Update

Lykke Friis appointed as director of Think Tank EUROPA

Director Lykke Friis

Summary Now more than ever, Denmark needs a factual and nuanced discussion on how best to engage with the EU, says Lykke Friis, who takes up the position as director on 1 December 2019.

As one of the most knowledgeable and sound voices in European politics, Lykke Friis is the right person to enhance the Danish debate on European politics and to develop new constructive ideas for Denmark’s role in the EU, says The Central Organisation of Industrial Employees in Denmark (CO-industri) and Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) who founded the think tank in 2013.

– The course we set for Europe these years will be absolutely decisive for our society, our economy, our businesses, and above all for our citizens. Denmark and Europe are facing big changes with Brexit, trade wars and climate change, at the same time as we are facing a new world order. This requires good, long-term and common solutions. Therefore, the debate on Denmark in Europe must be at the top of the agenda. Lykke Friis is the right person to make this happen, says CEO of DI, Lars Sandahl Sørensen.

Claus Jensen, President of CO-industri, emphasises that Lykke Friis as director of the think tank will be able to make the debate on European politics more relevant and present to the Danish public.

– The EU and Europe are synonymous with jobs and growth in Denmark. It is the only platform we have to solve cross-border issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, and tax fraud. Lykke Friis is widely respected for her knowledge and engagement in Denmark and abroad. At times some might feel that there is a long way from Brussels to Denmark. I am fully convinced that Lykke Friis can help reduce that distance, says Claus Jensen, President of CO-industri.

The future director of the think tank looks forward to starting her new position.

– European politics has always been a matter very close to my heart. I am looking forward to contributing to make Think Tank EUROPA an even stronger actor in the Danish debate on Europe. At the moment, two of Denmark’s main allies, the US and Great Britain, are turning their back on the EU. Denmark, therefore, more than ever needs a more factual and nuanced discussion on how best to engage in European cooperation, says Lykke Friis.

Since August 2018, Lykke Friis has worked as a correspondent in Berlin for the Danish daily Berlingske. She has previously been Prorector for Education at the University of Copenhagen, Minister for Climate, Energy, and Equal Opportunities, and Head of Research at Danish Institute for International Studies.

Together with the former prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt and the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Germany, Norbert Röttgen, she is co-chair of the acclaimed European think tank, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). ECFR has national offices in seven capitals:

– I see great opportunities for Think Tank EUROPA to benefit from this European network. At a time when actors, such as China and the US, increasingly challenge Europe, it is vital than think tanks strengthen their collaboration. In short, innovative thinking is needed to prevent Europe from going from being an independent international actor to a pawn between great powers, says Lykke Friis.

She takes up the position as director on 1 December 2019.