Marilena Verbari is an Italian national and a Legal Advisor at Milieu since 2012. She has experience in project management, legal research and quality assurance of complex multi-country studies within framework contracts in the area of justice, fundamental rights and citizenship for the European Commission as well as on justice, home affairs, fundamental rights and civil liberties for the European Parliament. Her main areas of expertise include fundamental rights and civil and criminal justice, which she has obtained through related multicounty project work as project manager or deputy manager and national legal expert, including a ‘A study on Forced Marriages from a gender perspective’, the ‘Ex-post evaluation of two of the five programmes implemented under the 2007-2013 financial perspective (Civil Justice Programme and Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme)’ a study on ‘The European legal framework on hate speech, blasphemy and freedom of expression’, the ‘Study on the Legal and Political context for setting up a European Identity Document’ the ‘Study on case-law relating to trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation’.
Prior to joining Milieu, she worked as a trainee at the Legal Service of the European Parliament. She specialised in antifraud policies, focusing on the reform of OLAF Regulation 1073/1999 and on the European Commission anti-fraud policy and its proposal with regard to the protection of the EU financial interests. Marilena also worked as scientific researcher at the International Institute of Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP) at Ghent University for a study on disqualifications. In the meantime, she conducted research for her LLM thesis where she analysed the adoption and implementation of European instruments aimed at fighting corruption and organised crime particularly in the area of public procurement procedures and within the framework of the EU Social Fund. Prior to that, Marilena worked as international civil servant in Belgium for ACLI, a labour and social law organisation, where she was tasked with providing legal consultancy to employees within and outside Belgium in the framework of EU social law. She has also collaborated with the Belgian organisation The Meeting, providing consultancy to illegal migrants and asylum seekers.
Marilena has a Master’s degree of Law and an LLM in Advanced Studies of European Law from the University of Ghent where she wrote a thesis on the European Union's Measures to combat fraud and corruption in order to break the link between European Union funding and organised crime (Distinction).
Languages: Italian, English, Dutch.