Friends of Europe

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The offices of Friends of Europe are located in the Bibliothèque Solvay in Leopold Park, Brussels.

Friends of Europe is a Brussels-based, not-for-profit think tank for European Union policy analysis and debate.


The organisation, established in 1999, has no political or national allegiance and is independent of the EU institutions. Its goal is to foster open discussion and to stimulate new thinking on the issues facing Europe and its citizens.[1]


The organisation's activities focus in particular on six thematic areas: competitive Europe, the future of Europe, Global Europe, Greening Europe, international Development and Social Europe.

Board of trustees

Friends of Europe's board of trustees is composed of 29 people who hold, or have held, positions of responsibility in European affairs. Its President is Etienne Davignon, a politician, businessman and former vice-president of the European Commission. Additionally, there are 15 members of the Praesidium. They are:[2]

Friends of Europe's Secretary-General is Giles Merritt, a former Brussels correspondent of the Financial Times.[3]


In 2009, Friends of Europe's annual budget was €1,707,116.[4]

The breakdown per source of funding is as follows:

  • European and international institutions (EU, OECD, IMF, World Bank, etc.): €428,940 (24.0%)
  • Diplomatic missions, national, regional and local authorities: €196,895 (11.7%)
  • Corporate sector (companies and trade associations): €952,840 (56.7%)
  • Private non-corporate (foundations and NGOs): €128,441 (7.6%)

The European Commission contributed the largest sum of money through a mixture of structural support and project-support (the European Commission was the only partner that contributed more than 5% of the annual budget).

Out of all NGOs and think tanks, Friends of Europe received the tenth largest amount of funding from the European Commission in 2010 at €192,000.[5]

Friends of Europe is registered on the EU Transparency register operated by the European Parliament & European Commission.


External links