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European Citizens' Initiative

ImagineEU video competition jury

The ImagineEU video competition jury was composed of representatives of the ECI community from EU institutions, national authorities and civil society organisations, as well as young trainees from the European Commission.  

Rudiger Boogert

Rudiger Boogert 

Head of Unit for Policy Priorities and Commission Work Programme in the Secretariat-General of the European Commission, which includes the Commission’s responsibilities for the European citizens’ initiative. 

He previously headed the unit responsible for strategic financial management in the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and before that worked in two Cabinets of Members of the Commission. Before joining the Commission, Rudiger served in the Dutch national administration including in the Finance Ministry, the Prime Minister’s office and the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union.

Loránt Vincze

Member of the European Parliament representing Romania, European People's Party Group, elected in 2019. 

MEP Vincze has a Master's in Public administration and e-government. He worked in the Romanian media landscape before moving to Belgium to take up a role as an Accredited Parliamentary Assistant in 2009. He is an active member of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) and received the Hungarian Order of Merit, Officer’s Cross, in 2021.

Lorant Vincze

Violeta Jelić 

Member of the European Economic Social Committee (EESC) since 2013. Since 2015, she serves as the EESC Employers' Group Vice-President and in 2023 she was appointed President of the EESC´s Ad hoc Group on the European citizens’ initiative.

Violeta has been part of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, which represents the interests of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, for 14 years. For the last 11 years she in the position of advisor for International cooperation and EU, and also in position of general Secretary of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts.

From 2000 to 2009, she gained experience working with international humanitarian organisations, associations, and civil society. She is also a professor of sociology and actively participates in several local associations with a focus on social issues.

Armela Brocaj

BlueBook trainee at the Secretariat-General of the European Commission. 

With a background in Public Administration, Public Management and European Public Affairs, she studied a variety of policies at different levels of government. Armela believes that citizen engagement, and particularly youth engagement, play a transformative role in bringing topical concerns to the attention of policymakers and shaping policy. In this regard, she is honoured to partake in the #ImagineEU competition as a jury member and is curious to see the diversity of initiatives proposed by European youth. 

Armela Brocaj
Rafal Dymek

Rafał Dymek 

Chief expert at the Schuman Foundation in Warsaw. 

Graduate of political science at the University of Warsaw and postgraduate studies in management at the Warsaw School of Economics. He specialises in issues related to the socio-political situation in selected European countries, Poland's European policy, the functioning of the European Union and the decisions made within it. 

Rafał is also interested in various aspects of the functioning of the third sector in Poland, including legal regulations governing its activities. On behalf of the Foundation, a member of the Partnership Agreement Committee for 2021-27. 

Giorgia Ferraro

Blue Book Trainee in the Recovery and Resilience Task Force of the European Commission. 

She holds a bachelor’s in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a double master’s degree in Government, Administration, and Politics between Luiss Guido Carli in Rome and ULB in Brussels. Giorgia was part of the Education Programming Team at the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and was the first female Main Organiser and Licensee of the TEDxLuiss conference. She is one of the voices of the Cisco’s global campaign “Future Voices”.

Giorgia Ferraro
Iva Gjurić Smrekar

Iva Gjurić Smrekar

President of Lota's Box NGO, based in Zagreb, Croatia.

With MA in Economics and BA in European studies, and after working years in business sector, Iva started to get more and more involved in the non-profit sector 15 years ago. After volunteering and various positions at local and national level, her background in European studies inspired her to work more on civic and European values, especially supported by tools of participatory democracy, such as the European Citizens’ Initiative.

Camila Henao

ECI Ambassador on behalf of the MIRA Association, Spain, since 2023.

Currently completing a Master’s in Fundamental Rights. Camila is a volunteer in different activities of citizen participation.

Camila Henao
Assya Kavrakova

Assya Kavrakova

Executive Director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) - a pan-European membership association with more than 30 years of experience in empowering citizens and campaigning for an inclusive, transparent and democratic Europe.

With 25 years of experience, Assya has thorough knowledge of the European Citizenship and the EU civic participation mechanisms, including the European Citizens’ Initiative. 

A keen promoter of digital empowerment of citizens and digital democracy, Assya is also a member of the Chancellery of the European Citizen's Prize of the European Parliament and a member of the Board of EUobserver - - a not-for-profit, independent online newspa

Austeja Linartaite

Blue Book Trainee at the Secretariat-General unit for Health, Education and Culture. 

Austeja pursued degrees in Biomedical Science and Sustainable Development, through which she has gained a comprehensive overview of the urgent issues in our world today. In her past experiences working with young people as part of an NGO promoting equitable science education, and as a leader at a creative arts summer camp, she has seen first-hand the power imagination and innovation youth groups bring when tackling solutions to both local and global problems. Austeja is very thrilled to see the very best of Europe represented in this competition!

Austeja Linartaite
Carlos Medeiros

Carlos Medeiros 

Coordinator of the Information and Communication Unit of the Jacques Delors European Information Centre, integrated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, since 2008. 

Carlos holds a degree in Geography and Regional Planning from FCSH-UNL. He graduated in European Studies in 1989 and in Information and Documentation Sciences in 2006. He is a researcher at CICS.NOVA and is currently completing his PhD in Geography and Spatial Planning at FCSH-UNL. He has given lectures and participated in seminars and congresses. Carlos has contributed to collective works, notably the recent Dictionary of Great European Figures.

Konstantina Mintzoli

Senior Communication Strategist (EU affairs) working on the European Citizens’ Initiative communication campaign. 
Konstantina has a Master’s in international migration and a Master’s in political strategy and communication. She has held various communication-related roles in the UN and EU agencies. 


Mindaugas Mizaras
Advisor of the Training and Communication Division of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Lithuania.

Mindaugas has started and continued his career in 2015 as a Chief specialist in the CEC IT Division. In 2016, following the creation of a new Training and Communication Division, he was invited to take up a new position.

He is responsible for providing, monitoring and reviewing trainings for all the involved interest groups (candidates and their representatives, members of electoral commissions, voters and so on). He coordinates relations with interested parties of the European Citizens’ Initiative and, as a representative of the National Contact Point, provides information and assistance.

Rachele Raspante

Works at the Department for European affairs of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy. 

She has experience in public administration, having worked for almost 20 years at the Ministry of Defence dealing with transparency and anti-corruption. She also has many interests: spending time with her family and friends; travelling; knowing heritages; reading; writing (she wrote two novels published several years ago and is considering restarting). She also loves to be engaged in volunteering, especially with children.

Rachele Raspante
Image of Daniela Vancic

Daniela Vancic

European Program Manager at Democracy International since 2017. 

Daniela manages Democracy International’s keystone EU level projects and activities. She monitors and acts on developments that regard the democratic future of the EU as well as works extensively on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), including promotion and education of the instrument. Daniela also advocates for the ECI’s revision and for better implementation of the tool, and she offers campaigning assistance to ECI organisers in particular via the ECI Forum. She holds a Master of International Relations and worked as a campaigner with the US Michigan Democratic Party before joining the team of Democracy International. 

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