The European Journal

Founded by Margaret Thatcher in 2009 as the intellectual hub of European Conservativism, New Direction has established academic networks across Europe and research partnerships throughout the world.

I am honoured to serve as President of New Direction, the political foundation leading the debate on European reform.

2020 marks a decade of ground-breaking research, in which the Foundation has shaped not only the political discussion in Europe but also the direction of the conservative movement around the world. We have produced more than two hundred reports and policy briefs, and hosted over a hundred conferences and seminars - and we have been honoured to have politicians, government ministers, advisers, academics, business leaders and journalists: participate and contribute.

In the coming years we will continue to offer further ideas for European reform and promote our message of change rooted in individual freedom and liberty for all Europeans. We will continue to champion the goals of the wider Conservative family and protect the values set out in the Prague and Reykjavik Declaration.

I would like to also pay tribute to New Direction’s Board: Rafaele Fitto (Italy), Karol Karski (Poland), Ruža Tomašić (Croatia), Valdemar Tomaševski (Lithuania), Mazaly Aguilar (Spain), Roberts Zile (Latvia) and Angel Dzhambazki (Bulgaria), and of course, none of our work would be possible without the effective leadership and excellent management by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Witold de Chevilly.

On behalf of all the New Direction team, thank you for your support and contributions. Our foundation is building the intellectual case for a popular Conservative movement, and we hope you will join us in our ambitious goal.

Yours truly,
Tomasz Poręba MEP, President


Tomasz Poręba


Executive Board

Raffaele Fitto


Vice President

Karol Karski


Vice President

Roberts Zīle


Vice President

Aguilar Mazaly


Vice President

Ruza Tomasic


Vice President

Valdemar Tomasevski


Vice President

Angel Dzhambazki


Vice President

Senior Advisors & Management

Tony Abbott

Former Prime Minister of Australia

Senior Advisor

Jorge Quiroga

Former President of Bolivia

Senior Advisor

Witold de Chevilly

Belgium / Poland

Executive Director

Robert Tyler

United Kingdom

Senior Policy Advisor


Margaret Thatcher

United Kingdom

Past Patron

We were honoured to have Margaret Thatcher as our Founding Patron. She launched New Direction in the City of London on 30 September 2010 and continued to give us support thereafter.

Her political career was one of the most remarkable of modern times. Born in October 1925 at Grantham, a small market town in eastern England, she rose to become the first (and for two decades the only) woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive General Elections and served as British Prime Minister for more than eleven years (1979-90), a record unmatched in the twentieth century.

During her term of office she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics; reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy. She reversed the psychology of decline which had become rooted in Britain since the Second World War, and pursued national recovery with striking energy and determination. Like Ronald Reagan in the United States, Margaret Thatcher restored British national pride and self-confidence.

In the process, Margaret Thatcher became one of the founders, with Ronald Reagan, of a school of conservative conviction politics, which has had a powerful and enduring impact in Britain and the United States, and earned her a higher international profile than any British politician since Winston Churchill.

By successfully shifting British economic and foreign policy to the right, her governments helped to encourage wider international trends which broadened and deepened during the 1980s and 1990s.

Along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and a very few others, she was instrumental in defeating communism and spreading democracy and freedom. She was a major contributor to the growth of free markets and to strengthened political and economic freedom in every continent.

Margaret Thatcher became one of the world's most influential, respected and recognised political leaders, as well as one of the most controversial, dynamic, and plain-spoken - a lode-star for friends and foe alike.

Geofrey Van Orden CBE

United Kingdom

Past President

Geoffrey Van Orden was instrumental in the creation of the European Conservatives & Reformists Group in the European Parliament in 2009 and immediately founded New Direction as its affiliated think-tank.

Following his career as a senior British Army officer he was elected as Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the East of England in 1999 and re-elected in 2004, 2009 and 2014. From the beginning he was one of that small group of MEPs determined to change Britain's relationship with the EU and to reform the EU itself.

As a long-standing Member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees of the Parliament he has been a foremost supporter of the transatlantic relationship and of the NATO alliance and leads the opposition to EU involvement in defence matters. He attaches particular importance to the relationship with India and now chairs the Parliament's India Delegation.

He read politics at the University of Sussex; attended the Indian Defence Services Staff College; was an instructor at the German General Staff College (Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr); Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Service Fellow at King’s College, University of London. He writes and speaks on EU reform, on India and on a range of defence and security topics.

Naweed Khan

Past Executive Director

Ian Duncan

Past Secretary General

Daniel Hannan

Past Vice President

Andrew Lewer

Past Vice President

Hans-Olaf Henkel

Past Vice President

Edvard Kozunik

Past Vice President

Derk Jan Eppink

Past Treasurer