Pro-liberalisation think-tank the Globalisation Institute has launched a Brussels centre of operations. According to Alex Singleton, founder and president, it aims “to research, develop and promote practical policy options that increase competitiveness and replace harmful regulation”.
Founded in London in 2005, the Globalisation Institution heralded its official 3 September 2007 Brussels opening by naming Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McGreevy as ‘European of the Year’.
President Alex Singleton told EURACTIV:”The inspiration behind the Globalisation Institution was a realistic approach to the EU and free-market policies; we want to encourage the European Commission to promote liberalisation of markets, to open them up to competition. There is a need for a centre-right but socially liberal think-tank to encourage Europe to liberalise.
“Globalisation has brought huge growth in manufacturing, and we cannot carry on with ‘low-end’ manufacturing – we want a Europe that is very much ‘high-end’, and for this, we must harness enterprise, as well as to fight global poverty and promote a positive, pro-technology approach to the environment. We must research, develop and promote practical policy options that increase competitiveness and replace harmful regulation.”
In accepting his award from the Globalisation Institute, Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McGreevy said that he believes “the biggest threat to European economies is protectionism”: “Many people in Europe believe that by keeping things as they are and keeping up the barriers, you’re going to protect your citizens. All evidence would suggest to me that this is the wrong policy prescription. It slackens economic activity… then more people become unemployed. When one country starts, others retaliate.”
But Paul de Clerck, spokesman for the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) was unimpressed. He told EURACTIV: “The Globalisation Institute is yet another example of a radical ‘freemarket’ think-tank in Brussels, which is advancing the anti-regulation, anti-Kyoto and pro-business agenda. And, like most of these so-called independent think-tanks, they do not provide any insight into their financial resources. On their website, one can not find out who is financing their work. Once the European Transparency Initiative database of lobbyists is up and running, these think-tanks will have to disclose who is behind them. We would challenge the Globalisation Institute to disclose who actually provides their funding – this will make understanding their reports and statements far easier.
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