Who We Are...

Maria-Elena Koppa      

Political Career:
Maria-Elena Koppa is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. She is Coordinator of the S&D Group at the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and she is also one of the two Vice-chairpersons of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee. She is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and and a substitute member of the Committee on International Trade and the Subcommittee on Human Rights. She was Head of the PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) delegation in the European Parliament from July 2011 until March 2013. 
Prior to her election as a MEP, she was responsible for the ‘Human Rights, Social Integration, Asylum Policy and Migration’ Sector of PASOK and she also served as President of the Institute of Strategic and Development Studies (ISTAME), the think tank of the Socialist Party in Greece. She has been an elected member of the National Council of the Party since 2005.
Academic Career:
Maria-Elena Koppa has a Ph.D on Comparative Politics at Paris–X Nanterre University (1991); the title of her thesis is “The Formation of Party Systems in the Balkans, 19th–20th century. Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece”.
She holds the post of Assistant Professor on Balkan Politics at the Department of International and European Studies of Panteion University. She is the author of several books and articles on minority issues, democratization, nationalism and European politics, with a preference for comparative approaches.
Languages: French, English (fluent), Italian, Bulgarian, Serbian (moderate).


Alexis Stamatis

Alexis Stamatis is a well known Greek novelist and poet, born in Athens, Greece. He studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and took postgraduate degrees in Architecture and Cinematography in London. He has published ten novels and 21 books in total. His novels have been translated in eight languages. In 2004, he participated at the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa through a Greek Fulbright Artists & Art-Scholars Award. His book “American Fugue” has won the 1st International Literary award by the US National Endowment for the Arts and has also been published in the US. He has represented Greece in various Book Festivals and seminars all over the world.

Jose Luis Peixoto

José Luís Peixoto was born in 1974. Has studied Modern languages and literatures in Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is the author of novels, poetry collections, short-stories collections and a non-fiction book about North Korea. His books have received several national and international awards and have been short-listed for many others, such as the Fémina in 2012. His novels are translated in 20 languages.

Mariolena Venezia

Mariolina Venezia has published several poetry collections and has written for television and film. Her debut novel, "Been Here a Thousand Years", was awarded the 2007 Campiello Prize for fiction. She was born in 1961 in Matera, the Italian province in which her novel is set. She has also published several other books: "Altri miracoli", 2008, ed. Einaudi, "Come piante tra i sassi", 2009, ed Einaudi; "DA dove viene il vento, 2011, Ed. Einaudi, "Rivelazione all'Esquilino", 2010, ed. Nottetempo. Α new novel, "Maltempo", will be published on April the 16th from "Einaudi" publications. 

Santiago Roncagliolo

Peruvian-Spanish writer Santiago Roncagliolo (Lima, 1975) has written several works of fiction and non fiction exploring the links among América and Europe. "Pudor" was made a film. "Red April" has won the Independent Prize of Foreign Fiction and the Alfaguara Prize. "El Amante Uruguayo" is the real story of Federico García Lorca's Uruguayan lover. Roncagliolo is translated into 20 languages.

Leonardo Domenici

Leonardo Domenici was born on July 12, 1955 in Florence, where he also graduated in moral philosophy. He is married with Geraldina and he has two children: Barbara and Giulio Dimitri.
He started his political career in 1976. He was elected MP in 1994 (PDS) in Chianti-Valdarno constituency and re-elected in the following elections in 1996 (Ulivo). He spent a lot of time working for the “Institutional Affairs” commission at the Chamber of Deputies, dedicating his efforts in the reforms of Regions and local institutions.
Guiding a centre-left coalition, on June 13th 1999, he was elected Mayor of Florence at the first round and, on June 27th 2004, I was elected again for a second term.
Thanks to this experience, in the year 2000 he had the chance to become president of the Italian Association of Municipalities. In this role he worked on developing a strong link between local powers and European institutions. In particular, he created the “Anci Ideali Foundation” office in Bruxelles, which then became the “European Foundation of Cities”, whose goals arise from the need to consolidate the presence of Italian municipalities in Europe.
Domenici was among the founders of the Democratic Party in Italy (PD), being a member of the “Committee of the 45”, which started the construction of the PD. Currently he is a MEP, belonging to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D), where he is member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.

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