Project Team

Ecorys Nederland BV was founded in 1929 as the Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI) and currently  is part of the international group of companies – Ecorys group. Our partner for this study is the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

The team has been comprised in accordance to the following fields of expertise:

  • Economic and trade analysis as well as trade modelling;
  • International trade negotiations, particularly with respect to trade in services;
  • Combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques to analyse social issues such as employment, decent work, gender and poverty, at the general and sector-specific level;
  • Environmental impact evaluation of trade liberalisation;
  • Human rights expertise;
  • RGF country specific knowledge to give targeted advice, particularly with respect to the planned case studies;
  • Consultation, networking and dissemination activities.

 Experts and specialists come from the following organisations:


Ecorys, is the largest economic research and consulting organisation in the Netherlands with a permanent staff of around 300 qualified professionals, primarily economists. In addition Ecorys group has offices in 10 other countries as well as representations in all major global capitals, employing a total of around 500 dedicated staff. Ecorys currently provides services to public and private sector clients from around the world and works for many national and regional governments, international organisations such as the European Commission and United Nations Agencies, private sector clients and international financial institutions including the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development other regional development banks.

The Trade Unit is part of the Economic Policy Analysis Advisory group of Ecorys Nederland. This advisory group is composed of a team of highly qualified economists/consultants with a wide range of experience in addressing trade, industry and enterprise policy issues in developed, transition, and developing country contexts. The activities Ecorys engages in include policy advice, sectoral analysis, applied economic research, institutional development and capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, and training.

In addition, within Ecorys, there are other units involved in social sector development and environment, which work in close cooperation with the Trade Unit. The Ecorys office in Brussels works actively to reach out to stakeholders and the client.


The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) was founded in 1983 to enhance the quality of economic policy-making within Europe and beyond, by fostering high quality, policy-relevant economic research, and disseminating it widely to decision-makers in the public and private sectors. Drawing together the expertise of its Research Fellows and Affiliates, CEPR initiates, funds and coordinates research activities and communicates the results quickly and effectively to decision makers around the world. CEPR is an independent, non-profit organization and takes no institutional policy positions.

CEPR is based on what was (in 1983) a new model of organization, a “thinknet”. It is a distributed network of economists, who are affiliated with but not employed by CEPR, and who collaborate through the Centre on a wide range of policy-related research projects and dissemination activities. CEPR was founded at a time when European economics had relatively few “centres of excellence” with international reach but many excellent researchers, widely dispersed, with few opportunities for interaction. One of CEPR’s main achievements has been to create a virtual “centre of excellence” for European economics through an active community of dispersed individual researchers, working together across international boundaries to produce high-quality research for use by the policy community and the private sector.

CEPR’s “thinknet” structure also supports the Centre’s pluralist and non-parTiSAn stance. The Centre actively encourages diversity of opinion and independent thought in its network, with the result that CEPR’s output reflects state-of-the-art thinking from a range of perspectives. This helps enrich and enliven policy debates.

Today, CEPR’s network of Research Fellows and Affiliates includes over 800 of the top economists conducting research on issues affecting the European economy. Researchers are based in their home institutions (universities, research institutes, central bank research departments, and international organisations), and collaborate through the Centre in the pursuit of policy-relevant economic research and dissemination activities. This differs from traditional thinktanks or research institutes, where there is a “in house” research staff. CEPR researchers are appointed by the Centre’s Appointments Committee, chaired by the Centre’s President. These researchers are organized in eight Programme Areas, each led by Programme Directors who provide intellectual leadership and quality control. The work of the Programme Directors is guided by the Centre’s Research Director and Policy Director.

The Centre provides common services for its network of researchers and for the users of its researchers, and it obtains funding for the activities it develops. In particular, the Centre’s staff, based in CEPR’s London office undertake the following activities:

  • Development of projects and obtaining funding for them;
  • Administration and execution of projects once funding has been obtained for them, and reporting to the donors on the activities undertaken and expenditures incurred;
  • Dissemination of the results of the research to a wide audience in the private sector and the research and policy communities.

CEPR is involved in research projects with partners across Europe, and disseminates the network’s research findings to the private and policy sectors. The Centre organises approximately 80 meetings a year, and produces over 600 Discussion Papers, reports and books.

CEPR has a diverse funding base. Funds are raised from the private and public sector, and from foundations. Corporate Members in the financial, private and public sectors in CEPR’s membership programme provide core income. They include firms such as investment banks, consultancies, asset managers and government agencies. The financial sector currently makes up two thirds of the membership base. However there is a trend toward broadening the membership base among the other sectors. We now have, for example, the support of all European Union Central Banks as well as the ECB and the BIS.

For any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the Trade SIA on a plurilateral services agreement, please contact us at the following email address: