About us

Our mission, values, people and financing

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

Friends of Europe was founded in 1999 by its Chairman Giles Merritt, an influential EU commentator and former Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times. The Co-Founder is Geert Cami, the Managing Director. 

It is an unusual think-tank in that it does not fit the mould of a group of researchers in a closed environment.

Friends of Europe opens its activities to all who are interested in Europe’s future. Our readers and debating partners are from the EU, its institutions and member governments, companies great and small, NGOs, civil society groups, industry associations, the press and academia.

Friends of Europe does not have an agenda other than making a contribution towards a better understanding of the challenges facing Europe, its citizens and the world. The distinguished members of our Board of Trustees share this aspiration, and help to make Friends of Europe what it is: a think-tank for EU debate that spans the spectrum of European political opinion.


Our management team

The running of Friends of Europe’s expanding work programme is handled day-to-day by the team, headed by:

  • Geert Cami, Co-Founder & Managing Director
  • Nathalie Furrer, Director of Programmes & Operations
  • Shada Islam, Director Europe & Geopolitics
  • Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy
  • Adam Nyman, Director of Debating Europe

Mission

Shaping global change as an independent think tank for lively policy reflection and debate, producing concrete recommendations to tackle the evolving challenges of our times.


Vision

We are part of an independent and non-partisan alliance which also comprises Europe’s World, an influential policy journal and Debating Europe, an online citizens’ platform. We foster innovative ideas to craft fresh policies for a rapidly-changing world.


Values

Friends of Europe does not represent any national, religious, political, corporate nor NGO point of view, and will welcome all sides of a debate to defend their points of view. However, Friends of Europe also stands for a basic set of values, and we will therefore not offer speaking slots or partnerships to political parties, governments or corporations that go against the basic values which the EU stands for, and that we as an organisation strongly adhere to. Those values are included in article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union:

“The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”

Friends of Europe plays a highly important role as a driving global force for debate and new ideas. Fundraising through partnerships and projects is of vital importance to ensure the strongest possible impact, participation and reach of our activities. By upholding these principles of ethics, transparency and operating guidelines as we secure our funding, we are able to maintain our integrity and reputation as one of Europe’s leading independent think-tanks.


Guiding principles

As an independent and neutral platform, Friends of Europe seeks to uphold Europe’s fundamental values of inclusiveness, solidarity, well-being and the environment, while facing global challenges. Our operational principles for debates and reports include:

  • Broad participation: We seek the widest-possible participation in terms of views, geographical diversity, demographics and kinds of stakeholders including NGOs and businesses, policymakers and thought leaders. Striving to include a cross-section of generations and walks of life. Seeking a confrontation of ideas and convergence of views by combining experience with youthful energy, to produce concrete solutions with the widest-possible support on which stakeholders can act.
  • Forge new solutions: We seek global solutions from our thought-provoking discussions, workshops, publications and online debates. To depart from navel-gazing and reach for blue sky thinking, towards a new Europe which is more innovative, original, interactive, dynamic, and fun. Solutions via thinking from scratch, out of the box, gloves off, in no-holds-barred discussions.
  • Transparency: A policy of openness regarding our organisation and its operations, including partners and participants in our activities and the financing of those activities. (See our separate section on Fundraising Guidelines)

For more information

Download our annual review

Board of Trustees
Etienne Davignon
President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former European Commission Vice-President

Etienne Davignon is one of the few statesmen in Europe who has been actively involved in EU affairs from the beginning, from his early role as Chief of Staff to Paul-Henri Spaak to today. He has held high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, including as Vice-President of the European Commission, President of the Société Générale de Belgique, first President of the International Energy Agency and through various board mandates.

Giles Merritt
Founder & Chairman

Giles Merritt founded Friends of Europe in 1999, and its policy journal Europe’s World in 2005. His career as a journalist spanned 15 years as a Financial Times foreign correspondent, the last five as Brussels Correspondent, and 25 years as a contributor of Op-Ed columns to the International Herald Tribune on European political and economic issues. In 2010 he was named by the Financial Times as one of 30 ‘Eurostars’ who most influence thinking on Europe’s future. His latest book is “Slippery Slope: Europe’s Troubled Future” (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Štefan Füle
Czech Special Envoy to the OSCE and the Western Balkans and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy (2010-2014)

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

Catherine Gernay
Member of the Board of Directors at IRE and Executive Officer at SCK-CEN, The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre

Catherine Gernay is an expert and consultant in science policy. She holds a licenciate and doctorate in economics and spent part of her research at Harvard Business School. She then worked at the Science Policy Ministry of the Belgian government. She is currently Member of the Board of Directors at the National Institute for Radioelements (IRE) and Executive Officer at The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK-CEN).

