A Note by the Director (2012/09)
A lively and in-depth discussion could not solve all the issues but did give everyone much food for thought. The background was the continuing eurozone crisis, evolving British attitudes to the EU, and concerns about Europe’s broader international economic competitiveness. Most thought that the eurozone would muddle through somehow, in more or less its present form, but was not likely to expand much for a long time. That meant the division into 17 eurozone ‘ins’ and 10, soon to be 11, ‘outs’ would also persist for a long period. However most participants did not believe this would mean a rigid division into two tiers. The cleavages between EU members in terms of relative prosperity and their views on all kinds of issues did not follow the 17/10 divide. Moreover most outs aspired to be ins, and would want to follow the in group towards more integration and more Europe. The only country which looked to be in a radically different position was the UK, which might therefore find itself in a second tier on its own.
There was therefore no reason for many participants why the eurozone should want to take decisions about the single market or trade policy at 17, as opposed to 27, still less to be a separate foreign and security policy actor, and every reason to work to preserve the coherence of the EU at 27. There would continue to be multiple speeds, and even perhaps tiers on a transitional basis.
Others thought this might prove naïve. Eurozone decisions about monetary, fiscal, and financial affairs would inevitably have repercussions for others not in the room, as we were seeing over the proposed banking union, and eurozone caucusing could quickly become a self-reinforcing habit spilling over into other areas.
We looked at the implications for the EU institutions and thought most could manage the ins/outs split for now, by finding pragmatic solutions. The Commission might find it most difficult, torn between its role as guarantor of the cohesion of the 27, and its function as a tool for the eurozone. How long would it be able to walk this tightrope, without being drawn by the magnetic pull of the eurozone? Treaty change would be needed in some areas at some stage, but major change should be avoided for now, because it would be politically unachievable.
We could not avoid discussing the British position. The fear was that Britain was excluding herself and heading rapidly for a kind of semi-detached status, if not outright departure. This would be regretted, but goodwill towards the UK was more or less exhausted. Others would not follow her, or be ready to pay much of a price to keep her in.
Internationally, the EU had inevitably lost credibility and influence through its focus on the eurozone crisis. It needed to decide how far it wanted to be a big international player, as opposed to a regional stabiliser. Ultimately its economic competitiveness would be what counted, not whether the Eurozone survived. Meanwhile it was still doing more, and more successfully, than was often assumed, and needed to do a much better job of selling itself.
This was one of those occasions when Ditchley produced the right conference at the right time, with the right participants. The combination of a eurozone crisis still in full swing, Europe facing tough questions about its global competitiveness and influence, and the UK approaching a fork in the road about its EU role, left little room for the same old arguments. Instead we had to focus hard on some fundamental, even existential questions, with not much time left to find solutions. There was plenty of disagreement on many points, but a common willingness to look the problems in the face and find ways forward if possible. Wise Chairmanship helped us avoid too much fruitless argument.
The continuing struggle of the eurozone to find a durable way out if its current problems underlay all our discussions. Some participants cast doubt at times on its ability to do so in its present form: Germany did not want a transfer union, which was in reality the only way forward; long-term austerity for the southern periphery could not work; France was hiding its head in the sand. Particular concern was expressed about the democratic deficit. This was hardly a new issue in the EU, but the gap between what solving the eurozone’s difficulties required in terms of integration and centralisation of decision-making on the one hand, and what national leaders and politicians were saying to their citizens about this on the other, seemed to be wider than ever. This raised questions about the legitimacy of the process, and increased the risks of populist protest against more Europe. Some suggested that unless this gap was bridged, and people were given a clearer idea of where they were going, the whole enterprise could be in jeopardy.
However this was not the majority view. Most believed the eurozone had made significant progress in the last two years, and could muddle through somehow, more or less in its present configuration. Governments and peoples would accept the loss of sovereignty involved because they had no option if they wanted to save the euro. Progress towards fiscal integration and a banking union would continue, and perhaps towards political union too, though that still needed definition. Conference discussions therefore proceeded on this assumption.
