Not Only Erasmus - Making Ourselves Heard in Europe

Not Only Erasmus - Making Ourselves Heard in Europe

Non solo Erasmus - facciamoci sentire in Europa

26 May, 2:00-5:30pm CET
Online @ European University Institute

An event in the CIVICA Public Lecture Series Tours d'Europe

Event information in Italian>>

Sometimes, just talking or posting is not enough to be heard. Sometimes, someone has to give you a microphone, a stage or an opportunity. That’s why the European University Institute (located in Fiesole, Italy) wants to offer young people an opportunity to be heard, a platform where they can tell us in what kind of society they want to live. The initiatives connecting Europe with the new generations revolve around the Erasmus programme. But young people in Europe have much more to offer than just taking part in an exchange programme. They can tell us about dreams, innovation and progress, but also about hardships, violence and alternative pathways to pursue, which often the ‘technical and functional’ adult world cannot understand or does not want to listen. 

Hence, the Florentine segment of the CIVICA Public Lecture Series Tours d’Europe, entitled Not only Erasmus - Making Ourselves Heard in Europe, included in the alliance’s initiatives funded by the Erasmus+ programme, is designed to give voice to high school and university students. Three key themes are on the agenda: climate change, online gender-based violence and youth political participation. A completely digital event, in English and Italian, so not to leave anyone behind. Register now and let yourself be heard! 

The languages of the event are Italian and English (with simultaneous translation)

Follow the event: #CIVICAPublicLecture #NonSoloErasmus

To join

The event will be livestreamed on Youtube.
Watch it here>>



Institutional welcome 


Introduction to the CIVICA Public Lecture Tours d'Europe @ EUI

Event chair: Mario Pagano, PhD researcher, European University Institute

Europe not only has a problem of representation but also (and above all) one of "language." Europe and its citizens often speak different languages, which do not allow for easy understandings: the “technocratic” language for Brussels stakeholders, as opposed, for example, to the language of young people on social platforms. Language, however, like music, is also made of pauses, moments in which, in order for one to speak, the other shall remain silent. Therefore, the CIVICA Public Lecture Tours d’Europe organised by the EUI intends to send this message: Europe is listening while young people express themselves. In this way we will try to bring together different languages and ideas of the world, to make them talk to each other, and try to understand where we can work together. Thanks to CIVICA for this beautiful occasion. It will be a great challenge to moderate this event and I too, like the other researchers involved, will try to listen as much as possible. 

2.30-3.15pm - Panel 1: Listen to your earth 

(in English, with simultaneous Italian translation)  

Kate Yeo, Sustainability advocate from Singapore, Founder of BYO Bottle SG and Co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative 

In 2018 Kate entered the world of advocacy as a very clueless student, wanting to do something for the environment, but not quite knowing how. Kate thought “I’m too young,” “I don’t know enough,” “It’s too risky.” Those were the narratives holding her back. Today, she is the founder of BYO Bottle SG - a nation-wide campaign working to transform Singapore’s culture of disposables, and co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative, a youth-led international NGO. She invites anyone to join, as she shares about the wins - and failures! - of her advocacy journey, and gives a glimpse of what it’s like to be a youth advocate in a conservative society like Singapore.

Moderator: Anaëlle Vergonjeanne, PhD Student at CERI, Sciences-Po Paris, France

Anaëlle’s research focuses on international organisations, climate change governance and gender issues. Her PhD focuses on the inclusion of children’s political engagement for climate change in international organisations, with a focus on UN institutions. She is a specialist of children’s rights to participate and climate justice, and is currently examining as a case study the petition filed by 16 children to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2019. She is particularly interested in issues of human rights and vulnerability, and has done prior work on international cooperation on prostitution.

3.15-4.00pm - Panel 2: Online gender-based violence 

(in Italian, with simultaneous English translation

Silvia Semenzin, Researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Amsterdam 

At the end of 2018, Silvia became the promoter of the Italian campaign #intimitàviolata, which was launched on asking for the introduction of a law against image-based abuse. The campaign took to the approval of the law n.S. 1200 contained in the ddl. 'Codice Rosso' on 17/07/19, which today criminalises the non-consensual dissemination of intimate images (NCII) in Italy. Her political engagement goes together with research on inequalities in the digital space. Her latest article (written together with Lucia Bainotti) analyses the problem of cyberviolence against women and girls in male-populated digital environments, such as Telegram groups and channels.

