Mission to Poland – Meet the Mission Coordinators!

The AEGEE Election Observation Mission to the Polish parliamentary election of 13 October 2019 was launched in August. It is our pleasure to introduce our three Mission Coordinators who took up their tasks this week.

Mission Coordinator 1 – Julie Wood (UK)

My name is Julie, I’m from the UK and I’ve been living in Spain for the last 3 years.

As an undergraduate I studied Medicine and Psychology in London. I worked as a doctor for 4 years, then changed direction following maternity leave, and have since taken up opportunities that interest me as they become available. I have studied Philosophy, Ethics and Theology, published on issues of mental health patients’ rights and volunteered in my local community.

I had a great first experience of election observation in May with AEGEE, observing the European Parliament Elections in Spain, and hope to work more in this field in the future. I’m really excited to be able to work with AEGEE again, this time as a coordinator, and to explore in more detail the national election process in Poland, and the experience and contributions made to the political process by young people.

Mission Coordinator 2 – Ben King-Beck (UK)

I’m Ben from Scotland and I’m currently studying for a Bachelor’s in Politics and International Relations at the University of Strathclyde.

Through my studies I have developed a particular interest in the party systems of Post-Communist European countries. I previously served as a Short term observer in Poland for AEGEE’s European election monitoring mission and hope that I can bring my previous experience and understanding of Poland’s electoral processes to bear on this mission.

I am also interested in the field of Democracy promotion as a whole and I hope that my role as a Mission Coordinator will allow me to develop a deeper understanding of this area. At a time when democracy is being challenged on a global level it is more important than ever to ensure that our electoral processes are reliable.

Mission Coordinator 3 – Gabriella Sesti Ossèo (IT)

My name is Gabriella, I am from Italy, where I am currently living.

I previously studied Political Science at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and then completed a Master Degree in International Relations at the University of Bologna. During my studies I developed a strong interest in social movements, bottom-up policymaking and critical perspectives on contemporary capitalism.

I gained work experience in the third-sector, while getting involved in several european projects, which included volunteering work with refugees and migrants, international workcamps’ coordination and event management.

My experience within the frame of AEGEE projects started first as Short-Term Observer in Hungary during the parliamentary elections in April 2018, and then as social media manager and content assistant of Europe on Track 6, which had a specific focus on the future of Europe through youth participation. I’m very excited to observe the upcoming elections in Poland, offering my research and reporting skills to the Mission. Taking part in the electoral process of another country as observer makes me feel as a witness of the impact of social power in contemporary history, in which young people have the agency to play a crucial role.