European Policy Centre

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John Palmer and Wilfried Martens during the EPP and PES presidents debate, January 21, 2005
Part of the EPC team, 2012

The European Policy Centre (EPC) is a Brussels-based not-for-profit think tank on European Union affairs, founded in 1997. It is committed to making European integration work and to promoting discussion and wider discussion and reflection on the issues high on the EU's policy agenda, now and in the future.

In line with its multi-constituency approach, the EPC aims to be a catalyst for new ideas and new thinking on these issues, and to promote a balanced dialogue between different stakeholders. It has a membership of around 400 organisations, which spans the spectrum of stakeholders, from diplomatic embassies to companies, non-governmental organisations, and regional and local authorities.[1]


EPC Policy Analysts come from a range of backgrounds. They carry out research and analysis, organise expert meetings and events with the main stakeholders concerned with EU and global affairs and produce policy analysis online and in print. The EPC’s Chief Executive is Fabian Zuleeg, a German economist,[2] and its Director of Studies is Janis A. Emmanouilidis, a German-Greek political scientist and economist.[3]

The EPC's policy work is organised under four main programmes:

  • European Politics and Institutions (chaired by Wolfgang Schüssel, Former Federal Chancellor of Austria)
  • European Migration and Diversity (chaired by Rita Süssmuth, Former President of the German Bundestag)
  • Europe’s Political Economy (chaired by Erkki Liikanen, Chairman of the Board, Bank of Finland)
  • Europe in the World (chaired by Frans van Daele, Former Head of staff of the President of the European Council)


The EPC’s funding comes from a number of sources, including its strategic partners: the King Baudouin Foundation,[4] based in Belgium, from membership fees, and grants from the EU and other organisations. Details of these are published on its website.[5]


The EPC’s General Assembly[6] is chaired by Philippe Maystadt, former President of the European Investment Bank. He is also President of its Advisory Council, which includes many prominent EU figures. The Governing Board is chaired by Meglena Kuneva, former European Commissioner for Consumer Protection.

Tobacco companies[edit]

In January 2010, research[7] was published alleging that in the 1990s EPC helped tobacco companies, as well as other industry groups, lobby "to ensure that the EU framework for evaluating policy options emphasised business interests at the expense of public health".[8][9]

Transparency Initiative[edit]

The European Commission introduced a Transparency Initiative in 2005,[10] and has since set up a Register of Interest Representatives where organisations and lobbyists may record their details and activities. In 2011 the register was extended to become an inter-institutional function covering interest representatives of both the European Commission and the European Parliament, at which time it was renamed the Transparency Register.[11] This defines “interest representation” as “the activities carried out with the objective of influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of the European institutions”.

The EPC does not represent any specific interest group but works in favour of the general interest in advocating European integration. Therefore, in 2009, the EPC Board decided to join the register, in line also with its commitment to openness and transparency demonstrated by the information it provides on its website on its financing and governance.


External links[edit]

Media related to European Policy Centre at Wikimedia Commons