Ana Gomes
Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Committee of money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion and Trustee of Friends of Europe

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 has become 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.

Sylvie Goulard
Deputy Governor at Banque de France, Member of the European Parliament (2009-2017)

Sylvie Goulard is a French politician who currently serves as Deputy Governor at Banque de France. Previously, she was Member of the European Parliament and, having been appointed by Emmanuel Macron, Minister of the Armed Forces in the French government. She is also the former President of the Mouvement européen-France, the oldest pluralist association defending the European ideal, and was a founder of the Spinelli Group. Additionally, Goulard continues to write regularly in a wide range of both and international newspapers.

Elisabeth Guigou
President of the Anna Lindh Foundation

Elisabeth Guigou is a French politician. As a Member of the European Parliament, she, together with Elmar Brok, represented the Parliament in the negotiations that produced the Amsterdam Treaty. Afterwards, she turned to French domestic politics, having been elected to the National Assembly for the Socialist Party and then serving first as Minister of Justice and then as Minister of Employment. Until 2017, Guigou worked as President of the French National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee. Currently, she is the President of the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University and President of the Republic of Estonia (2006–2016)

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 after Estonia had restored its independence. 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
President of the Board of Directors of Solvay (1998-2006), and Member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission

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 first CEO and then President of the Board of Directors of Solvay. Additionally, Janssen was a member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission.

Jean-Pierre Jouyet
French Ambassador to the UK, Elysée's Secretary General (2014-2017), and French Secretary of State for European Affairs (2007-2008)

An experienced French diplomat and politician, Jean-Pierre Jouyet currently serves as the Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom. Previously, he held the position of Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic in François Hollande’s government. Additionally, he served as French Secretary of State for European Affairs where one of his missions was to make the necessary preparations for France's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2008. 

Sony Kapoor
Managing Director of the think tank Re-Define

Sony is the Director of the international think-tank Re-Define. He is an influential economist, financial sector expert and development practitioner. Sony advises the EU, central banks, large investors, governments, regulators and multilateral institutions on economic, fiscal, investment and financial policy. He has a multidisciplinary role at the London School of Economics as Strategy Adviser to the Systemic Risk Centre and Senior Visiting Fellow in Development and Public Policy. He is also a special adviser to the UNEP on green finance. Before Re-Define, Sony worked for ICICI, India’s largest investment bank. Sony co-founded the International Tax Justice Network, Europeans for Financial Reform and Finance Watch, and launched the inter-governmental Illicit Finance Task Force. His substantial contribution to financial reform, tackling the euro crisis and promoting development has been recognised by the World Economic Forum naming him a Young Global Leader and by the Royal Society of Arts electing him a Fellow.

Miroslav Lajčák
President of the United Nations General Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Miroslav Lajčák is an experienced Slovak diplomat and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Parallel to this, he also serves the President of the United Nations General Assembly. At the beginning of his diplomatic career, Lajčák was posted to the Czechoslovak and subsequently the Slovak embassy in Moscow. Then, he worked as the Ambassador of Slovakia in the Western Balkan countries, after which he took up the post as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Team
Kristin Karnbach
Editor Debating Europe/Germany

Kristin is the Editor of the German site of Debating Europe, a citizen-driven discussion platform of Friends of Europe. She is responsible for the German content of the website and community management on Facebook and Twitter in addition to functioning as the contact person for German cooperation partners. Kristin holds an MA in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a BA in Specialist Journalism from the University of Applied Sciences Bremen. During her studies and after, she has worked for several German newspapers and the European Parliament. Prior to joining the team, she has worked as Policy Officer for an International Animal Welfare Organisation. She is fluent in German and English, and has some basic knowledge of French and Dutch.

Marthe Krijger
Programme Manager

Marthe is Programme Manager for the European Young Leaders (EYL40) Programme. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Marthe worked as a project officer in the cultural sector in the Netherlands and completed a Schuman traineeship at the European Parliament, focusing on inter-institutional relations. She also worked as a programme manager for Debating Europe. Marthe holds a BA in journalism, an MSc in political philosophy and an MA in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Marthe is passionate about democratic theory and empowering citizens and promoting transparency. She is fluent in Dutch and English, and has intermediate skills in French and German. 

