The war in Ukraine cannot be a pretext for a less ambitious ecological transition

Marin Pitavy

June 2022

While the massive European Green Deal promised an ambitious decarbonisation plan, some Member States wish to revise its objectives downwards to cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine. Yet the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in August 2021, warns of the disastrous effects of weak climate policies on rising temperatures. Is it really time to postpone our climate actions?


The urgency of climate action

In its 6th assessment, published last August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) once again recalled the urgency of climate action. While affirming that the climate system is better understood than ever, it estimates that temperatures of +1.5°C (compared with pre-industrial levels) will likely be reached within the next two decades. Only with aggressive action taken no later than today can it be kept below 1.5°C.

In this context, and when the EU’s current efforts are already insufficient to reach its goal of carbon neutrality in 2050, it is not time to downgrade or postpone European ambitions. That is especially so given that the EU, in its role as a climate leader, is paving the way for other countries to decarbonise; a negative example within the EU risks being challenged by other international actors and having global consequences.

The success of European ecological action relies on several sectoral plans. Energy, for example, is at the heart of the climate transition and represents 75 % of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. The agricultural sector, which accounts for a third of the European budget, is also a major emitter and is the primary driver of biodiversity loss, according to the UN.

The energy transition: another victim of war

Most Green Deal sectoral transition plans were designed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the EU strategy for energy system integration released in July 2020, and the agricultural transition plan, in May 2020. Born in times of crisis, the Green Deal was thought to be equipped to provide an answer to the most threatening of them: the ecological emergency. But the war in Ukraine seems to have defeated European climate ambitions.

The EU Member States are looking for a way out of their energy dependence, while they import 40 % of their gas, 27 % of their oil and almost half of their coal from Russia. The European Commission has warmly welcomed the US proposal to increase its fuel supply to the EU and has reached an agreement for a significant surge in the delivery of liquified natural gas (LNG).

Because it must be liquefied before being transported by tanker, LNG is much more emissive than the Russian pipeline gas that the EU wants to dispose of. Moreover, it will require additional infrastructure to receive the liquified gas and regasify it. Such infrastructure is expensive and will need to be operated for 10 to 15 years to become profitable.

By trying to free itself from Russian reliance, the EU is reneging on its climate commitments and locking itself into dependence on fossil fuels. ‘I’m very worried our climate goals may be another victim of Russia’s aggression’, summarised Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Last year’s IEA report stressed that no new oil or gas extraction should be undertaken to avoid the extreme consequences of global warming.

European agricultural transition in jeopardy

But the energy transition is not the only collateral casualty of the Ukrainian crisis: the ambitious European agricultural plan is also threatened by growing food insecurity. The war is indeed undermining the production and export efforts of Ukraine and Russia, accounting together for one third of the world’s wheat exports and two thirds of sunflower oil. The EU has become especially dependent, as Ukraine normally supplies half of the cereals imported into the EU.

The European Commission’s Farm to Fork plan, another pillar of the Green Deal, called for a halving of pesticide use and a target of 25 % organic farming by 2030. But the current situation is reshuffling the deck, according to 12 Member States. Among them, France, Poland and Hungary recently asked the Commission to review its objectives. In particular, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to prioritise productivity over sustainability, believing that ‘the European strategy … relied on a pre-war world in Ukraine’. In this context, he claimed, ‘Europe cannot afford to produce less’. Yet can Europe afford to delay its ecological transition?

A motive for climate action?

At least the publication of the REPowerEU Plan, on 18 May, brings a glimmer of hope. Taking advantage of the necessary review of energy supply in the EU, the Commission proposed to increase the overall 2030 target for renewables from 40 % to 45 % under the Fit for 55 package. It even called for ‘behavioural changes’ that would reduce gas and oil demand by 5 %, a remarkably effective but rarely mentioned measure. Still, the EU will have to implement concrete actions to deliver on its global leadership role in climate.

The war on the EU’s doorstep is a major concern that requires swift and powerful responses. But climate change will certainly also trigger mass migration, food insecurity and civil wars, according to the IPCC. Delaying our ecological ambitions to deal with the current crisis will only expose the EU and the world to increasingly severe consequences.

