About us

Our Team & Governance

Board of Trustees

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Daniel Dăianu

President of the Romanian Fiscal Council, former member of the European Parliament, former Romanian finance minister and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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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

Prime Minister of Belgium

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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.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
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 notably served as the 11th Secretary-General of NATO. He also previously worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch delegation of the 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.

Petra De Sutter

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, Public Enterprises, Telecommunication and the Postal Services, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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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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Mikołaj Dowgielewicz
Mikołaj Dowgielewicz

Deputy Secretary-General of the European Investment Bank (EIB), former Polish secretary of state for European affairs and economic policy, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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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.

Isabelle Durant
Isabelle Durant

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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With a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics, Isabelle Durant has held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy, and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and President of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport. With a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector, her time as European Parliament Vice-President included responsibility for relations with civil society. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

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

Libya researcher, non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2013 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Mary is a journalist and researcher specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. 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 International Crisis Group, European Council on Foreign Relations and European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMED), and regularly briefs European governments and international organisations. In her previous role as Irish Times foreign affairs correspondent, she reported from 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She has also been a foreign affairs columnist for the Irish Independent, Ireland’s biggest selling newspaper. Mary is a member of the Global Women’s Forum ‘Rising Talents’ network.

Monica Frassoni
Monica Frassoni

President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, former co-president of the European Green Party, former member of the European Parliament and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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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.

Strategic Leadership

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Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary General

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Geert Cami co-founded Friends of Europe, the action-oriented think tank, in 1999. As Secretary General, Geert mainly deals with the strategic development of Friends of Europe, he coordinates the work of the high-level Boards involved in the governance of the organisation and chairs the Leadership meetings. He oversees both the financial health and the successful running of the organisation and its flagship initiatives, and focuses on the expansion and the activation of Friends of Europe’s vast network of trustees, European young leaders and other senior political, corporate, media and societal contacts and partners throughout the world.

Geert also is a founding member of the Boards of both the Africa-Europe Foundation, and of TownHall Europe (the Davignon Centre for New Leadership).

Geert headed the European conference organising, press relations and publishing company Forum Europe for more than ten years, and managed the revival of one of Belgium’s finest architectural examples of Art Nouveau, after creating La Maison de l’Europe in the prestigious 100-year-old Bibliothèque Solvay.

At the outset of his career, Geert worked for a few years in the humanitarian office (ECHO) at the European Commission, as deputy in the newly set-up information and communications unit. His focus was mainly on raising the profile of the EU’s humanitarian efforts throughout the world, through publications and media initiatives such as exhibitions, television debates or Humanitarian Days in Member States.

He also worked for two music programmes at Belgian public Radio 1, and very briefly as a teacher and TV journalist.

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Nathalie Furrer

Director, Climate & Energy, Health, European Young Leaders, State of Europe

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Nathalie Furrer is the Director of Climate & Energy, Health, European Young Leaders and State of Europe 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, Asia, Peace, Security & Defense, Digital & Chief spokesperson

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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.

Chris Kremidas Courtney
Chris Kremidas Courtney

Senior Fellow, Peace, Security and Defence, Lecturer for Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in Monterey, California

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Prior to joining the Institute for Security Governance, they served for 32 years in the US and NATO, most recently serving as the Multilateral Engagement Coordinator for US European Command and director of training and exercises for the Hybrid COE.

A natural international community organiser, Chris organises comprehensive approach seminars for various NATO headquarters and has buillt regional communities of interest to address hybrid threats and enhance resilience in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions and to reduce violence along the US-Mexico border.

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke
Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Founder & Managing Director of Women's Worldwide Web (W4) and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke is Founder & CEO of W4.org, a social enterprise dedicated to protecting girls’ and women’s human rights and promoting their empowerment around the world, with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal 5b: harnessing technologies. Nefesh-Clarke worked in human rights and development in Africa and Asia at Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, Enfants d’Asie, before founding W4. Named a “Women in IT Role Model” by the European Commission and one of the “Inspiring Fifty” women leaders in Europe’s technology sector, Nefesh-Clarke is a board member of the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI), which aims to advance the work of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. She is also a Senior Fellow for Friends of Europe’s Connect Europe initiative, and a member of the advisory board of UN Women France.