The UK position was marginal as far as the continued existence of the eurozone was concerned. UK exhortations to eurozone members to get their act together quickly, while not being willing to help practically, had irritated without making a difference. But, however hard we tried, we could not avoid discussing the UK position because it was at the heart of whether the EU was heading for two tiers, and of what any second tier would look like. Our assumption was that the UK would not wish to join the eurozone for the foreseeable future, if ever, and was unwilling to accept the kind of loss of sovereignty and centralised decision-making which lay behind the integration processes which were unavoidable to allow the eurozone to survive and prosper. The current UK government also wanted to renegotiate the terms of its membership in some areas. She therefore seemed to be heading for some kind of semi-detached status, or even conceivably out of the EU altogether.
The third part of the context was the overall position of the EU in the world. While its decision-making had not seized up, the focus of energy and effort for now – and some time to come – was inevitably the eurozone’s survival. This prolonged bout of internal problem-solving and navel-gazing had inevitable consequences in the real world outside. The EU was seen as less credible and less engaged in international affairs, and was losing soft power. The concentration on the eurozone’s continued existence also risked seeming to miss the crucial point of Europe’s economic competitivity, which alone could guarantee its influence in global affairs, as well as the prosperity of its citizens. Otherwise the narrative of European decline was bound to continue and accelerate. A basic problem here was that the process of convergence between European economies seemed to have stopped, and even reversed.
Tiers and speed
With this as the background, we looked at how far the EU was likely to divide into two or more tiers. Many around the table pointed out that the EU was already a multi-speed entity, or subject to variable geometry, more by default than by design. One participant memorably compared it to a Swiss cheese, with holes all over the place. The only question was the proportion of cheese to holes. But there was a fundamental difference between a multi-speed Europe and a multi-tier Europe. The former meant everyone was still heading in the same direction, with the same ultimate end-state, however long this might take. The latter suggested some member states would never get to at least some of the destinations.
The general conclusion was that the EU was not at the moment heading for two (or more) distinct tiers. The point was that the current division into 17 eurozone ins and 10 outs did not represent any kind of real dividing line. Apart from the UK, and the Czech Republic for now, the other outs all more or less wanted to be ins and would behave accordingly. If they had to swallow decisions which would affect them in the end, but which they had not been directly involved in taking, they would do so. The same presumably applied to future members, although it was harder to be sure about this. In any case neither the ins nor the outs formed any kind of cohesive group. There were competitive and uncompetitive economies in both groups, and free-traders and relative protectionists in both too. Other cleavages of views and interests cut right across ins and outs as well. Certainly the ins did not remotely resemble the ‘hard core’ of which there had been so much talk in the past. So there was no north/south, sheep/goats separation involved.
Having said that, if the eurozone survived in something like its present form (with or without Greece), the 17 (or 16) were not likely to increase in number for years to come. There was therefore still a question whether the eurozone would become so used to decision-making among themselves that there would be two tiers in practice, with a lot of exclusive eurozone caucusing, which could prove corrosive and divisive.
The UK was an outlier in all this, as the country with the most opt-outs, not just from the eurozone. The other 26/27 seemed to be in a position where, if faced with a choice between more Europe or less, they would always choose the former. The UK was not. She could therefore form a second tier of her own.
The potential impact of a eurozone caucus
On the basis of this broad conclusion we looked at how the existence of eurozone decision-making might affect the rest of the EU. It was taken as read that the 17 would increasingly take their own decisions about monetary issues, and to a large extent about fiscal, financial and banking issues too. The proposals for banking union were a real-time test of how things might work, since the ins would be agreeing on mechanisms and principles with potentially dramatic effects on the outs, without the outs being able to do much to influence either the decisions or their consequences. But nearly all the outs were expected to sign up anyway, whatever their reservations, even if the process would be messy and painful.
The wider question was whether decision-making and integration within the eurozone would spill over into other areas. Here there was a division of view. Most participants thought that the contagion would be limited. The eurozone might well soon want separate representation in institutions like the IMF. But there was no a priori reason why the eurozone countries would want to take a distinct view on the single market or on trade policy, even though these were closely linked to currency issues and other economic policy-making. The EU fault-lines in these areas were not between the eurozone and the rest. Nor was there any reason to expect the eurozone countries to have distinct policies or separate interests in other sectors such as energy, agriculture, or the environment, still less in foreign and security policy. Again the cleavages within the EU cut in all sorts of directions and rarely if ever followed the division between the ins and outs.
