New European-focussed think-tank launched

Organisations behind the think-tank Europa want it to direct the Danish debate about Europe and Denmark’s European policy

A new think-tankfocussed on European issues and Denmark’s place in Europe was launched today by the industry lobby group Dansk Industri (DI) and the union CO-industri.

The think-tank Europa was launched off the back of a recent Megafon poll of 1,000 Danes in which 62 percent said EU membership was either 'good' or 'very good' for Denmark, and 57 percent who said ties with the EU should be strengthened.

In a press release, DI director Carsten Dybvad said the EU and Denmark’s role in Europe had a colossal impact on Danish growth and jobs.

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Directing the debate
“It’s about time that we focussed on which Europe we want to have and whether we are for or against membership,” Dybvad said. “We are convinced that impartial and documented input can help point both the Danish debate about Europe and Denmark’s European policy in the right direction.”

He added that the think-tank will operate independently of the two founding organisations, and may make findings he disagrees with.

“But if think tanks aren’t independent they cannot be trustworthy,” he said.

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Large EU issues on the horizon
Among the issues the think-tank will tackle is Denmark’s referendum on joining the EU patent court, as well as the European Parliament election in May 2014.

“The think-tank will create the best possible foundation for the EU debate in Denmark, taking as a starting point the common view that the EU is the foundation for new growth and jobs in Europe,” CO-industri chairman Claus Jensen wrote in a press release.

Wide-range of experts
Europa is starting with a 12 million kroner grant from a range of unions and private funds and has yet to find its director.

Both Jensen and Dybvad are on Europa’s eleven-person advisory board, which is composed of foreign and Danish experts from a broad range of backgrounds.

They include Marlene Wind, the director of the Center for European Politics at the University of Copenhagen, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, the former foreign minister and president of the European Liberals, and Staffan Jerneck, the former director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and current senior-adviser at communications-group PRIME.