How can trust in politics regain? Interview with Prof. Dr. Daniela Braun:

TEPSA TRAINING "Inside the European Parliament"

The Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) organized an online training seminar called „Inside the European Parliament“ as part of the ActEU project, coordinated by TEPSA Project Manager Lorenzo Mariani, aimed at enhancing European citizens‘ trust in times of crisis and polarization. The three-day seminar took place from October 11-13, 2023, and involved 19 Master’s and Bachelor’s students. The training provided in-depth knowledge about the functioning of the European Parliament, featuring presentations and discussions with professionals from the Parliament. The focus was on understanding the institution’s significance in the democratic process and its impact on European societies, with a particular emphasis on encouraging youth electoral participation in the 2024 elections.

The seminar included lectures on the history and workings of the European Parliament, as well as debates on its role in EU governance, relations with citizens, and electoral procedures. Practical exercises were also conducted, where participants developed strategies to engage young people in European politics through social media campaigns, speeches, electoral strategies, and identifying key priorities for the Parliament.

On the first day participants were introduced to the seminar by Lorenzo Mariani, who outlined the ActEU project and discussed the roles of the European Parliament. Manuel Müller then provided a comprehensive history and overview of the Parliament. Following this, a debate on the Parliament’s role in EU governance took place, moderated by Jaap Hoeksma and featuring experts Ilke Toygür and Alena Carna. The discussion covered the Parliament’s external relations and its interactions with other EU institutions and interest groups.

On day two, Ophélie Omnes moderated a debate on the key challenges facing the 2024 election, with Daniela Braun, Professor of Political Science at Saarland University and Louisa Parks, Associate Professor at the University of Trento. This was followed by a session with Ilaria Giustacchini, an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant, who provided insights into the day-to-day workings of the Parliament. The day ended with a group activity led by Lorenzo Mariani, where participants engaged in practical exercises related to youth engagement in European politics.

The final day featured autonomous group work to prepare presentations on the importance of youth voter turnout. An interactive discussion led by Michael Kaeding, Professor of European Integration and European Union Politics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, explored ways to encourage youth voter turnout, addressing trust in institutions and the impact of various challenges on election turnout. The seminar concluded with participants presenting their innovative ideas for engaging youth in European politics, resulting in fruitful debate and feedback. Certificates were awarded to participants at the end of the seminar.

Conference: Emotional Dynamics of (In)security and Politics

The conference seeks to explore the relationship between feelings of (in)security and emotional needs towards protection and political responses to those feelings and needs.

The Conference “Emotional Dynamics of (In)security and Politics” is hosted by the Chair of Political Science and Comparative European Research of Saarland University (site) and funded by the Department of International Relations of Saarland University. There are no conference fees involved.

The conference will take place at the Saarland University from June 11, 2024 until June 13. It will be organised by Dr. Beatriz Carbone and Prof. Dr. Georg Wenzelburger (both Chair of Comparative European Politics at Saarland University).

For further information and how you can submit paper proposal se:

Citizen Science project ActEU enters focus group phase: Political participation and representation in Europe

How do the citizens of Europe envision political participation and opportunities for involvement? Under what conditions do they feel represented? What role do conventional means of participation within institutions and processes of representative democracies in Europe, such as political parties or elections, play and what significance do unconventional and disruptive forms of participation, such as political consumerism or activism (#activism), have? Do the logic and routines of individual and collective political participation in the digital realm truly differ from those on the streets?

To address these questions, the Horizon Europe project ActEU, led by Michael Kaeding and Kristina Weissenbach (University of Duisburg-Essen), has now entered the first phase of exploratory and sequential data collection and analysis: From May to September 2023, focus groups will take place in Germany, France, Greece, and the Czech Republic. The aim is to comparatively broaden our understanding of different facets of the traditional „question of trust“ from survey research. The analysis results contribute, on one hand, to the conceptualization of the subsequent web scraping phase and the experimental survey. On the other hand, they provide the way for the transdisciplinary development of toolkits for actors from politics and civil society, as well as for teachers in secondary schools, and for the implementation of real-world laboratories involving youth, politicians, and cartoonists from various EU member states.