Others thought that this was a naïve conclusion. As the eurozone countries integrated more and more closely, and got used to working and deciding together, this would inevitably spread into other areas, including the single market and trade policy. The risk of the eurozone moving in a more protectionist direction at some future stage could not be discounted, for example. Eurozone members would not necessarily try to take decisions for others, but their caucusing and adoption of common positions could mean debate at 27 would become increasingly formal and irrelevant, given the built-in majority of the ins. The effect of this on the outs might be different in different cases. Some would try harder to be in. Others would conclude they might as well be out altogether.
A key question for the preservation of the coherence of the EU at 27 was the will of the 27 to work for this, not least the outs. There was plenty of scope for more pro-active initiatives at 27, for example in areas like energy or the completion of the single market in services. But there was little sign of political will in this direction at present. Much might depend in practice on how things went inside the eurozone. A rapidly recovering eurozone, where the austerity medicine was working, and the southern periphery was becoming more dynamic, would be a very different proposition from one mired in stagnation for years to come, and continuing to squabble about the right ways to return to growth.
We looked in detail at the constitutional and institutional implications of different tiers within the EU, and of the division between the eurozone and the rest. On the constitutional side, integration in the eurozone would inevitably require elements of treaty change in some areas. But there was no short-term need for a major new treaty, and in any case treaty change on that scale was politically unachievable for now. On the institutional front, the general view was that, in principle, institutional design should aim to maintain the coherence of the Union at 27, and avoid setting in stone internal divisions or encouraging more Europe à la carte. Creation of new institutions to serve just the eurozone should therefore be avoided. Nevertheless particular pressures would arise for each of the institutions.
The European Parliament (EP) would need to become involved in legitimizing and scrutinising decisions taken by the eurozone, and would therefore have to find ways of differentiating in its work between work done on behalf of all member states and that for smaller groups. There was no reason why pragmatic solutions, on the basis of gentlemen’s agreements, should not be found. But in due course this would need to be formalised by treaty change of some kind. The more difficult question was how to involve national parliaments, since most participants did not think the EP could fill the democratic legitimacy gap – certainly not on its own. National parliaments could not be ignored, especially when powers were being taken from them. But this was hard in practice. Delegations from national parliaments did not have a mandate, and could not therefore engage meaningfully, or take decisions. Some kind of mixed scrutiny was no doubt the inevitable way forward, but we could not quite see how this was going to happen, not least since many national parliaments were not in a position to take on the tasks involved.
We saw relatively few problems for the European Court of Justice. It was already heavily involved in dealing with cases which were only relevant to reduced numbers of member states. Again pragmatism would go a long way. The long-term problem for the Court was how to give clear legal interpretation to an increasingly fragmented EU which lacked overall coherence.
In the Council there was already a pattern of countries who were not involved in particular decisions e.g. on Schengen issues, observing the discussion but not speaking or voting. This would no doubt have to increase. It did not necessarily pose legal or institutional problems. But separate meetings of the eurogroup were also now a reality, including at Heads of State and Government level. Decisions for the 17 inevitably had implications for others, because the issues did not fall into neat packages. This increased the risk of two tiers developing.
The European Central Bank could remain the preserve of eurozone members on monetary issues. But if it took on powers in other areas, for example banking supervision, it would run into questions of lack of representation and legitimacy where non-eurozone members were concerned.
The Commission was seen in many ways as the most problematic institution. It needed to be the guarantor of the cohesion of the 27, but had at the same time to serve the eurozone. This was a balancing act only likely to get more difficult over time. In theory the Commission could be the outs’ best friend. In practice, it would be constantly tugged in the eurozone direction, for political and ideological reasons, not least since it would be increasingly clear that the position of Commission President, and of some other specific Commission positions, would in practice be reserved for eurozone nationals (and the same would presumably be true of the President of the European Council).
There was no theoretical reason why the Common Foreign and Security Policy should be affected by eurozone integration. It was cynically suggested by some that this was because it was already largely declaratory and lowest common denominator, though others pointed to recent European successes such as the operation against Libya and Iran sanctions. In practice, things could go one of two ways. The 27 could decide to have an active foreign and security policy, in parallel to eurozone integration, in which the outs, notably the UK, would play a significant role. Or the eurozone could develop into a close-knit fraternity which would over time want to operate in the international sphere more widely, and could come to be seen by outsiders as a more or less separate entity to be dealt with separately. Germany was already the target of much more international diplomacy. Germany was also turning increasingly east, with the relationship with Poland seen as vital. A lot would depend on the UK’s attitude. If the UK drifted towards semi-detachment in CFSP as well as elsewhere, the risk of activity at 27 atrophying would be correspondingly high.
