About us

Our Team & Governance

Board of Trustees

Photo of Daniel Daianu
Daniel Daianu

Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania and former finance minister of Romania

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Daniel Daianu has held various positions in the political and economic sphere and has authored several books on European and economic issues. A Romanian politician, author, professor of economics, he currently serves as Member of the Board of the National Bank of Romania. Formerly a Finance Minister of Romania, Daianu was the Chief Economist of the National Bank of Romania and later became Member of the European Parliament.

Alexander De Croo
Alexander De Croo

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister

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Alexander de Croo is a Flemish liberal politician, economist and businessman who leads the Belgian government’s efforts to improve digital growth and development. Most notably, he initiated the establishment of an advisory board called “Digital Minds for Belgium”, made up of the country’s top ICT experts, and launched an ambitious action plan “Digital Belgium”, aimed at positioning the country as one of Europe’s top three digital member states. This digital revolution includes developing 1,000 new start-ups, creating 50,000 new jobs, and achieving an electronic government by 2020.

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Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Minister of State, President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, former NATO secretary-general and former Dutch foreign minister

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Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a Dutch politician who prominently served as the 11th Secretary-General of NATO. Previously, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Dutch delegation at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He now works as President of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) of the Netherlands, an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. Furthermore, he was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University.

desutter
Petra De Sutter

Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and former head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent)

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Anna Diamantopoulou

President of the Athens-based think tank DIKTIO, former European commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities and former Greek minister for education and development

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Sorin Ducaru
Sorin Ducaru

Director of the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) and former assistant secretary-general for emerging security challenges at NATO

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Sorin Ducaru is a Romanian diplomat with longstanding experience in transatlantic and international relations. His main field of expertise lies in emerging security challenges and the impact of new technologies on security. He previously served as NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges and Chair of the Cyber Defence Committee, leading the Alliance’s work on cyber policy development and implementation, and now chairs the Secretary-General’s Senior Advisory Board for the review of the NATO Headquarters. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and a Special Advisor to the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, which works to develop norms and policies for the security and stability of cyberspace.

Tanja Fajon
Tanja Fajon

Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee

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A politician and journalist, Tanja Fajon is currently serving as Member of the European Parliament. A passionate advocate for freedom of movement and its economic benefits, Fajon previously served as the European Parliament rapporteur on the visa liberalisation process for the Western Balkans. In this position, she was instrumental in helping Albania as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina win the right to visa-free travel to Europe. In 2016, Slovenian opinion polls ranked her as one of the most popular political figures in the country.

Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya, European Young Leader Alumna

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Mary is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. Her work has appeared in publications including the Economist, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Guardian. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMED) among others. She is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. In her previous role as Irish Times foreign affairs correspondent, she reported from 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She is a member of the Global Women’s Forum ‘Rising Talents’ network.

Monica Frassoni
Monica Frassoni

Former co-president of the European Green Party and former member of the European Parliament

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Monica Frassoni is an Italian politician who previously served as the Co-President of the European Green Party. Prior to that, during her time as Member of the European Parliament, she was Co-Chair of the European Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. She also served for ten years as an officer of the Greens group in the European Parliament and was Secretary-General of the Young European Federalists. In 2010, she co-founded the European Alliance to Save Energy, an organisation which aims to promote and advocate energy savings and a new energy model.

Štefan Füle
Štefan Füle

Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Czech China Chamber of Cooperation, former special envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans and former EU commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy

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Štefan Füle is a Czech politician and diplomat who currently serves as the Czech Special Envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans. Having started his career in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he worked as Czech Ambassador to Lithuania and to the UK, as well as becoming Czech Permanent Representative to NATO. In 2010, he became the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy where he was instrumental in setting up and developing the Eastern Partnership with six countries in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.

Management

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Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary-General at Friends of Europe

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Geert Cami co-founded Friends of Europe in 1999 and now mainly deals with the strategic development (from concepts to fundraising and implementation) of our think-tank and its flagship projects. He also focuses on the expansion and the activation of our vast network of senior political, corporate, media and societal contacts throughout the world, and coordinates the work of the Boards involved in the governance of the organisation. Since its launch in February 2019, Geert also runs TownHall Europe, the Davignon Centre for New Leadership, next to the European Parliament in Brussels.

In the nineties, Geert worked for a few years in ECHO at the European Commission, where he helped create and develop the then newly set-up Information and Communications Unit. His focus was mainly on raising the profile of the EU’s humanitarian efforts throughout the world, managing the Information Budget and dealing with outreach through publications and media initiatives such as exhibitions, television debates or Humanitarian Days in Member States.

Geert also headed the European conference organising, press relations and publishing company Forum Europe for more than ten years. At the outset of his career, Geert worked for 2 music programmes at Belgian public Radio 1, and very briefly as a teacher and TV journalist.

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Nathalie Furrer

Director of Programmes & Operations at Friends of Europe

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Nathalie Furrer is the Director of Programmes & Operations at Friends of Europe. Through her leadership, since 2002, the think tank has become the go-to place to connect, debate and change Europe.

She founded its Africa, development, health, climate, energy and sustainability transition policy areas and launched its very successful European Young Leaders programme.

She has been instrumental in developing a multi-stakeholder approach to the work of a think tank and in the organisation’s reach to the non-institutional sector.

In her current role, she works with our talented team, members and partners. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she worked in an institute for public policy research organising international conferences throughout Europe.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

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Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

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Adam Nyman

Director of Debating Europe

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Adam is the Director of Friends of Europe’s online citizen-driven discussion platform Debating Europe, which he co-founded in 2011. He has extensive experience in digital media start-ups, including the launch of the Brussels-based newswire service EUPOLITIX.com, which he merged into The Parliament Magazine, where he was the Managing Director. Adam speaks fluent English and Italian.

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Angela Pauly

Head of Communications at Friends of Europe

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Angela is Head of Communications at Friends of Europe. She has over a decade of experience earned on both sides of the Atlantic in agencies, NGOs and associations. She holds an MA in European Studies from the University of British Columbia and a BA from Wellesley College. She is a native English and French speaker and dabbles in Spanish and German.

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Martine Vandeputte

General Manager at Friends of Europe

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As General Manager, Martine runs the day-to-day business of Friends of Europe. She is responsible for People, Organisation, Communications and Administration and leads the Leadership/Management Team.

Before joining Friends of Europe, she held various leading positions in both the private and public sectors and around the world. She has more than 25 years of experience in leading organisations towards their future.She has a proven track record of leading and implementing change, driving business value from alignment, improving people processes and building a performance culture, managing large and complex projects, working and delivering results in multi-cultural environments, and implementing effective communication.

In her leisure time, Martine likes going to the theatre and cultural events. She enjoys travelling and spending time with family and friends and is fluent in Dutch, English, French, Spanish and German.

Staff

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Viola Bianchetti

Project Manager at Debating Europe

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In her role as Debating Europe’s Project Manager, Viola coordinates the daily working of the platform, manages relations with current and potential partners, and focuses on the business development strategy. Prior to joining Debating Europe, she completed a traineeship at the European Economic and Social Committee, and has worked as Projects’ Director of the European Students’ Forum. Viola has an academic background in political science, and speaks Italian, English and German.

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Arnaud Bodet

Communications Executive at Friends of Europe

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Arnaud is a Communications Executive at Friends of Europe, working on coordinating the various communications activities and strategy of the organisation. He holds an MSc in European Politics from the London School of Economics and a bachelor degree in International Relations from Vesalius College. Prior to joining the team, he worked in organisations such as the European Liberal Forum, International Crisis Group and GIZ. He is fluent in English and French, and has basic skills in German and Spanish.

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Julie Bolle

Project Director, Africa Europe Alliance

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Julie is responsible for overall management of the Africa Europe Alliance task forces, a project funded by the European Union with the aim of creating a framework for a structured continuous and strategic dialogue between both regions’ stakeholders from business, politics and civil society. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques Strasbourg, France. Julie speaks French and English fluently, intermediate German, and basic Dutch.

