The EU is (literally) not working. Millions of its young people are without work and political extremism is spreading across the Continent. Faced with the challenges of weak economic growth, rising global competition and a looming demographic crisis, there is an urgent need to find a new model for European cooperation.


Open Europe's start-up charm and the international make-up of its team are positively surprising. English is spoken and written in its office – but the thinking is done in Polish, Belgian, or German.

Jochen Buchsteiner, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Our vision for a slimmed-down, outward looking and dynamic EU rests on four principles:

  • Boost jobs and growth. Enable and encourage free trade – internally and globally. Regulate business less, but better.
  • Embrace democracy. Be transparent and accountable to citizens, recognising the crucial role of national parliaments. Cut the cost of Brussels.
  • Focus on the big questions. Do not interfere in areas that could be equally well handled at the national or local level.
  • Be flexible. Allow powers to flow back to the member states, and let some countries integrate more than others.

Advisory Council

  • Alex Hickman, Managing Partner, Chartwell Partners

    Alex Hickman

    Managing Partner, Chartwell Partners Alex Hickman is the co-founder of Open Europe having spent almost a decade involved in the debate about the future of Britain and the EU in his roles as Chief Executive of Business for Sterling; The No Campaign; Vote 2004 and Vote No. Alex worked as an advisor to David Cameron and he established the Movement for European Reform - a precursor to the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists - between 2006 and 2007. He is the also the co-founder and Chief Executive of Chartwell Partners, a worldwide speaker’s bureau. Alex has a regular blog at
  • David Frost, CEO, Scotch Whisky Association

    David Frost

    CEO, Scotch Whisky Association David Frost CMG is the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, one of Britain’s largest trade associations. He spent 25 years as a diplomat in the British Foreign Office, serving, amongst other positions, as the British Ambassador to Denmark; Director for the European Union and as Director for Strategy and Policy Planning. Most recently he served as Britain’s most senior trade policy official and as a full member of the EU’s Trade Policy Committee.
  • David Ord, Managing Director, The Bristol Port Company

    David Ord

    Managing Director, The Bristol Port Company David Ord is the Managing Director of the Bristol Port Company and a Council member of the University of Bristol and Chairman of the Finance Committee. He is also a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers.
  • George Trefgarne, Consultant, Maitland

    George Trefgarne

    Consultant, Maitland George Trefgarne is a consultant at the financial communications firm Maitland. A former journalist, George was formerly the Economics Editor of the Daily Telegraph and the City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph.
  • Hugh Sloane, Founder, Sloane Robinson

    Hugh Sloane

    Founder, Sloane Robinson Hugh Sloane co-founded Sloane Robinson in December 1993, serving as the CEO and manager of the International and Japan portfolios since the firm’s establishment. Hugh began his investment career at GT Management in 1979, where he initially worked in Hong Kong as an economist for the Asian Region. In 1986 he became Investment Director of GT Japan, responsible for Japanese equity portfolios, and chaired the Asian regional investment committee. In 1991 he moved to London to become GT’s CEO for Europe.
  • Johanna Möhring, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Statecraft

    Johanna Möhring

    Senior Fellow, The Institute for Statecraft Johanna Möhring, is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Statecraft. She has on worked on the political systems, economy, defence and security of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, as well as of the European Union and of its member states, focusing on questions of governance and public administration. Johanna has previously worked for NATO and the OECD; and has been a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
  • Justin Dowley, Chairman, Intermediate Capital Group

    Justin Dowley

    Chairman, Intermediate Capital Group Justin Dowley is the Chairman of Intermediate Capital Group. A founding partner of the independent advisory firm, Tricorn Partners, he has previously served both as Head of UK investment banking at Morgan Grenfell, and as Head of European investment banking at Merrill Lynch.
  • Cllr Lady Borwick AM, The Deputy Mayor of London, Councillor RBKC

    Cllr Lady Borwick AM

    The Deputy Mayor of London, Councillor RBKC Victoria is an elected Member of the Greater London Assembly and Deputy Mayor of London. She chairs the Health and Public Services Committee and also sits on the Assembly’s committees for Transport and for Economy, Culture and Sport – which was involved in organising the 2012 London Olympics – as well as being the Conservative aviation spokesman. Victoria was formerly a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and Chair of the Civil Liberties Panel, and also served as a Director at P+O Events, latterly Clarion Events, a division of The P+O Group. Victoria works part-time at Open Europe on fundraising.
  • Lord Leach of Fairford, Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd

    Lord Leach of Fairford

    Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd Lord Leach of Fairford is the founder and Chairman of Open Europe, having previously served as the Chairman of Business for Sterling, which successfully campaigned to keep Britain out of the euro. Lord Leach currently serves as Director of Jardine Matheson; Jardine Lloyd Thompson; Hongkong Land; the Mandarin Oriental; Dairy Farm and Paris Orleans.
  • Lord Salisbury, Director, Gascoyne Holdings Ltd

    Lord Salisbury

    Director, Gascoyne Holdings Ltd Lord Salisbury serves as Director of Gascoyne Holdings Ltd and as Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. Lord Salisbury also served as the Conservative MP for South Dorset between 1979 and 1987, and as Leader of the House of Lords between 1994 and 1997.
  • Lord Renwick of Clifton, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, JP Morgan Europe

    Lord Renwick of Clifton

    Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, JP Morgan Europe Lord Renwick currently serves as Vice-Chairman of Investment Banking at JP Morgan (Europe) and the Vice-Chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove and Chairman of Fluor Ltd (UK). Lord Renwick is also a member House of Lords where he has sat as a cross-bencher since ennoblement in 1997. He is a Trustee of The Economist and a former Director of British Airways, having also served as the British Ambassador to the United States from 1991 until 1995.
  • Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, CEO, Next Plc

    Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise

    CEO, Next Plc Lord Wolfson is the CEO of high street clothing giant Next Plc - a FTSE 100 company. Lord Wolfson was inducted into the House of Lords in 2010, and is known for his investment in political and philanthropic projects. Most recently he has invested his time and assets into creating affordable housing for the UK’s swelling population.
  • Maria Borelius, Partner, Living Waters Ltd

    Maria Borelius

    Partner, Living Waters Ltd Maria Borelius is a communications consultant specialising in fundraising and CSR-related strategies. She is also a regular columnist for Sweden’s leading business daily Dagens Industri. Maria has served as a member of the Swedish Parliament and as the Swedish Minister for Trade, as well as the CEO of Hand in Hand International. She has a BSc from Lund University and an MSc from New York University.
  • Sir Martin Jacomb,  Advisory Board Chairman, First Avenue Partners LLP

    Sir Martin Jacomb

    Advisory Board Chairman, First Avenue Partners LLP Sir Martin Jacomb holds is the Chairman of the advisory board for First Avenue Partners LLP. Sir Martin is also the former Chairman of Prudential Plc and former Chancellor of the University of Buckingham - a post he held between 1999 and 2010. Prior to this, his Chairmanships included Barclays de Zoete Wedd; the British Council and Delta Plc. He has also held directorships at The Telegraph Plc; Marks and Spencer Plc and Canary Wharf Group Plc.
  • Mats Persson, Director, Open Europe

    Mats Persson

    Director, Open Europe Mats Persson is the Director of Open Europe, and an Advisory Council member and Co-founder of Open Europe Berlin gGmbH. An EU policy expert, Mats has been recognised internationally as an influential leader in this field.
  • Nigel Smith, Former Chairman, The No (Euro) Campaign

    Nigel Smith

    Former Chairman, The No (Euro) Campaign Nigel Smith is the former Managing Director of the Glasgow-based manufacturers David Auld Valves Ltd. He served as Chairman of the cross-party No (Euro) campaign from 2002-2004 and as Chairman of the successful cross-party ‘Yes’ to Scottish devolution campaign in 1997.
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wohlgemuth, Director, Open Europe Berlin gGmbH

    Prof. Dr. Michael Wohlgemuth

    Director, Open Europe Berlin gGmbH Prof. Dr. Wohlgemuth is the Director of Open Europe Berlin gGmbH, the independent partner organisation of Open Europe. He is Professor of Economics at the Private University of Witten/Herdecke. An Affiliated Fellow at the Walter Eucken Institute, Prof. Wohlgemuth is also a speaker of the Jena Alliance for the Renewal of the Social Market Economy, and Vice-Chairman of the Hayek Gesellschaft.
  • Rupert Hambro, Chairman, JO Hambro Ltd; Non-Executive Partner, Robinson Hambro Ltd