What would be the effect on enlargement? The view around the table was that it would probably not be significant. The internal crisis and the EU’s focus on it were no doubt having an effect on the EU’s attractiveness, but that was essentially transitory, and not related to eurozone integration as such. The dynamics of future enlargement had different drivers. The Balkan countries remained interested, and the EU’s offer had not changed significantly. Turkey’s candidature was on the back burner and likely to remain so, for different reasons. In the eastern neighbourhood, the prospects were murky, but the issues were internal, not related to eurozone integration. The EU was arguably not doing enough in the southern neighbourhood, but again this was not related to the eurozone or two tiers beginning to emerge.
An interesting question was whether it was possible to devise a looser second tier into which candidate countries could get more easily and which might be more attractive for them. Most thought this would not work. Candidates did not and would want to be seen as second class citizens from the start. In principle relaxing the need to commit to joining the eurozone could help in some cases, but the requirement was already more theoretical than real – the existing outs would probably not be joining for some considerable time, and the ins would not want new members with doubtful qualifications to join quickly either.
The position of the UK
Almost despite ourselves, we kept coming back to the issue of the UK’s future place in the EU, since the UK was inevitably the core of any second tier there might be. Most participants, including those from the UK, tended to a rather gloomy view. The UK was gradually excluding herself, and there was little or no will left in the rest of the EU to stop this, even though her departure or semi-detachment would be regretted by many, because of her foreign and security policy weight and free-trading instincts. She had become too troublesome and out of sync with the rest of the members. Many expected an attempt to renegotiate the terms of her membership, to be followed by a referendum on the result, though this was not yet inevitable. Any renegotiation process would be difficult – existing members would not be inclined either to give much time to it, when they faced more urgent issues, or inclined to allow the UK to have her cake and eat it. In particular there would be no sympathy for a UK desire to stay in the single market while opting out of social and other requirements which bound others.
British participants differed on whether the UK’s policy now was fundamentally different from that of the past. Some argued that UK views had not really changed. It was just that the EU, or at least the eurozone, had decided to go in directions where the UK could never have followed. Others said that the previous policy of always being in the room and engaged, which had brought many successes in the past, had given way to a very different approach of deliberately staying away from processes we did not like. This could only end one way.
One critical question was the future of the UK’s financial sector. Could this be protected if the UK was increasingly detached from core decision-making? Views differed. In principle the single market should not be affected by decisions by the eurozone alone. In practice the considerable overlap between fiscal/monetary/banking issues and the financial sector meant that the eurozone could over time move in a direction which would penalize financial entities not operating from inside the eurozone.
Overall UK participants feared that UK might be marching towards a ‘Messina moment’, repeating the 1950s decision to exclude ourselves from the continent’s future development, under a banner akin to that of Millwall football supporters – ‘no-one likes us, we don’t care’.
Everyone recognised the potentially historic significance of the period we were living through, for the future of the eurozone, the existence of the EU itself, and the place of the outs in its future. We would not necessarily want to start from here, and regrets about the euro’s premature and flawed creation might be widespread. But we were where we were, and solutions needed to be based on that. Perhaps the single biggest issue was the future of the single market, where the division between ins and outs could over time prove very significant. It was not clear what the outs could do about this, beyond staying engaged and protecting the institutions which functioned at 27. One more concrete proposal was that a self-denying ordinance should be agreed and added to the Treaty, to the effect that the eurozone could not take decisions on issues outside the monetary field. But this received little explicit support – the issues were seen as political more than legal.
If the British participants were rather gloomy, that was not true for all. The hope that the Eurozone would come through its present travails intact, and with its worst problems behind it, was palpable in other quarters. And many thought that the EU was doing better than its internal and external critics suggested, and should explain this more. Overall, the EU might finish up with multiple tiers as well as speeds, but they would be porous ones, not rigidly divided from one another – except perhaps for the UK.
This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.