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Nassim Bounya

Programme & Data Management Executive at Friends of Europe

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Nassim is a Programme and Data Management Executive. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Sciences from the University of Rennes, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the IEP of Rennes, France (Science Po’s Network). He has previously worked for an NGO providing social support for the migrants in France. Nassim speaks both French and English.

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Raphaël Danglade

Project Manager, Sustainable Agriculture / Sustainable Energy, Africa Europe Alliance

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Raphaël is Senior Project Manager for the Africa Europe Alliance, focusing on Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture. Previously, he managed the Climate, Energy and Sustainability policy area at Friends of Europe. Raphaël developed an acute interest in climate change and the low carbon economy after working for various think tanks, civil society organisations, private sector companies and NGOs with projects in Africa, Latin America and Europe. He holds a Bachelor in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London, after which he completed an MSc in Climate Change and International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK. Raphaël speaks French and English.

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Charlotte Dierkes

Programme Assistant at Friends of Europe

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Charlotte is a Programme Assistant for the State of Europe and European Young Leaders programme. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she gained experience at the European Parliament (Belgium), worked on issues of organised crime at InSight Crime (Colombia) and at the EU Delegation to the United Nations (USA), where she developed a particular interest for topics of Peace and Security and the Middle East. Charlotte holds a BA in European Studies from Maastricht University and a MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security from the University of Edinburgh. She speaks German, English, Spanish and has a good knowledge of French.

Photo of Nathalie Furrer
Nathalie Furrer

Director of Programmes & Operations at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Nathalie Furrer

Nathalie Furrer is the Director of Programmes & Operations at Friends of Europe. Through her leadership, since 2002, the think tank has become the go-to place to connect, debate and change Europe.

She founded its Africa, development, health, climate, energy and sustainability transition policy areas and launched its very successful European Young Leaders programme.

She has been instrumental in developing a multi-stakeholder approach to the work of a think tank and in the organisation’s reach to the non-institutional sector.

In her current role, she works with our talented team, members and partners. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she worked in an institute for public policy research organising international conferences throughout Europe.

Photo of Natasha Ibbotson
Natasha Ibbotson

Senior Manager Membership and Partnerships at Friends of Europe

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As Senior Manager Membership and Partnerships at Friends of Europe, Natasha is responsible for the implementation of several programmes, as well as relations with members and the development of partnership opportunities. She began her career working for a cultural organisation in Berlin before moving to Brussels to work for a grant-making fund and later an international trade association. She holds Master’s degrees in classical languages from the University of Oxford and European Union law from King’s College London.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Director of Insights at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

Photo of Indrė Krivaitė
Indrė Krivaitė

Communications Assistant at Friends of Europe

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Indre is a Communications Assistant at Friends of Europe. Prior to joining the organisation, she completed her MA in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe (Bruges campus), where she wrote her thesis on the coherence of EU public diplomacy with Ukraine as a case study. Indre holds a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bath. As part of her undergraduate degree, she completed traineeships at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU. Indre speaks Lithuanian, English, French, German and basic Dutch.

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Sonja Kropidłowska

Events Manager at Friends of Europe

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Sonja is an Events Manager at Friends of Europe and has more than six years’ experience in planning events and efficiently communicating about them. After her International Hotel Management studies at the Brussels Business Institute (BBI), she has worked as a Coordinator for External Affairs at MedTech Europe, as well as an Assistant for Government Affairs & Public Policy at Eucomed, and as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice-President of Supply Chain at Levi Strauss. Holding German citizenship, she speaks German, Polish, English, French and Spanish, and is trying to learn Dutch.

Transparency Board

Monica Frassoni
Monica Frassoni

Former co-president of the European Green Party and former member of the European Parliament

Show more information on Monica Frassoni

Monica Frassoni is an Italian politician who previously served as the Co-President of the European Green Party. Prior to that, during her time as Member of the European Parliament, she was Co-Chair of the European Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. She also served for ten years as an officer of the Greens group in the European Parliament and was Secretary-General of the Young European Federalists. In 2010, she co-founded the European Alliance to Save Energy, an organisation which aims to promote and advocate energy savings and a new energy model.