Moderator: Roberto Occhiuzzi, Research Assistant at the AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality, Bocconi University 

“Violated intimacy” is the name of the social network campaign launched by Dr. Silvia Semenzin, in order to raise awareness of gender violence online. In 2019, non-consensual dissemination of intimate images (NCII) has finally become a criminal offence according to Italian law. It is commonly known as Revenge Porn, a mediatic term which is actually improper: pornography should presume consent, while the term “revenge” not only implies victim blaming, but also fails to consider all the possible reasons why NCII occurs, e.g., during a relationship and not only at its end. NCII is a practice far from being defeated, given the recent case of Telegram group chats, studied by Silvia Semenzin herself and Lucia Bainotti, whose work opens an important debate: do social media platforms have some responsibility when it comes to online gender violence?


Live music with Alis Mata 

Alis Mata is an economics researcher who writes sad songs for moderately cheerful people. She autoproduced her first single in June 2020 with Mèsa, spent months performing in immanent and transcendental realities (on zoom!), and exactly one year later it is time for her debut EP, Alice.

4.15-5.15pm - Panel 3: How to be heard in Europe – Youth participation in politics 

(in Italian, with simultaneous English translation)

Cristiana Marchitelli, co-founder of the European Youth Energy Network  

Being part of the European Youth Energy Network means supporting the creation of a space to connect youngsters interested in energy and empower them to share and elevate their ideas. Aligning different organisations’ voices to actually have a meaningful impact in the clean energy transition in the EU and beyond is an ambitious project. Everyday we are learning from each others’ best practices and we are creating a community. I hope you will get on board as well!

Jacopo Bencini, City Councillor for Agenda2030 and Civic Participation, Municipality of Pontassieve (Florence, Italy) and consultant on international, climate and youth policies 

Born to a mixed Italo-Polish family at a time when Europe was still divided by recent history, despite having been united by our culture and history for millennia. When Poland entered the EU in 2004, my family and I lived a true liberation: I cannot forget the happiness, the sensation of an incredible freedom and unity. This real feeling accompanied me over the years in every personal, political, professional context. I always tried to bring my Europeism beyond my roles and tasks, aiming at igniting others: when I organised youth exchanges for my city, when I participated in projects and fellowships, every time I have been speaking of Europe in a way I would have liked to do during my childhood. Politics and Europe might seem distant, abstract concepts: I cannot wait to tell you the opposite. 

Moderator: Marta Migliorati, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Jacques Delors Centre, Hertie School 

When I was 20, I thought the EU was awesome because I could access something like the Erasmus programme (I loved it!). When I was 23, I did a Master's in European public policy and my understanding of the EU completely changed. I discovered a complex machine, in need of a lot of study, a lot of research, and a lot of change. Ten years later, studying the EU, its flaws, its beauty, became my job. I believe I have benefitted immensely from being a EU citizen, and the idea that all generations to come can do the same makes me very happy. The Erasmus programme is just the first step opening our eyes wide open in front of the opportunities we have in this very special Union. That said, any involvement, any opportunity, in my view, comes through understanding and knowledge. If young generations grow with a solid understanding of the political reality they live in, this will empower them in the pursuit of the EU they want in the future. It is a complex machine, but not set in stone. And young citizens are the best resource to re-model that stone in the years to come.


Concluding remarks 

Participant bios

Kate Yeo is a 19 year-old sustainability advocate from Singapore. Growing up in a culture where strikes are largely against the law, she strives to raise awareness through social media (@byobottlesg) and community events. Within her own community, she founded the BYO Bottle SG campaign which aims to transform Singapore's culture of single-use. On an international scale, she is also a co-founder of the youth NGO Re-Earth Initiative, aiming to build a more inclusive climate movement. Despite being a complete introvert, she loves making new friends in the green community so please reach out anytime!

Anaëlle Vergonjeanne is currently a PhD student in International Relations at Sciences Po France. She holds an MRes in political science and international relations from Sciences Po’s School of Research, and a BSc in political science from Sciences Po Bordeaux. She is member of the GRAM Research Group on Multilateral Action (supported by CNRS), where she joined an Observatory on multilateralism. She is also one of the scientific coordinators of the Environment and International Relations seminar at the Center for International Studies.

Silvia Semenzin is a postdoc researcher in Digital Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid and lecturer in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. She researches on data justice, digital rights, technological imaginaries and cyberviolence against women and girls. In 2018, she promoted the campaign #intimitàviolata to ask for a law against NCII in Italy.

