Major European Think Tanks Report

The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), is made up of four like-minded leading European international cooperation think tanks: German Development Institute (DIE), European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The work of the group is shaped by our understanding of:
  • the global context, 
  • priorities in European development cooperation, and
  • lessons learned from working together as think tanks.
It is also shaped by our common understanding of how positive policy change is achieved in the EU, through: 

(1) high quality and independent research communicated in forms tailored to specific audiences and relevant moments in the policy cycle; 
(2) research that informs propositions for change, calibrated to the EU policy context and which responds to political priorities; 
(3) a broad understanding amongst stakeholders involved in deciding and informing policy of the process and key elements of the debate at different levels of the debate; and 
(4) cross-national networks which extend the reach of research within Member States, create opportunities for routine interaction and informed policy debate, and spaces for reflection between different actors.

In 2010, we published a report aimed at shaping the political agenda of a new leadership around key global challenges. Several of our recommendations contributed to triggering change in a number of policy areas. In 2014, welcoming a new generation of European leaders, we again call attention to the importance of a global perspective in European policy-making. 

The ETTG has published a major report , “Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s Problems need Global Solutions and Global Problems need European Action”, drawn from cutting-edge research, identifying five opportunities where the European Union could make a difference in addressing global problems.
  • Climate change 
  • Poverty and inequality 
  • Trade and financial policy 
  • Conflict and security 
  • Democracy and human rights. 
The report argues that effective cooperation in all these areas is also in the EU’s self-interest – showing that domestic and global ambitions go hand in hand.

European citizens went to the polls on 22-25 May and the EU’s credibility, both internally and externally, has been eroded by unprecedented economic, political and social crises. In September, a new European Parliament will give a green light to a whole new college of European Commissioners.

The European Council President and High Representative of EU Foreign Affairs will also be appointed before the end of the year, The new EU leadership will need to prove that it can deliver efficient, ­coherent and visible European external action on the world stage.

In the run up to its publication, the report’s authors blogged on the future global challenges for the European Union, providing valuable insights on these key topics. We will continue to publish blogs and insight from the report on this site.