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Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC)

Moscow, Russia


RIACThe Russian International Affairs Council was established in 2010 on the instruction of the President of the Russian Federation for the “creation of a non-profit partnership Russian International Affairs Council.” Its co-founders are the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Interfax International Information Group. Igor S. Ivanov, a former Foreign Minister of Russia (1998-2004), is the President of RIAC.

RIAC’s activities are aimed at preventing international conflict, promoting co-operation and developing Russia’s public diplomacy tools. The think tank also acts as a link between the Russian state, expert community, business and civil society in an effort to propose directions and steps for foreign policy. RIAC’s current research includes projects on a new agenda for relations between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic community, the “A Cooperative Greater Europe by 2030” project and a project examining the impact on Central Asia of the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. Past projects include “Roadmap for International Co-operation in the Arctic” (2012–2013, with CSIS and the Pew Foundation) and “Russia’s Relationship with the Asia-Pacific Region as the Conceptual Basis for Security and Development Policy” (2011-2013). RIAC has co-operated with SIPRI on creating a Russian version of the 2011 SIPRI Yearbook, including an analytical addendum by Russian scholars.

Click here for RIAC’s Helsinki +40 page in Russian and in English.



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The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)

Washington, DC, USA


H40-GMF-buildingThe German Marshall Fund of the United States was created in 1972 by a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan aid. Dr. Karen Donfried, special assistant to the President of the United States and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council, will rejoin GMF in April 2014 as president. Dr. Donfried previously served as the national intelligence officer for Europe at the National Intelligence Council, executive vice president at GMF, and was responsible for the Europe portfolio of the U.S. Department of State's Policy Planning staff.

Through its grant-making and programs, GMF stimulates the exchange of ideas and promotes collaboration between North America and Europe. One of its programs is the Transatlantic Security Task Force that serves as a forum for American and European security experts in the form of regular workshops held in Paris supported by a series of short papers. GMF’s Europe Program aims to enhance understanding of the challenges facing the EU and the potential implications for the transatlantic relationship. This program, launched in January 2014, focuses on three key areas: integration and disintegration in the EU; challenges in the EU’s neighborhood; and Germany’s role in Europe. GMF also brings together Americans and Europeans for dialogue and exchange on issues related to Russia and Eastern Europe.

GMF also maintains several offices outside the United States: its Ankara office oversees the organization’s activities in Turkey, the Belgrade office works on strengthening civil society and democratic institutions throughout the Balkan region and its Bucharest office coordinates GMF’s Black Sea regional programming. Other GMF offices are located in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, and Tunis, and the organization maintains smaller representations in Stockholm, Bratislava, and Turin.

Click here for GMF's Helsinki +40 webpage.



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 The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI)

Stockholm, Sweden


SIIAThe Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) is an independent institute and a platform for research and information on foreign affairs and international relations.

The institute's mission is to inform and enrich the public debate by promoting interest in and knowledge of foreign affairs and international relations. This mission is pursued through research, events and by presence in the media. By means of publications, the UI Blog: International Voices, participation in international networks and the Anna Lindh library, UI contributes to the dissemination of knowledge on international affairs and conditions in countries around the world.

The institute's experts include both researchers and analysts specialized in the field of international affairs. While maintaining a broad perspective, UI focuses on foreign and security policy issues of special relevance to Sweden. UI's research is based on unbiased scientific analysis. UI's other publications are editorially independent. UI as an organization does not take a stand on policy issues.

UI has a diverse funding base. The institute is funded by research grants and proceeds from publications and events. UI also receives government grants, which make up approximately one third of our funding.

Together with the Swedish National Defence College, UI runs the Anna Lindh library, a research library specializing in the areas of defence, foreign and security policy. UI is a non-profit organization founded in 1938. The parent body of the institute is Utrikespolitiska samfundet (The Swedish Society for International Affairs).


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Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)

Copenhagen, Denmark


DIIS buildingDIIS is an independent research institution for international studies, financed primarily by the Danish state. They carry out research and analysis on a wide range of issues within the areas of globalisation, security and development. They participate in national and international debates and academic networks and publish in high-ranking academic journals, always striving to excel in academic scholarship. At the same time, they continuously assess Denmark's foreign and political situation and inform the Danish media, politicians and the public about their work.

They have approximately 100 employees, comprising both research and support staff. They have different academic backgrounds, mostly in social studies, international development studies, military studies and anthropology. They contribute to the education of researchers both at home and in developing countries and we employ a number of practitioners from relevant ministries for limited periods of time. These practitioners contribute to their understanding of how their work is used outside academic circles, and this strengthens their ability to bridge the gap between theoretical and applied research. As part of their work as researchers at DIIS they carry out policy-relevant and policy-oriented research within their disciplines.

Their research areas are defined on the basis of what they, as researchers, find to be current areas of special interest, and in relation to the surrounding societal and political context. They do basic research, research-based consultancy and commissioned work. Commissioned policy work can be requested by the Danish parliament, its ministries, NGOs and other clients

Their different academic and professional backgrounds, combined with a flexible organisational structure, make it possible for them to adapt smoothly to current trends without losing the continuity necessary for long-term studies, and also enable them to conduct valuable multidisciplinary studies.

DIIS is headed by a board mainly consisting of members drawn from academia, which ensures that they live up to their scholarly obligations. The board appoints the director and she is in charge of the day-to-day management of the institute. An internal research committee provides advice on strategic research planning.


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Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE)

Belgrade, Serbia


The BFPE belongs to the Network of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe. This Network started 21 years ago when Elena Nemirovskaya founded the Moscow School of Political Studies. She was strongly supported by Catherine Lalumiere, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Ms. Lalumiere is now the President of the Association of their Network which has 19 members at the moment and is steadily growing. There are schools in all the Balkan countries and they are very proud of the excellent cooperation among those from the Western Balkans especially. At the moment there are two joint projects that all of the members from the Western Balkans are participating in: Public Dialogue on Sustainable Use of Energy and the Regional Academy for Democracy.

The work of the BFPE would not be possible without a team of highly qualified and motivated staff with extensive experience in the civil society sector, state administration, international organizations and academia. From the 5 members of staff in early 2004, the BFPE team grew to the present 15-strong team, all with formal education in humanities and social sciences. Additional non-formal education and specialization of their staff in international relations and European integration, regional cooperation and security issues, development work and project management, public relations, human resource management, etc, aim at achieving higher levels of knowledge, skills and qualification relevant for their work, in accord with the principle of lifelong learning which is the underlying context of BFPE operation.



The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

Helsinki, Finland


upi rakennusThe Finnish Institute of International Affairs is a research body whose mission is to produce high quality, topical analysis on the European Union and international relations. The Institute undertakes in-depth research, in addition to organizing domestic and international seminars. It also publishes a journal, Ulkopolitiikka (Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs), and administers a specialized library.

The Institute primarily conducts its work for the benefit of academics and decision-makers, and as a means of informing and furthering public debate. Through its activities, it maintains an active network of international contacts, with its affilitated researchers contributing to an array of newspapers, periodicals, seminars and conferences, both at home and abroad. The Institute holds no common view on the issues that it tackles, enabling each individual researcher to comment on the basis of his or her expertise and research.

The Institute was established by the Parliament of Finland at its centennial plenum in June 2006, and the Parliament also provides its basic funding. The Institute is autonomous in its research activities, and is governed by a nine-member board which is assisted by an advisory council and a scientific advisory council.

Click here for the FIIA's Helsinki +40 page.