Under the scientific direction of Daniela Braun (Saarland University), ActEU ( used the newly generated data to examine the trust of citizens from 10 countries of the European Union in the institutions, actors and processes of the represent democracy and develop, based on this, target group-oriented and practically implementable measures to create, win back and stabilize trust.

Insights into the focus groups: In each country, four homogenous groups, focusing on the topic of political participation, were engaged in conversation, while also maintaining sociostructural heterogeneity. In order to enable gender-specific narratives about processes and emotional aspects of political participation, representation, and trust, a purely female group was assembled in each case. While conceptualizing the guideline, special emphasis was placed on the individual perception of political challenges such as migration, gender equality, or climate change. Additionally, discussions revolved around identifying the appropriate level within a political system to address these challenges and what qualities constitute a qualified politician capable of identifying and implementing solutions for individual and collective “problems”.

By using its exploratory design and the utilization of the „Chinese portrait“ or spontaneous associations, the initial qualitative data collection phase on individual, collective, and connective participation, as well as descriptive, substantive, and emotional representation within the context of digital transformation, now establishes the foundation for various analyses within the overall ActEU project. Qualitative and thematic content analyses, along with facial expression analyses of the video material, constitute the initial approach.

Max-Valentin Robert joins ActEU Team at ESPOL

We are very pleased to announce that Max-Valentin Robert joined us as a postdoctoral researcher at ESPOL on July 1, 2023. Max-Valentin Robert will work with the ActEU WP3 Team at ESPOL. Max-Valentin Robert completed his Ph.D. in political science in January 2021 at Sciences Po Grenoble (UMR Pacte, France) and before joining ESPOL he worked as a research fellow at the University of Nottingham in the Digital Society Project.

TEPSA Training: “Inside the European Parliament”

The seminar will be conducted online via Zoom from 11 to 13 October 2023. It will consist of daily sessions (from 14:00 to 18:00) which will include lectures from high-level experts on EU institutional affairs and democratic participation, interactive discussions with practitioners from the European Parliament, and hands-on group activities.

See the detailed process below.

For  further information:

Day One


Introduction and Overview
Lorenzo Mariani, Project Manager, TEPSA 

Participants will be welcomed to the training and introduced to its content and functioning. The ActEU project will be presented to set the scene of the topics discussed as part of the seminar, and participants will reflect on the importance of youth participation in the upcoming European elections.




Lecture: Understanding the European Parliament
Manuel Müller, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Participants will learn about the historical background of the European Parliament, its modern composition and structures, and its role and functions in the EU system, as well as the Parliament’s decision-making processes and
legislative procedures.




Debate: European Parliament and EU Governance
Alena Carna, European Parliament Ilke Toygür, Director of IE Center for Innovation in Global Politics and Economics & Professor of (Geo)Politics of Europe & TEPSA Board Member Moderation: Jaap Hoeksma, Euroknow 

The discussion will surround the EP’s place in the institutional triangle, its role in shaping EU legislation, its relationship with other institutions, oversight and accountability mechanisms in the Parliament, its relations with interest groups, and the role of national liaison offices.

Day Two


Debate: The European Parliament and Citizens
Daniela Braun, ActEU Scientific Lead & Professor of Political Science at Saarland University Louisa Parks, Associate Professor at University of Trento 

The chief topic of discussion in this session will be electoral procedures for European elections, and the key challenges facing the upcoming European elections in 2024. Participants will come to understand the significance of the European Parliament for citizens and the role of the EP in promoting democracy and safeguarding citizens‘ rights.




A Day at Work in the European Parliament 
Ilaria Giustacchini, Accredited Parliamentary Assistant at the European Parliament

Participants will meet with a professional working day-to-day in the Parliament and gain a first-hand insight into what it is like to work there. They will discover the intricacies of Committee work and policy development, learn how MEPs represent their constituents‘ interests and concerns at European level, and much more.




