Giles Merritt, Founder and Secretary General of Friends of Europe
Giles Merritt is the Founder and Secretary General of Friends of Europe, the Brussels based think-tank that focuses on high-level EU policy proposals.
Friends of Europe is very innovative in its efforts to reach public opinion around Europe, and brings EU-related issues to as broad an audience as possible.
Friends of Europe’s President is Etienne Davignon, former European Commission Vice-President and one of the masterminds of European integration. Its Board of Trustees includes such high-profile European personalities as Pascal Lamy, Anna Diamantopoulou, Sandra Kalniete, Franz Fischler, Mario Monti and Michel Barnier, as well as former prime ministers like Giuliano Amato, John Bruton, Carl Bildt and Jean-Luc Dehaene. With their help, the think-tank has published ground-breaking reports on EU reform.
A former Brussels Correspondent of the Financial Times (FT), Giles Merritt is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has specialised in the study and analysis of EU public policy issues since 1978. He was named one of the 30 most influential “Eurostars” by the Financial Times, together with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Merritt is also head of Friends of Europe’s sister think-tank the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA), the only Brussels-based security and defence think-tank, and Editor-in-Chief of the policy journal Europe’s World. Published three times a year, Europe’s World is the only pan-European publication that offers policymakers and opinion-formers across Europe a platform for presenting ideas and forging consensus on key issues. It is published in partnership with a coalition of over 150 think-tanks and universities worldwide, and has a readership of 120,000 senior decision-makers and opinion-formers.
Merritt joined the Financial Times in 1968. From 1972 he was successively FT correspondent in Paris, Dublin, Belfast, and Brussels, until leaving the newspaper in 1983. Since 1984 he has been a columnist for the International Herald Tribune (IHT), and his articles on the editorial page of the IHT range widely across EU political and economic issues.