General objectives of the IED
The Institute of European Democrats (IED) - ASBL, is a non-profit association based in Brussels and has been established in September 2007 as an independent Research Institute. The Institute of European Democrats is an innovative European political and cultural Research Institute that offers fresh political ideas as well as a strong and respected cultural background to the European Democratic Party (EDP) to which it is formally affiliated.
As the political foundation formally affiliated to the European Democratic Party (EDP), the Institute of European Democrats is formally recognised and directly funded by the European Parliament through annual grants. Like all political foundations at the European level formally recognised by the European Parliament, the IED was established with the support of the European institutions in order to be a political think tank.
The Institute of European Democrats promotes a wide range of activities that include studies and analysis, workshops and public conferences. To put it into a nutshell, as political think tank the IED supports the EDP with two pillars: it organises events, seminars and conferences and it works constantly as a research centre. IED and EDP are two separated entities in their management but they are closely coordinated.
The first pillar: IED events. In order to contribute to develop a political debate at the EU level, where alternative policies confront each other, thanks to a well-developed European-wide network, IED organizes international conferences and seminars where politicians, experts, EU and national officials, academics and others can discuss and share ideas. Such events are mainly organised in EU Member States, in order to discuss concrete issues closer to EU citizens and EDP member organisations and, also, in order to contribute to the national discussion with a European perspective ensured by the international dimension of the events. IED events are nevertheless also organised in Brussels and the Institute promotes and maintains an extra-European network of academic and political contacts, to be able to focus on EU relations with key global areas and policies.
The second pillar: IED research activities. The IED also delivers policy papers and publishes studies thanks to its research fellows and also through external projects. In all its activities, the Institute of European Democrats operates in connection with other European and International Foundations, Universities and Centres of Research, European and national Institutions. The program of activities of the Institute is planned by its members represented in the Board of Directors and the General Assembly, and it is coordinated by the office in Brussels.
The primary goal of IED is to promote a better understanding of the main aspects of the European integration process and to play actively in strengthening the confidence of European citizens towards European institutions and, above all, the idea of a united Europe. In this view, the Institute of European Democrats works actively to close the gap that now stave off citizens from European public policies.
The activities of the Institute of European Democrats focus mainly on important subjects such as the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU's Neighbourhood Policy and the political relations between the European Union and the newly emerging strategic areas of the world. This choice of research interest comes from the awareness that the international projection and influence of Brussels will be one of the key pillars of the Union, if Europe wants to become a real and respected global player. The political relations, that the EU will be able to build and to strengthen over the next few years with the other strategic and emerging areas in the world, will constitute, therefore, the most important challenge of its capacity to run an effective and innovative foreign policy.
Beside EU foreign policy and external relations, IED investigates other main European and EU issues.
IED and the EU citizenship
The future guiding principles of the European common policies need, however, to be more effectively communicated to the "European civil society" in order to facilitate a better and more complete understanding of the potential role of the EU in the current and future historical and political context. In this view, the Institute of European Democrats works actively to close the gap that now staves off citizens from European public policy.
To this end, IED promotes a closer cooperation with the most significant personalities and institutions in the political, economic and cultural fields.
The Institute of European Democrats is headed by an international Board of Directors. The President is Jean Claude Casanova, French academic and economist, president of the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques as well as founder and editor of the magazine Commentaire.
Within the IED has been set up a Scientific Committee, consisting of eminent European and international personalities coming from the political, cultural, economic, and academic circles.