Elza Lőw
Multimedia Manager

Elza Lőw is the Multimedia Manager at Friends of Europe. In this role she is responsible for preparing layouts of printed materials and visual identities for all Friends of Europe products, as well as creating the online communication materials, including videos and infographics. She started out her career working as a graphic designer in Hungary, most recently within one of Budapest’s leading advertising agencies. She attended the Photography Institution at the University of Kaposvár (Hungary).

Atsushi Matsushita
Associate Fellow

Atsushi Matsushita is an Associate Fellow at Friends of Europe, responsible for the relationship between Japan and the EU in the field of external economic and social cooperation with the developing nations. Apart from his role at Friends of Europe, Atsushi also serves as the Principle Representative for EU Coordination for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Giles Merritt
Founder & Chairman

Giles Merritt founded Friends of Europe in 1999, and its policy journal Europe’s World in 2005. His career as a journalist spanned 15 years as a Financial Times foreign correspondent, the last five as Brussels Correspondent, and 25 years as a contributor of Op-Ed columns to the International Herald Tribune on European political and economic issues. In 2010 he was named by the Financial Times as one of 30 ‘Eurostars’ who most influence thinking on Europe’s future. His latest book is “Slippery Slope: Europe’s Troubled Future” (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Gergana Milanova
Events Assistant

Gergana is Event Assistant at Friends of Europe. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Odisee (Campus Brussels, KuLeuven). Previously, she was part of an NGO, helping people of Brussels in need in the role of a communications team member and a project leader. Gergana is fluent in English, Spanish and Bulgarian, and has basic knowledge of French. 

Adam Nyman
Director Debating Europe

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

Angela Pauly
Head of Communications

Angela is Head of Communications at Friends of Europe. She gained her communications experience working in both Washington, D.C. and Brussels at agencies, NGOs and associations.  She holds an MA in European Studies from the University of British Columbia and a BA from Wellesley College. She is a native English and French speaker and dabbles in Spanish and German.

Chahaiya Pilkington
Programme Executive

Chahaiya is a Programme Executive dividing her work between two flagship projects: #EuropeMatters and the State of Europe Annual Roundtable. Prior to Friends of Europe, she gained experience in communications, supporting the Government and Policy Support Unit at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN in Rome. Chahaiya has finalised her MA Geopolitics, Territory and Security from King’s College London, providing an empirical assessment of counter-piracy practices in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and has a special interest in the Horn of Africa. A dual national of Italy and Australia, she is bilingual in English and Italian and has an advanced knowledge of French. 

Augusta Ramaccioni
Programme Assistant

Augusta is Programme Assistant in the “Asia, Africa and Emerging Economies” area of expertise. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, she worked for the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Mexico), Samvedna (India), the Red Cross EU Office and European Citizen Action Service (Belgium), where she worked on issues related to migration, asylum and development. Augusta holds an LL.M. in Human Rights Law and Migration from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. She is fluent in Italian, English, Spanish and French, and has good knowledge of Hindi. 

Transparency Board
Financing

Our revenue

In 2017 Friends of Europe’s total revenue was €3,644,249. This money was contributed through participation fees ("memberships"), institutional and governmental subsidies, and 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 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.

Revenue breakdown

The breakdown per source of funding is as follows:

  • European and international institutions: €473,228 (13%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: €1,764,397 (48%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): €558,000 (15%)
  • Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): €345,123 (9%)
  • Participation fees ("Membership"): €503,501 (14%)

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.

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

VIP members receive visibility in our reports and at our debates, and are invited to roundtable discussions for reduced audiences. Prices range between €1,750 (NGOs) and €6,850 (corporates).


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

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

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

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

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


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

For the full details of other revenues, click here.

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

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

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

Fundraising guidelines

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

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

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

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

    Fundraising objectives

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

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

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

    Independence and Transparency Board

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

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

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

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

    1. Representatives from extremist parties which advocate racism, violence, or which have values that go against basic European values as delineated above, are not invited to write in our reports, to speak at our debates or to support our activities financially.
    2. In line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a legally binding international treaty that aims to reduce the damaging health and economic impacts of tobacco consumption, Friends of Europe refrains from working with the tobacco industry.
    3. While arms manufacturers can become members of Friends of Europe, a few limitations do apply. Friends of Europe will not offer them a high profile as partners of projects, nor accept partnership money from them. As listed in SIPRI’s most recent annual report on arms producing and military services, we define “arms manufacturers” as any company having more than 50% of its sales coming from arms. (SIPRI = Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
    4. Non-EU countries are eligible partners in an effort to engage in fruitful discussions that may help in certain cases at sharing best practices, or improving democratic and human rights conditions, as long as our intellectual credibility or that of a project are not endangered.
      Frequently asked questions
      What is Friends of Europe’s Mission and what are Friends of Europe’s objectives?