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Adam Nyman

Director, Citizen Outreach and Engagement

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Adam is the Director of Citizen Outreach and Engagement at Friends of Europe. He is responsible for the 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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Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow for Health at Friends of Europe

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Tamsin Rose is Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe. Having studied international relations, she has 25 years of experience working across the European continent from Ireland to Mongolia. A natural communicator, Tamsin has been a radio reporter, worked on press for the EU Delegation in Moscow and is currently a member of the external speaker team for the European Commission Directorate General for Communication, describing how the EU works and key policies to visitor groups from around the world. Since 2002 she has specialised in public health and public participation issues, serving as Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), and providing strategic advice for health groups on how to engage successfully with the EU.

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Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges at NATO

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Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the Alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe and Contributing Editor to Politico

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Paul is a Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and the author of Friends of Europe’s European Defence Cooperation report series. A Paris-based journalist, he also writes the “Europe at Large” column for Politico. He previously spent four decades working for Reuters as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Tehran, Bonn and Brussels, as bureau chief in Israel/Palestine, Berlin and Brussels, as chief correspondent in France, as diplomatic editor in London, and finally as European affairs editor. His assignments have included covering the Iranian revolution, the Cold War Euromissile crisis, the 1991 Gulf War, German reunification, the Maastricht summit, France in the 1990s, EU enlargement, the Eurozone crisis and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

Camilla Toulmin
Camilla Toulmin

Senior Fellow for Sustainable Energy, Agriculture and Food Systems at the Africa-Europe Foundation

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Camilla Toulmin is Senior Fellow for Sustainable Energy, responsible for driving, leading and supporting the strategic development, coordination and delivery of the Alliance Sustainable Energy Task Force. She is an economist and former director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Camilla’s work has combined field research, policy analysis and advocacy, with a specialised focus on African agriculture, drylands, tenure and the climate change-development nexus. She is currently an Associate at the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and Professor at Lancaster University.

Youssef Travaly
Youssef Travaly

Senior Fellow for Digital, Africa Europe Foundation

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Youssef is Senior Fellow for Digital and responsible for driving, leading and supporting the strategic development, coordination and delivery of the Africa Europe Foundation’s Digital Strategy Group. The founder of AllSights Africa, Youssef is also the former Vice President of the Next Einstein Forum and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) global network as well having led AIMS Senegal as President. As a senior executive, Youssef has 20+ years of experience working both at a strategic and operational level, in science, innovation, public policy design, including innovative products policies, in the USA, Europe and in Africa. Throughout his career he has worked closely with universities, research institutions, the private sector, regional organizations as well as national and international NGO’s, and has authored and co-authored over 100+ publications in scientific and policy research, and published continental visions, research agendas and white papers.

Paul Walton
Paul Walton

Executive Director of the Africa-Europe Foundation

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Paul Walton is Executive Director of the Africa-Europe Foundation. He has extensive international experience in leading organisations and multi-country programmes including more than fifteen years working and living in Africa and the Middle East.

Paul has been in the vanguard of inter-regional cooperation and was former director of strategy at the first EU-Mediterranean Foundation for dialogue, working from its international headquarters in Alexandria, Egypt. He has held advisory roles with multi-lateral institutions and was nominated to the task-force to create structures for dialogue among the EU, Civil Society and Authorities following the historic events of the Arab Spring. At the international level, he has been a leading advocate on youth-led peacebuiding as member of the steering group mandated by the UN Security Council to produce the first global study on “Youth, Peace and Security” and has been involved in developing global governance practice with the World Bank. Paul began his international career as founding director of the landmark UK Millennium Project “Youth 2000” and was Executive Director of the international NGO “Global Voice” which pioneered award-winning projects in the domain of civil society development, digitalisation and climate resilience.

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Yaya Yedan

Senior Fellow for Transport and Connectivity

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Yaya Yedan, a senior transport specialist, is the Lead of the Transport and Connectivity Strategy Group of the Africa-Europe Foundation and is responsible for driving, leading and supporting the strategic development, coordination and delivery of the Strategy Group. He played a central role in the policy engagement on Africa’s transport policy and trade facilitation, at the regional and continental levels, as the Lead for the ‘Integration, Connectivity and Cohesion’ Pillar at the Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP). He successfully convened and played a key role in expert and high-level, multi-stakeholder dialogue sessions to push for a more coherent African transport strategy.


