James Rizzo


Turkey Europe Future Forum

Period of the Fellowship


Project title

Reflecting Change

Project description

James Rizzo is part of a network of young Turkish and European leaders from all sectors who come together once a year to engage in intensive dialogue and to share views and ideas about topical social issues. The Turkey Europe Future Forum takes place alternately in Turkey and Germany, as well as in other European countries.


EU-Turkey relations, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy

Short biography

James Rizzo has been heading Stiftung Mercator’s Istanbul office since February 2018. Prior to this position, he worked as Political Desk Officer at the Turkey unit of the European Commission Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). He covers political aspects in EU-Turkey relations, ranging from policy analysis in areas such as foreign policy, accession process, judiciary and political criteria, to stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining the European Commission, James was a delegate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg to the Council of the EU’s Working Groups on Enlargement and on the Western Balkans, notably during the Luxembourg Presidency in the second half of 2015. He also worked in the private sector in Berlin as a consultant for a variety of international clients. James Rizzo studied Political Science in Freiburg im Breisgau (BA) as well as Contemporary European Studies at the Universities of Bath, Berlin and Siena (MA).