Introduction

 

The social, economic and political benefits of openness, liberalisation and free trade for governments, companies, consumers and citizens are greater than ever. 


At the same time, global leaders are turning towards protectionism, closing borders and trade barriers. This is self-defeating and short-termist at best. Dangerous and damaging at worst.


Edith Wharton once said that "there are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."  Similarly, there is a Chinese proverb which states that it is "better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." 


Free Trade Europa aims to curse darkness, light a candle and reflect its glow.

Why was Free Trade Europa established?

A new European Union

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 Internal and external forces are threatening free trade policies in Europe. With the UK leaving the EU, the baton is passed to EU Member States like the Nordics, Baltics and Netherlands to reconnect the EU to policies supporting liberalisation, free trade, and the rule of law. This new bloc's focus should also be on Atlanticism, innovation and the environment, as well as increasing transparency, personal choice and ethical policy-making while reducing bureaucracy.

Ideas platform

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Free Trade Europa was established as an ideas platform and discussion forum. Our focus is on reducing barriers to trade and the expansion of a sustainable single market in Europe and beyond.


We are not aligned with any single political party. We pride ourselves on bringing together different stakeholders: companies, governments, organisations and citizens.

Breaking out of national silos

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We wanted to break out of local, regional and national silos to consider Europe's present and future policy direction from a new perspective. The establishment of a new EU bloc requires a new pan-European think tank. 


Through discussion and sharing ideas, movements are created. 

Free Trade Europa explained

What does Free Trade Europa really do?

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We develop short, easily-digestible thought pieces on key dossiers as well as act as a commentator on European policy developments. We also prepare conferences, briefings and seminars. Simply put we are a think AND do tank!

Why is Free Trade Europa needed now?

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Internal and external forces are threatening free trade policies in Europe. With the UK leaving the EU, the baton is passed to EU Member States like the Nordics, Baltics and Netherlands to reconnect the EU to policies supporting liberalisation, free trade, innovation, transparency and the rule of law.  

How is Free Trade Europa different?

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We are different from other think tanks and organisations since we focus on the Nordics, Baltics and Netherlands as a bloc. The goal is to have these nations working together in a constructive, "can do" way in order to build Europe's future.   

Are other think tanks doing this?

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There are indeed a number of think tanks already in existence, but they tend to be either heavily linked to a specific political party or else looking at policy issues from a purely national perspective. Pan-EU think tanks on the other hand are mainly Brussels-based and geared towards the EU policy-making set. Some are more academic than others, but a regional focus on the Nordics, Baltics and The Netherlands within the EU doesn't exist. 

How is Free Trade Europa funded?

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We have listened to partners and have broken away from the old-fashioned membership fee model. Instead we work on specific, concrete projects with measurable results. Pick us up and put us down when you need. 

If you want to work on something together, please get in contact. 

Partner with Free Trade Europa?

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 Free Trade Europa is open to everyone. We represent a diverse range of actors from governments, companies, trade organisations and NGOs to cities, consultancies and individuals. As a result, we offer services tailored to our partners' needs. 

Our Logo

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Free-floating arrows

Free-floating arrows represent the unhindered flow of trade in goods, services and ideas. They are pointed inwards and outwards since the removal of barriers to trade is equally important in the international setting as it is within the European Union.  

The colour green

The colour green represents the focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship, which is essential for Europe's future.   

The colour white

The white background reflects simplicity, transparency and freedom to choose: all of which are necessary components of the Europe of today and tomorrow.  

Our CEO and Founder

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GLEN HODGSON

  • Communications and European Union policy expert
  • Think Tank founder
  • Author, Moderator and Coach


With over twenty years’ experience in communications, public affairs and lobbying, Glen is the founder of the think tank Free Trade Europa, which focuses on promoting free trade, liberalisation and the rule of law within the European Union and internationally. Glen was previously responsible for the Nordics, Baltics and Central & Eastern Europe within an international communications agency. Prior to this he worked for the European institutions as well as governments, blue-chip international companies, startups and NGOs as a lobbyist, strategist and communications advisor. 

Glen was also the Secretary General of a European trade association for five years. Today, Glen is a respected commentator on European affairs, as well as a frequent presenter, moderator and panelist at European policy events. Glen is also a trainer and coach on policy and communications techniques for the public and private sectors.


Glen is an internationalist who has lived in UK, France, Belgium and Sweden. Glen holds a Master's Degree from the College of Europe, Bruges and strongly believes that nature, being outdoors and exercise - coupled with art and music - are fundamental to physical and mental well-being. 

Our Sustainability Pledge

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For us, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship are not just trendy taglines. These are things that we live and breathe every day. We take personal responsibility by making choices which reduce our impact on the environment and use resources wisely. 


We cycle to meetings - winter and summer - or take public transport. We also use video conferencing as much as possible - and turn down the heating by a few degrees - to reduce our carbon footprint. Furthermore, we always think several times whether we need things before making purchases.


We reuse, we reduce and we recycle. We know that we need to lead by example and that real change starts with each and everyone of us taking concrete steps.