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Rodica Avornic

Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
In her role as Programme Manager, Rodica coordinates and implements projects under Friends of Europe’s Climate, Energy & Sustainability programme. Having joined Friends of Europe with five years of experience in several Brussels-based public affairs consultancies, Rodica’s focus areas include EU climate, energy and environmental policies. Before moving to Brussels, she was a trainee in the Safety Unit of the European Union Agency for Railways in Valenciennes, France. Rodica holds a Master’s of Laws (LL.M.) in European Legal Studies from Europa-Kolleg, University of Hamburg in Germany and a Bachelor’s of Laws from the ‘Alexandru I. Cuza’ University of Iasi in Romania. She co-founded a youth NGO in Romania and a green NGO in Belgium. Originally from the Republic of Moldova, Rodica is fluent in Romanian, English and Russian, and has intermediate knowledge of French and German.

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Xavier Bento

Programme Assistant at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: he/his
Xavier is a Programme Assistant with the Peace, Security & Defence and Digital teams. He obtained his BA in Political Science and Criminology from the Université Catholique de Louvain and completed a double MA in International Security from the University of Warwick and American University. His studies focused on transatlantic security, international negotiation, conflict mitigation and peacebuilding. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Xavier volunteered with AIESEC and Warwick Volunteers and worked as a research trainee for Finabel. He speaks French, English, intermediate Spanish and basic Dutch.

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Clotilde Besson

Communications Assistant

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Pronouns: she/her
Clotilde Besson is the Communications Assistant at Friends of Europe. She holds an MSc in European Culture and Conflict from the LSE (London School of Economics and Political Sciences) and a Bachelor’s degree in international business from ESSEC Business School. She is involved in two youth empowerment projects, Unite 2030 and Young Global Thinker. She is fluent in French and English and has various degrees of proficiency in Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Alexandra Binard
Alexandra Binard

Database and Events Manager at Friends of Europe

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Alexandra Binard is the Data and Event Manager at Friends of Europe. She started her career as an Export Sales assistant at Anecoop, a major Spanish fruit and vegetable organisation, and Office Manager at Iberdrola, a global energy leader. She holds a BA in Office Management from ECSEDI (Haute Ecole Galilee, Belgium) and an Executive Masters degree in European Public Affairs and Communications from the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Communications Sociales (IHECS). She is fluent in French, Spanish and English and has a good knowledge of Dutch.

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Arnaud Bodet

Social Media Manager

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Arnaud is Social Media Manager 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 has experience in various Brussels-based organisations, including the European Liberal Forum, International Crisis Group and GIZ. He is fluent in English and French, and has (very) basic skills in German and Spanish.

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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.

Alessandra Cardaci
Alessandra Cardaci

Project Manager at Debating Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
Alessandra is Project Manager of Debating Europe. She has an international multidisciplinary background with a focus on EU affairs, holding a joint Master’s degree in European studies at the University of Bath and Sciences Po Paris. She has solid and successful experience in project management, business development and communication, having worked for the European Commission, as well as European and American not-for-profit organisations in Brussels and Berlin. She believes in the power of network, community, constructive criticism and cooperation. Alessandra speaks Italian, English and French fluently.

Mar Casas Cachinero
Mar Casas Cachinero

Programme Officer at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
Mar is a Programme Officer for our Asia programme. She joined Friends of Europe after completing her MSc at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and writing her thesis on narratives, images and perceptions of the European Union in East Asia. Prior to this, Mar obtained her BA in Global Studies from Pompeu Fabra University and worked as a research assistant at a Barcelona-based think tank and as an intern at the Catalan government’s External Action Department. She speaks English, Spanish, Catalan, intermediate French and basic Mandarin.

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Rahul Chawla

Project Manager, Strategy Group on Transport and Connectivity

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Pronouns: he/him
Rahul is Project Manager for the Africa Europe Foundation, focusing on Transport and Connectivity and information policy, and Programme Executive focusing on Asia. Prior to this, he was responsible for Friends of Europe’s Africa work through the Development Policy Forum and the High-Level Group of Personalities on EU-Africa Relations. Before joining Friends of Europe, he worked in education and French-English translation in the UK. Rahul has a BA from the University of Liverpool in English and French, and a MSc from KU Leuven in Economics, with a thesis focusing on labour migration.

Andrzej Dabkowski
Andrzej Dabkowski

Head of Programme Performance and Operations

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Andrzej is the head of programme delivery and performance at the Africa-Europe Foundation overseeing all its programming and ensuring impactful delivery. A strategic leadership team member, contributing to the strategy, planning, and management of the AEF and the Friends of Europe.