Group Activity: Engaging Youth in European Politics (Pt.1)
Lorenzo Mariani, Project Manager, TEPSA 

At the culmination of the TEPSA Training „Inside the European Parliament“, participants will take their learnings and get the chance to apply them practically. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with their peers and build working relationships, all the while exploring key questions on the main challenges faced by the EU in the lead-up to the European elections. The importance of youth voter turnout will be a key theme.

Day Three


Autonomous Group Work 

Groups will have the chance to meet spontaneously to continue the discussion and prepare the final group presentations.


Interactive Discussion
Michael Kaeding, ActEU Coordinator & Professor for European Integration and European Union Politics at the University of Duisburg-Essen 

In closing the second day, participants will have the chance to reflect on the lessons they have learned thus far and discuss the thorny issue of how to encourage youth voter turnout at the upcoming 2024 European elections.


Group Activity: Engaging Youth in European Politics (Pt.2)
Michael Kaeding, ActEU Coordinator & Professor for European Integration and European Union Politics at the University of Duisburg-Essen
Lorenzo Mariani, Project Manager, TEPSA 

Participants will build on the discussion during the group activity in day 2, on the autonomous group work and on the interactive session in day 3 to prepare a final presentation of their work.


Wrap-up and Conclusion


Junior Researcher – Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparé

The Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparé in france is seeking for a Junior Researcher to work from October 2023 in our ActEU project.


  • Supporting the coordination of all deliverables and data collection/analysis owed by Sciences Po for the project;

  • Analyzing cross-national survey data on the dynamics and patterns of political trust and political action, as well as on the role of ethnic diversity and the politicization of immigration on such dynamics and patterns, and contributing as necessary to the reports and deliverables relating to such analyses;

  • Supporting the coordinators of WP2 on citizens’ attitudes;

  • Contributing to the design of toolkits and policy briefs for policymakers and other stakeholders on the results of the project produced by the Sciences Po team;

  • Contributing to the preparation and delivery of all dissemination, communication and exploitation activities of the project;

  • Being responsible for the maintenance and version control of any data used for the project, including the preparation of Data Management Plans and any other formal Personal Data Protection requirements established by Sciences Po, the ActEU coordinators or the European Commission. This will also include inputting of data and its safe storage using the agreed protocols, as defined by the research team and Sciences Po’s research data protection policy;

  • Prepare and undertake data analysis and tests using quantitative and qualitative techniques and approaches agreed with the Principal Investigator and the rest of the team;

  • Attending the relevant meetings of the international consortium;

  • Actively contributing to (and where necessary and appropriate depending on qualifications and experience, leading) academic publications stemming from the project, also including the preparation of any replication data submission for journals, as required;

  • Supporting the PI in all administrative and project management tasks as required;

  • Identifying and understanding work requirements prioritising tasks and responsibilities within an agreed time frame agreed with the PI;

  • The post holder will be required to effectively manage their time to deliver on the priorities of the project. The post holder will need to plan ahead to ensure the research is delivered in accordance with the overall research objectives and deadlines. This may include defining tasks and schedules, organising meetings, preparing intermediate reports on data and findings, and contributing to the preparation of the project final report.


  • A Master’s degree in Politics or Political Sociology (or closely related discipline) with a substantive or methodological focus relevant to the project, completed or close to completion (e.g., will be completed in the Summer);*

  • Demonstrable training and experience using quantitative research methods and techniques;*

  • An expertise, backed up by research experience, in the subfields of political behaviour and political attitudes in Europe, and in one or several of the following fields:, political representation, political institutions or political parties;*

  • Research experience in subjects or projects relevant to the research project;*

  • Proficiency in English (oral and for academic writing);*

  • Proven ability of social science data input, management and analysis with Stata or R;*

  • Advanced-level quantitative analysis skills (e.g., including pooled cross-sectional time series analysis, multilevel regression analysis, etc.);*

  • Proven ability to write up research findings;*

  • Ability to take initiative, self-manage and contribute intellectually to the overall project;

  • Expertise with relevant office packages;

  • Ability to work as part of a team;

  • Good oral and written communication skills;*

  • Attention to detail.*

Deadline of application: 14th June 2023

For more information: