ECFR welcomes new board members

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Emma Bonino and Carl Bildt new co-Chairs of ECFR, Norbert Röttgen also joins the ECFR Board

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) announced today that former European Commissioner and Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt are joining its board as co-Chairs, alongside Mabel van Oranje who continues as the organisation’s Executive Chair.

Bildt and Bonino take over from retiring founding-co-Chair, Martti Ahtisaari. Joschka Fischer, the other founding co-Chair retired in 2014. Both remain as members of the ECFR Council.

Also joining the ECFR board is Norbert Röttgen, former German Environment Minister and current Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag.

Mabel van Oranje, Executive Chair of the Board said: “I warmly welcome Carl Bildt and Emma Bonino as co-Chairs of ECFR. With their extensive experience in foreign affairs and proven commitment to defending European values and interests, their contributions will empower ECFR to further our vision of a coherent and effective European values-based foreign policy. It is a goal even more relevant today than when ECFR started in 2007.

ECFR is deeply grateful to Martti Ahtisaari who has been its co-Chair from the very beginning in 2007. With his wisdom, reason, practicality and compassion, he has made invaluable contributions to the organization.”

Emma Bonino said: “Our democratic society is under threat from within and from outside. ECFR offers a unique platform to push against that and to get Europe to pull together.” 


Carl Bildt said: “There is a desperate need for more strategic thinking on the mounting foreign and security policy challenges Europe is facing. The ECFR can mobilise the talent and energise the thinking.” 


Norbert Röttgen said: “ECFR has already established itself as an intellectual and political force in Europe.  In joining the board I want to help strengthen its voice as an increasingly important player bringing European perspectives to Berlin.”


ECFR Director Mark Leonard said: “Carl Bildt and Emma Bonino showed how their countries could punch above their weight through their activism, creativity and commitment as foreign ministers. ECFR’s national offices and programmes all look forward to working with them.”

The ECFR Board now comprises Carl Bildt, Emma Bonino, Lykke Friis, Timothy Garton Ash, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Ivan Krastev, Alexander Lambsdorff, Mabel van Oranje, Ana Palacio, Andrew Puddephatt, Norbert Röttgen, Aleksander Smolar, and Javier Solana.

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