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Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Martens Centre for European Studies logo.png
Formation2007; 15 years ago (2007)
TypePolitical foundation at European level
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Mikuláš Dzurinda (SK)

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, also known as the Martens Centre and previously as the Centre for European Studies, is a think tank and political foundation of the European People's Party (EPP). As the central link of a large network of political foundations, the Centre is a catalyst for centre-right ideas and thinking in Europe and beyond. The president of the Martens Centre is former Slovak prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.

The Centre seeks to ‘inspire ideas for action and shape responses to European challenges’.[1] It analyses and contributes to the debate on EU policy, sharing its insights with European policymakers and the wider public. It also promotes numerous activities surrounding the discussion on the Future of Europe.


The Martens Centre was founded by the EPP in 2007 as a result of the revision of the EU Regulation on European political parties, which allowed the creation of European political foundations and think tanks by Europarties. Originally, the EPP established its foundation as the Centre for European Studies (CES). During the EPP Congress in Dublin in March 2014, the think tank was renamed as the "Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies" or "Martens Centre" for short, to honour its founder, long-standing EPP President and former Prime Minister of Belgium, Wilfried Martens.

The Martens Centre, with over 50 partners across Europe and the rest of the world, embodies a pan-European mindset, promoting Christian-democratic and liberal-conservative political values. It acts as a platform of cooperation for centre-right partners and experts, offering decision-makers and opinion leaders assistance in formulating new and effective policy options to assist the European Union in a variety of areas: global geopolitics, transatlantic relations, and democracy promotion. The Martens Centre produces publications in various formats. Besides the publications, the Centre organises various common projects and in-house events throughout the year, along with other major events such as the European Ideas Forum, Net@Work, and the Transatlantic Think Tank Conference.


The Martens Centre monitors, analyses, and contributes to the debate relating to the policies of the EU, both on the expert and more general public level. The Centre produces research papers, books, policy briefs, collaborative publications, along with several other formats. A major publication of the Centre is the European View policy journal, which covers contemporary themes of European politics, focusing on one specific issue in each edition. It typically involves a blend of academics, experts, politicians, and decision-makers. Presidents and Prime Ministers are regular visiting authors of the journal.

Additional content from the Centre includes:


The Martens Centre organises the European Ideas Forum (EIF), an annual conference bringing together EU leaders, European Commissioners, MEPs, economic experts, business leaders, and other stakeholders to discuss various issues of European relevance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EIF 2020 (October 2020) and EIF 2021 (June 2021) took place virtually from Brussels, due to sanitary restrictions. EIF 2019 was held in Cyprus in March 2019 and EIF 2018 took place in Paris in June 2018. In addition, the Martens Centre holds the Annual Transatlantic Think Tank Conference, aimed at holding discussions with policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic and discuss themes relating to transatlantic relations.

Other events include:

Awards and Recognition

The Martens Centre was awarded the ‘Best Digital Channel’ trophy at the Digital Communication Awards in 2018, in recognition for the Centre’s ‘Europe Out Loud’ podcast series.[2] In addition, the Centre was ranked 11th political think tank worldwide in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, compiled by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP).[3]

Network of Member Foundations and Partners of the Martens Centre

The Martens Centre functions as a pan-European platform for member foundations, think tanks and experts from across Europe that share the Centre's values and those of the centre-right EPP political family.

Member Foundations



  1. ^ "WMCES About".
  2. ^ "The Martens Centre Takes Home Award for Best Digital Channel at the Digital Communication Awards 2018!".
  3. ^ McGann, James (28 January 2021). "2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report". TTCSP Global Go to Think Tank Index Reports.