The Open Society European Policy Institute is the EU policy arm of the Open Society Foundations. We work to influence and inform EU policies, funding and external action to ensure that open society values are at the heart of what the European Union does, both inside and outside its borders.
The Open Society European Policy Institute brings into EU policy debates evidence, argument and recommendations drawn from the work of the Open Society Foundations in more than 100 countries. The foundations’ priorities include human rights, justice and accountability pursued through a wide range of policy areas including education, health, media, information, arts and culture.
The EU is capable of effectively promoting democracy, human rights and conflict management abroad, but this requires a robust approach to defending human rights, civil liberties and justice at home. The Open Society European Policy Institute’s role is to propose positive measures that will sustain those values within policies, and widen the political constituency in support of them and to raise a warning flag when European political actors are moving away from—or even undermining—the founding principles and fundamental values of the European Union. We achieve this by:
- providing evidence and arguments to inform political debates and policy-making processes;
- linking the OSF network with the EU institutions and member states;
- engaging in the broader debates about the EU’s future institutions and policies, in order to promote open society values within their operations; and
- building strong relationships with officials, politicians, NGOs and other actors to keep civil liberties, rights and justice on the EU’s agenda.
The Open Society European Policy Institute works closely with the foundations and programs within the Open Society Foundations to help them expand their own capacity to do successful advocacy directed at the EU. We train and assist foundations and grantees in submitting their input to EU human rights dialogues, to the annual progress reports that the Commission publishes on enlargement and neighbourhood countries, and for EU annual programming of its financial assistance.
The Open Society Foundations’ Brussels office was was established in 1997 as a policy and advocacy office. For Open Society Foundations’ funding opportunities, please see the grants section of this website.