Roberto Occhiuzzi is a Research Assistant at the AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality of Bocconi University. His research interests include the analysis and the study of gender inequality, in its determinants and its consequences. He holds a Double Degree in Politics and Policy Analysis from Bocconi University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Cristiana Marchitelli studied International Politics & Markets at the University of Bologna and Sciences Po Paris, and majored in Politics and the Economics of International Energy at Johns Hopkins University. While in Italy, she was part of the Italian Climate Network. She moved to Brussels 5 years ago and she is currently Policy Officer at the European Commission working on research, innovation, digitalisation and competitiveness.

Jacopo Bencini - European. Born to a mixed Italo-Polish family just a few days before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Jacopo started his path in local politics and international policies at a very young age. He holds a Master's Degree in Political Science and has worked or produced studies as researcher, activist, youth mobiliser for DIE - German Development Institute (collaborating with UNFCCC and the EESC), European Commission, African Union Commission, Chatham House. He currently works as advisor for Italian organisations involved in climate negotiations and youth-led peace processes. Since 2014 he has been City Councillor for his hometown, Pontassieve; since 2019, he is in charge of Agenda2030 mainstreaming and civic engagement. 

Marta Migliorati was born in Milan in 1989. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Jacques Delors Centre of the Hertie School in Berlin. She holds a PhD in Political Studies from the University of Milan. Before that, she obtained a Master of Science in EU Public Policy from University College London, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from University of Pavia and Trinity College Dublin through the Erasmus programme. Her research focuses on EU politics and policy making, and theories of EU integration. She will be Max Weber Fellow at the EUI as of September 2021. 

Mario Pagano holds a Law degree from the Università Cattolica of Milan (2015) and an LLM in European Law from the College of Europe of Bruges (2016). Before joining the EUI, Mario worked as a legal trainee in Brussels at the law firm Keller & Heckman LLP and at DG ENV of the European Commission. Mario also served as a pro bono expert in the environmental context at the NGO The Good Lobby. At the EUI, Mario is working in the field of environmental legal mobilisation, studying NGOs' legal strategies aiming to challenge the legality of EU environmental law. 

Organising team

Aurélie Villanueva is a PhD researcher in the Law Department of the European University Institute and a founding member of Thoughts for Europe. For her, outreach and civic engagement are important to involve everyone in discussions about the EU. Aurélie’s research focuses on the Europeanisation of culture through law and policies linked to culture, education and sport in the EU. 

Alessia Manco is communications officer at the EUI's STG, mainly working on the promotion of the School’s educational programmes and institutional activities. Being part of this project gives her the opportunity to act as bonding agent between the EUI academic network and the local civil society. Besides using her job skills to make it happen, she wishes to be able to explore innovative ways of communication to make scientific findings accessible and appealing to diverse non-scientific audiences.

Christy Petit is a Research Associate at the European University Institute. Passionate about EU affairs and politics, she co-founded Thoughts for Europe in 2018: an initiative that offers a forum to discuss European policies and debate the future of Europe in multiple settings, and in particular with the European youth, giving them a voice and empowering them to act, as in the EUI's CIVICA Public Lecture Tours d'Europe in 2021. 

James Kneebone is interested and actively engaged in environmental governance, international development and EU affairs. He has ethnographic fieldwork research experience from Havana, Cuba, where he investigated bottom-up economic development models, as well as experience working on energy policy at the European Commission. He joined the Florence School of Regulation Energy and Climate department in January 2021 as an Academic Assistant.

Maria Ana Barata is a qualified lawyer and currently a PhD researcher in the Law Department of the European University Institute. Maria enjoys using local and national experiences to discuss global topics from an European and international perspective. Throughout her academic and professional experience, Maria has engaged in multiple volunteering and civic management activities, recognising the added-value of people from different backgrounds contributing to solving problems of global nature, such as youth empowerment, reduction of income inequality and international development.

Notice: Video & audio will be recorded during the entire event and made available, partly or in full, on the channels of CIVICA, its member institutions, and partners. By joining the event, you automatically consent to the recording. If you do not consent to being recorded, please discuss your concerns with the event's host.  

This event is part of the CIVICA Public Lecture Series Tours d’Europe. CIVICA brings together eight leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences to mobilise and share knowledge as a public good and to facilitate civic responsibility in Europe and beyond. CIVICA was selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities under Erasmus+. 

Join link

The event will be livestreamed on Youtube.
Watch it here>>