She obtained her doctoral degree in Contemporary European Studies at the Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, under the supervision of Helen Wallace. She was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute in Florence, a Research Associate at the Centre for Migration Studies in Sofia, a Visiting Researcher at the European Institute for Security Studies in Paris, a Public Policy Fellow at the East European Programme at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, D.C., an International Policy Fellow at the Open Society Institute in Budapest, and a García Pelayo Researcher at the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies in Madrid. She was a participant in various EUI projects over the years, including EUDO citizenship.
Her friends from the EUI remember her for her generosity, friendship, humour and wit. Elena coordinated the summer school we ran on the sociology and politics of immigration while she was at the EUI, and many of the students are now accomplished scholars such as Peter Scholten, Mathilde Darley, Andreas Ette, Alexander Caviedes, Ilke Adam, Isabelle Carles, Sonia Gsir, Jorrit Rijpma, Amber davis or Gulseli Baysu.
Her work mainly focused on the Schengen acquis in the context of Eastern enlargement, with a focus on the implementation of visa policy and its impact of local populations. She published several articles and chapters on this issue, and her work is quite relevant for understanding enlargement fatigue and the ways in which Bulgarian and Rumanian nationals are treated in the rest of the EU.
We will miss her and always remember the nice times spent together in Florence and elsewhere.
-Virginie Guiraudon (CNRS Research professor at the Sciences Po Paris Center for European Studies)