Photo of Jon Worth
Jon Worth

Blogger and independent consultant, 2012 European Young Leader

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Jon is a founding partner of techPolitics LLP, a London-based web campaigning and social media agency that has run online campaigns for well-known UK politicians such as Harriet Harman, Diane Abbott and Ken Livingstone. He is best known in the UK for his role running the Atheist Bus Campaign, an online fundraising campaign that emblazoned the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” on 800 buses across the UK in 2009. This action prompted follow up campaigns in ten further countries. He is one of the founders of BloggingPortal.eu, an aggregator of blogs about the European Union, and is a prolific writer on EU affairs on his own blog (jonworth.eu) as well as on UK political blogs such as LabourList and Left Foot Forward. He is a visiting lecturer at Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and the Graduate Institute of International Affairs, Geneva.

Financials

Our revenue

In 2019 Friends of Europe’s total revenue was €3,564,572.69. This money was contributed through participation fees (“memberships”), institutional and governmental subsidies, contributions to costs of events, reports or other projects, and exceptional revenues not linked to our annual work programme.

 


Types of revenue

  • Membership guarantees participation at all our debates, hard copies of our reports, and finally, networking opportunities. It goes without saying that Friends of Europe does not represent the interests of its members, most of whom in any case have competing or conflicting interests, and in that respect it is worthwhile stating that Friends of Europe members are paying an annual ‘participation fee’ without any other prerogative or role in the governance of Friends of Europe.
  • Project sponsorship provides associated visibility linked to a specific project (such as a report or debate), and a possible speaking slot or op-ed contribution, with overall independence and balance of opinion contractually guaranteed by Friends of Europe.
  • Programme/pillar partnership offers visibility and input into our annual work programme for a specific pillar or programme, again with independence and balance of opinion contractually guaranteed by Friends of Europe.
  • Exceptional revenues (such as compensation of office rent, payment exchanges…)

 


Revenue breakdown

1. €3.564.572,69 broken down per source of funding as follows:

  • European and international institutions: €581,979 (16%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: €1,638,906 (46%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): €678,000 (19%)
  • Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): €264,915 (7%)
  • Participation fees (“Membership”): €395,024 (11%)
  • Other revenues: €5,749

 


Membership guarantees participation at all our debates, copies of our reports, and networking opportunities. Friends of Europe does not represent the interests of its members, who pay an annual ‘participation fee’ without any other prerogative or role in the governance of Friends of Europe.

Membership fees are among the lowest in Brussels so as to stimulate as wide and heterogeneous membership as possible. Memberships are not ‘personal’, so any person employed by a member organisation can attend our debates and receive copies of our major reports.

Basic annual membership fees are as follows:

  • NGOs: €525
  • SMEs, trade associations, chambers of commerce: €998
  • International organisations and diplomatic missions of G20 and European Economic Area (EEA) countries: €998
  • Diplomatic missions of non-G20/EEA countries: €788
  • Regional offices: €788
  • Foundations: €788
  • Corporations: €2,150

 


For project-related partnerships, Friends of Europe has opted from the beginning for transparent and open communication. All partners are systematically credited on the website and in our reports.

Project-related partners receive two key advantages: visibility in the communications campaign surrounding a debate or a report, and an opportunity to speak at an event or write for a report/publication.

Friends of Europe offers a platform to people from all backgrounds and opinion, including government and institution leaders, NGOs and lobbyists of all shapes and colours, but the editorial independence and the guaranteed balance of discussions are the exclusive responsibility of Friends of Europe, as contractually enshrined.

We write balanced reports or debate programmes, and bring in voices that disagree with one another. It is only by confronting ideas that Europe will find the best solutions for the challenges of our times.

