Who we are

Birte Wassenberg

Birte Wassenberg is Professor in Contemporary History at Sciences Po at the University of Strasbourg and member of the Research Unit Dynamiques européennes (UMR). She holds a Jean Monnet Chair, is deputy director of the Franco-German Jean-Monnet Center of Excellence and director of the Master in Border Studies, International Relations. From 1993 to 2006 she was responsible for cross-border cooperation at the Région Alsace. Her research fields are: border regions, Euro-scepticism and the history of European organizations, especially the Council of Europe. She is also a former student from the College of Europe, promotion Charles IV, (1992-1993).

Gyula Ocskay

Gyula Ocskay is the Secretary General of the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI), a non-profit association based in Hungary which aims to decrease the separating effects of the (state) borders in Central Europe through conducting research, elaborating strategic plans, preparing and implementing projects, supporting cross-border cooperation practitioners and taking part in policy-making on national and EU level. Previously he was the managing director of the Ister-Granum EGTC, the first EGTC in Hungary and the second in the EU. He also worked as a project manager and director at the Eurohíd Association and was a CBC-coordinator at the Municipality of Esztergom. He has a diverse educational background having obtained his PhD at the Széchenyi István University Doctoral School of Regional- and Economic Sciences, and five different Masters in Regional economy, Finnish Language and Culture, Philosophy, Theology, and Hungarian Language, Literature and History respectively.

Mátyás Jaschitz

Mátyás JASCHITZ, director of CESCI is a regional and urban developer geographer and a PhD candidate. After having graduated he was working for the largest Hungarian territorial planning institute. From 2010 he has been involved in planning and programming activities of CESCI as director of planning. He has been coordinating the planning projects as a team leader of 8 integrated cross-border strategies and the elaboration of the regional analyses of the Danube Transnational Programmes for 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 budgetary periods. Besides, he coordinated the design of more than 12 urban development plans and took part in the evaluation of cross-border INTERREG, IPA and ENI programmes. Mátyás regularly gives lectures on territorial cooperation and cross-border planning at the Corvinus and ELTE Universities in Budapest and is a (co-)author of several studies in the subject.

Kitti Dubniczki

Kitti Dubniczki is a chief planner at CESCI where she is working since 2013 on designing and writing strategic plans, territorial analyses as well as creating maps and interactive data visualisations; she is also a GIS expert. In recent years, Kitti has coordinated the preparation of territorial analyses of several Interreg programs such as the Interreg NEXT Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine CBC Programme or the Interreg Slovakia-Hungary CBC Programme. Previously she worked as a junior engineer at VÁTI Városépítési Kft., one of the most prestigious organisations in Hungary dedicated to urban development. She finished her master level studies as a certified landscape architect at the Corvinus University of Budapest, and earned her bachelor as teacher of engineering from the same university. Kitti also completed the course called “Going Places with Spatial Analysis” organised by Esri and she speaks Hungarian, English and German.

Enikő Hüse-Nyerges

Enikő Hüse-Nyerges is senior development expert at the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI), a non-profit association based in Hungary which aims to decrease the separating effects of the (state) borders in Central Europe through conducting research, elaborating strategic plans, preparing and implementing projects, supporting cross-border cooperation practitioners and taking part in policy-making on national and EU level. She has been the team leader of cross-border health care projects implemented within the framework of CESCI’s Legal accessibility initiative since 2017. She obtained her Master in Regional and Environmental economy at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

Teodor Gyelník

Teodor Gyelník is a scientific member of the CESCI team where he is mainly involved in carrying out research in the field of border studies. Previously he worked as a scientific member at the European Council of Foreign Relations and at the European Stability Initiative. Teodor also gave lectures at the Comenius University in Bratislava from where he received his PhD in European Studies and Political Science after which he studied European Studies and International Relations at master and European Studies at bachelor level. He regularly publishes in international journals and takes an active role in the publishing of CESCI’s yearbook called “Cross-border review”. He speaks Hungarian, English, Slovak and Czech.

Roland Hesz

Roland Hesz is a chief analyst, and has been an analyst at CESCI since the beginning of this professional career. His main responsibilities are the preparation and coordination of different territorial analyses, with his main area of interest and research being urban geography with a special focus on twin cities and the operating environment of EGTCs. His main works include the regional analyses of the Danube Transnational Programmes for 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 budgetary periods, and various spatial analyses connected to cross-border cooperation programmes and urban development plans. Roland finished his master’s of Geography specialised in spatial and urban planning with honours degree at Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science. His dissertation was written on the extent to which the regional development plans consider the issues of borders and border regions. He was also an exchange student at the University of Ljubljana, where he studied geography and geographical language in English.

