CERRE POLICY ON TRANSPARENCY AND INDEPENDENCE
CERRE’s aim is to inform better regulation of the network and digital industries in Europe and beyond. This can only be achieved by applying the highest standards of quality, relevance, timeliness, transparency, and independence to all activities.
The first of CERRE’s guiding values is independence in everything it does. Independence is essential to the relevance of our work, and therefore of our credibility.
We deliver independent research and analysis and only partner with industry players and regulators who respect this and support the impartiality of our academics and their research. While our members provide valuable quantitative and qualitative input to CERRE’s work programme and research projects, the CERRE Academic Director, CoDirectors, and leadership team remain the final decision-makers for any CERRE-produced content.
II. Academic Team
CERRE’s academic team, led by the Academic Director and Co-Directors, gathers more than 20 Research Fellows based in top-ranked universities throughout Europe and the world.
The Academic Director and Co-Directors are guarantors of the scientific quality of our activities, ensuring also that they take account of the most recent, global developments in high-level research.
All of CERRE’s research goes through a peer review process whereby a senior academic from the CERRE community will assess the robustness of the methodology, analysis, and recommendations of each piece of research.
From 1 October 2021, CERRE requires its academic team to declare any conflicting interests and resulting project reports will contain disclosure statements when necessary.
III. CERRE Members
CERRE’s membership includes independent regulators, corporations, and university
research centres operating in its fields of expertise. The think tank has set up a unique governance model where regulatory and corporate members have the same representation and rights.
When joining CERRE, all members commit to abide by our strict scientific impartiality and the independence of our work, as outlined by the Bylaws. Furthermore, the diversification of our membership ensures that a member is not in a position to influence the completion CERRE Policy Transparency and Independence and contents of our activities through dominance in the volume of studies and assignments commissioned.
A list of current members is always available on the CERRE website and is regularly updated to reflect changes in membership. A list of members from a given year is also included in our annual reports.
IV. CERRE Projects
CERRE will always list the names of the organisations that provided support and that were represented on the project Steering Committee of a project (the sponsors). This is clearly outlined in the colophon of all publications resulting from a project.
Sponsors are invited to review and comment upon draft studies or reports before they are published. The academics have an obligation to consider all comments but they have the independence to decide whether they accept them or not. This ensures the relevance and applicability of the project’s recommendations, as well as its scientific excellence and independence. Communication between academics and sponsors is exclusively conducted through the think tank’s staff.
At all times during the research process, the academic project lead, the Academic Director or Co-Directors, and CERRE’s Director General remain the final decision-makers concerning a projects’ content and results.
V. CERRE Events
CERRE organises regular events such as in-person and online high-level conferences,
debates, and expert workshops that provide a vibrant and trusted forum for interaction between academia, industry, regulators, policy makers, and civil society.
At the forefront of research on complex issues, we do not shy away from difficult questions or answers. These events connect a variety of highly relevant stakeholders with varied perspectives.
CERRE is committed to creating space for different viewpoints during its events in order to raise awareness on critical issues, provide an informed debate, and foster pioneering thinking.
CERRE is a non-profit international association under Belgian law (AISBL). CERRE’s funding comes from two streams, both fed by its members: core funding (membership fees) that represents around 49% of its revenue and projects funding that represents around 51% of its revenue.
Therefore, at least for the time being, CERRE benefits from no public support. However, as provided for in our Bylaws (Art. 35), we gladly accept donations from foundations and other institutional partners. In 2021, CERRE was the beneficiary of a €25,000 charitable donation from DuckDuckGo.
A commitment to transparency means that we also publish an overview of funding in our annual report. CERRE’s accounts are also independently audited and the official accounts are published in accordance with Belgian law.
VII. Further Information
CERRE is registered on the transparency register of the European Institutions (Identification number: 041592911733-05)
In addition to sharing all relevant information on our team, events, publications, and members on its website, CERRE also publishes an annual report.
CERRE’s Bylaws (its Articles of Association) are available in English here, and in French here. They are drawn up in French under provisions of Belgian law, and the English version is an unofficial translation for information purposes only. The French text prevails in the event of any ambiguity or conflict between the two versions.