Team

Meet The People of The ECI Campaign

The ECI Campaign is powered by a virtual team of multi-talented campaigners, some of whom have run their own ECI campaigns. You’ll see us speaking at events and commenting in the media. Behind the scenes, we research, lobby, write, code and do whatever we can to improve the ECI.

berg

Carsten Berg
Director

E-mail: berg@citizens-initiative.eu

Carsten Berg is known as one of the “fathers” of the European Citizens’ Initiative. He has advocated for the ECI and participatory democracy for nearly 20 years. Carsten successfully campaigned for the inclusion of the ECI into EU law during the 2002-2003 Convention on the Future of Europe. He has since led The ECI Campaign (www.citizens-initiative.eu) which works primarily for the successful implementation of the ECI by monitoring ECI use, advocating for reform and supporting ECI organisers with help desk services. His long time dream is to start an ECI to initiate a new and citizens-driven Constiutional Convention to relaunch the European project. He is also a board member of the Association for the ECI which supports the advancement of EU participatory democracy.

heike Heike Aghte – Lobby Ninja
Battle-hardened lobbyist guiding us through the jungles of Eurodom
ECI Cred: Organised ECI 30km/h – making streets liveable! 
E-mail: heike@citizens-initiative.eu      Twitter: @frieda_eu

Heike Aghte works as an advisor for the participation of civil society in EU policy, with a special focus on environmental and transport policy. She organised the ECI “30 km/h – making streets liveable” and was the speaker of its citizens´ committee. Heike closely cooperates with The ECI Campaign and has become a member of the Association for the ECI in order to achieve real progress for the ECI as a tool for participation of the citizens.

james James Organ – Legal Sage
Cutting through the rhetoric to reveal what EU law actually says
ECI Cred: Published definitive study of Commission’s ECI registration decisions
LinkedIn

James is a Lecturer at the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool. The doctoral research for his PhD, which was completed in 2015, was on the legal framework for citizen participation through instruments of direct democracy, particularly the European Citizens Initiative and UK referenda. James continues to work in the area of EU participatory and direct democracy. He has published on the legal admissibility of European Citizen’s Initiative proposals in the EU Constitutional Law Review and in the publication “An ECI that Works”. James works closely with The ECI Campaign Group to support the implementation and development of the ECI, and he is co-organising a major conference titled ‘Democratic Participation in a Citizen’s Europe: What next for the EU?’ with The ECI Campaign Group and The Democratic Society, which is to be held on May 5th 2016. Prior to starting his PhD James worked for over a decade for Citizens Advice and has an academic interest in the area of Access to Justice. He has an upcoming publication in an edited collection on the impact of legal aid and other funding cuts on the provision of legal advice in the Liverpool City Region.

jerry Jerry Weyer – Social media freak
Social media expert increasing citizen participation one byte at a time
ECI Cred: Campaigner for ECI Unconditional Basic Income and ECI Let me vote
Twitter: @jerryweyer
LinkedIn

Jerry is an activist and communications consultant. He runs Clement & Weyer Digital Communication Consultants. Jerry has been involved in two ECIs: “Let me vote” and “Unconditional Basic Income”. From October 2012 to July 2013, he served as the coordinator of the Luxembourgian parliamentary monitoring organisation, Politikercheck.lu. Jerry studied European law at the Robert Schuman University and later at the London School of Economics.

Maarten de Groot  – Network Discoverer
Based in Brussels but at home in the whole of Europe
ECI Cred: Organiser for the ECI “More than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens” 
LinkedIn

Maarten has been working on the topic of democracy in Europe for a while now, first academically and recently within civil society. In the year 2016-2017, he has been Vice-President and External Relations Director in the Executive Board of AEGEE / European Students’ Forum, a European youth and student organisation that is striving for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. In that capacity, he has been actively dealing with the topic as part of AEGEE’s external relations with partners in civil society, among others as Steering Committee member for European Civic Forum. Furthermore, he has been involved in the organisation of AEGEE’s ECI ‘More Than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens’, calling for strengthened and more coordinated citizenship education throughout Europe. Just before he moved to Brussels, he finished his Research Master’s in Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on ‘Reinventing Democracy in and for Europe – from demoi-cracy to DiEM25’. Maarten believes in the potential of the ECI for the democratization of the European project, and he is eager to work towards exploiting it further.

mumta Mumta Ito – Systemic Visionary
Keeping our eyes on the long-term goal of democratic transformation
ECI Cred: Organiser for future ECI Rights of Nature
On Youtube Mumta Ito proposing European Citizens Initiative for the Rights of Nature
LinkedIn

Mumta Ito is one of Europe’s leading experts on rights of nature. She is the Founder and CEO of Rights of Nature Europe, a registered charity and network of individuals, experts and organisations working together proactively to establish rights of nature in law throughout Europe and transform our societal relationship with nature. Mumta is an organiser for future ECI Rights of Nature. She is also the European Regional Facilitator for the UN General Assembly Harmony with Nature Dialogues and the convenor of the UK Environmental Law Association’s Wild Law group. Additionally she founded the International Centre of Wholistic Law which approaches law-making, legal practice and dispute resolution from a paradigm of restoration, reparation and healing. In her career as a lawyer she advised investment banks, multinationals and governments as well as NGOs and grass-roots organisations working to protect nature. In addition to her professional qualifications as a lawyer, she also holds a BSc (Hons) Zoology and is passionate about our interconnection with the natural world and the potential for law as a vehicle for social transformation.

