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SSE student representing CIVICA on prestigious event in Rome

Linnea Svanberg is a first-year master student of Finance at SSE and one of the school’s CIVICA ambassadors. She just came back from a prestigious event in Rome, where she has presented a report that she has been co-writing together with other students from the CIVICA-network. It all started with a student initiative at Bocconi University in Milan.

During one of the CIVICA-meetings last year, students at Bocconi wanted to form a diverse group of students for a project about the EU. They should write a report called "The Report on the Future of Europe”, where the students should reflect on challenges the EU is facing and propose a vision for a way forward, with the aim of engaging young Europeans in actively shaping the policy debate. What are the fundamental values embodied by the European Union? Does the EU really live up to them? How can the EU tackle the major challenges posed by the global health crisis, climate change, international migrations, technological disruption?

"I instantly thought that it sounded very interesting and said yes when the ambassador of Bocconi asked me if I wanted to join", says Linnea.

The students voted on a number of challenges that they could write about and then made various proposals in these areas. In total, there are 7 challenges and 25 policy proposals in the report. The written phase of the collaborative project involved as co-authors more than 30 students representing the eight CIVICA partners as well as the University of Geneva and ESADE. Participants engaged in a series of meetings and writing sessions, under the guidance of two academic mentors: Professor Carlo Altomonte, Bocconi University, and Professor Frédéric Esposito, University of Geneva.

"It was quite intense since we started writing in September 2020 and were done in January this year. It was a real challenge to take on such a big project with students in different areas of studies and make it work over Zoom, but we tackled it and are proud of the result. Since we wrote it in such a short time and so recently, everything in it is still relevant. It feels amazing that it has now been published in three languages", says Linnea.

Invitation to the French Embassy in Rome

The project was supported by the Italian and Swiss sections of the Société des Membres de la Légion d'Honneur (SMLH) to celebrate the Centenary of the SMLH Foreign Sections. In November, the French Embassy in Rome invited the CIVICA participants to present the report to high-profile figures from European institutions and academia on the occasion of the SMLH Centenary Event.

"During the event, four of us got on stage and presented the report. Then we had a discussion among all participants, and the audience could ask questions and give feedback. Many praised our work, which made us really proud", says Linnea.

What will happen with the report now? It has been handed to an EU institution where they will look into it more closely. 1-2 of the proposals have actually already been implemented, which shows that the team were on the right track with their ideas. Linnea is hoping that it will live on for a while and inspire young Europeans, as well as decision makers.

"This is a prime example of a good initiative within CIVICA that really became something big. As an ambassador I will tell students about the project and let them know that this is the kind of projects they can be a part of within our network. To work with other students throughout Europe gives you so much, it has been a great experience!" says Linnea.