Institute of International and European Affairs

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The Institute of International & European Affairs
PredecessorInstitute of European Affairs (IEA) 1991–2007
FounderBrendan Halligan
Founded atDublin, Ireland
Registration no.RCN 20024819
Legal statusRegistered Irish Charity
FocusImpact of the EU on Ireland
HeadquartersNorth Great George's Street, Dublin, Ireland
Michael D Higgins
Brendan Halligan
Ruairi Quinn
Director General
David O'Sullivan[1]
Revenue (2016)

The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA; Irish: An Institiúid Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta agus Eorpacha) is an Irish policy think tank focusing on European and international policy trends based in Dublin, Ireland. It is known for its seminars and speaking events which attract notable international figures.


The IIEA was founded as the Institute of European affairs in 1991.[2][3] According to Tony Brown, author of a history of the IIEA, it was established to promote informed debate on European affairs in the wake of the Crotty Judgement and the subsequent Irish referendum on the Single European Act, which he argues was marked by low turnout for the time and limited and low-quality debate.[4] The institute was officially launched in April 1991 by Minister for Foreign Affairs Gerry Collins. Brendan Halligan was head of the organising committee and its first chairman. Mary Robinson, then President of Ireland, was appointed as its patron.[5]

A June 1996 Irish Times article notes that the Institute of European Affairs (IEA) was set up in 1989 by Brendan Halligan, the former General Secretary of the Irish Labour Party, and that much of the financial backing came from Irish semi–state bodies, including those on which Halligan was a board member. The article also notes that the IEA rented a house on 8 North Great George's Street of which Halligan was a part owner.[6] Tony Brown writes that Brendan Halligan and founding member Niall Greene purchased 8 North Great Georges street with their own money in trust for the use of the institute with the option to purchase the premises at the lower of cost or market value when it had secured the funds to do so. The IIEA finally purchased the building in 1998, noting "a debt of gratitude to Brendan Halligan and Niall Greene" for this support in that year's Annual Report.[7] Brigid Laffan also states that Halligan and Greene purchased the premises in trust for the IIEA.[8]

The institute's research programme was initially led by Professor Patrick Keatinge of Trinity College Dublin who was the first senior staff appointee as Senior Research Fellow. In 1991 and 1992, the institute produced ten publications including on Economic and Monetary Union and Irish public opinion on Irish neutrality. Early authors included as James Dooge, Miriam Hederman O'Brien, Brigid Laffan and Trinity College Dublin Professor Michael Marsh. Keatinge’s term was followed by Brian Farrell as the institute’s first Director General from 1994 to 1996.[9][10]

Farrell was succeeded in 1996 by Terry Stewart, a former Director of the European Commission Representation in Dublin. Stewart held this position until 1999.[11] The next Director General was Joe Brosnan, who held this position from 1999 to 2002. Brosnan was a former Secretary General of the Irish Department of Justice and had been Chef de Cabinet of Padraig Flynn in the European Commission.[12][13]

The former leader of Fine Gael, Alan Dukes was appointed as the Director General of the IEA in December 2002.[14] a post he held until December 2007.[15] In July 2007, the IEA changed its name to the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA),[16] Jill Donohughe, previously Director of Research, was the first female Director General of the IIEA from 2008 to 2010.[17]

Former Irish Ambassador to the UN Dáithí O'Ceallaigh was Director General of the IIEA from 2010 to 2013.[17] O'Ceallaigh had been Irish ambassador to the UN from 2007 to 2009 and was previously Irish ambassador to the United Kingdom (2001–2007).[18] In August 2013, Tom Arnold, previously CEO of Concern Worldwide, was appointed Director General of the IIEA.[19] In March 2017, Barry Andrews, former CEO of GOAL and Irish Minister of State for Children, was appointed Director General.[20] At the same time as the appointment of Barry Andrews, Halligan, then 81 years of age, stepped down as Chairperson to become President of the IIEA. Ruairi Quinn, former leader of the Labour Party, became the new Chairperson of the IIEA.[21]

In January 2019 Barry Andrews stepped down as Director General temporarily to run in the European Parliament election and resigned after his election as an MEP.[22] He was succeeded as Acting Director General by Donal de Buitléir, Chairman of the Low Pay Commission.[23] Michael Collins, previously Irish Ambassador to Germany, was appointed Director General in November 2019.[24] In April 2022, David O'Sullivan, former Secretary-General of the European Commission, became the new Director General of the IIEA.[25]