The sudden awareness of the EU’s fragility should be a stimulus to climate action, not a setback. As Churchill phrased it in these words: ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’.

The author

Marin Pitavy

Rosanna Fanni

Researcher & TTD Coordinator

Rosanna Fanni is Coordinator of the Trade and Technology Dialogue (TTD) and Researcher in the Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and Digital Economy (GRID) Unit.

As TTD Project Coordinator, she is responsible for the overall management of analysis, events and stakeholder engagement activities to support the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council and its ten Working Groups.

Her research interests focus on comparative analysis of digital policy and the impact on international relations. Working on the European Union’s digital portfolio, she developed expertise on governance and regulation of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), data, platforms, digital identity, and digital rights. She studied the impact of AI on European fundamental rights on behalf of the European Commission and was rapporteur for the CEPS Industrial Policy Task Force – Digital & Data Working Group. In 2021, she was a Fulbright-Schuman Fellow and Visiting Researcher at The Brookings Institution (Washington, DC), working on transatlantic relations and AI governance for the Forum for International Cooperation on AI (FCAI). She also co-organises the CEPS Young Thinkers Initiative to bring bright young minds at the forefront of EU policy debates. She is currently also EU-ASEAN Think Tank Dialogue Fellow and board member of Club Alpbach Belgium–Brussels.

Prior to joining CEPS, she was study visitor at the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) focusing on foresight and science communication, interned with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom, and earlier worked in political journalism at ZEIT ONLINE and ZDF.

Rosanna holds an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) in Digital Communication Leadership from Universität Salzburg (AT) and Vrije Universiteit Brussels (BE). She specialised in EU digital policy and innovation with a semester at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her MA thesis on the normative policy framework of (un)ethical AI was awarded greatest distinction. She holds a BA degree in Communication, Media and Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin including an Erasmus year at the University College London in European Social and Political Studies.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Cameron MacBride

I am a final year masters student, originally from Scotland but currently living in Bosnia & Herzegovina. My main area of focus is the Western Balkans & EU integration. I am incredibly excited to get underway with the work of the YPD due to the opportunity it provides for young thinkers to come together and discuss some of the most pressing issues for the EU going forward.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Giovanni Scomparin

I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Turin (Italy), and a Master’s Degree in International Energy from the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po. Currently, I am working within the consulting division of a major French utility company, focusing on energy transition-related projects (e.g. multi-country on-site solar projects, clean electricity procurement, etc.). Before that, I spent a year at a policy/regulatory consultancy, covering EU energy and climate policy. I am particularly interested in broadening my understanding of clean technologies (including their impact on raw materials demand), power and gas markets, and energy infrastructures.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Alexis Kontoghiannis

As a Chemical Engineer and Environmental Policy graduate from Sciences Po Paris, I have an in-depth experience of the hands-on work in labs and project management in industry. As I envisioned to work in interests’ representation at EU institution’s level, I took the opportunity to enrich my EU understanding and policy-making skills at the College of Europe this year (2022-2023). As I’m always seeking to stay in real-life situations, I looked forward to joining this Youth Thinkers Policy Dialogues to carry-out some group practice policy-making on today’s critical Energy and Climate subjects.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Muhammad “Moby” Maulana

Muhammad “Moby” Maulana is an aspiring researcher and a sophomore student at ODTÜ, Ankara, majoring in international relations with a focus on environmental politics. Most recently, he was a researcher for the G20 Youth Summit 2022, handling the topics of youth employment and environmental sustainability, where he designed several policy papers particularly addressing the issue of social safety nets, social entrepreneurship, and circular economy. He has also worked for several environmental consultancies where he was involved in the sustainable land use, forestry, and agricultural industries in the Southeast Asian region. Aside from his current research focus, Moby is especially interested in expanding his knowledge and expertise on energy policy through the international lens, including global partnership, energy market, and just transition.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Felicitas Murat

Originally, I completed a three-year banking apprenticeship in Switzerland and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). In addition to my employment in banking, coaching and at a newspaper, I have gained a variety of volunteer experiences. These range from working for more educational justice and equal opportunities, to promoting mutual cultural understanding between Switzerland and Colombia, to founding a school project with the organisation World Vision.

