Blog Post

Think tank transparency: Bruegel awarded five stars by Transparify

Transparify has rated Bruegel as one of the most transparent think tanks worldwide and in Europe, pointing to Bruegel’s “exemplary transparency” and highlights its role in “setting the gold standard for the field as a whole".

By: and Date: December 15, 2014 Topic: Uncategorized

In a new report, Transparify has rated Bruegel as one of the most transparent think tanks worldwide and in Europe, achieving five stars for its detailed disclosure of funding. The report points to Bruegel’s “exemplary transparency” and highlights its role in “setting the gold standard for the field as a whole".

To ensure Bruegel’s institutional transparency and independence, the management team, overseen by the Board and Members, pursues balanced funding, with goals limiting the proportion received from corporations, states, institutions and other sources. Regularly and independently audited, Bruegel is truly committed to reaching the highest transparency standards.

  • In our annual reports you will find detailed information on who finances Bruegel’s research, how much they each contribute, and how the money is spent.
  • On our resident scholars’ profiles you will see their individual annual declarations of outside interests (e.g. our Director), including financial compensations and political affiliations.
  • We also require all scholars to sign our statement of research integrity, which commits them to avoid partisanship, parochialism, and capture of special interests.

Bruegel takes no institutional standpoint, and we rarely communicate on institutional matters, but we want to recognize think tank transparency as an issue that is highly important for our sector and ourselves.  A lack of transparency can undermine the work of think tanks as a whole and Bruegel welcomes improvements in the area.

Think tanks have become increasingly important players in the democratic landscape, providing key research and input on policy decisions that affect the lives of millions of people, companies and institutions. With greater influence on the democratic process, the need to hold think tanks accountable for the integrity of their research is more pressing than ever.

For Bruegel, transparency is a prerequisite for accountability. We are therefore grateful for the opportunity Transparify’s report affords think tanks by providing a methodical approach to evaluating transparency and enabling the public to assess how much to trust particular institutions.

We also welcome Transparify’s acknowledgement that financial disclosure is only one aspect of institutional transparency. Bruegel first took steps to address this in 2006, a year after starting operations. We continue to innovate with the kind of information disclosed by our organization, our colleagues, and our associates: people are not only motivated by money!

Finally, we share Transparify’s observation that the individual organisation’s approach to transparency is more important than geographic location. Think tanks and other research organisations have the tools to improve their transparency now – despite national legislation and other obstacles. We hope they take advantage of them.

Erik Dale, Online Editor

Matt Dann, Secretary General

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