Background and issues

The European Union (EU) and its Member States are collectively the largest providers of ODA. The EU constitutes the biggest market for exports from the developing countries. It coordinates the 28 Member States in global negotiations, including on the SDGs, and plays an important role in peace-making and peace-building. The EU is thus an indispensable development partner in international development.

The international landscape is changing rapidly, however. Externally, the broad reshuffling of the world order, widening disparities in wealth, and growing migrant and refugee flows, all pose new challenges that the EU needs to address. Internally, the departure of the UK adds to other factors creating circumstances in which the future of the EU is being debated. In such circumstances, it is essential for the EU to rethink its place in international cooperation and to equip itself with policies and funding instruments to enable it to play a leadership role.


Research institutes and think-tanks play a vital part in supporting and shaping this EU leadership role. The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) was  formally founded in 2009 as a partnership of five European think tanks that share a common objective: maximiseing the impact of high quality research and, analysis, and agreeing on European policy making for global sustainable development.

With support from the BMGF Foundation, ETTG focuses on contributing to European policy and debate particularly in three key areas: the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the EU's external relations; the negotiations on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework; and the future of the EU’s relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) as well as EU-Africa relations, with a view to improveing EU policy-making, and delivering greater impact for developing countries.

European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) website