I have become amazed by Europe, through the combination of its rich and violent history, stories and beautiful landscapes. With the start of the Eurocrisis, I decided to study European Studies in order to get a better understanding of what exactly was happening. In 2017 I graduated with the Master European Identity and Integration. I specialised in European identity looking at it as a process of not only inclusion but also exclusion and used as a tool by politicians. On this website you can find my blog 'Where is Europe' but  also the other projects that I have been involved in, like recently City Rights United and the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies. 

Current professional positions

 I'm working as Program Assistant for the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies at the University of Amsterdam,  an interdisciplinary centre of excellence on contemporary Europe, the European Union, and its member states. We organise and facilitate interdisciplinary academic and public lectures, seminars, summer schools and conferences but also facilitate in interdisciplinary research and policy papers.

I am mostly focused on supporting and organising the public (online) lecture series and events. The last year several succesful series were launched, like the Decolonising Europe series with 2000 viewers on Youtube.  You can watch our series here

The rest of the week I am the project coordinator at the EACEA funded Network of Towns project City Rights United. 

The project has a network that consists of six partners all over Europe. The partners are organisations that either are started by undocumented or with a focus to empower undocumented citizens in their cities.

I organise the public and partner meetings, set up the project coordination and support with the process of a publication. At the end of the project we will launch a Toolkit for cities to become more inclusive for Undocumented migrants and how undocumented can claim their human rights in urban areas. 

I am an active member of GroenLinks as board member of the department in Amsterdam East. Previously I have also been 'Organiser' for various campaigns and active in organising debates. 

Liza Saris, Founder Where is Europe?

Where is Europe

During my internship at the cultural program of the Dutch presidency of the EU, I noticed that something strange was happening. The terms EU and Europe are used as substitutes for each other. I started to research this phenomenon and came to the conclusion that in the western-European public spheres the difference between both has faded. I realised that Western-Europeans often have a distant relationship with both the EU and Europe. The critics on the EU also have influenced the public opinions on Europe. 

After finishing my master thesis on this topic, I felt there was much more to discover. Thus I started the grand project 'Where is Europe'. The goal was to get a better understanding of the perception of European Identity in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. By conducting interviews and analysing cultural events, museum descriptions etc. I researched the dominant narratives about Europe and the EU in these regions. During this project I also got the opportunity to challenge my own perceptions and stereotypes about these regions and how deeply rooted these stereotypes are. This led to the plan to come up with a comprehensive strategy to challenge my ideas and rewrite these narratives.


You can read more about the outcomes of both projects in the blog session on this website.