Currently, I am specializing in Environmental Policy and Sustainability as well as Development Management as part of a double master’s degree offered by Sciences Po Paris (France) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (England). As a Young Thinker at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), I am particularly interested in approaching climate change issues from a perspective that takes into account different life situations and realities. In this respect, one of my personal goals is to shape gender-responsive policies.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Zofia Borowczyk

Zofia, is a final year Social Policy student at the University of Bristol, UK. She is particularly interested in issues concerning our society, such as climate change, democracy and employment, and focuses on EU and Polish politics. Previously, she has interned in the Senate of the Republic of Poland and EU Parliament. Moreover, she was the European Union Youth G20 Delegate in 2022, where she worked in the Youth Employment track and participated in a youth policy dialogue with Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, at both of which she focused on the topic of Youth Employment. She has organised the 2022 edition of the Congress of Polish Student Societies in the UK, where she headed the logistics and events team.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Lucrezia Sala

Lucrezia holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from IE School of Politics, Economics & Global Affairs. Her past experiences at Real Instituto Elcano and Finabel (European Army Interoperability Centre) have led to her interest in being a trainee within the Secretariat of the European Parliament at the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) in March 2023.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Laura Lisboa

Laura Lisboa works at the NATO Defence Investment Division focusing on the space domain. Before, she was at the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. She is currently based in Brussels and spent seasons abroad in Germany, the United States and England during her studies and early career. She holds a Master’s in Politics and International Relations from Universidade Católica Portuguesa and a Bachelor’s in Engineering Physics from Instituto Superior Técnico. She is also part of a reflection group that meets regularly with the President of Portugal.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Cédric Lombaerts

Cédric holds a Master of Laws from the University of Antwerp and a Master of Arts in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe. Currently, he coordinates EU energy policy as an Attaché in European Affairs at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Eter Glurjidze

Eter is a program coordinator at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. She holds a post-graduate degree in International Relations and European Integration from the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Her area of interest includes the EaP region, Central and Eastern European Region (CEE) and China. Covering these topics, Eter has been a speaker in numerous young professionals seminars in Brussels, Budapest, Luxembourg, Lisbon etc.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Sofia Romansky

Sofia is a Ukrainian-Dutch-American completing a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Leiden University in The Hague, Netherlands. Before joining the Youth Policy Dialogues, she was an Assistant Analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. She also volunteers with Students for Ukraine.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Security and Defence

Dominik Juling

Dominik is a graduate student in Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science following practical experience as a soldier and internships at the George C. Marshall Center and NATO. He is particularly interested in the intersection between security, defence, and climate change.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Núbia Rodrigues

Núbia Rodrigues, 24, Brazil. BA in Psychology, specialized in Global Health & Health Diplomacy, and in Epistemologies of the South. I’m working as a Project and Research Officer for the Data Feminism Program at Data-Pop Alliance. My research interests are focused on migration and gender studies. I’m also passionate about the intersection of art and activism – and puzzles.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Chiara Frittitta

My name is Chiara Frittitta, I am a 24-year-old Italian whose pronouns are she/her. Prior to being selected as one of the 30 young thinkers, I majored in International Studies with a regional specialisation in Europe. I have diverse research experiences, including field research in Rabat on young Moroccan women’s political participation.

I hold a master’s degree in Gendering Practices at Gothenburg University, where I gathered skills to critically analyse and draft gender equality policy plans and strategies with a dissertation on recommendations for making non-binary gender equality policy. I am passionate about gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and the role played by policymaking in creating safer space for all.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Iman Jibreen

Born and raised in Palestine, Iman Jibreen is a compassionate, community focused individual who is interested in humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and research. Through the latter, Iman aims to shed light over the socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable segments in the society.

