Federal Trust

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Official narrative

The Federal Trust is a think tank that studies the interactions between regional, national, European and global levels of government. Founded in 1945 on the initiative of Sir William Beveridge, it has long made a powerful contribution to the study of federalism and federal systems.



  • President: Peter Sutherland KCMG
  • Lord Briggs Lord Briggs is the most important broadcasting historian in Britain. His greatest contribution to British broadcasting may not be his many acclaimed historical accounts, but his role as Chancellor of the Open University from 1978 to 1994. Just one example of his varied and substantial support for charitable organisations working in the arts is his position as governor of the British Film Institute. Over the course of his academic career Lord Briggs has worked at the European Institute of Education and Social Policy in Paris, the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver, and both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
  • Rt. Hon. Lord Cockfield Educated at the London School of Economics and a member of the bar, Lord Cockfield began his career in the Inland Revenue. Later in life Lord Cockfield held the posts of Minister of State at the Treasury then Secretary of State for Trade. He was also financial Director, Managing Director and then Chairman of Boots Pure Drug Co., and Chairman of the Price Commission. Working in the Commission of European Communities he was appointed Commissioner for Internal Market Tax Law and Customs and Vice-President of the European Commission. He has published work on the Single Market and now holds a number of honorary fellowships from British and American universities.
  • Lord Ezra Currently chairman of Micropower ltd, Lord Ezra spent over thirty years at the National Coal Board, and was its Chairman from 1971-82. Since then he has been Chair of the Energy and Technical Services Group, Director of Aran Energy and held a number of other top positions in the energy industry. He was a member of the International Advisory Boards of the Banca del Lavoro and the Creditanstalt Bankverein as well as South African energy companies.
  • Sir Michael Franklin After various positions in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Cabinet Office Sir Michael Franklin became Under-Secretary at MAFF. After a period working in Brussels, first as Deputy Director General for Agriculture then as Deputy Secretary to the Head of the European Secretariat, Sir Franklin returned to London as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Trade and then at MAFF. Since then he has held board-level positions in a number of private companies. He was a council member for the Royal Institute of International Relations and the International Policy Council on Agriculture, Food and Trade among others. He has written on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy.
  • Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne MEP Baroness Nicholson was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South East region of England in June 1999 and takes the Liberal Democrat Whip. She serves as Vice President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Defence and Security Policy and is Rapporteur for Iraq and Romania. She is a member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities and sits on two EU delegations. Baroness Nicholson previously served as a Member of the House of Commons and was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party for four years. Her NGO work includes Trusteeship of the Booker Prize for English fiction literature. Baroness Nicholson has been appointed as first Special Envoy for the World Health Organisation to work on peace, health and development in the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region.
  • Rt Hon Sir Michael Palliser Formerly Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Michael has also served as private secretary to Prime Minister Wilson and UK Permanent Representative to the European Communities. He has been a director at United Biscuits and Chairman of Midland Montagu among his many executive positions. He chaired the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and was appointed Associate Fellow of the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University.
  • Lord Plumb of Coleshill Lord Plumb continues to have a distinguished career in British agriculture and European politics. A Conservative Member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1999 and the only British President of the European Parliament (1987 - 1990) since direct elections were held in 1979. Lord Plumb has also been Chairman of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee; Chairman of the European Democratic Group; Leader of the Conservative delegation in Europe; Co-President of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly; and has been a full member of the Environment, Agriculture and Development committees of the European Parliament.
  • Rt Hon Lord Thomson of Monifieth Lord Thomson started his career as a journalist. Appointed Privy Councillor in 1966, he became UK Commissioner for Regional Policy to EEC and the first Crown Estate Commissioner. He has been a member of the House of Lords for many years. Lord Thomson's involvement in international affairs have included Chairmanship of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth and of the David Davies Institute of International Affairs, as well as work in the British Council European Movement. His concern in public standards is reflected in his positions on the Advertising Standards Authority, the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
  • Carole Tongue Carole Tongue was, from 1984-1999, a Member of the European Parliament serving on various committees and was the Parliament's spokeswoman on the European Car Industry and on Public Service Broadcasting. Carole Tongue is now a consultant at Citigate Public Affairs. She is also a Visiting Professor at the London Institute. She is a consultant to a film production company and a member of an EU High Level Group in Cultural Diversity in the Audiovisual Sector. She was recently appointed to serve on the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Medical Council.
  • Sir Brian Urquhart Much of Sir Brian Urquhart's life has been spent in and around the United Nations system - experience which accounts for his international stature and visibility in current debates over the future of the United Nations and the role of UN security forces in the post-Cold War era. After working in intelligence during World War II, he served as a personal assistant to Gladwyn Jebb, who established the preparatory commission of the United Nations in London. He was personal assistant to the first Secretary-General and subsequently worked on peaceful uses of atomic energy, the Congo crisis in the early 1960s, and peacekeeping. Sir Brian Urquhart became one of the principal political advisors of the Secretary-General, and served as the Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. Today he has become a central figure in the dialogue over renewing the United Nations system. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Ford Foundation.

