Alessandra Schimmel studied History (BA) and Modern History 1500-2000 (RMA) at Utrecht University. In the Consumers on the March-project, Alessandra’s research focuses on consumer organisations in the European Community, and on the European umbrella organisation BEUC (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs). The aim of her research is to analyse ideas and practices of political representation within these organisations; to examine how a European consumer interest has been negotiated, and how BEUC emerged as the voice of the European consumer.
The history of European integration has been a recurrent theme in her studies: she wrote a BA thesis on UK-European relations in the early years of European cooperation (1955-58), and a master’s thesis on Anglo-Dutch relations within the framework of the European Community in the early 1980s. A research internship at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs formed the basis for her master’s thesis.