She has received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Birzeit University in Palestine and her MSc in Sustainable development from a consortium of three European Universities (Padova, Leuven and Paris 1). She currently works as an Economic Development Officer at EducAid Onlus in Palestine where she is responsible for the implementation of all the economic empowerment activities of persons with disabilities in Palestine.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Nils Seidel

After studying law at Leipzig University and Harvard University with internships – among others – at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung´s Rule of Law Program Sub-Saharan Africa in Nairobi and the Trade Policy Division of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, I joined the Chair for European and Public International Law at Leipzig University as a research fellow focusing on European law, European citizenship and international human rights. I have also launched “Transatlantic Debates”, a debating project where pupils think about their priorities for a future transatlantic agenda

Panka Rekasy


Panka Rékasy is an Intern in the Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation, Digital Economy (GRID) unit at CEPS.

She works on the implementation of the European Commission funded EU-U.S. Trade & Technology Dialogue (under the EU-U.S. TTC). Through this project she helps with the organisation and delivery of topical events, reporting to and liaising with the TTC Working Groups.
She is also involved in a research project on evaluating the EU’s health crisis preparedness. Her main interest lies in European health governance.

Panka holds a BSc in Politics, Psychology, Law & Economics from the University of Amsterdam. She is currently following a double degree master’s in European Governance between the University of Konstanz (Germany) and Utrecht University (Netherlands).
Her master’s thesis focuses on the expansion of EU public health policies into more long-term, integrated healthcare measures.

Her mother tongue is Hungarian, she is fluent in English and has limited working proficiency in Italian, also some basic knowledge of German and Dutch.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
 Democracy and Institutions

Beatriz Duarte

Beatriz is a young professional from Portugal, with a background in International Relations, and a specific interest in European Union politics. Fluent in Portuguese and English, and having advanced knowledge of French, Beatriz is always looking forward to learning new languages and embracing new adventures.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Simon van Hoeve

Simon van Hoeve is a Policy Coordinator for European Government Affairs at Microsoft, based in Brussels, Belgium. In this role, he provides horizontal support functions to the Vice-President for European Government Affairs and the Director for Strategy, contributing to policy related workstreams and ensuring synergies between advocacy and policy campaigns.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Simon spent a year as an Assistant Analyst, Cyber at Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Simon completed his Master’s degree in International Relations at Leiden Universiteit in the Netherlands (2021) and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada (2020).

In his spare time, Simon runs the BRUBBLE podcast, where he talks to young professionals in and around the Brussels Bubble on a variety of policy and topical issues.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Sher Yao

A native of Canada, Sher is a currently a Master of Education candidate with a specialization in Comparative, International and Development Education at the University of Toronto. More recently, she was a Junior Professional Consultant for UNICEF HQ supporting primary education policy and system strengthening across 15 countries. In 2022, she was selected to be a Graduate Fellow of the United Nations Office at Geneva and a European Forum Alpbach Scholar. Sher also graduated with a B.A. (Honors) in Music Education with a minor in the French Language from the University of Toronto, where her undergraduate thesis was awarded both The Thomas Clarkson Gold Medal and the Research Showcase Award.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Paula Oliver Llorente

Paula studies at the College of Europe a Master in International Relations and European Diplomacy. Previously, she graduated from IE University after studying a dual degree in International Relations and Business Administration. She has worked in consulting, public advocacy and research in different organizations. Her research interests include the US-EU-China relation, monetary policy and the impact of technology on society.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Sonia Stoyanova

Sonia is interested in transatlantic decarbonisation, climate clubs theory and the reconciliation of green industrial policy priorities with global trade rules.

Currently working at Clean Air Task Force, she has also completed a traineeship at the trade section of the EU Delegation in the United States. Prior to this, she worked at the American Chamber of Commerce in the EU, and interned at the UN Environment Programme, the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, and the Bulgarian Ministry of the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Sonia holds an Advanced Master’s degree in EU Politics and Policy from KU Leuven and a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies from Sofia University.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Brian Kelly Nyaga

Kelly is a legal practitioner with experience in international economic law, dispute resolution, banking and finance law and corporate commercial law.

He is also an avid researcher, having undertaken research and published widely on topics ranging from dispute settlement in the context of international trade, African economic integration, and economic recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Kelly was an East African regional representative at the AfronomicsLaw Academic Forum, which is a platform dedicated to stimulating open and inclusive discourse on international economic law issues as they relate to Africa and the Global South.