    Rupert Hambro

    Chairman, JO Hambro Ltd; Non-Executive Partner, Robinson Hambro Ltd Rupert Hambro is the Chairman of J O Hambro, specialising in mergers and acquisitions and investment management. Rupert also directs Robinson Hambro Ltd, his own private-equity firm with investments in a number of businesses, having formerly served as Chairman of Hambros Bank. Rupert’s voluntary positions include: Chairman of Trustees of The Silver Trust; Deputy President of The National Association of Clubs for Young People; Vice Patron of the Royal Society of British Sculptors; Chairman of the Trustees of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust and Honorary President of British Association of Adoption & Fostering.
  • Sir Simon Robertson, Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings Plc

    Sir Simon Robertson

    Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings Plc A pivotal figure in the business world, Sir Simon Robertson joined the board of HSBC Bank in 2006 as Deputy Chairman. Sir Simon has an extensive background in international business and trade – having previously served as Chairman of both Goldman Sachs and Rolls Royce – and was awarded his knighthood for services to business in 2010. He holds broad cultural and environmental interests, including a place on the boards of both the Royal Opera House and the acclaimed Eden Project. His own company, Simon Robertson Associates LLP, supports the 30% Project, a group of FTSE 100 Chairmen committed to having at least 30% female representation on their boards
  • Tom Kremer, Chairman, Seven Towns Ltd

    Tom Kremer

    Chairman, Seven Towns Ltd Tom Kremer is the Chairman of Seven Towns, a leading toys and games company that he founded in 1969, and which has been responsible for introducing over 350 original products throughout the world, including the hugely successful Rubik’s Cube. A graduate of Edinburgh University and the Sorbonne, Tom has also pioneered game-based therapy for psychologically disturbed children with the Inner London Education Authority, and designed educational games for UK primary schools.

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Our Experts

  • Christopher Howarth, Senior Policy Analyst

    Christopher Howarth

    Senior Policy Analyst Christopher joined Open Europe in 2011, taking a leading role in the think tank's policy analysis. He has previously worked for a city law firm and accountancy firms where he specialised in international tax. Immediately prior to joining Open Europe, Christopher worked for a shadow Conservative Europe minister and in the party's research department as their Foreign Affairs adviser. Christopher is a graduate of St Andrew's University in Scotland, the Ecole de Management in Bordeaux, France and of the College of Law, York, where he obtained a post-graduate diploma in law. He speaks intermediate French. See Articles
  • Mats Persson, Director

    Mats Persson

    Director Mats Persson is the Director of Open Europe. He is also an Advisory Board Member and Co-founder of Open Europe Berlin gGmbH.

    Based on his EU expertise, Mats has advised the UK government and other bodies on numerous European issues, and is the architect of a number of policy-changing proposals. Mats has been recognised as one of ‘99 Influential International Leaders under 33’ by The Diplomatic Courier and by Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

    A frequent contributor to international broadcast and print media, Mats has written extensively on EU issues, including the Eurozone crisis; financial regulation; trade; institutional reform; German politics; Britain in Europe and the EU Budget. Mats is also the author of a blog for the UK’s largest broadsheet paper, The Daily Telegraph.

    A native of Sweden, Mats holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and an undergraduate degree from Liberty University in Virginia, where he won an athletic scholarship for basketball. Before joining Open Europe, Mats worked for a political consulting firm in Washington DC.
    See Articles
  • Nina Schick, Communications Director

    Nina Schick

    Communications Director As Open Europe’s Communications Director, Nina specialises in both EU policy and political communications, leading the radical overhaul of Open Europe’s digital communications strategy. Her policy-areas of interest include Anglo-German relations; Germany’s place in the EU; EU-Russia relations and the digital economy.

    Nina is a regular current affairs commentator, with a slot on Monocle 24’s flagship radio programme, ‘Midori House’, and a column for EUobserver. She often appears on international broadcast analysing breaking EU developments.

    Nina holds degrees in history and politics from University College London and the University of Cambridge, graduating from both institutions with distinctions. Prior to joining Open Europe, Nina worked in journalism and political research at organisations including BBC Parliament; Spiegel Online; the Sunday Times and UK Parliament.

    Half German and half-Nepali, Nina speaks fluent German, Spanish, Nepali and Tamang; she also speaks French and Hindi.
    See Articles
  • Pawel Swidlicki, Policy Analyst

    Pawel Swidlicki

    Policy Analyst Pawel joined Open Europe in 2011, since establishing himself as an expert and media commentator on a range of issues from the EU budget and EU regional policy, to the role of national parliaments in EU decision making. Pawel also follows how domestic politics in the UK, Poland and Germany impact on these countries' EU policies.

