About us

Our Team & Governance

Board of Trustees

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Pat Cox

President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe and former president of the European Parliament

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Pat Cox is an Irish politician and former television current affairs presenter. During his political career, he served as a Member of the European Parliament for over fifteen years and also as President of the European Parliament. Among other achievements, he received the 2004 Charlemagne Prize for his efforts in the eastward expansion of the European Union. After his tenure as MEP, Cox became President of the European Movement International in Brussels until 2010 and currently serves as the President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe in Lausanne.

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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 Civil Service, Public Enterprises, Telecommunication and the Postal Services and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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Ciaran Devane
Sir Ciarán Devane

Chair of Irish Health Service Executive, Director of Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University and trustee of Friends of Europe

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Sir Ciarán Devane is the Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations at Coventry University. He is also Chair of the Irish health service and a trustee of Friends of Europe and of the British-Irish Association. A chemical engineer by training, Devane had a twenty year career in industry and management consulting before becoming chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support and subsequently chief executive of the British Council. He has served on the Board of NHS England, and of Social Finance Limited and was knighted for services to cancer patients.

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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

Former 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

Non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, 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 peace building 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 online, the Washington Post, Financial Times and the Guardian.

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

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 sector and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

Chris Kremidas Courtney
Chris Kremidas-Courtney

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, Lecturer for Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in Monterey, California, and Senior Advisor at Extended Reality Safety Initiative (XRSI), San Francisco

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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

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 the Senior Fellow for Health 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 the 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 Defense 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.

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Paul Taylor

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe and author of 'After the Ice', 'Crossing the Wilderness' and 'Murky Waters'

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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.


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Natasha Ibbotson

Head of Memberships and Partnerships at Friends of Europe

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Pronouns: she/her
Head of Memberships 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.

William Sciberras
William Sciberras

Senior Executive Support Manager

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Pronouns he/his
As Senior Executive Support Manager, William supports the Secretary-General, and coordinates and executes the administration around the organisation’s partnerships and VIP networks. Before joining Friends of Europe, he worked for the EU institutions, a global legal network start-up and a paediatric oncology NGO. William has a BA in Sociology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation from the University of Malta. William speaks his native Maltese, English and Italian fluently, has a working knowledge of French, a solid understanding of Spanish, and basic skills in German.

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 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.


Our revenue

In 2022 Friends of Europe’s funding revenue was € 6  316 645 . 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

6 316 645  broken down per source of funding as follows:

  • European and international institutions: € 2 698 790 (43%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: € 1 885 695 (30%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): € 861 715 (14%)
  • Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): € 584 141 (9%)
  • Participation fees (“Membership”): € 286 304 (4%)


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.

: 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” 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 fundraising policy in line with Client Earth’s 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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