About us

Our Team & Governance

Board of Trustees

Štefan Füle
Štefan Füle

Former special envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans, former EU commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Štefan Füle is a Czech politician and diplomat who previously served 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.

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Ana Gomes

Former member of the European Parliament and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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An established and experienced diplomat, Ana Gomes has cemented a reputation as a strident supporter and defender of democracy, human rights, social justice and the rule of law. She has previously been involved in the EU Middle East Peace Process and has led several EU election observation missions in Africa and South-East Asia. Gomes is also a vocal critic of the maladministration of EU law by multinational corporations to minimise tax costs and the negative impact this has on European citizens, governance and society.

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Rose Gottemoeller

Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University, former deputy secretary general of NATO, former under secretary for arms control and international security at the U.S. Department of State, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Rose Gottemoeller is the Steven C. Házy Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation. Before joining Stanford, Gottemoeller was the deputy secretary-general of NATO. Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the under secretary for arms control and international security at the United States Department of State, advising the Secretary of State on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. While assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, she was the chief US negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation.

Sylvie Goulard
Sylvie Goulard

Former French minister of defence, former deputy governor of Banque de France, former member of the European Parliament and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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During the pandemic, Sylvie Goulard was appointed by the World Health Organization to serve as a member of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development in order to ensure that health tops the political agenda. Goulard is the former French minister of the armed forces, the second woman ever to hold the head position and has previously served as member of the European Parliament, where she addressed issues related to fighting poverty and advocating for gender equality in European institutions. Goulard began her career as a diplomat in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

Former president of Croatia and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the first female President of Croatia, has extensive experience in politics, diplomacy, and security. She served as Croatia’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to the United States, and Assistant Secretary General of NATO. Grabar-Kitarović is a member of the International Olympic Committee, GLOBSEC International Advisory Council, and various non-profit boards, including Friends of Europe and the US Atlantic Council. She is involved with the UN Alliance of Civilizations, serves as Global Ambassador for Immunization for Women Political Leaders, and is chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders. She also co-chairs the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board and is a member of the Committee of Independent Eminent Persons of the European Parliament.

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Dalia Grybauskaitė

Former president of Lithuania and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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The former president of Lithuania and European commissioner, Dalia Grybauskaitė currently serves as the Co-Chair of the United Nations High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI). Previously, she has chaired the Council of Women World Leaders and held several positions as a Lithuanian diplomat and politician, including as the country’s finance minister, as well as minister plenipotentiary at the Lithuanian embassy to the United States and at the Lithuanian Mission to the EU. Notably, Grybauskaitė played a key role in improving the relations between Lithuania and the EU as the deputy chief negotiator of Lithuania’s Association Agreement with the EU.

Elisabeth Guigou
Elisabeth Guigou

Former president of the French National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Elisabeth Guigou is president of the Anna Lindh Foundation, a network of civil society organisations dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean region. Before this appointment, Guigou served as French Minister of European Affairs, member of the European Parliament, and member of the French National Assembly, among numerous other posts. In addition to this, Guigou was the first female to be appointed Minister of Justice in France, where she distinguished herself for her fight for a more independent justice system.

Connie Hedegaard
Connie Hedegaard

Chair of green think tank CONCITO of the KR Foundation and of the OECD's Round Table for Sustainable Development; former European Commissioner for Climate Action; former Danish minister for the environment and for climate and energy; and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Connie Hedegaard holds several leading positions in support of a low-carbon and green economy. She was appointed Lead of the Mission on ‘Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation’ for Horizon Europe and also chairs the Board of the KR Foundation, a Danish climate and sustainability foundation. Hedegaard was also the European commissioner for climate action, in which role she led the negotiations for the adoption of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and the 2050 Roadmap for moving towards a low-carbon economy, whilst also representing the EU in international climate negotiations.

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Mo Ibrahim

Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation, Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, Founder of Mobile Systems International (MSI) and Celtel International, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim built his fortune in telecommunications, landing him a place on the Forbes 2011 Billionaire list. One of his many successful ventures was Celtel International, operating as one of Africa’s leading mobile telephone companies which pioneered mobile services in the continent. In 2006, he established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in order to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the African continent. His approach is two-fold: to reward responsible leaders through the annual Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and to highlight countries with good governance through the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). In shedding light on democracy and human rights in African nations, Ibrahim aims to re-brand Africa and change the perceptions many have of the continent.

