EU networks of think tanks close to europarties

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Networks of party-affiliated Foundations at European level

Under this caption (Wiki-category respectively) we have summarized the documentation of three think tank networks each of which is linked to a party represented in the European Parliament.

They are:

  • [[European Ideas Network (EIN) – Network]] 45 foundations/ think tanks (including the EIN itself, +3 as partner institutes with observer status, initiated by the EPP-Group of the European Parliament, overlapping with the network of the Centre for European Studies) website
  • [[Foundation for European Progressive Studies – Network]] (affiliated with the Party of European Socialists) 43 foundations/think tanks website
  • [[Transform Europe – Network]] (affiliated with European Left) 17 organizations (+6 observers) website

The member organizations of those European think tank networks documented here are active in a variety of fields ranging from political opinion-making, to concept development and political marketing. They illustrate the broad range of think tanks in character and orientation. Some can be characterized as rather academic institutions like the (Walter Eucken Institut), some are economic research institutes like the (Gdansk Institute for Market Economics), some meeting places for elite networking (e.g. European Policy Forum), some membership organizations (e.g. The Fabian Society) or international confederations of membership organizations (e.g. Solidar) and some are also institutions of thematically focused policy consulting (e.g. The majority of organizations documented here, however, are political foundations affiliated with a certain party. The model of foundations that are affiliated with a political party originates in Germany. A prime example of this model is the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. It is the biggest of its kind regarding its finances and number of employees. The brief documentation of each network member organization includes: categorization, year of foundation, where possible information about the institute’s history, information on its organizational structure, members of the executive board and advisory board, employees etc. The organizations‘ work modus and aims are also of interest (especially focusing on publications and events). Furthermore the fields of activity have been categorized following a coherent thematic structure that has been derived from the list of EU Commission directories. This list has been extended by the category educational work on behalf of political parties and the category of ideological contestation and reflection. This project is work-in-progress. Corrections and additions are welcome as usual on wiki sites.

Historical Background

During the past decade the European Union has pursued the goal of deeper integrating European parliamentary groups and affiliated national associations with civil society. The first step in this endeavor was defining the term parliamentary group and regulating public funding of political parties at European level. The results thereof are manifested in regulation (EC) No 2004/2003[1]. The next step was the establishment of party affiliated foundations, which was apparently initiated by former EU communications commissioner Margot Wallström Darauf [2]. This was followed by an initiative taken at the end of 2006 for creating permanent funding mechanisms for party affiliated foundations at the European level documented in a Call for Proposals for Political Party Foundations pilot project within the framework of the Europe for Citizen program. In the course of this initial pilot project 10 institutions were selected for funding. Financial support for those institutions was composed of the same small base amount for each of them and a larger amount related to the size of the parliamentary group in the European Parliament. The institutions are listed below indicating the party they are affiliated with and the amount of funding they receive:

  • Centre for European Studies (The European Peoples' Party (EPP), € 318,820, active 2011)
  • Foundation for European Progressive Studies (The Party of European Socialists (PES)), € 286,200, active 2011)
  • European Liberal Forum (The European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), € 107,910, active 2011)
  • Green European Institute (jetzt: Green European Foundation, The European Green Party (EGP), € 61,450, active 2011)
  • Institute of European Democrats (The European Democratic Party (EDP), € 51,410, active 2011)
  • Transform Europe (The European Left Party (ELP), € 40,000, active 2011)
  • EUROPA - Osservatorio sulle politiche dell'unione (The Alliance for Europe of the Nations (AEN) - (The alliance dissolved after the EU elections in 2009 and subsequently lost its status as a political party at European level. Its affiliated foundation does not exist anymore either.), € 48,900, dissolved)
  • Les Refondateurs (Alliance des Démocrates Indépendants en Europe (ADIE) (dissolved at the end of 2008), € 36,000, dissolved)
  • [ Foundation for EU Democracy (EU Democrats (EUD), € 22,530, active 2011)
  • Center Maurits Coppieters (The European Free Alliance (EF, A), € 21,280, active 2011)[3]

The political foundation New Direction is affiliated with the EU party Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Thus, in total there are 9 political parties and 9 affiliated foundations that are publicly funded. Eight of which have participated already in the pilot project in 2006/2007.

Currently the rules on status and public funding of party foundations at European level are stipulated in regulation (EC) 1524/2007[4]. A summary of the legal situation regarding parties and party foundations at European level is available at EU-Legislation-Summaries.

In our documentation of networks of party affiliated foundations at European level we have included a networking institution, the European Ideas Network, which is not eligible for public funding according to EU regulations. The European Ideas Network (EIN) is associated with the European Peoples‘ Party (EPP). Like transform! europe the EIN had been founded before the EU took action regarding political foundations at European level. The EIN is organizationally associated with and dependent on the EPP. It encompasses approximately twice as many member organizations as its sister network Centers of European Policy.


deu:EU-Netzwerke parteinaher Think Tanks