Friends of Europe is a leading think tank that connects people, stimulates debate and triggers change to create a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-looking Europe.


Friends of Europe is an independent think tank with a difference, and are well-known for the absence of national or party political bias and for our conviction that all sides and viewpoints must be fairly represented in all our activities.

We believe that change is achieved by involving all actors and that a shared future should be built together. In order to make Europe’s policy choices relevant to people beyond the ‘charmed circle’ of EU specialists, we work with a wide and varied network of policymakers, experts from international organisations, business leaders, academics, think-tanks, civil society, media and citizens from across Europe and beyond.


Through our various projects, we foster open, insightful and provocative debates that stimulate unconventional thinking on issues ranging from geopolitics and security to environment, economy and technology.
Our ‘40 under 40 European Young Leaders’ programme connects the continent’s young and most promising talents, whilst our Board of Trustees capitalizes on the knowledge and experience of Europe’s leaders of today, including the Presidents, Prime Ministers, European Commissioners and Presidents of the European Parliament.

With our Development Policy Forum, Asia programme and Europe-China Forum, we build bridges to create strategic, equal and mutually beneficial global partnerships.

With Europe’s World, the only pan-European policy journal, we offer a platform to opinion-formers and policymakers to provide expert insights and fuel the debate on the issues facing Europe’s future.


Our projects go beyond theoretical discussion in high-level circles: we want to be the catalyst for change. We believe that real solutions come from transforming mindsets– by promoting the confrontation of ideas and breaking down the silo mentality of politicians, businesses and civil society.

We aim to empower citizens and give them the opportunity to take an active role in changing the world around us. And through our working groups, reports, sharp analyses and key recommendations, we provide change makers with ambitious but practical solutions for a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-looking Europe.

Numbers speak louder than words

Friends of Europe, and its related initiatives in figures: 5000+ senior participants and speakers

  • 60 events, 50 publications and over 200 op-eds every year
  • 6m unique visitors to its websites
  • 330,000-strong Facebook and Twitter community
  • 80,000+ contacts including senior decision-makers from the EU, national governments and international institutions, NGOs, think tanks, universities, business and the media.

Policy areas

Our portfolio of events and reports means that Friends of Europe contributes ideas on almost all EU-related issues. We have developed particular expertise in the areas of:


Friends of Europe occupies a special place in Brussels at the heart of the debate on Europe’s future.

In 1999 the then new think-tank Friends of Europe published a call for action in a groundbreaking report called “A European Union that works: Blueprint for reform”. Friends of Europe brought together a pan-European Board of Trustees, under the leadership of former EU Commission Vice-President Etienne Davignon. At a time when the think-tank scene was very Anglo-Saxon, Friends of Europe strove to offer a new pan-European, politically independent platform for fresh thinking and analysis.Since its creation, Friends of Europe has gone from strength to strength, winning an international reputation for lively and provocative debate on the major issues confronting Europe. Its analytical reports contribute significantly to the EU policymaking process.

Milestones in Friends of Europe’s development include “Hearing from Europe” in 2003, the first ever 28-nation satellite TV debate on what became the Lisbon treaty, its annual “State of Europe” conference with Europe’s leaders, our transatlantic satellite debates and a series of groundbreaking reports on topics as diverse as reform of the EU, its communications shortcomings, Europe’s social problems, Turkish membership, the nature of growth and the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The last few years have seen an increase in our activities, publications and our team which now also includes visiting scholars and fellows from across the world.
We will continue to act as a central, independent think tank for policy reflection and debate where European and international policymakers can exchange innovative ideas and help craft fresh policies for a rapidly changing world.

In October 2014 we joined force with the Security & Defence Agenda, now comprising a think tank, the influential policy journal Europe’s World and the online citizens’ debating platform Debating Europe.