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Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University, former president of the Republic of Estonia and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Toomas Hendrik Ilves is an Estonian politician and currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University. After many years living and working in the United States, Ilves became Ambassador of Estonia to the United States. Later, he served as Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the People’s Party. Having been Member of the European Parliament, Ilves was elected as the fourth President of the Republic of Estonia in 2006, a position which he fulfilled for a decade.

baron daniel janssen
Baron Daniel Janssen

Member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission and former president of the Board of Directors of Solvay

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Baron Daniel Janssen is a Belgian businessman. Having worked at the Union Chimique Belge as an engineer, he successively became Director of Research and Development and then President of the Executive Committee. Afterwards, he became CEO and then President of the Board of Directors of Solvay. Additionally, Janssen is a member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission.

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Kaja Kallas

Prime Minister of Estonia, Trustee of Friends of Europe and 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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As of January 2021, Kaja Kallas is Estonia’s first female Prime Minister. A competition lawyer by profession, Kaja was elected Member of the Estonian Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs in 2011. After being elected to the European Parliament in 2014, she became a prominent proponent of innovation and frequently emphasised that regulations should not hinder the technological revolution. She authored five reports in the European Parliament, including of an own-initiative report on the Digital Single Market. Kaja left the European sphere in 2018 to become leader of Estonia’s Liberal Reform Party.

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Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica

Deputy Speaker and Member of the Latvian Parliament, former parliamentary state secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Trustee of Friends of Europe & 2017 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Latvian politician, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica is a Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, the Latvian parliament, where she sits on the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Committee of European Affairs. She serves as a Head of the Latvian Delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Previously, Kalniņa-Lukaševica held numerous posts at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as the parliamentary secretary, in which role she was responsible for ensuring cooperation between the ministry, the Latvian parliament and the European Parliament. She has also represented the Latvian government at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meetings of development and trade ministers. Kalniņa-Lukaševica started her professional career at Jurmala’s city council and then went on to work at the Strategic Analysis Commission of the President of Latvia, where she served as an advisor to the president.

Strategic Leadership

Leila Alieva
Leila Alieva

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, and Affiliate of Russian and East European Studies at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA)

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Leila is an Affiliate of Russian and East European Studies at OSGA, prior to which she was a senior common room member and academic visitor at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Originally from Azerbaijan, she founded and directed two think tanks in Baku and previously held fellowships at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Kennan Institute, the NATO Defence College and IFK (Institut Für Kulturwissenschaften) Vienna. Her research and publications cover Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Russia and the broader former Soviet Union, ranging thematically from energy security and conflicts, to democracy in oil-rich states, as well as issues around EU and NATO integration.

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Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary General of Friends of Europe, and Co-Founder and Co-Secretary General of the Africa-Europe Foundation

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Geert Cami co-founded Friends of Europe, the action-oriented think tank, which in 2011 launched both its citizen’s platform, Debating Europe and its European Young Leaders Programme. In 2015, Friends of Europe integrated the Security and Defence agenda thinktank. As Secretary General, Geert mainly deals with the strategic development of Friends of Europe, coordinating the work of the high-level Boards involved in the governance of the organisation and chairing 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.

 In 2019, Geert founded TownHall Europe (the Davignon Centre for New Leadership) and in 2020, he co-founded the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) in partnership with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF).

 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 of the European Commission as a 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 briefly as a teacher and TV journalist for two music programmes at Belgian public Radio 1.

Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, and Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence & Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Mary Fitzgerald is a researcher and analyst specialising in the Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has consulted for a number of international organisations including in the areas of peacebuilding and civil society. She has worked with the International Crisis Group (ICG), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) among others. She is a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London and an Associate Fellow at ISPI in Milan. Mary has also worked on wider initiatives with UNESCO, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the British Council and other cultural organisations. Her writing has appeared in publications including Foreign Policy, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Financial Times and The Guardian.

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Nathalie Furrer

Director of Climate, Energy & Sustainability, Health, European Young Leaders and State of Europe at Friends of Europe

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Nathalie Furrer is the Director of the Climate, Energy & Sustainability; Health; European Young Leaders (EYL40); and State of Europe programmes 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 (EYL40) 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 at an institute for public policy research, organising international conferences throughout Europe.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of 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 sectors and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

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Adam Nyman

Director of Citizen Outreach and Engagement at Friends of Europe

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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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Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (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.

