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.
Tomasz Poręba MEP, President
Tomasz Piotr Poręba (born 1973 in Grybów, Poland) is a polish politician, civil servant and journalist, Member of the European Parliament in VII, VIII, IX term from Poland, historian and political scientist.
Son of Maria and Antoni, a railway worker. He majored in history and political science from the Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland. He later continued his studies in journalism. He then graduated with a postgraduate degree in European studies from the University of Warsaw and Maastricht University. During his studies in Poland, he professionally played football as striker in III league Cracow’s clubs - Kabel Kraków, Karpaty Siepraw, Górnik Wieliczka. His sports career was ended following an injury. He also worked as sport journalist in Gazeta Krakowska.
In the late 1990s he worked in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, then in the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in Warsaw. In 2003 he joined the Law and Justice Party, where he worked as the Head of Information and Public Relations Department. As of 2004 he worked in the European Parliament in Brussels as Senior Advisor of the political group Union for Europe of the Nations in the Committee on Regional Development and then in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was the spokesperson for Law and Justice Members in the European Parliament.
In 2009 he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament from Podkarpackie Voivodeship. He was the vice-chair of the Delegation of Law and Justice (PiS) in the European Parliament and a member of the Presidium of the European Conservatives and Reformists. In 2011 he became a leader of Law and Justice Election Committee for the national parliament. In November 2011 he was elected by the Law and Justice Political Council to become member of the Political Committee, the decision making body of the party.
In 2014 he was re-elected with 113 704 votes as a Member of the European Parliament for the Law and Justice Party for Podkarpackie Voivodeship, he gained one of the best election results in Poland. He was a vice-chair of the Committee of Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament and vice-chair of Law and Justice Delegation in the EP.
In 2014 Tomasz Poręba became the president of a conservative European think tank "New Direction".
In 2018 he again became a leader of the Election Committee of Law and Justice for the successful local government elections and also led the Law and Justice campaign for elections to the European Parliament in 2019, in which he was re-elected as Member of the European Parliament from the list of Law and Justice from Podkarpackie Voivodeship for his third term. He received 276 014 votes and it was best individual result in these elections in Poland (37% of votes cast in the constituency).
In December 2018 Tomasz Poręba became a Vice-President of the Polish Olympic Committee.
Senior Advisors & Management
Former Prime Minister of Australia
Former President of Bolivia
Witold de Chevilly
Belgium / Poland
Senior Policy Advisor
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
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.
Past Executive Director
Past Secretary General
Past Vice President
Past Vice President
Past Vice President
Past Vice President
Derk Jan Eppink