CHAIR: The Lord Jay of Ewelme GCMG (UK)
Life Peer (2006-); Chair, House of Lords Appointments Commission; Non-Executive Director: Associated British Foods, EDF, Valeo; Vice Chair, Business for New Europe; Chair, Merlin. Formerly: HM Diplomatic Service (1969-2006); Prime Minister's Personal Representative for G8 (2005-06); Permanent Under-Secretary of State and Head of the Diplomatic Service, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London (2002-06); Ambassador to France (1996-2001).
Mrs Christine Ockrent
Columnist and Writer; Contributor to International Herald Tribune, El Pais, The Guardian, Gazeta Wyborcza, l'Espresso, BBC; Board Member, European Council on Foreign Relations, Center for European Reform, Human Rights Watch France. Formerly: COO, France 24 and RFI; Editor-in-Chief, l'Express (1994-96); Deputy Director General, TF1 (1986-88); Editor-in-Chief, RTL Radio (1985-87); Broadcast Journalist, NBC News; 60 Minutes, CBS.
His Excellency Mr Vesselin Valkanov
Bulgarian Diplomatic Service (1986-); Ambassador to Belgium (2012-). Formerly: Political Director, Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-12); Head, Political and Institutional Issues Department, EU Directorate (2009-10); Ambassador, Representation of Bulgaria to the Political and Security Committee of the EU (2005-09); Acting Political Director (2004): Head, CFSP Department, European Integration Directorate (2003-04); Counsellor for Political Affairs, Mission of Bulgaria to the EU (1998-2002).
Mrs Marie Bernard-Meunier
Member, Audit Committee, Canadian Space Agency. Formerly: Ambassador to UNESCO, The Netherlands and Germany; Assistant Deputy Minister for Global Issues; President, Executive Board of UNESCO (1991-93). A Member of the Program Advisory Committee of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Paul Dubois
Metal Sculptor (2008-). Formerly: Canadian Diplomatic Service (1973-2008); Ambassador of Canada to Germany; to Austria; Permanent Representative to the OSCE; to UN Agencies in Vienna; Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe; Director General, Western Europe; Director, Economic and Trade Law.
Mr Paul Rochon
Associate Deputy Minister of Health Canada (2012-); Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance on negotiations for a Canadian Securities Regulator. Formerly: Associate Deputy Minister of Finance and Canada's Finance Deputy at the G-7, G-20 and Financial Stability Forum, Ottawa (2010-12); Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Department of Finance; Conference Board of Canada.
Mr Michael Zilmer-Johns
Danish Diplomatic Service (1982-); State Secretary for Foreign and Security Policy, EU Policy and EU Coordination and Head of the North Group (2005-). Formerly: Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Prime Minister's Office (2003-05); Under-Secretary for Political Affairs (2001-03); Head, Policy and Planning Department, South Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Edward Bannerman
Economic Adviser, Cabinet of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton.
Mr Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP
Member of the European Parliament (2004-); Vice-President, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; Member, Foreign Affairs Committee. Formerly: German Diplomatic Service (1995-2004).
Mr Klaus Welle
Secretary General, The European Parliament, Luxembourg (2009-). Formerly: European Parliament, Brussels: Head, Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament (2007-09); Director-General for Internal Policies (2004-07); Secretary General, EPP-ED Group (1999-2003); Secretary General, European People's Party (EPP) and the European Union of Christian Democrats (1994-99); Head, European and Foreign Policy Department, CDU Central Office, Bonn (1991-94).
Mr Jean-Dominique Giuliani
Chairman, Robert Schuman Foundation, Paris (2000-); Special Adviser to the European Commission (2006-); Founder and Chairman, J-DG.Com International Consultants (2002-). Formerly: Special Policy Adviser, Fleishman-Hillard (2002); Managing Director, Taylor Nelson Sofres Group (1998-2001); Principal Private Secretary to the President of the Senate (1992-98).
Mr Jean-Claude Piris
Consultant; Author: 'The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-Speed Europe?' (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 'The Treaty of Lisbon: a Legal and Political Analysis' (CUP 2010); Co-Author, 'Report on the Governance of the Euro' (June 2012); Legal Counsel of the European Council. Formerly: Director General of the Legal Service, EU Council (1988-2010); Director Legal Affairs, OECD; French Diplomatic Service; French Councillor of State.
Professor Dr Thomas Christiansen
Jean Monnet Professor of European Institutional Politics and Co-Director, Maastricht Centre for European Governance, Maastricht University; Executive Editor, Journal of European Integration; Academic Coordinator, Observatory of Parliaments after Lisbon; Steering Committee Member, Standing Group on the European Union, European Consortium of Political Research. Formerly: European Institute of Public Administration.