Kelly has also participated in and spoken at conferences with thematic areas centred on emerging issues in his areas of interest. Notably, in 2021, he presented his research results at an international conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa titled ‘Prospects for Regional Integration in Africa – A Comparative Perspective’.

More recently in November 2022, Kelly joined a panel of multidisciplinary experts at an international conference organised by the Policy Center for the New South in Rabat, Morocco to discuss the role of regional integration in reigniting economic growth in African economies in the Post-COVID era, with an emphasis on the SADC region.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
Trade and Technology

Drew Fenner

Drew is a Master’s candidate in European Studies and International Business Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. He specializes in the intersection of business and public policy, focusing on trade, technology, and climate. His experience spans the policy research, government affairs, and private equity industries.

Currently, he works as a Government Affairs Analyst at TotalEnergies in Washington, DC. Prior to this role, Drew held the prestigious Wallenberg International Fellowship in Stockholm, Sweden, where he served as a Sustainability Associate at EQT Group.

Andrea Bittnerová

Senior Events and External Relations Manager

Andrea Bittnerová is Senior Events and External Relations Manager in the Membership Services and Communications and Marketing Unit at CEPS.

Andrea is an experienced project and event manager, with a rich background in civil society organisations focused on youth and education.

Project and event management: Project management is Andrea´s great passion since 2017. She has experience in all stages of project management, from initiation to reporting. She mostly worked on pilot projects that needed to be built from scratch and which involved several national and international partners. She led internal projects as well as projects linked to public funding, especially Erasmus+. In the past 8 years, Andrea has also led or co-organised small and medium-sized international events, covering all sorts of areas from logistics, agenda, through team coordination to liaising with speakers. The portfolio of her events consists of conferences, workshops, trainings and webinars, both in-person and virtual. She has also led panel debates or chaired statutory meetings.

Stakeholder engagement: Since 2017, Andrea has been involved with a variety of stakeholders, such as business, academia, representatives of the European Commission, ambassadors, local, regional and national authorities, or civil society organisations. She liaised with these stakeholders via projects, collaborations, membership and events, as well as hosted high-level events for philanthropists.

Youth and education: Andrea has over 10-year experience in volunteering and working in the youth and education sector. She held various positions in European and international civil society organisations in this area. In 2021, she was selected as a member of a pilot cohort of the first-ever youth advisory board of the OECD – Youthwise. This pilot cohort published a document titled “Young people and the future (of work): 10 key insights from Youthwise”. Her main areas of interest include youth participation, skills development, volunteering, non-formal education and intercultural learning.

Danai Ellina

Research Assistant and IFI Coordinator

Danai Ellina is a Research Assistant in the Financial Markets and Institutions Unit.

She also coordinates the Network of EU Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs). In her role as IFI Coordinator, Danai manages a Network of 32 EU independent fiscal institutions, takes part in authoring the Network’s papers (including a bi-annual European Fiscal Monitor), etc.

She has expertise in EU public finances and has tackled topics such as the upcoming European Economic Governance Review in a recent commentary.

Her research interests include monetary economics, fiscal policy, public finances and international trade.

More recent interests in the green economy have arisen after her Master’s degree at the College of Europe. The topic of her Master’s thesis was “a quantitative analysis of monetary policy spillovers in non-EU countries particularly in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood”, which also got published at the College of Europe’s library. These fields have been researched mainly through quantitative methods including time series vector autoregressions and panel data analysis.

Dylan Macchiarini Crosson


Dylan Macchiarini Crosson is a Researcher in the EU Foreign Policy Unit at CEPS.

A young professional working on Common Foreign and Security Policy, the European Defence Union and transatlantic relations, he has carried out research and policy evaluation in both the professional and academic spheres.

He has experience in data collection and analysis across EU countries, including conducting semi-structured interviews and carrying out surveys.

An English and Italian native speaker, he also has full proficiency in French and Spanish.

Jane Arroyo

Research Assistant

Jane Arroyo is a Research Assistant in the Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation, Digital Economy (GRID) unit at CEPS.

