The Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) is the first transeuropean research network. It consists of leading research institutes in the field of European affairs throughout Europe, with an office in Brussels. TEPSA’s aim is to provide a high quality research on European integration based on a triple “A” approach: Analysis, Assessment and Advice in order to stimulate discussion on policies and political options for Europe.
The network was established in 1974 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law. Ever since 1974 it has steadily increased its membership to include institutes all throughout Europe in response to the enlargement rounds of the European Union. Nowadays TEPSA consists of 36 member institutes and associate members located in 33 countries, both EU member states and candidate countries. TEPSA and its member institutes have engaged in a two-fold approach providing expertise on EU policies and politics combined with a vast experience in organising and conducting EU wide research, training and networks.
With its decentralised approach, TEPSA combines the strengths of its members and enriches the results of their work. TEPSA exemplifies the ‘bottom-up’ approach to European governance. TEPSA and its member institutes are a link between the EU and national level governments and the citizens. TEPSA aims at stimulating discussion on policies and political options by organising research projects, conferences and facilitating interaction between the research and policy-making communities and between citizens from different member states. TEPSA’s activities are undertaken in close cooperation with partners ranging from TEPSA member institutes from all over Europe to EU institutions, national governments, universities and civil society.
The association is governed by its members via a general management organ (TEPSA General Assembly), which elects the administration organ (TEPSA Board) for a period of two years. The chairperson of the TEPSA Board is Professor Wolfgang Wessels, chair holder of the Jean Monnet Chair for Political Science at the University of Cologne. The Secretary General, responsible for the daily management of the association, is Professor Jaap de Zwaan, Lector European Integration at the The Hague University for Applied Sciences and an emeritus Professor of European Union Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The Brussels office of TEPSA employs two-five staff members. The organisation has varied sources of funding, which can be categorised under four pillars: membership fees, co-financing joint activities, Europe for Citizens grant with the ENURC project focusing on developing EU citizens’ understanding of the topic of the Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia, and other projects like THESEUS, PADEMIA, PONT and studies for the European Parliament.
Within the framework of the Europe for Citizens programme, TEPSA organises activities in Brussels and the EU member states and publishes policy briefs and other publications. TEPSA’s activities relate to European public policies and the EU’s political and policy agenda, mainly focusing on one of the three pillars: 1) Europe of Citizens and Democracy, 2) Institutional challenges and the future of the European Union, and 3) Enlargement, Neighbourhood Policy and Europe in the World.
TEPSA’s flagship event, the TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference, is a bi-annual forum in which TEPSA member institutes discuss the priorities of the incoming Council Presidency and other topics that are relevant on the current and future EU agenda with representatives from national and European political institutions, civil society, media and academia. TEPSA provides input to the programme of the Presidency by formulating and presenting recommendations both for the agenda of the Presidency and the EU as a whole.
TEPSA collaborates in projects and networks, such as the THESEUS project aiming at promoting the mutual understanding of societies in Europe. TEPSA is also partner in the PADEMIA – Erasmus Academic Network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe, with TEPSA as one of the participating partners and member of PADEMIA’s steering group. TEPSA has recently won an ERASMUS+/Jean Monnet Support to Institutions project, named PONT which stands for Professional Training on EU Affairs, to provide a bridge connecting young academics and EU practitioners, in order to improve the employability of young researchers. TEPSA also delivers expertise to the European Parliament by elaborating studies or briefings or organising workshops in the field of Development and Human Rights issues.
TEPSA continues to broaden its membership to encompass all EU member states and candidate countries in its network. This enlargement process is steered by the TEPSA Board with a decisive vote in the TEPSA General Assembly. TEPSA also continues to search for new partnerships and funding opportunities in the future.
For more information please contact TEPSA’s Project Manager and Head of Office Mariam Khotenashvili (mariam•khotenashvili©tepsa•eu)