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Meet Iliana Olivié: European Think Tanks Group’s New Director


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The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), a network of independent European think tanks focusing on policy-relevant analysis of EU foreign policy and actions toward the Global South,

has recently witnessed a significant change in leadership. Iliana Olivié has assumed the role of Director after a competitive recruitment process, succeeding Geert Laporte. This article explores the implications of this leadership transition and the potential impact of Iliana Olivié’s appointment on the ETTG’s future endeavors.


Iliana Olivié: A Seasoned Scholar and Leader:


Iliana Olivié brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role as Director of the ETTG. As a Senior Analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, she has demonstrated her dedication to research and policy analysis. Her academic background includes a Ph.D. in Economics, and she serves as an Associate Professor at Complutense University of Madrid. Additionally, she is a prominent member of the Spanish Development Cooperation Council and holds the position of Vice-President for Policy Engagement at the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI).


With her impressive credentials and extensive involvement in development and international cooperation, Iliana Olivié appears well-prepared to lead the ETTG’s pan-European network of think tanks.


The Role of the ETTG:


Established in 2010, the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) has a mission to provide policy-relevant analysis of EU foreign policy and actions pertaining to the Global South. It is a collaborative network consisting of six member organizations: the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the Elcano Royal Institute (Elcano), the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), the Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales (IDDRI), the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), and ODI.


ETTG’s Work in 2023:


Throughout 2023, the ETTG has been actively engaged in various topical areas, reflecting the evolving challenges and priorities of global sustainable development. These areas include:


Development Finance and the 2030 Agenda: ETTG has delved into the potential of development finance to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is a critical area, given the pressing need for resources to address global challenges.


The Green Transition: The network has also focused on the green transition, highlighting the importance of environmentally sustainable policies and practices. This aligns with the global push for climate action and environmental stewardship.


EU Development and Partnership Programs: ETTG’s analysis has extended to scrutinizing EU development and partnership programs and their effectiveness in promoting sustainable development goals.


EU-Africa Relations: Against the backdrop of the current “polycrisis” context, ETTG has been actively engaged in examining EU-Africa relations, which are central to addressing a multitude of global challenges.


Iliana Olivié’s Potential Impact:


As the new Director of the ETTG, Iliana Olivié holds the key to shaping the network’s future direction and impact. Her academic background, policy engagement experience, and dedication to sustainable development are expected to bring fresh perspectives and energy to the organization.


One of the critical tasks ahead for Olivié will be to continue strengthening collaboration among ETTG members. Effective teamwork and collective efforts are essential in advancing the network’s mission of providing valuable policy insights and recommendations to inform EU foreign policy.




The appointment of Iliana Olivié as Director of the European Think Tanks Group marks a significant milestone in the organization’s journey. Her leadership will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of ETTG’s research, analysis, and policy recommendations. As the world grapples with complex global challenges, including sustainable development and climate change, the ETTG under Olivié’s guidance is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping European policies and actions toward the Global South, contributing to a more equitable and sustainable world.

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