About us

Mission, Strategic Objectives, Values, Approach

Friends of Europe is an independent think tank with a difference. We are passionate about good policymaking. We support a multilateral world in which all levels of governance, the private and civil society sectors, as well as citizens, cooperate to solve common challenges. We believe that pioneering ideas and effective policies stem from breaking down silos and building communities of trust between policymakers, business leaders, civil society representatives and individual citizens.

At our core, we embrace European values and freedoms. We are committed to social justice and equality. We believe in partnership and solidarity. These are the core components of a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-looking Europe.

Connect – Debate – Change’ is our DNA and central to the way we work. Through our whole-of-society, whole-of-economy approach, we engage and connect critical thinkers, unusual voices and those who are ready to challenge the status quo.

We craft bold and innovative recommendations with stakeholders across Europe and the world to revitalise the European Project and shape a renewed 21st-century social contract that is based on peace, prosperity, inclusion and sustainability.

Connecting voices from a diversity of backgrounds, we are a driving force for debate. This is how we catalyse change.

Our mission

We seek to revitalise the European Project and build a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-thinking Europe.

Our strategic objectives

Our strategic objectives drive what we do and the way we work.

1. Promote new leadership

  • Nurture connections, inspiration and skills for emerging leaders who can cross boundaries, break down silos and challenge polarisation.
  • Foster the practice of a more collaborative, diverse, inclusive, intergenerational and impactful model of leadership.

2. Regenerate democracy

  • Build trust between citizens and policymakers, as well as improve civic literacy.
  • Develop more effective models of governance and encourage a more citizen-centred, flexible, inclusive, networked and multi-stakeholder ‘new localism’.

3. Challenge inequality of opportunities

  • Advance effective public and private measures to address social exclusion at the local, national and regional levels.
  • Promote and embed programming and policymaking that champion equal opportunities for individual citizens.

4. Bolster a green transformation

  • Support the scaling up of climate finance and incentivising initiatives for a just transition to renewable energy.
  • Reinforce more sustainable food systems through systemic policy change at the national, regional and international levels.

5. Reframe Europe’s role in the world

  • Guide and increase the capacity of the EU to act as an effective partner in the international arena and with its neighbours.
  • Advocate for a more outward-looking EU external relations policy based on enhanced policy coherence and mutuality.

Our values

Friends of Europe stands for the values outlined 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 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, as Friends of Europe strongly adheres to European values and freedoms, we reserve the right to decline the contributions and participation of or partnerships with entities, including political parties, governments or corporations, that do not respect these basic values.

Fundraising through partnerships and projects is of vital importance to Friends of Europe in order to ensure the greatest possible impact, participation and reach of our activities. By upholding the principles of ethics and transparency as we secure funding, our operating guidelines enable us to maintain our integrity and reputation as one of Europe’s leading independent think tanks.

Friends of Europe has committed to developing a formal Action Plan on Diversity and obtaining a ‘diversity label’ from Actiris, the Brussels employment office. Working towards obtaining this label will reinforce the organisation’s commitment to and efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and further strengthen our policies and practices on DEI.

Our approach

  • Partnership. Effective partnerships are at the heart of our work. We believe that through nurturing mutual trust, learning and collaboration, partnerships bring innovation and influence.
  • Transparency. We maintain a policy of openness regarding our organisation and its operations, including partners, participants, contributors and the financing of activities. See our Fundraising Guidelines.
  • Independence. We hold the exclusive responsibility of our programme of activities, editorial content and intellectual work.
  • Sustainability. We are proud to have joined the United Nations Global Compact and remain committed to its ten principles, upholding our basic responsibilities to people and the planet and contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Read our latest Communication on Engagement. As part of our commitment to carbon reduction, our food policy is vegetarian, prefers seasonal and organic produce and avoids the use of plastic.
  • Inclusion and diversity. Our programming embeds a whole-of-society approach that aims to open up space for diverse voices, work across boundaries and silos, promote social justice and inclusion, and challenge mistrust, polarisation, discrimination and exclusion. We are committed to ensuring equal opportunities in our recruitment processes by providing equal treatment of all job applications received, regardless of applicants’ ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, disability or health status; we especially encourage applications from those who have been historically excluded or not had fair and equal opportunities to participate in job application processes.
  • Meaningful and ethical communications. We are committed to ensuring transparency and honesty, understanding and engaging with our audiences, respecting confidentiality and privacy, and avoiding messaging that could incentivise or perpetuate any form of discrimination.
  • Creativity. We cannot build a forward-looking Europe and a sustainable world without tapping into our creative power to develop new ideas and become more resourceful and innovative in our approach.

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