Centre for European Reform

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The Centre for European Reform is a London-based think tank focusing on European Union policy issues.


Board members

  • Percy Barnevik, Chairman of AstraZeneca
  • Carl Bildt, former Swedish PM also International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which has strong ties to Bruce Jackson of the PNAC
  • Antonio Borges, secretary of the Atlantic Council's Atlantic Treaty Association, founding member of the Portuguese section of the European Movement and Goldman Sachs International
  • Nick Butler, BP
  • Lord Dahrendorf, former Warden of St Antony's College, Oxford with close ties to MI6
  • Vernon Ellis, Accenture
  • John Gray, Professor of European Thought, London School of Economics
  • Lord Hannay, former Ambassador to the UN and the EU
  • Lord Haskins, former Chairman of Northern Foods
  • François Heisbourg, Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique
  • Catherine Kelleher, Visiting Research Professor, U.S. Naval War College
  • Richard Lambert, former Editor, Financial Times
  • Dominique Moïsi, Dep. Director of the Institut français des relations internationales
  • John Monks, General Secretary of the Trade Union Council
  • Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, Chair QinetiQ p.l.c., which runs the British Government's secret military laboratories and was set up by the MOD to work with the Carlyle Group to run DERA, the British Government's "Defence Evaluation and Research Agency". The CIA did much the same thing with In-Q-Tel, Inc.[1] Career member of the British Diplomatic Service, Foreign affairs adviser to John Major, from 91- 94 chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee which overseen information from MI5, MI6, DIS, GCHQ , Political Director of the FCO, IISS with Blix above, and also a Harkness Fellow, Governor the Ditchley Foundation and the BBC
  • Lord Simon of Highbury (former Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in Europe
  • Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill (Hakluyt)
  • Peter Sutherland, Chairman of BP plc.
  • Adair Turner (Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch Holdings Ltd now with the Forward Strategy Unit).[2][3][4][5]

The CER lobbies for various Atlanticist positions and work with the PR/lobbying company APCO (set up by cigarette giant Philip Morris and used as its main consultancy by the Brussels branch of Microsoft).


Peter Mandelson speaks frequently at their meetings, [6] and they are funded by WPP, the Economist, Pearson, German Marshall Fund of the US and a group of banks and arms companies connected to the directors.

Thought of as a 'New Labour think tank', the CER was set up by Nick Butler, now Group Vice President for Policy Development, BP p.l.c., member of the World Economic Forum and Executive of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). Nick Butler, a former right-wing labour MP was a key figure in setting up BAP and remains chair of the CER's advisory board.

CER's main man, Charles Grant, former Defence Editor of The Economist, writes on UK/US intelligence and works closely with the Foreign Office, collaborating with individuals such as Roger Liddle and Mark Leonard (at the FPC). He was on the official list of approved Labour Party Candidates, leaked to The Independent. [7] [8] [9]

Grant is also on the British Council with Lord Stevenson and is another of his protégés (he wrote articles on the Blue Arrow affair for The Economist). He has also written with Prospect magazine editor, David Goodhart. He attended a 24/11/02 'informal group of Businessmen and politicians' initiated by Lord Weidenfeld which included Mandelson, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Lord Hurd, Baroness Jay, Lord Tugendhat and Micheal Maclay.[10]

As has been noted in Private Eye 1031, Maclay, worked at LWT under John Birt and Mandelson, a career Foreign Office official he is a special advisor to Carl Bildt. McLay was also an early member of BAP and is involved in Hakluyt: the strategic intelligence firm, many of whose directors were formerly senior figures in MI6. [11]

Sir Anthony Hammond, the former Treasury solicitor who conducted the official inquiry into the Hinduja passports affair (and let Mandelson off the hook) has a salaried position as the official legal adviser to Hakluyt.

Demos' Ian Hargreaves is on the CER board with Baroness Smith -- the wife of the late Labour leader. She has, since 1998, been on the board of Hukluyt which spied on environmental groups for oil companies, including BP. Smith is an advisor for BP Scotland. Hargreaves is on the board of Greenpeace and Huyklut spied on Greenpeace. If you look at the others on the CER board you see BP well represented. Shell fund Demos and their offices are across the road. Demos Trustee, Andrew Mackenzie is their Treasurer and also BP group vice president for chemicals. Hakluyt also spied on Anita Roddick's 'Body Shop' and Roddick is also on the Demos Board.[12][13]

The Atlantic Council was formed in 1994 when the British Atlantic Committee and Peace Through NATO (PTN) joined forces. PTN was the group used by then Defence Secretary Micheal Heseltine to undermine CND. The Huyklut connection (and the Demos connections: Hargreaves, Haskins) with the CER (which is a partner with the Atlantic Council of the AEI) are a slight indication that perhaps there are continuities in Demos with anti-Left operations dating back to Heseltine, Lord Carrington and Crozier's days. The CER's founder Nick Butler is also a key figure in BAP, as tresurer he brought funding from BP and RTZ to help in BAP's aim to groom the future Labour leadership because: "The traditional British left-wing remained deeply suspicious of the United States, particularly on foreign policy and security issues. The British American Project (BAP) was made to counter this suspicion and encourage admiration for US-style 'market forces'".[14]

According to Paul Foot: "Butler has been an ideological pillar of New Labour ever since he wrote a book with Neil Kinnock in 1987 trying to persuade people to vote Labour because the party had changed its attitude to shareholders and had been converted to the case for making money for nothing." [15]

Butler, is a strategic policy adviser to BP (which fund the CER as a conduit), he is a former Labour candidate and friend of Jonathan Powell, Blair's chief of staff. He is part of the Executive of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (who administer BAP i the UK) and the World Economic Forum. Butler jointly authored Why Vote Labour with Neil Kinnock in 1979 and through the Fabian Society 'helped' Kinnock's attempts to move the party away from unilateral nuclear disarmament in the 80s, a key goal of BAP and US foreign policy.

Contact details

Centre for European Reform
29 Tufton Street
London, SW1P 3QL
Phone: 44 (0)20 7233 1199
Fax: 44 (0)20 7233 1117


For further information, see relevant Neocon Europe page Centre for European Reform