CEPS Annual Report

Thinking Ahead for Europe

Message from our CEO and Chairman of the Board

Dear Members and Friends of CEPS,

 For years to come, 2020 will be seen as a paradigm shift in our ways of living, working and thinking. But also as a year of hope. From the deep dark days of the end of March 2020 to the year-end, enormous progress was achieved in combatting the health crisis and its effects, in vaccine research and in the European policy response.

We held our 7th Ideas Lab just before the lockdown started in Belgium, and from then on, digital communication took over and continues to replace in-person meetings. CEPS managed to reach a much larger and more diverse community through webinars than we ever did with traditional seminars.

On the governance side, we welcomed Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark, as a new member of the CEPS board. Cinzia Alcidi and Steven Blockmans became co-Directors of Research, succeeding Daniel Gros, who remains active with us. The challenge for 2021 will be to gradually return to a sense of normality while maintaining remote working.

 This annual report gives you a snapshot of our 2020 activities. 

I hope you will find it of interest.

Karel Lannoo ​
CEPS Chief Executive Officer

Joaquin Almunia ​
Chairman of the Board

"The challenge for 2021 will be to gradually return to a sense of normality while maintaining remote working."


Year in Review

Ideas Lab, 5-6 March 2020

CEPS IDEAS LAB was held on 5-6 March 2020 and attracted over 1,000 attendees from Brussels and beyond! The event offered a dynamic and interactive forum to debate the von der Leyen Commission’s ambitious agenda: issues ranging from global trade wars, the Green Deal, the space economy to women in power, to name but a few of the topics we discussed.

Policy contributions

In 2020, CEPS published more than 170 publications, including over 60 policy contributions and studies on issues including Covid-19, the circular economy, Brexit, EU-US-China relations, Asia-Pacific trade, and much more. 

Grant for gender & Diversity initiatives

With thanks to an Open Society Foundation Grant, CEPS is developing a set of targets to promote diversity in the field of research and make our policy events more diverse and gender-balanced. We are proud to continue important work and strive to be an inclusive and diverse platform for debate on the EU sceneLearn more about CEPS Sustainable Diversity Goals.

New WEBSITE launched!

CEPS launched a new and improved website to make it easier for site visitors to access our latest research and stay up-to-date on European and global policy news, issues and events. Check it out!

new industrial poLicy task force, Nov. 2020

In November 2020, CEPS launched a new and ambitious Task Force on EU Industrial Policy after the pandemic towards a resilient and sustainable post-pandemic recovery. This task force will cover 8 key areas to
enable the EU27 to overcome the current crisis in a way that protects the economy, society and the environment. 


CEPS organised exclusive in-person and online events and receptions for our members covering topics ranging from the Next Generation EU, use of data flow in trade, the EU Emissions Trading System and strategic autonomy in Europe. Our high-level speakers included Kerstin Jorna, Director-General of DG Grow, European Commission, Petra De Sutter, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and MEP, Danuta Hübner.

Horizon 2020 Projects

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

CEPS is proud to participate in 16 H2020 projects in 2020-2021. 

Here is a selection of some of these projects:

Our Three Year Plan


Build up financial stability through a strong base of long-term multiannual projects, combined with shorter, fee-based projects.  


Update the research process to anticipate policy challenges, identify research priorities and ensure the quality of research methodology. 


Enhance digital communications, increase the impact of research and policy outputs in the media, and modernise the CEPS brand. 


Acquire and perform new research and policy advisory projects in strategic areas for EU policy making.

2020 Income Sources

*EU Agencies (3%) and ECA (1%)

Financial Overview and Outlook

CEPS’ revenue comes from a wide variety of sources, which is fundamental to maintaining our independence. We also coordinate several projects funded by many EU entities. In 2020 almost 43% of our net revenues came from EU calls for tenders and research awards, won in a highly competitive market.

CEPS Members

As the only think tank in Europe covering nearly all EU policy areas, CEPS is in a unique position to provide a 360-degree viewpoint on any policy proposal and we are also able to identify potential synergies and cross-cutting implications.

Institutional Members

Designed for international institutions, multinational corporations and other large and medium-sized companies, our corporate membership gives access to state-of-the-art research and participation in a dynamic forum for networking and exchanging ideas.

Corporate members

CEPS offers its institutional membership to diplomatic missions and embassies, trade associations, NGOs, universities and regional offices.

Individual Members

CEPS designed an Individual Membership category for individual academics, politicians, government officials, and executives.

About CEPS

Founded in Brussels in 1983, CEPS is a leading think tank and forum for debate on EU affairs, ranking among the top ten non-US think tanks. With an exceptionally strong in-house research capacity and an extensive network of partner institutes throughout the world, CEPS has amply demonstrated its ability to anticipate trends and to analyse policy questions well before they become topics of general discussion.

 At CEPS, researchers perform policy research on a wide range of policy areas: from the economy and finance to better regulation, the digital economy and trade, as well as energy and climate, education and innovation, foreign policy and the European integration process, or justice and home affairs.


Centre for European Policy Studies
Place du Congrès 1, 1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 229 39 11
Fax: +32 (0) 2 894 49 39