Melinda Benczi

Melinda Benczi works at CESCI since 2018 as a strategic planner and project manager her main tasks involving the elaboration of impact studies and territorial analyses based on qualitative research methods. She is also often involved in project development coordinating projects such as the “Europeanisation of Ukrainian borders” in partnership with universities and research institutions from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Previously she worked as a policy analyst intern at the Inclusion US in Washington DC and as a labour market policy intern at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, London. She received her master’s degree from the University of Southern Denmark in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies. Currently, Melinda is doing her PhD at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Sopron.

Anne Hofmann

Anne Hofmann is a training manager at the Euro-Institut, an institute facilitating cross-border cooperation in the Upper Rhine region. Specialised in cross-border project management and intercultural communication, she develops training course in this field and accompanies cross-border as well as European projects. She regularly gives lectures on cross-border cooperation and project management at Sciences Po (University of Strasbourg) and the University of Applied Science in Kehl. She holds a Master degree in European project management.

Anne Thevenet

Anne Thevenet (French) has been working at the Euro-Institut (, Institute for training and counselling on cross-border issues located in Kehl (Germany), since 2005. She holds a diploma in political sciences, and Masters in European studies and in management.

As Deputy Director, she is in charge of human resources, contacts with funders and the development of new projects and strategies.

Her field of expertise are the coaching of stakeholders and cross-border groups / teams, the design and delivery of training courses (thematic issues particularly social affairs / intercultural project management / Cross-Border Cooperation) as well as the design and moderation of workshops and conferences. Moreover, she worked on several projects, which aimed at combining practical and scientific approaches on cross-border issues.

Since 2010, she has coordinated the Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network (TEIN –, which brings together 15 members from 9 different European border regions as well as 3 associated members. TEIN’s objective is to build capacities in cross-border contexts to strengthen European integration.

Matthias Magdeburg

Matthias Magdeburg is currently working as an intern at the Euro-Institut, where he assists the preparation as well as the execution of cross-border projects and activities.

He holds a bachelor degree in business administration with a specification in project management and a focus on agile project management as well as controlling.

In the MOOC on European territorial cooperation he supported the content creation of Topic 4 (Tools of CBC).

Bernard Reitel

Bernard Reitel is Professor of Political and Urban Geography at the Artois University, in Arras. Besides being Director of the research unit ‘Discontinuités’ of the Artois University he is member of the French-Belgian consortium ‘Institut des Frontières et des Discontinuités’ (IFD) and co-director of the Master in Territorial Development, Spatial Planning and Environment. He held a Jean Monnet chair on ‘Borders and European integration’ from 2017 to 2020. His research work is at the intersection of urban geography and political geography, more precisely in the field of urban development and governance studies as well as border studies. The aim of his work is to decipher the effects of European construction on trans-border cities and regions in Europe and to question functional, institutional and symbolic integration from a multi-scalar perspective. The analysis of urban planning, urban governance and cross-border cooperation thus enables him to interpret the changes in the borders functional changes in the context of European integration.

Jean Peyrony

Jean Peyrony is Director General of Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT), a non-profit organization helping local authorities to develop cross border cooperation projects. Previously, he had been working at the European Commission, DG REGIO, within the Unit “Urban development, Territorial cohesion”; at the DATAR (French national agency for spatial planning and regional development, now ANCT) where he was in charge of European cooperation (ESPON, North West Europe and Alpine Space Interreg programmes), and of policy design of the EU cohesion policy; in the national agency for spatial planning in Paris region, where he was head of the Observation Unit, and  took part in the writing of the regional masterplan; in public/private partnerships for urban development in Paris agglomeration and in La Reunion island (French outermost region), where he was project manager. He is a former student from Ecole polytechnique and Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Raffaele Viaggi

Raffaele Viaggi has worked for the MOT since the end of 2018 as a policy officer, responsible for cross-border studies and for the European projects of the association.

Italian by birth, Raffaele completed his higher education in France by graduating in 2017 from the Master « European Studies for Territorial and Urban Development (EUROSTUDies) » of the Institute of Urban and Spatial Planning of Lille (IAUL). As an urban planner and geographer, he has -as of 2022- 5 years of professional experience in the field of sustainable mobility (Horizon2020 projects) and of other EU-funded programmes, including INTERREG transnational (North-West Europe) and cross-border projects. He is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Within the team, he is also in charge of the follow-up of several thematic areas (green and energy transition, mobility, culture, higher education cooperation) and of some border territories (French-Italian border, maritime cooperation, UK-FR, etc.). He is also responsible of the monitoring of 2021-2027 Interreg programmes, especially in the field of territoriality, integrated approaches, better governance and functional areas.

Within the framework of the MOOC, Raffaele created learning content for Chapter 2 « Main policies ».