Should EU policymakers ensure that the NGOs they finance do not contradict the EU’s basic principles?
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are an indispensable part of civil society. However, NGO influence on policymaking is not always positive. A large number of well-connected NGOs explicitly aim to influence EU trade and investment policymaking.
Some of the most influential NGOs that have frequently campaigned against vital EU trade and investment policy objectives receive(d) substantial funding from the European Commission and national governments, with German federal ministries taking a central role.
Join us for a discussion of a recent ECIPE-Martens Centre study on ‘NGO Accountability and Transparency at the EU Level’. We would like to discuss the following questions:
- What should be done by EU policymakers to ensure that NGOs financed by the EU do not fundamentally contradict the EU’s basic principles, e.g. free trade and a strong transatlantic relationship?
- How to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used for targeted lobbying for more public funding or for hiring lobbying firms?
- How to improve public access to up-to-date information on public grants and the terms of reference agreed between European Commission departments and NGO grant recipients?
Matthias Bauer, Senior Economist at ECIPE, will present the major findings of the study.
Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, MEP (EPP, Greece) and current vice-chair of INTA, will comment on the study’s reform proposals and the political challenges ahead.
Beat Späth, Agricultural Biotech Director at EuropaBio, will share his views about the role and accountability of government-funded NGOs in EU trade and investment policymaking.
Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, will moderate the discussion.
A light lunch and drinks will be served from 12:00