EPICENTER

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Background

The EPICENTER, or the European Policy Information Center, calls itself “an independent initiative of six leading think tanks from across the European Union.” It was launched in October 2014.[1]

Its members are:

  • Civismo (Spain);
  • The Institut Economique Molinari (France);
  • The Institute of Economic Affairs (UK);
  • Istituto Bruno Leoni (Italy);
  • The Lithuanian Free Market Institute;
  • Timbro (Sweden).

According to its website: “It seeks to inform the EU policy debate and promote the principles of a free society by bringing together the economic expertise of its members.”

It says it is active “in the European policy debate, providing a free-market perspective on topics including the digital economy, trade policy, energy security and competition, financial regulation, free movement and welfare, and public health.”[1]

The Institute of Economic Affairs Seems to be Main Think Tank Behind EPICENTER

IEA Registered the EPICENTER Website

Although EPICENTER says it was formed in late 2014, the website was registered back in May 2014 by Diego Zuluaga from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).[2]

According to the IEA’s website:

Diego Zuluaga joined the IEA as International Outreach Officer in December 2013, becoming Financial Services Research Fellow in June 2015. He is also the Head of Research of EPICENTER, the pan-European think tank network.[3]

IEA is Also EPICENTER Contact

In October 2016, the IEA was also the contact organisation for EPICENTER in the EU Transparency register, [4] as well as one the Center’s website.[5]

Lack of Transparency

In July 2016, the Brussels lobbying watch-dog, Corporate Europe Observatory, noted. “How EPICENTER is funded is not very clear from its website, nor from its entry in the Register.” [6]

Innov8 Europe

EPICENTER was also behind the Innov8 Conference in Brussels in October 2016, which claimed to: “focus on a number of different aspects of innovation and will comprise of important discussions on how European policy should move forward.” [7]

The Innov8 website is registered to Christiana Hambro from the IEA, who also works for EPICENTER[8][9]

The speakers on harm reduction at the Innov8 conference, included:

  • Marc Michelsen, Senior Vice President Communications & Public Affairs at Fontem Ventures B.V;
  • Gustav Blix, Director of EPICENTER [10]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Epicenter webpage, About us, Accessed October 2016
  2. WHOIS EU, Epicenter, accessed October 2016
  3. D. Zuluaga, Biography on IEA Website, accessed October 2016
  4. EU Transparency Register, Epicenter, accessed October 2016
  5. Epicenter Contact, accessed October 2016
  6. Corporate Europe Observatory, Thinking Allowed, Thinking allowed? How think tanks facilitate corporate lobbying, 5 July 2016, accessed October 2016
  7. Innov8 Europe, About, website, accessed October 2016
  8. Whois EU, Innovat8, accessed October 2016
  9. Epicenter, About Epicenter, Website, accessed October 2016
  10. Innov8 Europe, Schedule, 18 October 2016