Our story

Multiple disciplines, one goal


The Europaeum is a network of 19 of European leading universities connecting students across disciplines, cultures and countries. For the past three decades the Europaeum has specialised in bringing students from the member universities together in multidisciplinary groups to discuss European issues and to problem-solve in the interests of Europe. Working with its members and with external bodies ranging from the European Parliament to multiple NGOs, Europaeum’s events take place across Europe.

Our team members embarked together on the 3rd cohort of the Europaeum Scholars Programme in March 2022. This Programme, is designed for promising doctoral candidates and helps to equip them with the competences to be future leaders of Europe. The Scholars are split into sub-groups and tasked with producing a policy proposal. This proposal will be presented to a panel of experts at an international conference.

How we decided to do this?

We decided on this topic after the second module in May 2022. During this module in Brussels, we visited different EU institutions. It was here where we inquired about the Conference on the Future of Europe, which sparked our interest in public consultation processes. Upon deeper investigation, we wrote a report outlining possible shortcomings and suggesting improvements for the 'Have Your Say!' platform. Our goal is to streamline the consultation process, and make it more accessible to EU citizens.

Interdisciplinary contributions

We are an interdisciplinary team. Claudia brought specialist knowledge on cybersecurity, user experience, and software engineering: her contribution was pivotal for determining the accessibility and usability of the platform. Our political scientists (Keith, Carolina, and Hasan) brought crucial perspectives on the issue and challenges of digitalization regarding consultation processes, and insights about democratic legitimacy and accountability. Our international lawyers (Kseniia and Cyprian) focused on the regulatory background of our project with a focus on EU law and policy documents concerning public consultation processes. Jan, our modern historian focused on outreach and institutional set-ups, and added insights to questions of lobbying and policy-making. Finally, Natalie, communication researcher and Florence, the classicist on our team focused on themes like gender equity, and accommodating people with disabilities.

Our journey!

18 months, 8 modules

We are a group of PhD candidates and researchers working together within an interdisciplinary approach. We strive to improve digital public consultations in the European Union.

Our group includes a multitude of disciplines such as computer science, international law, political science, international relations, digital government, communication, and classics. We have produced a set of recommendations to improve the EU’s ‘Have Your Say!’ platform.

The founding pillars of our recommendations are simple: increased accessibility, increased transparency and increased outreach. These three elements are crucial for the EU to improve its online public consultation system and thereby address criticism regarding its democratic legitimacy.

Meet the team!