The IIEA's public accounts state that the principal activity of the IIEA is to: "promote the research of International and European political, economic, cultural, societal and legal institutions, proceedings and relations".[26] IIEA research is sometimes used in Oireachtas reports.[27] IIEA research is often covered in the media. Recent coverage includes reviews by the Financial Times and the Irish Times of the IIEA book "Britain and Europe: The Endgame. An Irish Perspective",[28][29] an interview with IIEA Chief Economist Dan O'Brien on Apple and state aid[30] and coverage on research by Professor Frank Barry on the implications of a change in the US corporation tax system for Ireland.[31]


The IIEA was described by the Irish Times in 2007 as a "a policy research think-tank and forum",[15] with the most notable activities of the IIEA being the quantum of speaking events on mostly European issues, hosted over the years. In 2015, the IIEA hosted 120 seminars with speakers such as Jean Claude Trichet and Pierre Moscovici.[32] In 2014, the IIEA hosted 140 seminars with speakers such as Peter Sutherland and Martin Wolf.[33] In 2013, the year of Ireland's EU Presidency, the IIEA hosted 170 seminars with speakers such as Christine Lagarde.[34]


Legal status[edit]

The IIEA's public accounts (Company Number 171807) state it is a company limited by guarantee which does not have share capital.[26] The IIEA pays no taxes as it is an Irish Registered Charity (RCN 20024889).[26]

Funding structure[edit]

As of November 2018, the IIEA's most recent filed accounts for the 2016 financial year state that the IIEA's Income of €1,120,714 million separates into four categories (see § Accounts):

  1. Subscriptions (56%). Annual membership fees, which were listed at €10,000 per annum. The IIEA's accounts show that such fees are paid by various Irish State Departments (e.g. Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture), Irish semi–state companies (e.g. ESB, Enterprise Ireland, the DAA), and Irish private companies (e.g. AIB, Bank of Ireland);
  2. Grants (16%). There are mostly Irish State grants;
  3. Other (12%). This item is not explained in any form of the IIEA § Accounts, but rose sharply from 2009 onwards;
  4. CE–Scheme (16%). This is the Irish "Community Employment Scheme" where the Irish State pays for the wages of low–income employees hired by the organisation.[35]

CE–Scheme and grants are Irish State sourced (32% of IIEA income); however, it is believed a material portion of the Subscription (and potentially Other category), are sourced from the Irish State (either directly from State departments, or via State–owned companies), and thus over 50% of IIEA income is funded by the Irish exchequer.


As of April 2024, the Director General and IIEA staff are overseen by a Board of 14 Directors (in alphabetical order):[36]

(†) Chairperson (‡) Secretary (Δ) Treasurer

Honorary positions[edit]

As of April 2024, the IIEA also listed a number of Honorary Positions:[37]

Patron Michael D. Higgins President of Ireland

Fellows: Tony Brown, Pat Cox, Marie Cross, Helen Donoghue, Paul Gallagher, Eamon Gilmore, Katherine Meenan, Pádraig Murphy

Comité d’Honneur: Enda Kenny, John Bruton, David Byrne, Brian Cowen, Pat Cox, Ray MacSharry, Charles McCreevy, Michael O’Kennedy, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese, Bertie Ahern and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

Honorary Life Members: Adrian Burke, Professor Patrick Keatinge, Derry O‘Hegarty, Dr Con Power, Dr David Williamson and Geraldine Byrne Nason


Brexit Hub[edit]

In January 2018, the Irish Times reported that the IIEA had asked the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2017 for €250,000 per annum to set up a new "Brexit Hub" office in Merrion Square to "act as a forum for sharing well-informed discussion on Brexit strategies". This request was declined on the basis of value for money.[38] The proposed grant was to pay for new offices closer to Government Buildings and to also cover some of the €119,000 salary of the then Director General Barry Andrews, and a new Brexit Hub Director, Donal de Buitléir.[39][40]


IIEA published abridged accounts from 2009 to 2015 on their website.[41] The Irish Charities Regulator website holds copies of the full IIEA accounts that are filed with the Companies Registration Office ("CRO"), for 2014, 2015 and 2016, which contain additional detail, particularly around the CE–Scheme, and the IIEA offices at 8 North Great George's Street.[26]

