Introduction

I became intrigued by Europe and the EU when the Newspapers started reporting on the Euro crisis. The combination of its rich and violent history, personal stories, beautifully changing landscapes, complex integration, and future, pulled me in. I decided to study European Studies in order to get a better understanding of what exactly was happening during the Euro crisis both economically and politically. In 2017 I graduated with the Master European Identity and Integration. I mostly looked into European identity as a process of inclusion and exclusion instrumentalized by politicians. After my graduation, I have been involved in various European collaborative and research projects. 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. 

Specialized in European Identity and Integration, my interests are in (political) processes of identification and the influencing of the European public sphere. Im an experienced project coordinator for international grassroots network projects on the European level.
I have an open and positive attitude which enables me to empower, mobilise and connect people. I have strong analytical and organisational skills and am political sensitive which allows me to work in cultural diverse and political organisations. I've also engaged in several research projects questioning the exclusivity and inclusivity of a European Identity.

City Rights United - Here To Support

Currently, I coordinate the Europe for Citizens funded Network of Towns project City Rights United initiated by Here To Support. The project consists of a network of six partners all over Europe. The partners are grassroots organisations with a focus to empower undocumented people in their cities.

The main output of the project is a Toolkit for inclusive cities. Multimedia, interactive toolkit for and by Undocumented migrants and how undocumented can claim their human rights in urban areas. The toolkit is a collection of practices of the partner organisations and their communities that function to inspire other organisations and municipalities. The toolkit will be presented at a 3 day conference hosted in Amsterdam and Utrecht as a result of 3 years of collaboration and online & Offline meetings. 

If you want to know more: Watch here my presentation at the Cities for Change Forum

I have been an active member of GroenLinks as a board member of the department in Amsterdam East and chair of the working group 'Refugees' in Amsterdam. As a working group, we wrote part of the GroenLinks Amsterdam Election Program for March 2022. Previously I have also been 'Organiser' for various campaigns and active in organizing debates. 

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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. 

Liza Saris, Founder Where is Europe?