It should be stressed that the objective of Friends of Europe’s activities is to foster discussion and debate among the EU’s leaders and citizens on the issues that shape their future and to debate and circulate useful ideas for a more forward-looking, inclusive and sustainable Europe, not to push any specific political or business interest

 


For the full details of revenues coming from Friends of Europe’s membership/participation fees, click here.

For the full details of other revenues, click here.

For the full details on Friends of Europe’s registration to the Transparency Register please click here.

The Transparency and Independence Board helps define, refine and verify our credentials in terms of financial transparency and independence.

For the latest declaration of the Transparency and Independence Board, click here

 


Fundraising guidelines

Financing is an essential part of any organisation’s existence, and Friends of Europe relies on it to be able to ensure the broadest possible platform for debate, reflection and analysis. To uphold our mission as an independent think-tank, we adhere to the following basic principles of independence and transparency.

Transparency
: Friends of Europe openly credits all partners, and is transparent as to sources of its funding in relation to our various projects. We maintain open and direct visibility for all our partners.

Opposing views
: Friends of Europe maintains partnerships with organisations and governments that clearly have opposing views. Offering a speaking slot to partners does not pose a problem in this respect, on condition that other relevant points of view are equally represented.

Editorial Independence
: Friends of Europe remains at all times independent in its approach to any given policy issue. This principle is also legally enshrined in any contract with a partner: “Editorial and intellectual independence and the balance of events/reports shall at all times remain exclusive responsibility of Friends of Europe.”

 


Fundraising objectives

Inclusiveness: Friends of Europe’s main objective in fundraising is to finance the widest possible participation in high-quality debates and reports, combining the best available research, facts & figures. We aim to bring together all sides of a debate, and a spectrum of opinion that is as wide as possible. This includes conflicting political opinions, corporate as well as civil society and NGO voices, and a variety of specialists and media from throughout the world.

Communication
: Friends of Europe’s activities are backed by our communications powerhouse to seek maximum exposure for its projects and therefore also for its authors, speakers and partners. That communication includes the publication and dissemination of articles and reports on our activities, available to our members and partners, the media and the general public. Adequate funding for this effort is highly important.

Reach
: We aim to engage a wider audience beyond the “establishment” and the “Brussels bubble”, in an effort to inform people and fight political apathy and voter absenteeism. This is why we seek to expand paid partnerships across Europe and the world to extend our reach.

 


Independence and Transparency Board

To ensure the openness and independence of our organisation, Friends of Europe has created a panel of people from various walks of life to consider any potential issues. The board meets at least once a year in Brussels and whenever it is deemed useful.

The Transparency and Independence Board helps define, refine and verify our credentials in terms of financial transparency and independence.

For the latest declaration of the Transparency and Independence Board, click here.

As stated above, Friends of Europe welcomes as wide an array of opinions as possible, and we do not shy away from provocative exchanges between different stakeholders. However, we wish to clarify the following restrictions we have imposed on ourselves:

  1. Representatives from extremist parties which advocate racism, violence, or which have values that go against basic European values as delineated above, are not invited to write in our reports, to speak at our debates or to support our activities financially.
  2. In line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a legally binding international treaty that aims to reduce the damaging health and economic impacts of tobacco consumption, Friends of Europe refrains from working with the tobacco industry.
  3. While arms manufacturers can become members of Friends of Europe, a few limitations do apply. Friends of Europe will not offer them a high profile as partners of projects, nor accept partnership money from the production and sales of arms. As listed in SIPRI’s most recent annual report on arms producing, FOE defines “arms manufacturers” more strictly than SIPRI as any company having more than 50% of its sales coming from the production of arms. (FOE excludes companies only providing consultancy & IT services to intelligence agencies, armed forces or ministries of defence from this definition, such as BAH through whom FOE has received US government funding. SIPRI = Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).
  4. Non-EU countries are eligible partners in an effort to engage in fruitful discussions that may help in certain cases at sharing best practices, or improving democratic and human rights conditions, as long as our intellectual credibility or that of a project are not endangered.
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