Her research interests lie in the challenges raised by trade and technology for global governance and the overarching goal of sustainable development. She is interested in investigating the policy and regulatory questions arising from these key challenges in the European Union, which she currently does at CEPS by being involved in a wide range of projects, including inter alia on health governance, industrial policy, and artificial intelligence.

Jane holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po Paris, where she developed advanced skills in policy and political analysis in the field of economic governance and policy with a focus on the European and East-Asian regions. Her thesis specifically focused on the qualitative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European trade policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics awarded with highest honours by University Paris-Dauphine (PSL), where she specialised in international economics and development during an exchange semester at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Mother tongue French, she is fluent in English, has an excellent command of Spanish, and some notions of German and Japanese. She holds French and Spanish citizenships.

Laura Nicolás

Membership Officer

Laura Nicolas joined CEPS as Membership Officer in May 2022. Her key responsibilities involve maintaining regular communication with CEPS members, overseeing the CEPS membership programme, and expanding the organization’s membership and funding sources.

Prior to joining CEPS, Laura worked with several NGOs in Europe and Asia, focusing on communication, partnership building, fundraising, and project management. She has coordinated small and medium-sized events on sustainability and education with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and local NGOs, reflecting her interest in social impact projects. Laura’s experience in public-oriented roles has honed her skills in storytelling, sales, and public speaking, enabling her to effectively communicate ideas and promote initiatives.

In addition, Laura’s degree in International Studies, with a specialization in International Cooperation and Latin American Studies, combined with her experience living in various countries and continents, has equipped her with exceptional intercultural communication skills and the ability to work proficiently in multicultural environments.

Finally, Laura is also part of the CEPS Young Thinkers team, where she focuses on partnership building, sponsorship, and other logistical and visibility tasks. She is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English, and has an intermediate level of French, and a basic level of Italian.

Lisa Di Giacomo


Lisa Di Giacomo is a young graduate interning in the Foreign Policy Unit at CEPS, specifically within the Connectivity Team, where she focuses on enhancing connectivity projects between the EU and Asia.

She obtained an LLM in European and International law at Radboud Universiteit in the Netherlands and a Master’s degree in European Affairs and Security Studies at Sciences Po Strasbourg. Her master’s thesis examined cyberterrorism and its assessment under conflict laws. Lisa is particularly interested in conflict management and seeks to leverage connectivity projects to reduce tensions.

As a native French speaker, she possesses full working proficiency in English, limited working proficiency in Italian, and basic knowledge of Spanish.

Martina Giani

Digital Communications Officer

Martina Giani is the Digital Communications Officer at CEPS.

Expert in communication, social media management and graphic design, Martina has worked for the past three years in different international organisations and European institutions, such as the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

In her professional career, she supported the development of different communications and social media strategies, helping to set strategic objectives to improve brand awareness, drive larger website traffic and boost engagement.

By creating daily engaging content for social media, including designed visuals, infographics and videos, Martina has also gained extensive skills in the promotion of events and publications, attracting wider audiences and growing the total number of followers on the social media channels of the organisations she worked in.

She also has experience in both printed and digital design. As Acting Communications Officer at ENNHRI, she was responsible for the management and delivery of branded materials and publications as well as newsletters and web channels.

Thanks to her experiences she has developed good knowledge of Adobe programmes such as Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere Pro as well as analytics tools to examine website and social media performances.

Mother tongue Italian, she is fluent in English and has some knowledge of Russian, as she graduated in Eastern European Studies at the University of Bologna.

Youth Policy Dialogue:
  Energy and Climate 

Ciara Connolly

My name is Ciara Connolly, I am half-Irish, half-German. I studied International Relations at King’s College London, where I also pursued several climate-related activities, such as being in the KCL Climate Action Society and taking part in French-speaking climate-related debate competitions. I graduated last summer and completed an internship at adelphi, a German government-funded think tank specializing in climate policy. I have now moved to Berlin, where I work as an Editor at the German news agency, dpa. I would love to work in European or German climate policy and can’t wait to get a chance to put this into action with CEPS. In my free time I like to go to gigs, do creative things with my friends and am currently learning Spanish as my dream is to visit Costa Rica someday!