Published accounts of the IIEA (2007–2016)
Euro Calendar 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Profit and Loss Subscriptions[a] 624,518 505,008 477,232 506,059 484,870 548,755 544,592 568,384 605,401 591,451
Grants[b] 183,752 212,155 143,758 274,217 155,255 295,133 298,806 406,998 91,166 6,492
Other[c] 134,263 164,431 99,749 175,674 138,987 153,290 129,392 34,429 66,893 62,607
CE–Scheme[d] 178,181 187,537 197,810 179,404 ?[e] ?[e] ?[e] ?[e] ?[e] ?[e]
Total Income 1,120,714 1,069,131 918,549 1,135,354 779,112 997,178 972,790 1,009,811 763,460 660,550
Total Costs 1,101,834 1,073,676 1,073,578 1,136,412 799,842 993,697 972,390 1,033,779 837,958 661,973
Surplus/Deficit 18,880 –4,545 –155,029 –1,058 –20,730 3,481 400 –23,968 –74,498 –1,423
Balance Sheet Property 422,108 420,845 436,439 451,996 460,435 468,030 478,654 502,265 520,743 525,014
Liabilities –166,137 –183,754 –194,802 –26,331 –29,501 –5,048 –6,976 –7,256 –5,850 69,061
Net Assets 255,971 237,091 241,637 425,665 430,934 462,982 471,678 495,009 514,893 594,075

Selected books[edit]

  • Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and Reality: A History of 25 Years of the Institute of International and European Affairs. Dublin: The Institute of International and European Affairs. ISBN 9781907079221.
  • O'Ceallaigh, Dáithí; Gillespie, Paul, eds. (2015). Britain and Europe: The Endgame: an Irish Perspective (PDF). Institute of International and European Affairs. ISBN 978-1-907079-20-7.
  • Keatinge, Patrick, ed. (1991). Political Union. Dublin: Institute of European Affairs. ISBN 1874109001.
  • O'Donnell, Rory; O'Coafaigh, Tomás, eds. (1991). Economic and Monetary Union. Dublin: Institute of European Affairs. ISBN 187410901X.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annual subscriptions from private individuals, government departments, semi-state companies, and private companies. The cost of corporate membership rose from £IEP1,000 in the 1990s, to €6,000 in the 2000s, and is currently quoted on the IIEA website as being €10,000 per annum.
  2. ^ Grants from the Irish State for various projects. For example, in 2017 the Department of Foreign Affairs funded a three-year €125,000 per annum programme with the IIEA on the future of the EU without the United Kingdom.[42]
  3. ^ This line item is not explained in the IIEA accounts; it seems to have increased materially during and after the Irish financial crisis.
  4. ^ The "Community Employment Scheme" whereby the Irish State pays the wages of low–income employment in the IIEA (mostly catering staff for the IIEA functions); this source of Income is matched by the CE–Scheme expenditure (e.g. the wages of the staff), under Costs and is only broken out in the full CRO accounts as filed with the Charities Regulator. The CE Scheme is paid for by the Department of Social Welfate and Protection.[35]
  5. ^ a b c d e f The IIEA's filed accounts for years before 2013 are not freely available on the Charities Regulator website, it is therefore not possible to see the quantum of the CE–Scheme for earlier years.


