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About us

The European Debate Initiative (EDI) was founded in 2018 and is a non-profit organisation that fosters discussions between professionals and young people on European and global affairs. Policy-makers and experts from various professional fields and countries are invited to share their experience with young people and give them the opportunity to learn from them, be inspired and to think of concrete solutions. With these debates, we promote European and global values of democracy and human rights, and hope to provide answers to some of the biggest challenges we face today.  


Our aim is to give young people the opportunity to get a glimpse of what it is like to be a judge, a journalist, a diplomat, a politician, an activist or an expert in a particular field. We ask our guests to share their personal stories about their careers, which advice they would give to young people, and to share their knowledge and perspectives on today’s world. At the same time, we want to raise awareness about topics we consider crucial for young Europeans to understand. 


EDI has been awarded the European Citizen's Prize 2021 by the European Parliament.

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Zoé Elkær Nicot

Zoé Elkær Nicot is

co-founder of the European Debate Initiative. She did her BA in European Studies, majoring in EU law from the University of Amsterdam. She is currently studying law (LL.B.) at the University of Copenhagen, and has worked at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, before returning as a Political Assistant in the Danish Parliament. Her interests within European affairs revolve around human rights, the rule of law and development policy .She speaks fluent English, French and Danish.

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Francesca Knaus

Francesca Knaus is co-founder of the European Debate Initiative. She did her BA in European Studies majoring in EU law and her Master in East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her interests revolve around EU politics, foreign affairs, human rights and climate policy with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Originally from Austria, she grew up in Istanbul, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam and speaks fluent English, German, Turkish, French, Dutch and Russian. Since 2022 she has been working as a full time policy advisor for a member of the German parliament (Bundestag) in Berlin. Her main focus is on foreign policy and human rights in Central and Eastern Europe.

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John Michaelis

John Michaelis is the latest member to join the European Debate Initiative. He has a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. John holds a fascination for diplomacy and conflict resolution, but also has a profound interest in human motivation and its consequences for policy-making and public attitudes. He values the EU as a peace-keeping entity and source of opportunity, driven by his own experiences of having been able to live and study across Europe.

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Klara-Emilia Kajdi

Klara-Emilia Kajdi is French, German, Hungarian and was born and raised in Berlin. She did her BA in European Studies and her MA in East European studies at the University of Amsterdam. She is especially interested in human rights, politics and culture and their points of intersection with a main focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Currently she is working as a writer, historical educator and in the cinema and film festival field in Amsterdam.

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Ivan Muso

Ivan Mušo was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic. He did his Masters in European Policy at the University of Amsterdam, focusing on the development of the EU Taxonomy. Intrigued by the concepts of competitiveness and sustainability, he currently works for the Czech Ministry of Finance's Economic Transformation Unit.

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