About Us

Coppieters Foundation is a think tank focusing on European affairs. It develops new ideas and produces knowledge on the management of cultural and linguistic diversity, collective and minority rights, multi-level governance, decentralization, state and constitutional reform, statehood processes, self-determination, migration, peace studies and the protection of human rights in Europe.

Our aims:

  • To observe, analyze, and raise awareness about issues of special interest for the foundation and its members, including the principle of subsidiarity, minority rights, the right to self-determination, democratic values, social justice, sustainability, and gender equality;
  • To contribute to the debate on European public policy issues from a diversity perspective;
  • To transform scientific knowledge in the fields of political science, economy, sociology, philosophy and history into politically relevant and usable concepts and ideas, both in the institutional sphere and outside European institutions;
  • To gather and manage information on the functioning and the history of all cultural, regional and national movements in Europe, and making the results available to the public;
  • To act as a platform for dialogue between the academia, think tanks, political foundations, civil society and the European institutions.

Coppieters Foundation is a European Political Foundation, founded and recognized by the European Parliament since 2007. It develops its activities with the financial support of the European Parliament and it members.

Coppieters Foundation takes all necessary actions to promote and achieve the above stated goals by observing the principles on which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

Our members are based in 8 member states of the EU and active in 14 regions or stateless nations. The geographical scope of the foundation is the European Union together with EU candidate and potential candidate countries.


(Sint-Niklaas, 1920 – Deinze, 2005)

Maurits Coppieters’ Biography

The Fleming Maurits Coppieters studied history, obtained a master’s degree in East European studies and later became a Doctor of Laws. After working for many years as a teacher, he also worked as a lawyer. During the Second World War, he refused to work for the German occupier. He was involved in the re-establishment of the Vlaamse Volksbeweging (Flemish People’s Movement), of which he was the President from 1957-1963.

The political career of Maurits Coppieters began when he became a member of the Volksunie (VU), which was formed in 1954. With the exception of two years, Coppieters was a member of a Town Council between 1964 and 1983, an elected member of the Chamber (1965-1971), and a member of the Senate (1971-1979).

At the same time, Coppieters was the President of the VU in the newly formed Cultural Council for the Dutch-speaking Community (later known as the Flemish Parliament), of which he became the President when the VU formed part of the government. In 1979, Coppieters was elected in the first direct elections of the European Parliament.

As a regionalist, he became a member of the Group for Technical Coordination and Defence of Independent Groupings and Members in the European Parliament (TCDI). He made a name for himself when he championed the cause of the Corsicans. Coppieters also played a pioneering role in the formation of the European Free Alliance, of which he became the Honorary President. He continued to play a role in its expansion, even after he said farewell to active politics in 1981.

In 1996, Coppieters joined forces with De Batselier to promote “Het Sienjaal”, a text which was written to inspire political revival beyond party boundaries. Among other achievements, Coppieters was the author of “Het jaar van de Klaproos”, “Ik was een Europees Parlementslid”, and “De Schone en het Beest”. Coppieters passed away on 11 November 2005.