    Pawel has worked on Open Europe Intelligence which has informed and shaped policy at both the UK and EU level. These include refocusing the EU budget, identifying an common Anglo-German agenda for EU reform, and changing the rules around EU migrants’ access to benefits to preserve the principle of EU free movement.

    Prior to joining Open Europe, Pawel worked in the City for two years and also in Westminster, where he interned for a Lib Dem MP. Pawel holds a BA in History from the University of Leicester - during which he spent a year at the University of Regensburg in Germany - and an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham.
    See Articles
  • Pieter Cleppe, Head of Brussels Office

    Pieter Cleppe

    Head of Brussels Office Pieter is the Head of the Brussels office of Open Europe. A trained lawyer, Pieter previously practiced law in Belgium, and has worked as a cabinet advisor and speechwriter to the Belgian State Secretary for Administrative Reform. Pieter also previously worked as an analyst at the Belgium’s Itinera Institute, which he helped to found. He received his legal training at the Catholic University of Leuven, and also studied law and economics at the universities of Hamburg, Bologna and Vienna. Pieter is fluent in Dutch, English and French. He also speaks German and intermediate Italian. See Articles
  • Raoul Ruparel, Head of Economic Research

    Raoul Ruparel

    Head of Economic Research Raoul Ruparel is Head of Economic Research at Open Europe. He is also a contributing author for Forbes, where he write on EU issues; the Eurozone crisis; central banking and macroeconomics.

    Over the past years Raoul has been at the forefront of analysing crucial issues around Europe. He has led Open Europe’s research into the Eurozone crisis, helping to advise governments and corporations on how to deal with the crisis as well as the potential institutional and regulatory response. Raoul has been heavily involved in the economic and financial analysis of the evolving crisis in Ukraine, and the ensuing sanctions placed on Russia. He has also worked extensively on issues relating to EU trade and economic prosperity, as well as the economic impacts of hot political topics such as migration.

    On top of his regular articles for Forbes, Raoul is a frequent contributor to the broadcast and print media including, CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC and Sky as well as the FT, WSJ and the Times. Raoul holds two masters degrees in economics and public policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in economics and politics from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining OE, Raoul gained work experience at financial firm Habibbank AG Zurich.
    See Articles
  • Stephen Booth, Research Director

    Stephen Booth

    Research Director Stephen joined Open Europe in 2008 and has been Research Director since 2011. While at Open Europe he has written on EU regulation, justice and home affairs and EU aid policy. Stephen holds an undergraduate degree in political science and was awarded the Jean Monnet Prize for his master's degree in European studies from the University of Sussex. Stephen's professional interests include democracy and transparency in the EU, the interaction between domestic and EU law and European cooperation in crime and policing. He is half Dutch.
 See Articles
  • Timm Luebben, Head of Digital

    Timm Luebben

    Head of Digital Prior to joining Open Europe in 2012, Timm worked at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York and at the World Affairs Council which is one of the largest and most active foreign policy forums in the US. He holds an MA in international relations from the University of Groningen, and a BA in European Studies from the University of Maastricht, during which he also studied at the University of Oslo. At Open Europe, Timm takes a leading role in digital communications, while also focusing on German politics and economics. He is fluent in German, French, Dutch, and English. See Articles
  • Vincenzo Scarpetta, Policy Analyst

    Vincenzo Scarpetta

    Policy Analyst Vincenzo specialises in the politics and economics of Southern Europe and is a regular commentator in print and broadcast media across Europe. Vincenzo has co-authored policy-changing Open Europe Intelligence on EU free movement, employment law, financial regulation and the European Neighbourhood Policy. He is also an expert on the EU institutions, the Eurozone crisis, and the cost of EU regulation.

    Prior to joining Open Europe in 2009, Vincenzo worked at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An Italian native, he is fluent in French and Spanish, and speaks good German. Vincenzo holds a Master's degree (Hons) in international relations and world politics from the University of Naples "L'Orientale" and a Master's in international affairs from the University of Bologna "Alma Mater Studiorum." He has also worked as a musician, and has a diploma in classical piano from the Conservatory of Music of Avellino - his home town in Italy.
    See Articles

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