paul Paul Carline – Polyglot Grammarian
Linguist who helps us to bridge language and cultural divides
ECI Cred: Working for more direct and participatory democracy since before some of us were born
pawel Paweł Głogowski – Chief Juggler
Keeping all the ECI balls in the air, website online and everyone in line
ECI Cred: Researcher on the ECI

Paweł is currently a PhD student at the Willy Brandt Center (WBZ) for German and European Studies. He has written a number of articles on the ECI and participatory democracy. Before joining The ECI Campaign he worked as a trainee in the Brussels office of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

prisca Prisca Merz – Underdog Crusader
Fighting to make the ECI accessible to people with big ideas, but no resources
ECI Cred: Initiator of ECI End Ecocide
Twitter: @priscamerz
LinkedIn

Prisca has worked on EU issues in a variety of different contexts: As the Senior International Relations Officer at a [world-]leading [UK] university she was responsible for monitoring EU policy in areas affecting research and innovation. Prisca has further initiated and led an ECI “End Ecocide” on an entirely voluntary basis. Before that, she actively contributed to the European Students’ Forum AEGEE for over 6 years, organising a variety of different projects, and was also involved in the EU’s structured dialogue on youth policies.

stan Simona Pronckute – Digital warrior
Convinced European and activist working for citizens-friendly Europe
ECI Cred: Organised and led Fraternity 2020
Twitter: @simonapronckute
LinkedIn

Simona organised the first ever European Citizens’ Initiative Fraternité2020. She is a team member at The ECI Campaign and a fellow at TheGoodLobby. Simona studied at the College of Europe, University of Vienna, University of Luxembourg and University of Klaipeda. During her studies she went on Erasmus to Italy and France. Before joining The ECI Campaign, Simona undertook a traineeship with the European Commission and worked for European civil society organisations across Europe. She has written several publications about the ECI and participatory democracy. Simona is often invited to speak about the ECI, youth empowerment and participatory democracy at international conferences.

stan Stanislas Jourdan – Mediactivist
Multi-talented media expert helping us to creatively conquer apathy and clutter
ECI Cred: Campaigner for ECI Unconditional Basic Income
E-mail: stan@citizens-initiative.eu
Twitter: @stanjourdan
LinkedIn

Although Stanislas graduated from a Business School, his longest and most intense working experience has been while campaigning (mostly) as a volunteer for the basic income movement, which he co-founded almost three years ago in France. Stanislas was the leading activist for the ECI “Unconditional Basic Income”, a one-year campaign that started in 2013 and which succeeded – with very little resources – in collecting 300,000 signatures in support of the idea of basic income, using an official participative democracy instrument at the level of the European Union.

thomas Thomas Eitzenberger – Hackathlete and Ecowarrior
Open source evangelist and strong believer in the need for a paradigm shift
ECI Cred: IT specialist for End Ecocide and co-implementer of OpenECI software
Twitter: @eitzenbe
LinkedIn

Thomas is a project manager and department leader, with high technical and project management skills. He is an expert in Java Technologies and the Opensource ecosystem. Thomas is also an IT specialist for End Ecocide and co-implementer of OpenECI software. Thomas studied technical physics at the Technical University of Graz.

xavier Tiziano Cattaneo – Environmental and social communicator
Campaigning for a better Europe
ECI Cred: Campaign coordinator for the ECI People4Soil
LinkedIn

Tiziano has studied human geography in Milan and started collaborating with non-profit NGOs during his year of civilian service. He started his professional career as GIS specialist but then his passion for environmental and social communication led him to other areas of study and practice, especially awareness and advocacy campaigns. In 2016/17 he managed the coordination of People4Soil ECI, having the possibility to promote the ECI at many international conferences. Concerned about the future of participatory democracy in Europe, he made a committment to lobby, speak, campaign and do whatever needed to guarantee a brighter future to the ECI.

xavier Xavier Dutoit – Digital Democrat
Moving bits around eparticipation, civil sector, data-mining for good and civicrm. Changing the world, one byte at a time.
ECI Cred: IT specialist for ECI Right 2 Water and co-implementer of OpenECI software
Twitter: @eucardin
LinkedIn

Xavier is an award-winning internet expert, who has extensive experience of building online tools and communities. He is committed to the transformative power of technology to achieve democratic change on behalf of citizens everywhere. Xavier is a computer engineer and open source evangelist who is running a number of companies all on the mission of spreading technology to the people as a catalyst of people’s right to participation. He has a long track record of running successful pan-European online campaigns and developing wide NGO networks. In 2013 he managed the technological side of the first ever successful ECI campaign ECI Right 2 Water.