Friends of Europe

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Group.png Friends of Europe  
(Lobby group, Big tech/lobbyist, Deep state recruitment networkWebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Friends of europe.png
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Founder ofFriends of Europe/Young European Leaders
Sponsor ofForeign influence operations amidst the COVID-19 crisis
SubpageFriends of Europe/Young European Leaders
Membership• Giles Merritt
• Etienne Davignon
• Joaquín Almunia
• László Andor
• Michel Barnier
• Xavier Bettel
• Carl Bildt
• Joachim Bitterlich
• Franziska Katharina Brantner
• Elmar Brok
• John Bruton
• Pat Cox
• Robert Cox
• Enrique Barón Crespo
• Daniel Daianu
• Lia Quartapelle
• Geert Cami
• Nathalie Furrer
• Dharmendra Kanani
• Ivan Krastev
• Adam Nyman
• Angela Pauly
• Martine Vandeputte
• Stephanie Blenckner
• Thomas Fischer
• Monica Frassoni
• Gie Goris
• Philippe Maze-Sencier
• Conny Reuter
• Jon Worth
• Kirsty Hughes
• Tamsin Rose
• Jamie Shea
• Paul Taylor
• Camilla Toulmin
• Youssef Travaly
• Paul Walton
• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
• Rio Tinto
• ExxonMobil
• PricewaterhouseCoopers
• 21st Century Fox
• McKinsey & Company
• Facebook
• Dow Chemical
• European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
• Open Society Foundations
• Fertilizers Europe
• Siemens
• GlaxoSmithKline
• Microsoft
• Bertelsmann Stiftung
• The Coca-Cola Company
• World Health Organization
• Novartis
• Plastics Europe
• United States European Command
• Helle Thorning-Schmidt
• Connie Hedegaard
lobby group

Friends of Europe (FoU) is a Brussels-based, non-profit think-tank for European Union policy analysis and debate, as a bridge between policymakers and the business community, facilitating "engagement with leaders at the heart of Brussels policy making" to "stimulate new thinking on the issues facing Europe and its citizens". The lobby group, established in 1999, has no political or national allegiance and is independent of the EU institutions.


FoU sees itself as a "bridge between policymakers and those who experience the implementation and impact of policy making, including citizens, the business community and wider civil society."

On the board of trustees are EU commissioners, heads of government and EU parliamentarians, alongside representatives of the business community. These institutionalized contacts with important decision-makers at EU level give the business lobby the opportunity to informally influence EU politics in their interest. This particularly affects laws and regulations regulating the industries in which Friends of Europe members work.Its area of expertise are listed as:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Asia, Africa und Emerging Economies
  • Peace, Security and Defence
  • International Development, Education and Skills, Migration and Integration
  • New Economic Models and Citizens’ Europe

FoU claims "to seek the widest-possible participation in terms of views, geographical diversity, demographics and kinds of stakeholders including NGOs and businesses, policymakers and thought leaders," but noticeably absent is any popular input.

The President Etienne Davignon, is a former EU Commissioner and Vice President of the EU Commission, a central Bilderberger and is active on a large number of management boards of large companies and their networks. As EU Commissioner, he even participated in the establishment and organization of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT). The founder and chairman Giles Merritt has founded other lobby-related organizations.

Debating Security Plus

Debating Security Plus (DS+)is FoU's "global online brainstorm", supported by the United States European Command(EUCOM), pulling together "thousands of participants, and their recommendations were fed into the policy thinking that shaped NATO’s Strategic Concept in 2010 and the EU’s Global Strategy in 2016".

Young European Leaders

Full article: Friends of Europe/Young European Leaders

FoE runs a European Young Leaders program[1] to handpick a new generation of leaders, "able to tackle the increasing disconnects between citizens and political elites, to rebuild the trust that is vital to democracies." To be noted is Friends of Europe doesn't think this is a matter of there being something wrong with actual policies, but is a matter of finding reliable faces to "rebuild the trust" in the population.

It intends to "stimulate promising young talent to engage in the politics by providing them with the tools (network, leadership development and knowledge) to become active and influential European citizens (meaning recruiting them to the pro-EU circuit, "tap into a network", which can be very lucrative).

In addition to the Cariplo Foundation and the John S. Latsis Foundation, the program is sponsored by the Coca Cola Company and - tellingly - The United States European Command, the U.S. military forces in Europe.[2]

Every year, the new class of European Young Leaders is invited to meet during two 3-day seminars that take place in symbolic European cities. They are joined by the alumni of the programme, together with unspecified "decision-makers, stakeholders and key European actors", to "discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete proposals and recommendations to tackle the challenges facing Europe and its citizens."

Faced with Europe’s migration crisis and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, Friends of Europe decided to expand the programme with Young Leaders from North America and from the Middle East and North Africa to meet and discuss issues of common concern with their European counterparts.

Funding and Membership

Friends of Europe has two kinds of membership, individual and 'VIP'. VIP members are described as 'partners' and include a range of corporations and neoliberal think tanks from throughout Europe. [3] 23Friends-of-Europe-members.png


Related Quotation

Lars Hinrichs“Without my networks I would be nothing”Lars Hinrichs27 February 2021


Known members

25 of the 60 of the members already have pages here:

Joaquín AlmuniaSpanish politician, European Commissioner for 10 years, 6 Bilderbergs
Enrique BaronSpanish politician, economist, and lawyer.
Bertelsmann Foundation
Carl BildtSwedish deep politician, serial Bilderberger and visitor to the MSC. Sitting on an impressive number of deep state related commissions.
Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationVery influential and rich foundation established to take leadership of global health.
Franziska BrantnerGerman super-militarist Green politician.
Elmar Broklobbyist and European parliament politician, MSC regular
John BrutonClub de Madrid, Triple Bilderberger Irish politician
Étienne DavignonBelgian deep politician, EU commissioner, Bilderberg chairman, Egmont Institute president
Dow Chemical
EUCOMThe United States European Command.
FacebookThe world's most popular social network, with over 1,000,000,000 users in 2014.
Connie HedegaardDanish politician, multi-Bilderberger
Ivan KrastevGeorge Soros protegé
McKinsey & Companycorporate hit-men to loot the economy
MicrosoftStarted in 1975 with Paul Allen, Bill Gates developed Microsoft from a operating system maker of computers into one of the most prolific companies of all time, valued over $1 trillion, 3rd most valuable in the world. MS has over a billion in fines from corruption, mass surveillance violations & tax evasion. MS has market shares in dozens of markets, leading in the Platformization-epidemic of the 2010s started by big tech. It was the first partner in the NSA-PRISM program.
Open Society FoundationsA NGO operating in more countries than McDonald's. It has the tendency to support politicians (at times through astroturfing) and activists that get branded as "extreme left" as its founder is billionaire and bane of the pound George Soros. This polarizing perspective causes the abnormal influence of the OSF to go somewhat unanswered.
Lia QuartapelleItalian politician; Friends of Europe 2018
Jamie SheaChatham House, spooky conference attender. As NATO spokesman during the Kosovo War he popularized the propaganda term "collateral damage".
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