About EUROPEUM’s Brussels Office
Building on a long history of EUROPEUM in Prague, we opened our office in Brussels in January 2016. EUROPEUM has been the first think-tank from the Central Europe to branch out to the heart of the European Union. Our motivation has been to follow the debates on EU policies and politics from close and to contribute to them by strengthening the voice of the Czech Republic and other central and east European countries. At the same time, we would like to use our Brussels presence to boost discussions on the EU back in the region, through introducing research by Brussels-based experts, offering their perspective at local events, cooperating with the media, etc.
The main activities of the Brussels office are the following:
- networking and connecting with relevant partners
- organizing events
- conducting research and publishing
- promoting EUROPEUM’s outputs and advocacy
Since its opening in January 2016, EUROPEUM’s Brussels Office has organized four high-level events. Our events in April and May 2016 were kindly hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU and included:
In cooperation with a public affairs agency, we further organized
- a policy briefing by the Slovak EU ambassador on the priorities of the Slovak EU Presidency
- a conference on EU Better Regulation Agenda, bringing together policy-makers from the European Commission, the Dutch EU Presidency, experts from the Visegrad Group and representatives of industry.
EUROPEUM’s Brussels Office has been contributing to EUROPEUM’S research activities with policy analysis enriched by informed insights of key Brussels stakeholders. Zuzana Pickova, the Head of EUROPEUM’s Brussels Office, has been following the Digital Single Market and the EU’s policy of Better Regulation, analysing the European Commission’s Better Regulation Agenda in a policy paper. Tereza Novotna, post-doctoral researcher based at the Institute for European Studies at the Université libre de Bruxelles and an associate research fellow at EUROPEUM, focuses on EU foreign policy and examined the structural and personnel reform of the EU diplomatic service in Brussels Monitor.
Projects – Think Visegrad in Brussels
In the first half of 2016, eight think-tanks from the Visegrad Group that have been cooperating in the Think Visegrad platform, agreed on the idea proposed by the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, to create a common representation office in Brussels. The main motivation for it is the need to encourage debate on issues of common interest to the EU and the V4 and explain the positions of the V4 to a wide audience. Think Visegrad in Brussels would like to project an image of constructive partners, to explain the dynamics of the debates within our regions and to highlight our active contributions to EU policy-making.
The project brings together all the members of the Think Visegrad network, namely:
- Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (RC SFPA), Bratislava (main coordinator)
- GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava
- Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), Warsaw
- Institute of East-Central Europe (IESW), Lublin
- Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT), Budapest
- Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy (CEID), Budapest
- EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Prague
- Institute of International Relations (IIR), Prague
The pilot project was implemented by the Brussels office of EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, one of the founding members of the Think Visegrad platform. It ran from June to December 2016 and the International Visegrad Fund financed it.
Events and external activities
- TVB organized two public debates in Brussels. The first conference was entitled ‘The Visegrad Contribution to the EU Digital Single Market’ and took place on 30. 11. 2016. It was organized in close cooperation with the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group and hosted by the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU. The second conference took place on 9. 12. 2016 and was called ‘Security in Europe from a Visegrad viewpoint: strengthening fundamentals, but rethinking perspectives?’ The event in a round-table format was co-organized with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the European Policy Institutes Network and hosted at CEPS premises.
- The roundtable with the title ‘Visegrad about the Future of the EU’ took place on 24. 10. 2016 and brought together the four Ambassadors to the European Union of the Visegrad Countries and twelve amongst the most prominent think-tanks in Brussels. It was hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU.
- The TVB Newsletter was one of the key communication tools aimed at a wide audience, with the objective to raise awareness about the Think Visegrad platform in mainly Brussels-based stakeholders. The Newsletter introduced the project and its members, including their presentation in each issue. Each issue summarized the gist of the TVB activities in the past and upcoming period, reporting on events and research fellowships. Four issues of the newsletter were sent over the period of the project: 07. 07. 2016, 12. 09. 2016, 24. 10. 2016 and 20.12.2016.
- TVB commissioned a consultancy to carry out the legal and financial assessment, taking into account various scenarios of the TVB potential presence in Brussels. TVB submitted the feasibility study to the International Visegrad Fund at the end of September 2016
- Providing space and support for four experts (one from each V4 country) from V4 think tanks (not only Think Visegrad members) that would like to undertake short-term research in Brussels
- Providing monitoring to V4 think tanks on issues of relevance to them. The four policy areas were agreed upon jointly with the partner institutions: security and foreign policy, economic issues, energy issues and digital agenda.
Throughout the pilot project, the following issues were delivered:
Follow-up to the pilot project is currently prepared and is expected to be implemented from March 2017.