Going beyond the legislative work and reaching out to other like-minded people in the EU and elsewhere has been the guiding thought behind the creation of each of the EPP Group's Foundations and Networks. Although entrusted with diverse missions, all of them have the task of increasing the space for dialogue in which centre-right ideas can flourish.
European Ideas Network
The European Ideas Network is an open, pan-European think-tank designed to promote new thinking on the key challenges facing the countries of the European Union. The network was launched in the summer of 2002 and has rapidly emerged as an important meeting point and intellectual crossroads for the centre-right in European politics. With an active membership of around 600 policy-makers and opinion-shapers across the European Union, the EIN brings together politicians, businessmen, academics, policy advisers, think-tankers, journalists and representatives of civil society who share a common outlook Europe-wide, as well as external non-party experts and commentators interested in the public policy issues being addressed.
Robert Schuman Foundation
The Robert Schuman Foundation was set up in 1989. The idea of the Foundation came from the German CDU politician Egon A. Klepsch, the then Chairman of the EPP Group, after seeing the need to actively support democracy in Europe. For instance, Klepsch lead Members to Poland while it was still suffering as a result of martial law. Foreseeing democratic changes, an EPP-based foundation was established comprising EPP members to support democracy in Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe, as well as in Latin America and Africa. The foundation was later named after the ‘Father of Europe', Robert Schuman. The Foundation offers one-month traineeships in the European Parliament to young people with centre-right values.
Robert Schuman Institute
The 'Union of the Robert Schuman Institute for Developing Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe', or the Robert Schuman Institute, has been functioning since 1995 and offers education and training to active and future politicians of the parties belonging to the family of the European People’s Party, as well as organisesconferences on actual regional issues. The aims of the Robert Schuman Institute are to promote the idea of a united Europe and the basic values of the EPP, to support and foster the process of democratic transformation and the development of civil societies and to contribute to the development of the EPP sister and co-operating parties through education and training.