Valbona
Valbona Zeneli

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, senior fellow at Europe Center and Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council of the United States

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Dr Valbona Zeneli currently holds the role of Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, with a dual affiliation at the Europe Center and the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Transatlantic Security Initiative. From 2011 to 2023, she served as a Professor of National Security Studies and Chair of Strategic Engagements at the U.S. Department of Defense’s George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. She is also a visiting scholar for 2023-2024 at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University and a visiting fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre (RSC) at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Dr Zeneli specialises in transatlantic relations, strategic competition, NATO, globalisation, European Union enlargement and the Western Balkans. In 2023, she won the Inspiration for Women Award.

Team

Alessandra Cardaci
Alessandra Cardaci

Head of Programming and Operations at Debating Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
Alessandra is the Head of Programming and Operations at Debating Europe, the citizen engagement unit of Friends of Europe. She oversees Debating Europe’s project implementation and develops its programme of activities ranging from citizen engagement to the “Democracy” area of expertise. Alessandra is an experienced facilitator and 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. Prior to joining Debating Europe, Alessandra worked at the European Commission, as well as in European and American not-for-profit organisations in Brussels and Berlin, in the field of communications and project management for regional development and youth engagement. Alessandra speaks Italian, English and French fluently.

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Julie Malaize

Project Executive at Debating Europe

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Julie is the Project Executive of the Debating Europe team. Prior to joining Debating Europe, Julie worked in the European public affairs sector in Paris and Brussels, mainly on environmental policies. She was also a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV), focusing on the green diplomacy in the regional and bilateral environmental cooperation unit. She holds a BA in Political Science from Concordia University in Montréal and an MA in International Relations, European Policies and Project Management from Université Jean Moulin Lyon III and Université of Lille in France. Julie is fluent in French and English and speaks basic Spanish. 

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Talisa Mazzoni

Project Assistant, Debating Europe

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Talisa is the Project Assistant of the Debating Europe team. She holds a BA Degree in International Relations with minors in Linguistics from the University of Malta and a MA Degree in Political Science from the Université libre De Bruxelles (ULB). Alongside Debating Europe, Talisa is actively engaged in different volunteering activities concerning civil participation. She speaks Italian and English, as well as some Spanish.

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Adam Nyman

Director of Citizen Outreach and Engagement at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Adam Nyman

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.

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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Philippe Maze-Sencier

President of Teneo France and former Chair of Global Public Affairs of Hill & Knowlton

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Prior to his current position at Teneo, Philippe Maze-Sencier served as Chair of Global Public Affairs of Hill & Knowlton Strategies (H+K) and Managing Director at McLarty Associates’ Brussels and Washington DC offices. He has been working at the nexus of policy, government relations and communications on transatlantic issues and oversaw operations in India, the Middle East and Africa in various sectors ranging from aerospace to energy to defence. Previously, Maze-Sencier held roles at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, and at the delegation of the European Commission in Washington DC.

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Jon Worth

Political Blogger and Campaigner, #CrossBorderRail Project 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.

Financials

Our revenue

In 2023 Friends of Europe’s funding revenue was € 4 191 525. 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

€ 4 191 525 broken down per source of funding as follows:

  • European and international institutions: € 720 837(17%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: € 1 387 678 (33%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): € 1 113 706 (27%)
  •  Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): € 668 809 (16%
  • Participation fees (“Membership”): € 296 501 (7%)
  • Other projects € 3 995 (0%)

 


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: €550
  • SMEs, trade associations, chambers of commerce: €1,070
  • International organisations and diplomatic missions of G20 and European Economic Area (EEA) countries: €1,070
  • Diplomatic missions of non-G20/EEA countries: €860
  • Regional offices: €860
  • Foundations: €860
  • Corporations: €2,450

 


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.

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.

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” 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. Climate change is an existential crisis and Friends of Europe is determined to play its part in facilitating the transition to a net-zero future. At the core of our work is the commitment to devise a Renewed Social Contract for Europe. As part of our strategic objective to bolster a green transformation, Friends of Europe will no longer pursue partnerships with oil producing companies and all companies active in the coal sector. A decision to work with a particular company is not permanent, as we accept that a company’s activities may change and 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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