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2017 Winners of the Postgraduate Research Grant of the EPP Group announced

Posted on 05 September 2017

Jacopo Cellini, Vincent van de Griend, Michal Matlak are receiving this year’s Postgraduate Research Grant on Christian Democracy and European Integration of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament.

Jacopo Cellini obtained a joint PhD in History from the Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy, and KU Leuven, Belgium, in 2015. His research on “The Idea of Europe at the Origins of the EPP” focuses on the making of the European Manifesto and of the EPP’s political programme and aims to reconstruct the theoretical framework underlying the idea of Europe of the European Christian Democracy in the 1970s. This research will bring together and build on results of research projects on European Christian Democracy’s political culture, transnational policy networks, European integration, and will look at the role of ideas in international relations.

Vincent van de Griend obtained a Master Degree in Modern History as well as in Philosophy of History at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research on “The EPP and the Environment as a New European Policy Field” aims to find out how EPP member parties squared conflicting interests and ideals in order to reach a consensus over environmental issues. The research will be based on the EP plenary between 1972 and the mid-1980s. His research will focus on the positioning of party families in a specific policy field – here, environmental policy.

Michal Matlak is currently a PhD researcher in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. His research on “The Foundations of European Communities: Christian democratic Input and Agnostic Output” is concerned with the paradox that “the pious Catholics who founded the EU started rather a secular project”. This research aims to explain why the “Founding Fathers” did not directly refer to Christianity in their project. It will also shed light on the shift from a lack of religious reference in the early European projects to codified dialogue with the Church in the 1980s and 1990s.

The grant scheme was introduced by the Group of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament together with the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) in Florence for researchers interested in the history, role and impact of Christian Democracy on the process of European Integration. The aim of the programme is to give researchers the opportunity to broaden their research through access to the various primary sources held at the HAEU, at the European People’s Party Group’s archives in Brussels and at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Sankt Augustin (Bonn).

2017 Grant Programme