Tom Massart


I graduated with a master's degree in European Studies in June 2020 at the Catholic University of Louvain. I am passionate about the European Union and linguistics.

Over my studies at UCLouvain and over the months working at ISPOLE institute (UCLouvain) before starting at ULB, I developed a passion as well as skills for research while engaging with a variety of tasks. My master’s thesis was my most developed one. I worked as a mentor at UCLouvain for the course “Contemporary political regimes” (LPOLS1212) helping students in their research activities consisting in writing case studies. Furthermore, I worked at UCLouvain (ISPOLE) on the Exceptius project for Prof. Claire Dupuy. The project is coordinated by the University of Groningen and aims at analysing exceptional decision-making in time of pandemic in 32 European countries. In this framework, the project contributes to the study of democratic resilience in time of exception. Finally, I spent a month at ISPOLE working as a research assistant on the Qualidem project for Professors Virginie Van Ingelgom and Claire Dupuy. I realized a systematic review of the literature concerning the concept of “Policy feedback” and how it can be used to analyse effects of public policies on the mass public.

I started my PhD at ULB (Cevipol) in January 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Amandine Crespy. 



From January 2021: PhD candidate in Political and Social Sciences under the supervision of Professor Amandine Crespy, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), member of the Centre d'Étude de la Vie Politique (CEVIPOL).

2018-2020: Master 120 in European Studies with specialization: Governance and European Societies, Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), mention at the end of the master (June 2020): Magna cum Laude

2015-2018 : Bachelor's degree in French and Romance languages and literature, Spanish orientation, minor ("mineure") in European studies, mention at the end of the bachelor's degree (June 2018): Magna cum Laude

2015 : Graduate of the Certificat d’études de l’enseignement secondaire supérieur in Dutch immersion (CESS)

Professional experience

  • From September 2020 : Understanding Europe Belgian Trainer - European Youth Parliament of Belgium (EYP).
  • From September 2020 : Vice Head of the UCLouvain delegation to the Canada-Quebec Europe Parliamentary Simulation (Specque).
  • December 2020 – January 2021 : Research Assistant in the Qualidem Research Project (ERC grant) under the supervision of Professors V. van Ingelgom and C. Dupuy. 
  • October 2020 – December 2020 : Research Assistant - member of the European research project Exceptius at UCLouvain under the direction of Professor Claire Dupuy.
  • February 2020 – June 2020 : Mentor for the course Contemporary political regimes (LPOLS1212) at UCLouvain University.
  • January 2018 – June 2020, Mentor for the Introduction to Language Sciences course (LFIAL1530) at UCLouvain University.


Languages :

  • French (mother tongue)
  • Dutch (B2-level, secondary education in Dutch immersion)
  • English (professional proficiency)
  • Spanish (professional proficiency)
  • German (B1)
Domaines d'intérêt

The European Union, the European economic governance, the Economic and Monetary Union, Discourse analysis

Présentation des recherches

The Covid-19 pandemic generated a tremendous change in the European economic governance. For the first time in European history, EU countries agreed on the creation of a temporary recovery debt-pooling mechanism. However, at the same time, they reaffirmed the maintenance of a regime of fiscal and budgetary discipline. The creation of a debt-pooling instrument considered by many as an “Hamiltonian” moment was unexpected and cannot be explained using traditional EU integration theories. In order to make sense of this, our research shall elucidate how the politicization of fiscal governance has led to the coexistence of two antagonistic regimes: one based on rules and responsibility and the other based on redistribution and a common debt-sharing. To do so, I will carry out a comparative, qualitative analysis of the interactions between the European institutions (mostly the European Council) and the governments of four contrasted Eurozone member states (Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and France) which represent the traditional coalitions of debtor-creditor states as well as its evolution. Building on a bottom-up politicization model (De Wilde & Zürn 2012, Zürn 2019, Schmidt 2019) which includes a policy feedback approach (Pierson 1993, Béland 2010) as well as ideational and discursive perspectives (Schmidt 2008, Blyth 2013), the objective of this research is to show that the implementation of a debt pooling mechanism coexisting with a fiscal regime of responsibility and the absence of triggering of the European Stability Mechanism are the results of pressures from within the states to the European level as well as the ideational evolution of the creditor-debtor divide. The empirical analysis is composed of two blocks representing two levels of politicization (National and European) and will cover the 2010-2021 period. We will rely on databases for the 2010-2015 period and on discourse analysis as well as interviews for the 2015-2021 period. My research will provide a better understanding of the various mechanisms that have led to the unforeseen emergence of a redistribution regime and the strengthening of European integration. It will also show the ability of national movements to influence political leaders negotiating at the European level.