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Dossier: European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) report



Download the report here

ETTG. 2014. Our collective interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action. London: European Think Tanks Group.

In this dossier:

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About the ETTG report 2014

In 2010, the European Think Tanks Group published a report addressed to a new leadership in the European Union (EU). In 2014, welcoming a new team of European leaders, we again call attention to the importance of a global perspective in European policy-making.

Our report, entitled ‘Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action’ was presented to the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs on Monday 1 September 2014.

The key message is that the EU’s ambitions for its own citizens – for prosperity, peace and environmental sustainability – cannot be divorced from its global responsibilities and opportunities. As the title of the report suggests, Europe’s problems need global solutions, and global problems need European action. A shared collective effort is in our common interest.

According to the ETTG, the five areas that should lie at the heart of EU strategy until 2020 are:

  • The world economy
  • Climate change
  • Peace and security
  • Democracy and human rights
  • Poverty and inequality

About the European Think Tanks Group

The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) brings together five leading European international development think tanks:

  • The Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)
  • The Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
  • The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)

For more information, visit

Blog series

25 August 2014 ‘A global economy that works for the good of all: responsible trade and financial policy coordination’
After a long period of economic prosperity in advanced and developing countries, the 2008 financial market meltdown and subsequent global and Euro crises came as a shock. The limitations of orthodox market governance approaches were starkly revealed..

18 August 2014 ‘Living up to democracy commitments: A challenge for the new EU leadership’
Democracy and human rights are central to the EU’s identity and a commitment to promoting these values is embedded across its policy framework for external action. However, recent events – notably the Arab uprisings, but also other trends including..

11 August 2014 ‘EU’s pivotal role in tackling poverty and inequality worldwide’
Continued economic expansion and general human development have brought poverty down substantially in recent decades. However, progress has been geographically uneven, and economic growth has left large numbers of people..

4 August 2014‘Ensure a climate agreement and support a transition towards a green economy’
In 2015, the EU needs to achieve both a substantive climate agreement and an ambitious global development agenda with transformative potential. This is necessary not only for increasing global prosperity in a sustainable way, but also for securing its own future..

28 July 2014 ‘Addressing Peace, Security and State Fragility – How can the EU do Better?’
In 2014 countries such as Ukraine, Mali, Central African Republic, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Kosovo and Serbia have all been part of the top table of European Union (EU) decision-making, because of conflict, fragility or threat of conflict. The EU’s strategic environment is rapidly changing..

27 June 2014‘Our common interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions’
We are, once again, at a watershed for the European Union (EU). At the end of 2014, the EU and its new leadership could find itself in a stronger position, ready to play a more prominent role in the world, looking after its own interests whilst recognising that those interests are..


Event-Icon-150 14 October 2015 – Towards a European strategy for a changing world: Lunchtime discussion
This event brings together the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) with key stakeholders to discuss the consultation on a new European Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy

Event-Icon-150 10 October 2014 – Presentation of the ETTG report at the European Commission’s External Cooperation Infopoint
ECDPM’s James Mackie presented the ETTG report during a lunch-time conference at the External Cooperation Infopoint of the European Commission.

Event-Icon-150 10 September 2014 – Reconciling EU Interests and Values: A New Vision for Global Development
The European Think Tanks Group in collaboration with Friends of Europe are organising a policy insight entitled: Reconciling EU Interests and Values: A new vision for Global Development.

Event-Icon-150 1 September 2014 – Presentation of the ETTG report on EU Global Action
The European Think Tanks Group will be presenting the report on EU global action, entitled ’Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action’ to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

Press releases

1 September 2014 – The EU should look outwards or risk further instability – warn leading European think tanks
On the first day the European Parliament resumes, the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) is calling for a drastic move away from the current mandate of the Commission to one that connects Europe’s problems with those of the world, backed by radical changes in the way the European Commission is run..[This press release is also available iDutchGerman and Spanish]

Media coverage


ETTG-Report-2014-150x150 Infographic: key messages ETTG report
This infographic outlines the key messages of the ETTG report.

Watch the video interview below of the European Think Tanks Group Directors from DIE, ECDPM, FRIDE and ODI discussing the main points of the report:

Interview with Cristina Barrios (Senior Analyst, EUISS) and State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn at the 2015 European Development Days. 

This followed a lab debate entitled ‘Our collective interest? Towards a European strategy for a changing world‘ organised by the European Think Tanks Group.

For more ETTG videos, please see the ETTG playlist on our YouTube channel.


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