Mr Endre Juhász
A Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg (2004-); Minister without portfolio for the coordination of matters concerning European integration, Government of Hungary (2003-). Formerly: Chief Negotiator for the accession of the Republic of Hungary to the European Union (1998-2003); Ambassador, Chief of Mission of the Republic of Hungary to the European Union (1995-2003); State Secretary, President of the Office of European Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade (1994).
Mr John Bruton
President, IFSC Ireland; Vice President, Fine Gael; Board Member: Ingersoll Rand, Montpelier Re. Formerly: Head, European Commission Delegation, Washington DC (2004-09); Vice-President, The European People's Party (1999-2005); Member, Dail Eireann for Meath (1969-2004); Leader of Fine Gael (1990-2001); Parliamentary Assembly of Western European Union (1997-99); Taoiseach Prime Minister of Ireland (1994-97). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Dáithí O’Ceallaigh
Director General, Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin; Chairman, Press Council of Ireland. Formerly: Irish Diplomatic Service; Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva (2007-09); Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2001-07); Second Secretary General, Anglo Irish Division (2000-01); Ambassador to Finland and Estonia (1993-98); Consul General, New York (1987-93); Counsellor, Anglo-Irish Secretariat (1985-87).
Mr Tom de Bruijn
Member, Council of State of the Netherlands (2011-). Formerly: Permanent Representative to the European Union, Brussels (2003-11); Director-General for European Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) (1998-2003); Director, Department of European Integration, MFA (1994-98).
Mr Robert de Groot
Director General for European Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Formerly: Deputy Director-General for Political Affairs; Director, Security Management; Head, Office of the Secretary-General and Diplomatic Adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Mr Jakub Korejba
Executive Director, Global Reform Fund, Moscow (2011-); Lecturer, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) (2010-).
Mr Pawel Swieboda
Founder and President, demosEuropa, Centre for European Strategy (2006-). Formerly: Director, Department of the European Union, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001-06); Head, Office for European Integration, Office of the President (2000-01); Advisor to the President of Poland on EU issues (1996-2000).
Ms Clara O’Donnell
Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform; Nonresident Fellow, Center on the US and Europe, The Brookings Institution; Fulbright-Schuman Scholar (2011-12).
Mr Mats Persson
Director, Open Europe (2010-), London.
Ms Nilgün Arisan Eralp
Director, EU Institute, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey Ankara (2009-). Formerly: Director,
National Programme, Secretariat General for EU Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Turkey (2000-09); Head, Department of Policies and Harmonization, Directorate General for EU Affairs, State Planning Organization (1997-2000).
Mr Anthony Barber
Financial Times (1997-); Europe Editor (2010-). Formerly: Bureau Chief: Brussels (2007-10), Rome (2002-07), Frankfurt (1998-2002); European News Editor (1997-98); East Europe Editor and Europe Editor, The Independent (1990-97); Reuters Foreign Correspondent (1981-89).
Mr David Frost CMG
Director for Europe, Trade and International Affairs, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (on secondment from the FCO) (2010-); HM Diplomatic Service (1987-). Formerly: Director, Directorate for Strategy, Policy Planning and Analysis, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (2008-10); Ambassador to Denmark (2006-08); Deputy Director then Director, European Union, FCO (2003-06); Counsellor Economic/EU, British Embassy, Paris (2001-03); Deputy Head, EU Department, FCO (1999-2001).
Mr Charles Grant
Co-Founder and Director, Centre for European Reform (1996-); Member, International Council, Terra Nova; Advisory Board Member, Moscow School of Political Studies; Advisory Board Member, Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies, Istanbul. Formerly: Board Member and Trustee, British Council (2002-08); Defence Editor and Brussels Correspondent, The Economist. A Member of the Programme Committee and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Sir John Grant KCMG
Executive Vice President, Policy and Corporate Affairs, BG Group plc (2009-).
