Institute of International and European Affairs

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The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) is a policy research think tank and "stakeholders' forum" based in Dublin, Ireland, with a branch in Brussels, Belgium. Known until July 2007 as the "Institute of European Affairs", it provides members with early notice of EU policy developments and with analysis of their implications for Ireland and Europe, and highlights key policy issues that may help shape the business environment.

Europe House, the Institute's Dublin city-centre premises, provides a location for dialogue between representatives from government, business, the civil service and diplomatic corps, the legal profession, NGO's, trade unions, the media and academia.


Management and staff[edit]

The Director General of the Institute is Tom Arnold, Former CEO of Concern Worldwide and Interim Head of the UN's Scaling Up Nutrition programme. He succeeded Dáithí O'Ceallaigh, former Irish Ambassador in London, in 2013. The post was earlier held by Alan Dukes, a former Irish Leader of the Opposition, Minister for Justice, for Finance, and for Agriculture, and a former Governor of the IMF and World Bank. He left after the Board of the Institute declined to offer him a third term.

The Director of Research is Jill Donoghue. There are also Directors of Finance, Communications and Development, three general administrative staff and an IT administrator. A separate staff and a support committee exist in Brussels.


There is a Management Team, of which the Chairman is Brendan Halligan, former Secretary General of the Labour Party, with six Vice-Chairpersons, a Secretary and a Treasurer. The membership elects an Executive Committee, with over 45 members.

Board of Directors[1][edit]

Honorary positions[edit]

Patron Mary McAleese President of Ireland

Members of the Comite d'Honneur: former Irish prime ministers Bertie Ahern, T.D. and John Bruton (now Ambassador of the European Union to the USA), Charles McCreevy European Commissioner for Internal Trade, Dr Patrick Hillery former President of Ireland, John Bruton former Taoiseach, Mary Robinson former President of Ireland, Albert Reynolds former Taoiseach, Pat Cox former President of the European Parliament, Richard Burke former European Commissioner, David Byrne former European Commissioner, Pádraig Flynn former European Commissioner, Ray MacSharry former European Commissioner, Micheal O'Kennedy former European Commissioner, Peter Sutherland former European Commissioner.


Individual members include former heads of state and government, government ministers, parliamentarians, Secretaries General of government departments and other senior Civil Service officials, company chairpersons and CEOs and senior managers, members of the judiciary, ambassadors, senior barristers, partners in solicitors' firms, senior representatives from trade unions, academia, NGOs and professional and sectoral associations. Further, any interested individual can apply for membership.

Corporate and Foundation Members, who provide the majority of the Institute's operating capital, are generally large organisations such as investment banks, government departments, or industrial conglomerates.

A "Brussels membership" also exists.


In 2005, the Institute held 93 meetings on business, political and legal issues, and 113 such events in 2006. These events attract presentations from Irish, EU and global decision makers.

Meetings are generally not open to the public and are often off the record. However, as noted, any interested individual can apply for membership and so attend many meetings, though some are limited to defined audiences.


Working Group on Justice & Home Affairs listens to Max-Peter Ratzel, Director of Europol.

Guest Keynote speakers[edit]

Keynote speakers at the Institute come under seven main headings:

  1. Political leaders who have spoken at the Institute include Gordon Brown, Dominique de Villepin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Giuliano Amato, Chris Patten, John Podesta.
  2. Digital thought leaders include: Larry Sanger (co-founder of Wikipedia), Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard Law School Berkman Centre), Toomas Ilves (President of Estonia and early E-infrastructure advocate)
The Rt. Hon Lord Goldsmith QC (Attorney General of the UK) speaking at the Institute in 2006.
  1. Leading intellectuals who have given keynote addresses at the Institute in Dublin include Joseph Stiglitz (Harvard), Noam Chomsky (MIT), Joseph Nye (Harvard Kennedy School), Toomas Ilves.
  2. European decision-makers who have visited include: Catherine Day, Andris Piebalgs (EU Commissioner for Energy), Charlie McCreevy (Commissioner for the Internal Market), László Kovács, Javier Solana, Franco Frattini,
  3. Eminent legal experts including the Rt. Hon Lord Goldsmith QC, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg(US Supreme Court);
  4. Leaders of international financial institutions such as James D. Wolfensohn, Pascal Lamy, Hans Tietmeyer, and Jean Claude Trichet;
  5. International business leaders: Peter Sutherland (Chair of BP and Goldman Sachs), Martin Broughton (Chair of British Airways), Niall FitzGerald (Chair of Reuters), and Willie Walsh (CEO of British Airways);
  6. Leaders of international bodies include: Hans Blix (Chairman of the WMD Commission), Mohamed ElBaradei (Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)), Rajendra K. Pachauri, (chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change);
  7. Global thought leaders include: Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University), Jeremy Rifkin (Wharton School of Business)

In addition, the Institute operates dedicated groups examining terrorism, which has attracted a number of speakers including George Joffe, Peter Bergen, Magnus Ranstorp, Bruce Hoffman, and Tariq Ramadan.

Confidentiality: "The Europe House Rule"[edit]

The Institute adheres to a strict rule of confidentiality known as the Europe House Rule. This allows members to use information received at IEA events as background material but precludes the attribution of comments made at the Institute to any speaker (individual speakers may choose to make their comments on-the-record).


The Institute’s Research Department provides early warning of legislative and regulatory developments, and produces in-depth analysis of a wide range of policy issues. Recent publications from the Research Department include an early and complete consolidated text of the Treaty of Lisbon, months in advance of the official text, a series of papers on climate change, Islamist militant radicalisation, iWar, digital & ICT issues, and Balkan redevelopment.
The Research Department also provides expert briefings.
In addition to its core staff of full-time researchers, the Research Department also draws upon expertise from the Institute’s membership, including former Taoisigh (Prime Ministers of Ireland), Ministers, Secretaries General, business leaders, leaders of ICT EMEA head quarters, journalists and academics. Its working groups discuss specific policy areas of relevance to the business and policy community. Each group has a chair and project leader, and meets at regular intervals with contributions from visiting experts.
The Institute's working groups currently focus on energy policy, digital, taxation, corporate governance, trade, economic and legal issues. Its economic and business agenda is complemented by strategic and political research which considers the political contexts in which business operates. Currently this includes EU enlargement, European Neighbourhood Policy (including studies of the Balkan region), European Foreign and Security Policy, questions around the future of Europe, Justice and Home Affairs (including fraud, immigration, and telecommunications monitoring), the EU's relations with key EU members including the UK, Germany, France and with strategic partners including Asia, Russia and the US.

Finances and legal status[edit]


The Institute of European Affairs was founded in 1991 as a self-governing body, and is a registered charity, intended to be independent of political, economic and social interests. According to its website, the Institute

represents no sectoral viewpoint and expresses no corporate views of its own. Views expressed in the Institute's publications and at its conferences, seminars and briefings are those of the authors and speakers.


The Institute derives most of its income from annual membership fees, grants, donations, charges for commissioned research and sale of its publications.

Key funding of the Institute comes from the Foundation Members, including departments of the Irish government, and national and multinational companies, semi-State and private, who commit at least 10,000 euro annually. Acknowledgement of this support is included in all Institute publications and Foundation Members are also regularly consulted on the nature and scope of the Institute's activities.

The Institute derives significant income from the Irish Government and the European Union, one third of the total in 2002

Legal status[edit]

The Institute is registered as a company limited by guarantee with no share capital. It is recognised as a charity by the Irish Revenue Commissioners and has the benefit of a research trust which qualifies for covenant status.

External links[edit]