Members of the Advisory Council


  • David Clark is a former Special Adviser to the ex Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. With extensive experience of writing and advising on policy options, press briefing and speechwriting at the highest levels in government, he has a unique understanding of the workings of the Foreign Office. David joined the Federal Trust as a Senior Research Fellow in January 2005 to coordinate a major new project 'A Global Strategy for Europe'.
  • Harry Cowie is responsible for the Trust's economic and social programme. Educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow University (MA in Political Economy and History), Oxford University/Balliol College (BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics) he trained as an investment analyst in Toronto, Canada. Appointed Senior Research Officer on Ford Foundation Project, 'Britain and the Common Market' at Political and Economic Planning; Director of Research, British Liberal Party; Senior Consultant and Director of International Economics Advisors in the City of London advising governments and multinationals.
  • Professor Stephen Haseler is a professor of government at London Metropolitan University. He contributes to the Trust's European programme and comments on trans-atlantic relations. His teaching specialisms are: British politics; the UK Constitution; and European defense. He is one of the foremost authorities on the British monarchy and regularly appears on national television and writes columns for national newspapers on this subject. He has a long record of political involvement, having served on the Greater London Council in the 1970s, helped to form the Social Democratic Party in 1981, and is presently a leading advocate of a British republic. He has a large publication record, including The Gaitskellites (1969), The Death of British Democracy (1976), The Tragedy of Labor (1981), Thatcher and the New Radicalism (1989), The End of the House of Windsor (1993), and The English Tribe: Identity, Nation and the New Europe (1996). He has taught at Georgetown University and George Mason University.
  • Professor Stanley Henig co-ordinates the Trust's studies on devolution and regional government in the United Kingdom. He joined the Federal Trust in 2000. He is a former MP and Leader of Lancaster City Council. Until 1999 he was Secretary of the Labour Group on the Local Government Association. He is the author and/or editor of many books on British and European politics of which the most recent are 'The Uniting of Europe: From Discord to Concord' (Routledge, 1997) and 'The Kosovo Crisis: America's Last War in Europe? (Reuters, 2001)'
  • Jacques Reland is Senior Lecturer in French and European Studies and co-director of the Euro Research Forum at London Metropolitan University. He contributes to the Trust's European programme. His recent publications include chapters on the French Welfare system and on the impact of European integration on France's macroeconomic policy. He also writes regular reports on the French economy for Oxford Analytics and is frequent guest of BBC Radio and Television in discussion of European and French Issues.
  • Professor Jo Shaw (BA Cantab, LenDr Brussels, FRSA) has been Professor of European Law and Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Manchester since September 2001. She also directs the Trust's study on Constitutionalism, Federalism and the Reform of the European Union.
  • Dr Julie Smith is Deputy Director of the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge. She was Head of the European Programme at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) from 1999 until 2003.