Independence and integrity are essential to the credibility of a think tank with a public good purpose. Bruegel is committed to best practice in this area, and has been at the forefront of this issue for a number of years. These are some of the measures Bruegel has in place to safeguard its claim to independence, integrity and transparency.
Bruegel’s statement on research integrity, adopted by the board in May 2006, can be found here. The statement sets out rules for the avoidance of political, national or commercial conflicts of interest which could harm the integrity of Bruegel’s research. Bruegel researchers and senior staff are contractually bound to abide by this statement when they join Bruegel.
Declaration of outside interests
Bruegel’s scholars and managers also make an annual declaration of outside interests. These declarations are made public and are available on the profile page of each individual. These interests are not just financial: it is important for Bruegel’s stakeholders and the public to be aware of other potential influences on a scholar’s work. These public declarations are extensive in the areas they cover and represent a high standard in public transparency for think tanks.
Bruegel’s commitment to transparency means that we publish detailed financial statements every year in our Annual Report. Our accounts are independently audited. We detail from where every cent of the budget comes, and we report outgoings along nine spending lines. The financial statements clearly state what every contributor paid in any one year, a level of transparency that is rare in our sector. State members of Bruegel also have the right to audit Bruegel at any time.
The great majority of Bruegel‘s income is composed of annual subscriptions from its members, which are contributions to core funding, rather than to individual projects or research areas. All corporate members contribute the same amount, i.e. €50,000 per year. State membership contributions depend on the size of the country and its economy.
In total, subscription funding is balanced between public and private sector contributions, and no single member contributes more than 5% of the yearly budget, depending on the budget year (in 2015 this was 4.39%). A diversified funding base helps to buttress Bruegel’s independence.
Bruegel is also registered in the joint transparency register of the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Bruegel’s work is evaluated every three years by an independent committee. Bruegel’s members appoint this task force, balancing background and experience with the aim of reviewing all of Bruegel’s output and how well it has fulfilled its mission.
The committee is free to determine for itself the most effective way of evaluating Bruegel’s work and it is assisted in the task by the Scientific Council who give the committee an assessment of the scientific quality of Bruegel’s output.
Bruegel has undergone this independent evaluation exercise in 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. The reports can be downloaded below:
Transparify, an independent NGO, has repeatedly awarded Bruegel five stars out of five for transparency, recognising its openness about financing and governance.
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
2008 Annual Report
2007 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report
2005 Annual Report
2004 Annual Report