The European Policy Centre (EPC) was launched as a think tank in 1997. In 2003, the EPC was established as an international not-for-profit organisation (association internationale sans but lucratif - AISBL) under Belgian law. The EPC’s articles of association and subsequent amendments are available online here.
Click here for the consolidated version in French of the articles of association (statuts) grouping all the amendments in a single document.
President of the European Policy Centre
Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium, is President of the EPC.
His presidency of the EPC comes after an impressive career in national and European politics; a former economist at the National Bank of Belgium, he began his political career in 1973 as national vice-president of his party's youth council, before holding various responsibilities within his party and in the Belgian Parliament and government, serving in turn as Senator (1988-1995), Secretary of State for Finance and Small Businesses (1988), Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Budget (1993-1999), Member of Parliament (1995-2009), Minister of State (2004), and Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2008). At the time of his first appointment as President of the European Council in 2009, he was Prime Minister of Belgium. He was the first full-time President to take office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force. In 2015, King Philippe II of Belgium ennobled Herman Van Rompuy by making him an earl.
Peter Sutherland, former European Commissioner, is Honorary President of the EPC.
The EPC aspires to best practice in good governance and has strived to improve its governing structures over the years. The guiding principle has been to establish checks and balances in the system, through the separation of powers between the EPC’s different governing bodies.
The EPC is governed by two statutory bodies: the General Assembly and the Governing Board. Their respective powers are set out in the articles of association.
The General Assembly (assemblée générale), whose composition reflects the main constituencies of the EPC’s membership, is the highest decision-making body of the EPC.
The Governing Board (conseil d’administration) is made up of non-executive directors (administrateurs) and is responsible for the overall management of the EPC, although day-to-day management is assigned to the Chief Executive (administrateur délégué), who is a member of the Board and accountable to the Board for his actions (in line with Belgian law). The Board in turn is accountable to the General Assembly.
The only overlap between the membership of the General Assembly and the Governing Board is that the Chairman of the Board is an ex officio member of the General Assembly.
The EPC signed up to the European Commission's voluntary Register of interest representatives in January 2009. The EPC was the first major think tank on European Union affairs in Brussels to sign up to the register. Our decision to do so reflects our long-standing commitment to openness and transparency, demonstrated by the detailed information we already provide on our website about our financing and governance.
The European Commission's definition of who should register states that it is for all entities engaged in "activities carried out with the objective of influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of the European institutions". The EPC is committed to making European integration work, by promoting discussion and innovative thinking on the key challenges facing the European Union and coming up with practical policy proposals to achieve this goal. We therefore decided to register even though the only interest we "represent" is the interest of European integration.
You can consult the register on-line. By signing up to the register, the EPC and its staff commit themselves to comply with the Commission's Code of Conduct for interest representatives. Click here to consult the Code.
Should you have any questions or observations about the EPC's entry, please contact: Elizabeth Bisland, Director of Administration:
Tel: 02 235 08 83