Training partners

PLATO’s eleven training partners include several leading European think tanks, two civil society organisations, a consulting firm for trade associations, and the leading online daily news site on EU politics. A career development organisation will assist the PhDs in their individual career planning.


Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels-based economic think tank

Bruegel is an independent economic think tank. It contributes to European and global economic policy-making through open, fact-based and policy-relevant research, analysis and debate. Membership is composed of EU member state governments, leading international corporations and institutions.

Pauline Chetail, EU Funding Project Manager (e-mail)

CEPS logo

Centre for European Policy Studies

Brussels, Belgium

Thinking ahead for Europe

CEPS is a leading ​think tank and ​forum for debate on EU affairs,​ with an exceptionally strong in-house research capacity​ and an extensive network of partner institutes throughout the world. As the only think tank in Brussels covering all European policy areas, CEPS offers exchanges, provides insights on and potential solutions for EU policy making.

Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow & Head of EU Foreign Policy (e-mail)
Toby Vogel, Research Communications Officer, Foreign Policy Unit (e-mail)


The Hague, The Netherlands

Netherlands Institute of International Relations

Clingendael is a leading Dutch think tank and diplomatic academy on international affairs. The institute provides public and private sector organisations with in-depth analysis of global developments in the fields of EU governance, economic diplomacy, international security and conflict management, with a specific focus on the position and role of the Netherlands.

Adriaan Schout, Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator Europe (e-mail)

Democracy International

Cologne, Germany

The global coalition for democracy

Democracy International is an independent NGO working for better democracy in Europe and beyond. The group actively supports democracy initiatives in a number of countries and coordinates transnational campaigns – for electoral and institutional reform, freedom of information, increased participation and direct democracy. Democracy International’s greatest success at the European level to date is the introduction of the European Citizens’ Initiative.

Andreas Müller, Managing Director (e-mail)
Daniel Schily, Co-Founder


Brussels, Belgium

The largest online daily news site covering EU politics

EUobserver is an independent online newspaper which values free thinking and plain speech. It aims to support European democracy by giving people the information they need to hold the EU establishment to account. In addition to news articles, EUobserver publishes series of investigative reports as well as comment pieces and blogs reflecting opinions from across the political spectrum.

Lisbeth Kirk, Founder (e-mail)

European Citizen Action Service

Brussels, Belgium

A pan-European resource centre on citizens’ rights

ECAS is an international, non-profit organization that provides services to a network of about 150 European NGOs. ECAS empowers citizens to exercise their rights and promotes open and inclusive decision-making through the provision of high quality advice, research and advocacy, as well as capacity-building for civil society organisations.

Assya Kavrakova, Director (e-mail)

Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin

Berlin, Germany

A research-based think tank

Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin is a research-based think tank with the objective to contribute to a better policy debate on Europe in Germany. It focuses primarily on four core areas of European integration: Economic and Monetary Union; Foreign Relations and Security Policy; EU Institutions and Governance; Digital Europe.

Nicole Koenig, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Head of Research (e-mail)
Lucas Guttenberg, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Head of Research
Henrik Enderlein, Director


Brussels, Belgium

Strategic Communications that reach, engage and influence

KELLEN is Brussels’s longest established association management company and provides services to a wide range of trade associations – from pooling of expertise to setting common industry positions and carrying out regulatory and public affairs campaigns. Kellen reaches out to stakeholders on a sustained basis, and also assists businesses in creating and managing ad-hoc coalitions, and support these coalitions in enhancing their presence in Brussels.

Aline Rutsaerts, Senior Association Manager (e-mail)
Maria Teresa Scardigli, Vice-President

Polish Institute of International Affairs

Warsaw, Poland

A leading Central European think tank

PISM is a public think tank that conducts research and training in international affairs. PISM is the biggest Polish institution conducting policy-focused research, and prepares analyses and studies for the public administration responsible for shaping and conducting Poland's foreign policy. Since 2010, PISM has been rated amongst the most influential government-affiliated think tanks worldwide in the annual 'Global Go To Think Tank Ranking'.

Sebastian Płóciennik, Head of the Weimar Triangle Program (e-mail)
Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka, Head of the European Union Programme

Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

Berlin, Germany

The German Institute for International and Security Affairs

SWP is an independent, publicly funded scientific establishment that conducts practically oriented research and advises the German parliament and the federal government on foreign and security policy, including aspects related to climate protection and resource scarcity. It serves as a forum for exchange where decision makers meet with SWP researchers for discussions in a confidential atmosphere.

Ronja Kempin, Senior Fellow, Research Division EU/Europe (e-mail)


Cambridge, UK

Realising the potential of researchers

Vitae is an international organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of researchers. Its goals are to develop research policy and practice, drive excellence in provision through the development and distribution of high quality learning resources and practice sharing and to actively engage employers in the development of researchers, and provide employability, career and professional placement information for researchers across all sectors.

Alison Mitchell, Director of Development
Katie Wheat, Training & Resources Development Manager (e-mail)
Jen Reynolds, Professional Development Manager