UCL European Institute


Introducing our Monthly Spotlight

4 February 2024

In the first edition of our monthly spotlight we feature Professor Helen Xanthaki and Undergraduate student Elena Sofia Massacesi.

Helen and Sofia

We are pleased to introduce our new Monthly Spotlight, in which we feature and profile two members of the UCL community with an interest in Europe. If you are interested in being featured in a future edition, or would like to recommend someone, please contact us here.


Helen Xanthaki

Helen Xanthaki is Professor (Teaching) at the Faculty of Laws, UCL, and Senior Associate Research Fellow, IALS, and serves as the Dean of the Postgraduate Laws Programmes of the University of London (Worldwide). She is a member of the Committee for the Scrutiny of the Lawmaking Process at the Presidency of the Hellenic Government, and a Key Regulation Expert for Expertise France.

In her profile, Helen writes:

I am an example of the European dream... One could say that I live and breathe the EU ideal. 

However, now more than ever, I find a detachment between the European ideal and the operational reality of the EU as an organisation.



Read Helen's full profile

Elena Sofia Massacesi

Elena is one of the Student Ambassadors at the UCL Europe Institute for 2023/24. Elena is a third-year student of Politics and International Relations (PIR). She also works as a Core Writer for UCL European Horizons and is a student ambassador for Chatham House events. Her research interests include climate change, democracy in Europe, and global migration.

Elena explains:

My interest in European politics started when I saw the negative cultural impacts of the refugee crisis on my hometown, Ancona: I wanted to understand why the Italian system was struggling so severely with the influx of refugees and what the EU could have, or should have done to help.


Read Elena's full profile