      Friends of Europe’s mission is to shape global change as an independent and non-partisan think tank, known for lively policy reflection and debate. We are convinced that the evolving challenges of our times, which are increasingly global, can best be tackled by Europeans working closer together in a spirit of partnership and solidarity, while respecting Europe’s adagio “unity in diversity”.

      We want to stimulate fresh thinking about the challenges facing Europe and its citizens in a globalised world. To this end, we bring together opposing views and opinions into common dialogue, always with the aim of challenging old assumptions, provoking genuine debate and often producing concrete policy recommendations.

      While we do not represent any specific political nor corporate viewpoint, Friends of Europe aims to provide readable and credible background information not least to our younger generations on the main challenges facing our continent and its citizens, and to present, juxtapose and debate the main – often competing – solutions proposed by the main actors. We actively engage citizens in diverse policy discussions with our leaders, and we hope to thus modestly contribute to fighting voter absenteeism, political apathy, and extremism.

      Does Friends of Europe have any political, religious, corporate or other affiliations?

      Friends of Europe does not represent any national, religious, political, corporate nor NGO point of view, and will welcome all sides of a debate to defend their points of view.

      Does Friends of Europe advance any interests?

      We do not advance any specific policy or business interest. Friends of Europe does stand for a basic set of values that we as an organisation strongly adhere to. Those values are enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union.

      “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.”

      Friends of Europe believes in a more integrated Europe that works together in a spirit of partnership and solidarity to tackle today’s challenges for our continent and its citizens. We stimulate debate about diverse policy options on concrete issues and reach out to actively engage a wider audience, not least of younger generations, so as to fight voter apathy, absenteeism and extremism.

      Has Friends of Europe signed up for the EU’s transparency register?

      Yes – from the moment the original 'Register of Interest Representatives' (known as the 'Lobby Register') was modified to become a 'Transparency Register' with a specific heading for think tanks, we signed up immediately (number 99436366768-45).

      Can everybody become involved in Friends of Europe’s work?

      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:

      a) 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.

      b) 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.

      c) 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 them. As listed in SIPRI’s most recent annual report on arms producing and military services , we define “arms manufacturers” as any company having more than 50% of its sales coming from arms. (SIPRI = Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

      d) Third 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.

      Is Friends of Europe a pro-EU propaganda machine?

      Not at all. Indeed, we are probably one of the most critical think tanks in Brussels of the EU institutions.
      Friends of Europe holds the genuine belief that, in a globalised world, states have no choice but to collaborate on many issues. Friends of Europe is an advocate of the European project, believing in a Europe of partnership and solidarity, though our board members, who represent a range of different political affiliations and backgrounds, have different ideas about how best to achieve this.

      We encourage plurality and debate, but we believe that “Europe” needs to find the answers to cross-border problems instead of being seen as the problem. Eurosceptic political parties and individuals are welcome to contribute to our debates and reports.

      Who sets the agenda for Friends of Europe? How is Friends of Europe governed?

      The overall political direction and priorities are decided upon by the Board of Trustees, which meets at least twice a year.

      The operational agenda of debates, reports and other projects falls under the direct responsibility of the Management of Friends of Europe.

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

      Who finances Friends of Europe and how (in)dependent is Friends of Europe of its financial backers?

      We rely on a variety of sources and forms of support, including institutional, governmental and corporate support, as well as funding from foundations (see also “Fundraising guidelines”).

      Friends of Europe’s independence is guaranteed by its variety of sources and forms of support (through organisation of membership fees and sponsorships for our activities).
      Members pay an annual “participation fee” without any other prerogative or role in the governance of Friends of Europe.

      The contracts for sponsorships are clear – just as for a cultural or sporting event – that we offer broadly two things: visibility/logo, and a place to take part in the event. Editorial balance remains our exclusive responsibility, as can be testified by attending our events and reading our reports that are all available on this website.

      Speakers never receive a fee at our debates, and our editorial balance and opposing views are guaranteed at all times, not least when representatives of Friends of Europe members or sponsors are speaking at debates.
      Friends of Europe applies its fundraising guidelines and any partnership seen to endanger the intellectual credibility of a project will be refused.

      Jobs

      There are no positions available at the moment.

      Contact us
      Please send us your questions and comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
      Membership and partnerships
      Management and other enquiries