Forum Europe was founded by lobbyist Giles Merritt. It is based in the Bibliotheque Solvay in Parc Loepold near to the European Parliament in Brussels. It is a think tank which claims to provide a 'neutral platform for the european debate'. In reality it is anything but nthe forum's website stresses 'Forum Europe is NOT a PR company because we create a neutral, balanced stance on EU policy - whether at our events, in our publications or in our relations with the press. We are NOT a merely logistical outfit because we not only deal with the A-Z organisation of our services, we cover the intellectual and political aspects as well.' This palpabl;e nonsense is immediately undermined by the next paragraph which emphaisises that the 'assed value' of Forum Europe 'is that we develop, in consultation with our partners, the contents of a publication, event or foundation... Our neutrality and our deeply developed relationship with the press, means that press coverage is always extensive, keeping your story high profile both in Brussels and beyond. In addition, our marketing team will ensure that your message is heard'. So, Forum Euope is 'NOT a PR company' which undertakes PR for its clients.
- Giles Merritt Founder and Director. A former Brussels Correspondent of the Financial Times, Giles is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has specialised in the study and analysis of European public policy issues since 1978. Merritt also heads Friends of Europe, the Brussels-based think-link that focuses on high-level EU policy proposals. Its Board of Trustees is chaired by Etienne Davignon and groups 35 distinguished policymakers and experts who include Javier Solana, Giuliano Amato, Karel Van Miert, Pascal Lamy, Baron Daniel Janssen and Carl Bildt. Since 1984, Merritt has been a columnist for the International Herald Tribune, and his articles on the Editorial Page of the IHT range widely across EU political and economic issues. He is also Editor-in-chief of the Humanitarian Affairs Review, a quarterly ideas journal published in association with the European Commission and some 80 leading NGOs.
- Merritt, 56, began his newspaper career in 1968, when he joined the Financial Times. From 1972 he was successively FT staff correspondent in Paris, Dublin/Belfast and Brussels, until leaving the newspaper in 1983. In 1982 he published "World Out of Work", an award-winning assessment of the unemployment crisis in industrialised countries, and in 1991 "Eastern Europe & the USSR: The Challenge of Freedom", published in four languages.
- Geert CAMI Managing Director. Geert Cami has been heading Forum Europe's team of experienced European Affairs and press specialists since May 1996. Before joining Forum Europe, Geert worked for more than three years in the Information and Communications Unit of the then newly set-up European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), where he was responsible for the setting up of media events (exhibitions, seminars, press conferences, concerts, television debates, Humanitarian Days in Member States, etc). In the early nineties, Geert Cami also produced music programmes at the BRTN (Belgian Public Radio) as well as special television reports for international organisations as NATO and CSCE.
- Christian HAWKINS Project Manager. Christian Hawkins joined Forum Europe in September 2002 and is responsible for organising client conferences and sales. Prior to joining Forum Europe, he worked for two years in Paris for Crawford & Co, an international firm of loss adjusters, where he was responsible for sales coordination, administration and debtors. Prior to that, Christian worked in the conference industry with Management Centre Europe and the Conference Company, organising major events in Brussels and abroad. He also worked 5 years with the European Commission in the research DG (RTD) and information society DG (INFSO) where he managed several projects. Christian has a degree in mechanics, and after graduating worked in consultancy for ten years for a variety of industries throughout Europe, India and the USA.
- Roberta BONOMETTI Press officer. Roberta Bonometti, a profesional journalist based in London, is Forum Europe's Press Officer. Fluent in Italian, English, German, French and Russian, her work brings her into daily contact with major newspapers all over Europe. Her experience with Forum Europe has included handling assignments for the OECD, the UN, the European Commission, the Andean and Asean Communities and a number of corporations and NGOs. RobertaBONOMETTI
- Linda KARVINEN Project Manager. Linda Karvinen joined the New Defence Agenda, now Security and Defence Agenda (SDA) in September 2003 and manages the SDA. She serves as the key contact to SDA members and participants. Some of her responsibilities include A-Z organisation and management of the SDA monthly rountables, press dinners, the Annual Brussels Defence & Security Conferences and other partner conferences and publications. Linda holds an BA in Politics and International Relations as well as an MA in International Conflict Analysis. Linda speaks Swedish, Finnish and English and has some experience with German.