  1. ^ "David O'Sullivan appointed DG of IIEA". RTÉ. 16 March 2022. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  2. ^ "The Institute of International and European Affairs". Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  3. ^ "IIEA constitution". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. ^ Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and Reality: A History of 25 Years of the Institute of International and European Affairs. Dublin: The Institute of International and European Affairs. p. 4. ISBN 9781907079221.
  5. ^ Boland, Colm (24 April 1991). "Irish 'think tank' on EC launched". The Irish Times.
  6. ^ "Bord big financial support of IEA". Irish Times. 29 June 1996. Three other organisations have contributed the same amount as Bord na Mona - the ESB, Aer Rianta and the Irish Permanent, of which Mr Halligan is also a director. The institute, which rents a house on North Great George's Street that is part owned by Mr Halligan, was set up in 1989 to foster debate on European integration, according to Mr Stewart.
  7. ^ Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and Reality: A History of 25 Years of the Institute of International and European Affairs. Dublin: The Institute of International and European Affairs. p. 13. ISBN 9781907079221.
  8. ^ Laffan, Brigid. "Introductory address on the occasion of the conferring of the Degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa on Brendan Halligan" (PDF). University College Dublin. University College Dublin. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  9. ^ Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and reality : a history of 25 years of the Institute of International and European Affairs, 1989-2014. p. 37. ISBN 9781907079221.
  10. ^ "BRIAN FARRELL". RTÉ. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  11. ^ "A promoter of Ireland's role in Europe". No. 16 April 2011. Irish Times. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  12. ^ Anderson, Paul. "High-level appointments to peace process commission". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  13. ^ Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and reality : a history of 25 years of the Institute of International and European Affairs, 1989-2014. p. 47. ISBN 9781907079221.
  14. ^ "EA appoints Dukes as its director general". Irish Times. 11 December 2002.
  15. ^ a b "Dukes angered as think-tank ends his term". 20 December 2007.
  16. ^ "CRO Registration of Name Changes" (PDF). Companys Registration Office. July 2007. 18/07/2007: THE INSTITUTE OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS Changed To THE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS
  17. ^ a b Brown, Tony (2016). Vision and Reality: A History of 25 Years of the Institute of International and European Affairs. Dublin: The Institute of International and European Affairs. p. 48. ISBN 9781907079221.
  18. ^ "'Disarmament and the UN', By Daithi O'Ceallaigh". Irish School of Ecumenics. 28 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Tom Arnold appointed chief of European affairs institute". Irish Times. 3 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Barry Andrews appointed director general to Dublin-based think tank". Irish Times. 7 March 2011.
  21. ^ "CHANGING OF THE GUARD". Photopol. 24 March 2017. Brendan Halligan was the founder of the Institute in 1991 and has been its Chairman ever since up to the beginning of 2017 when he handed over to Ruairí Quinn. So with the recent revamping of the Board and change in the positions of Chairman and Director General, a re-envigorated Institute is ready to face what may be its biggest challenge yet.
  22. ^ "Dr Donal de Buitléir remains IIEA Acting Director General following Barry Andrews' resignation | IIEA". Archived from the original on 2019-10-19.
  23. ^ "The elite group who have run every Dublin marathon".
  24. ^ "Michael Collins appointed Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs | IIEA". Archived from the original on 2019-12-22.
  25. ^ "David O'Sullivan appointed DG of IIEA". RTÉ.ie. 16 March 2022.
  26. ^ a b c d "Institute Of International and European Affairs (IIEA) Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20024819". Charities Regulator. November 2018.
  27. ^ Brexit: Implications and Potential Solutions (PDF). Dublin: Seanad Special Select Committee Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  28. ^ Boland, Vincent (24 May 2015). "Britain and Europe', by Dáithí O'Ceallaigh and Paul Gillespie". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  29. ^ Hayes, Brian (27 June 2015). "Britain and Europe: The Endgame. An Irish Perspective review: What would happen to Ireland after a Brexit?". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  30. ^ Boland, Vincent (2 September 2016). "Apple and state aid: End of the affair". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  31. ^ Bourke-Kennedy, Eoin (9 April 2019). "Ireland likely to gain from Trump tax changes despite €50bn outflow". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  32. ^ "2015 Annual Report". IIEA. 2015.
  33. ^ "2014 Annual Report". IIEA. 2014.
  34. ^ "2013 Annual Report". IIEA. 2013.
  35. ^ a b "CE Scheme". Institute of International and European Affairs. 2018. The Institute of International and European Affairs operates a Community Employment scheme, which is funded by the Department of Social Protection.
  36. ^ "The Board of the IIEA". Institute of International and European Affairs. November 2018.
  37. ^ "Governance Structure of the IIEA". Institute of International and European Affairs. April 2024.
  38. ^ Cantillion (5 January 2018). "Department raised concerns about funding 'Brexit hub'". Irish Times. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act showed the department raised concerns about whether the €250,000 a year sought in funding for three years for the hub was good value for the public given that government departments fulfilled part of the role proposed for the hub.
  39. ^ "About Us | Public Policy, Public Expenditure & GNP".
  40. ^ Cantillion (13 January 2018). "High price for IIEA talking shop on Brexit". Irish Times. The proposed budget for the hub, earmarked for a building on Merrion Square to be nearer to Government Buildings, would require €250,000 a year in public funding. [...] The hub's proposed director, Donal de Buitléir, a former public official [...] while almost €30,000 of the €119,000 remuneration paid to IIEA director-general, Barry Andrews would fall under the hub's budget.
  41. ^ "IIEA Publications". Institute for International and European Affairs. October 2018.
  42. ^ "Dail Debated: Tuesday, 7 November 2017: Questions from Micheál Martin regarding the IIEA". Dail Eireann. 7 November 2017. The Government is committed to greater engagement with the public on the Future of Europe and in this regard my Department is providing funding of €750,000 over 3 years for a Future of the EU27 project being carried out the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA). The first tranche of this funding, €125,000, is being provided this year to the IIEA.

External links[edit]