The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG, CH
Independent Member, House of Lords (2001-); Member, EU Select Committee, House of Lords (2002-06, 2008-). Formerly: Chairman, United Nations Association of the UK (2006-2010); Member, UN Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2003-04); British Government Special Representative for Cyprus (1996-2003); HM Diplomatic Service (1959-95); Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN (1990-95); Permanent Representative to the European Community (1985-90). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG
Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power (2012-); Director: Rio Tinto plc (2003-), Scottish American Investment Trust (2002-); Chairman, Centre for European Reform (2008-); Vice President, European Policy Centre (2007-); Independent Member, House of Lords (2004-). Formerly: Secretary-General, European Convention (2002-03); HM Diplomatic Service (1966-2002); Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell (2005-12); Chairman, Imperial College, London (2005-11).
Sir Michael Leigh KCMG
Senior Adviser, German Marshall Fund of the United States. Formerly: Director General for Enlargement, European Commission, Brussels; Deputy Director General (European Neighbourhood Policy, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, Central Asia), Directorate-General for External Relations (2003-06); Director (Turkey, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Romania), Directorate-General for Enlargement (2000-03).
Ms Bronwen Maddox
Editor, Prospect Magazine (2010-); Columnist, The Times. Formerly: Chief Foreign Commentator (2006-10), Foreign Editor (1999-2006), US Editor (1996-99), The Times; Leader Writer, Financial Times; Director, Kleinwort Benson Securities (1991-96). A Member of the Programme Committee and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Simon Manley CMG
Director Europe, Europe Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), London (2011-). Formerly: Director, Defence and Strategic Threats, FCO (2007-11); Head of Counter-Terrorism Policy, FCO (2006-07); Deputy Head, Europe (Internal), FCO (2002-06); Council of the EU (1998-2002); UK Mission to the UN, New York (1993-98).
Dr Robin Niblett
Director, Chatham House, London (2007-); Non-Executive Director, Fidelity European Values Investment Trust. Formerly: Executive Vice President (2001-06), Director, Europe Program and Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership (2004-06), Director, then Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning (1997-2001), Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC. A Member of the Programme Committee of The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Richard Ottaway MP
Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Croydon South (1992-); Chairman, Foreign Affairs Select Committee (2010-); Chairman, All Party Parliamentary London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Group; Member, All Party Parliamentary Group for Population, Development and Reproductive Health. Formerly: Member, Conservative Party Board; Member, UK Intelligence and Security Committee (2005-10); Shadow Minister for London and Local Government; Shadow Defence Minister.
Mr John Peet
Europe Editor, The Economist. Formerly: Business Editor; Brussels Correspondent; Executive Editor; Finance Correspondent; Washington, DC Correspondent; Britain Correspondent.
Ms Emma Reynolds MP
Member of Parliament (Labour) for Wolverhampton North East (2010-); Shadow Europe Minister and Labour's Chief Spokesperson on Europe (2011-). Formerly: Special Adviser to the Labour Government's Chief Whip (2007-08); Special Adviser to the Minister for Europe (2006-07); Adviser to the Presidency of the Party of European Socialists, European Parliament.
Mr Ivan Rogers
Adviser on Europe and Global Issues and Head, European and Global Issues Secretariat, The Cabinet Office.
Mr Jonathan Scheele
ESC Visiting Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford (2012-). Formerly: European Commission (1974-2012): Head of European Commission Representation in the UK (2010-12); Director, Mobility and Transport Directorate-General; Head, European Commission Delegation in Romania (2001-06); Directorates-General for industrial affairs, transport and external relations; Counsellor, European Commission Permanent Delegation, Geneva (1982-88).
Ms Kathleen Doherty
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State (2011-). Formerly: Director, Office of European Union and Regional Affairs; Counselor for Economic Affairs, US Embassy, London; Economic Counselor, US Embassy, Moscow.
Dr Fiona Hill
Senior Fellow and Director, Center on the US and Europe, The Brookings Institution. Formerly: National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia, National Intelligence Council, Washington DC; Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution; Director of Strategic Planning, Eurasia Foundation (1999-2000); Associate Director, Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1994-99).
Dr Charles Kupchan
Senior Fellow for Europe Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington DC; Professor, International Affairs, Edmund A Walsh School of Foreign Service and Department of Government, Georgetown University. Formerly: Director, Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University (2004-05); Director for European Affairs, National Security Council (1993-94).
Mr Jonathan Paris
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council of the US (London-based); Senior Advisor, The Chertoff Group; Associate Fellow, The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King's College London; Political, Economic and Security Consultant for US Government, Washington, DC.