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Commentary

The Free-Marketeers get up
Karen Horn, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8-11-05

Supporters of market-driven public policy in the U.S. must sometimes feel as if they are on a lonely vigil, beset in a world where statist solutions to public problems inevitably rule the day. Thankfully, as this article in one of Germany’s leading papers shows, market liberals are having an increasing voice in European policy-debates, thanks to a growing network of right-of-center think tanks:

In Eastern Europe they spring up like mushrooms: during the last three years the number of "free market think tanks", i.e. think tanks for free market and liberal thinking, in countries of relatively decent wealth has enormously grown—exactly there where the lack of money does not make it seem likely to happen. From the Russian Hayek Foundation (founded in 2002), named after the economist and social philosopher Friedrich August von Hayek, the Albanian Liberal Institute (2003), the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty (2003) and the Slovakian Institute for Free Society (2003) to the Economic Policy Research Institute in Macedonia, that was founded this February: liberal research and consulting institute are spreading quickly. …

Why in Eastern Europe? "In these countries the discussion about economic policy after the collapse of socialism has liberated itself from the elites", says Sacha Kumaria from the Stockholm Network, a London-based platform for think tanks in constant dialogue. The Stockholm Network was founded in 1997 by young British journalist Helen Disney in collaboration with six institutes: the Centre for the New Europe (CNE, Brussels), the Edmund Burke Foundation (Netherlands), Timbro (Sweden), the Circulos de Empresarios (Spain), Paradigmes (France) and the Social Market Foundation (Great Britain). Today the Network includes 130 Western and Eastern European "Think tanks". Not only in Eastern Europe, but also in the West new free market institutes are founded which are devoted to educate the public and consult politicians…



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