Friends of Europe

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Friends of Europe is a well-connected lobby group whose Secretary General is lobbyist Giles Merritt. In June 2005 Friends of Europe ran an 'Atlantic Rendez-Vous Satellite Debate' titled 'After the EU-US Summit: Where do we go from here? Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - Brussels/Washington DC'.

The guest list shows the connections of Merritt and Friends of Europe. Of significance is the presence of John Houston of lobby firm Houston Consulting Europe along with several of his financial service clients.


As of March 2009 the list of people involved in Friends of Europe, as given on the Friends of Europe website,[1] [2] is as follows.


Viscount Etienne Davignon


Giuliano Amato | Michel Barnier | Carl Bildt | Laurens Jan Brinkhorst | Pat Cox | Jean-Luc Dehaene | Anna Diamantopoulou | Elisabeth Guigou | Daniel Janssen | Jean-Pierre Jouyet | Pascal Lamy | Mario Monti | Jacek Saryusz-Wolski | Karel Van Miert | Guy Verhofstadt |


Edmond Alphandéry | Enrique Barón Crespo | Joachim Bitterlich | Elmar Brok | John Bruton | Günter Burghardt | Robert Cox | Philippe de Schoutheete | Franz Fischler | Monica Frassoni | Catherine Gernay | Elisabeth Guigou | Sandra Kalniete | Wim Kok | Horst Günter Krenzler | Vytautas Landsbergis | Spiro Latsis | Erkki Liikanen | Robert Manchin | Erika Mann | Stefano Micossi | John Monks | Riccardo Perissich | Alojz Peterle | Paul Révay | Keith Richardson | Michel Rocard | Javier Solana | Dirk Sterckx | Frans van Daele |


Giles Merritt - secretary general | Geert Cami - co-founder and director | Nathalie Furrer - director | Jessica Henderson - senior strategy development manager | Dominique Ostyn - project development manager | Nigel Olisa - membership and database manager | Ringaile Trakymaite - project manager |


Friends of Europe has two kinds of membership, individual and 'VIP'. VIP members are described as 'partners' and include a range of corporations and neoliberal think tanks from throughout Europe.

Circa 2009

As listed on their website:



14:30 - 15:00 Session I: How many EU - US fences still need mending?
15:00 - 16:00 Moderator: Pat Cox & Giles Merritt (Brussels), Esther Brimmer (Washington, DC)
Speakers: Ronald D. Asmus , Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center, Brussels , German Marshall Fund of the United States
Robert A. Bradtke , Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs , US Department of State
Roger Cohen , Journalist , The New York Times
Michael Leigh , Deputy Director General for Europe & Central Asia, Near & Middle East, Southern Mediterranean , European Commission, DG External Relations
Erika Mann , Member, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy , European Parliament
Richard Wright , Director North America , European Commission
Coffee break
16:00 - 16:15
Session II: Does the transatlantic economy need a new US-EU deal on governance?
16:15 - 17:15
Moderator: Pat Cox & Giles Merritt (Brussels), Esther Brimmer (Washington, DC)
Pervenche Berès , Chairwoman , European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Don Bonker , Executive Vice-President , APCO
John Bruton , Head of the Delegation , Delegation of the European Commission to the United States
Peter Chase , Director of the Office of European Union and Regional Affairs , U.S.Department of State
Matthias Ruete , Director in charge of coordination for competitiveness , European Commission, Directorate General Enterprise and Industry
Coffee break
17:15 - 17:30
Session III: How free is the transatlantic market in financial services?
17:30 - 18:30
Moderator: John Houston (Brussels), Esther Brimmer (Washington, DC)
Paul Arlman , Secretary General , Federation of European Securities Exchanges
Don Bonker , Executive Vice-President , APCO Worldwide
Wilbur Monroe , Deputy Director of the Office of International Banking and Securities Markets , U.S. Department of the Treasury
Ieke van den Burg MEP , Member, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs , European Parliament
David Wright , Director of Financial Markets , European Commission
Networking Cocktail
18:30 - 19:30

contact details

Website [2]


  1. "Praesidium and Trustees", Friends of Europe website, accessed March 19 2009
  2. "Team", Friends of Europe website, accessed March 19 2009
  3. Friends of Europe Partners. Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 7 March 2009 on 13 January 2016.