; 3 Contribution)


Adriana Rodriguez Diaz is the European Ideas Ambassador at University College London. (Joined European Ideas in November 2011; 2 Contributions)


Nadia Bonifačić is the European Ideas Ambassador at the University of Vienna and Cambridge University. She is currently studying for a Master in European Studies at the University of Vienna, having previously graduated in Education and German Language from Cambridge University. As part of her undergraduate course, she spent a year in Frankfurt on the Erasmus Work Experience programme. As a Croatian with extensive international experience, Nadia has developed an interest for human rights, migration, languages, culture and education in the EU. (Joined European Ideas in March 2012; 5 Contributions)


Marie-Therese Praniess is the European Ideas Ambassador at Cass Business School. She gained work experience at the European Commission, the Vienna Stock Exchange and several other organisations such as the Vienna Tourism Board. Marie-Therese enjoys working for European Ideas as she likes the idea of promoting understanding about the European Union. (Joined European Ideas in December 2011; 3 Contribution)


Po-Hsiang Ou is a European Ideas Ambassador at the University of Oxford and a DPhil student at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford. His current doctoral research is about the transnational risk regulation mechanism in the European Union. Before coming to Oxford, he was a practicing lawyer in Taiwan, and holds a LL.M. degree from National Taiwan University. As a non-European, Po-Hsiang developed his interest in European Affairs during his visiting study year at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. (Joined European Ideas in January 2012; 1 Contribution)


Ramin Amighi is the European Ideas Ambassador at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is currently studying Politics and International Development at SOAS, London. His interests include European foreign aid and foreign policy, "North-South" relations, political economy, as well as migration and integration policy. He has previously worked with the Austrian Foreign Service in Southeast Asia, the Austrian Development Agency, and researched for EU-funded migration projects. He joined European Ideas with the intent to improve critical coverage of European foreign affairs with regards to the developing world. (Joined European Ideas in October 2011; 1 Contribution)

Moatez is the European Ideas Ambassador at London Metropolitan University where he is currently studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. It is the history of ideas that particularly attracts him, specifically the relationship between politics and economics from the 18th century to the present. Convicted that changes firstly occure at the level of ideas, his enthousiasm for European Ideas stems for its emphasis on generating adequate future solutions through responsible muliti-disciplinary intellectual debate. (Joined European Ideas in October 2011; 2 Contribution) 


Benjamin Guitérrez is our European Ideas Ambassador at Sciences-Po Paris. (Joined European Ideas in January 2012; 1 Contribution)


Effi Hesse is our European Ideas Ambassador at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She spent two years of her English and German Law studies at King’s College London and is now working towards her First State Exam in German Law. (Joined European Ideas in October 2012; 1 Contribution)


Anatol Gudenus is the European Ideas Ambassador at Brown University. He is currently pursuing bachelor degrees in both economics and political science. He has gained work experience in the public, as well as the private sector. Anatol likes working for European Ideas because he strongly supports the goal of providing a new vision for Europe through intellectual debate and academic discourse(Joined European Ideas in December 2011)


The short bios of our other European Ideas Ambassadors will soon be added.


European Ideas has published contributions by the following experts and by many others:


Martin Schulz (President of the European Parliament)

Dick Roche (former Irish Minister for European Affairs)

Petr Nečas (Prime Minister of the Czech Republic)

Vesna Pusic (Croatian Foreign Minister)

Guido Westerwelle (German Foreign Minister)

Michael Spindelegger (Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Austria)

Ewald Nowotny (Governor of the Austrian Central Bank)

Johannes Hahn (EU Commissioner)

Viviane Reding (EU Commissioner)

Hannes Swoboda (Member of the European Parliament)

Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Member of the European Parliament)

Ulrike Lunacek (Member of the European Parliament)

Michael Cramer (Member of the European Parliament)

Othmar Karas (Member of the European Parliament)

Lara Comi (Member of the European Parliament)

Manfred Weber (Member of the European Parliament)

Birgit Schnieber-Jastram (Member of the European Parliament)

Karin Kadenbach (Member of the European Parliament)

Elisabeth Köstinger (Member of the European Parliament)

Thomas Mirow (President of the EBRD)

Simon Hix (London School of Economics)

Jan Zielonka (University of Oxford)

Othon Anastasakis (University of Oxford)

Brendan Simms (University of Cambridge)

Francesco Saraceno (Sciences-Po Paris)

Didier Bigo (Sciences-Po Paris; King’s College London)