He is a public policy consultant focusing on inclusive economic development, and experienced programme director with PRINCE2 Practitioner-qualifications and a significant track record managing portfolio of donor-funded programmes in complex and politically sensitive environments. Before taking his role at the AEF, Andrzej has spent over a decade in private sector consultancies, most recently as a senior consultant and director of Oxford Policy Management in Indonesia, overseeing delivery of OPM programmes and activities across Southeast Asia; prior to that he was overseeing a portfolio of market development, business environment and policy advocacy programmes in Africa and South Asia aiming to build private sector capacity to engage in successful policy dialogue and improve investment climate.

Andrzej has worked extensively across Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He holds an MSc in Economic Theory, HDip in Economics, and BSc in Social Science from the National University of Ireland, University College Cork.

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Raphaël Danglade

Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Agriculture / Sustainable Energy, Africa Europe Foundation

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Raphaël is Senior Project Manager for the Africa Europe Foundation, focusing on Sustainable Energy, Agriculture and Food Systems. Previously, he managed the Climate, Energy and Sustainability policy area at Friends of Europe. Raphaël developed an acute interest for the climate and development nexus 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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Annemiek Dols

Programme Assistant at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
Annemiek is a Programme Assistant with the State of Europe and Health teams. She joined Friends of Europe after an internship at the Flemish Peace Institute and a traineeship at the office of a member of the European Parliament. Prior to these experiences, she obtained an MA in International Security and Terrorism from the University of Nottingham, where she wrote her thesis on the British policies for the return of female terrorism supporters to the United Kingdom. Her BA is in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Maastricht. She speaks Dutch, English and intermediate French.

Alejandro Esteso
Alejandro Esteso

Programme Executive at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: he/him
Alejandro is a Programme Executive for the Peace, Security and Defence team. He holds a BA in International Relations from Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain and a MA in Political Science from Malmö University in Sweden. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Alejandro worked as research assistant at the universities of Gothenburg and Umeå in Sweden, and as research fellow at the Kosovo-based think-tank Group for Legal and Political Studies. He was also a trainee at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. Alejandro is fluent in Spanish, English and Swedish, has advanced knowledge of French and intermediate knowledge of Serbian and Albanian.

Seán Flynn
Seán Flynn

Communications Assistant

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Seán works as a Communications Assistant at Friends of Europe. Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Business Economics with a thesis focusing on FinTech policy development and regulation, he began his career working as a fund accountant for HedgeServ, a global leader in hedge fund administration. Building on his interest for communications, research and publications, he co-founded Bealtaine, an arts and literature magazine based in Ireland.

Transparency Board

Monica Frassoni
Monica Frassoni

President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, former co-president of the European Green Party, former member of the European Parliament and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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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.

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Jon Worth

Political blogger and 2012 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Jon is one the best-known political bloggers and commentators on all things EU politics and Brexit. His commentary on his blog (jonworth.eu) and Twitter account (@jonworth) are well known in Brussels and EU circles. His work around Brexit and especially his famous Brexit diagrams have been featured in international media, including The New York Times and ARD. Jon is a Visiting Lecturer on politics and online communication at the College of Europe in Bruges. He also leads workshops at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, the University of Maastricht and the Italian School of Public Administration in Rome. The Founder of Trains for Europe, a campaign that demands the European Union take action on the issues surrounding long distance rail travel in Europe, Jon is an experienced campaigner, having previously organised a number of online campaigns for United Kingdom politicians and the Atheist Bus Campaign.


Our revenue

In 2021 Friends of Europe’s funding revenue was € 4 751 818. This money was contributed through participation fees (“memberships”), institutional and governmental subsidies, contributions to costs of events, reports or other projects.


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

€ 4 751 818 broken down per source of funding as follows:

  • European and international institutions: € 2 050 894 (43%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: € 1 399 249 (29%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): € 779 102 (16%)
  • Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): € 170 758 (5%)
  • Participation fees (“Membership”): € 351,815 (7%)


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.

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


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.

: 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.

: 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.

: 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.

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. Friends of Europe refrains from accepting partnerships with fossil fuel firms which are responsible for the biggest cumulative carbon emissions as ranked by the Climate Accountability Institute. We will further adapt our funding policy according to Client Earth’s 2020 report, Principles for Paris-alignment. This will allow us to look at the ‘Paris alignment’ or ‘net-zero’ strategies of fossil fuel companies and determine whether they are underpinned by basic principles of reasonability, transparency and accountability. This funding policy is specifically applicable to coal and oil companies. Many decarbonisation scenarios predict a role for natural gas in the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, therefore we do not automatically exclude natural gas companies. A decision to work or not work with a company is not permanent, since we understand that a company’s ambitions and approach to Paris alignment may evolve over time.
  5. 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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