CEF hosts monthly meetings and discussion sessions that feature senior UK and continental European speakers. Our meetings bring together UK and other European stakeholders, including the diplomatic community, politicians and industry leaders. Some of our events are open to the public, but many are for members only and held under the Chatham House Rule to allow for more intimate and open discussion. You can watch some of our public Zoom events below or click here to see a list of all our recent events.


The future of Franco-UK relations & the French Presidential election 

12th January 2022

The future of Franco-UK relations & the French Presidential election - webinar with Lord Ricketts, chaired by Sir David Lidington.

Lord Ricketts spent 40 years as a British diplomat before retiring in early 2016. His last post was Ambassador to France, where he was heavily involved with UK-French defence cooperation following from the 2010 Lancaster House Treaties.

He was a member of the Advisory Commission for the 2013 French Defence White Paper. Before that he was the UK's first National Security Adviser (2010-12) and Permanent Under-Secretary at the FCO (2006-10). A particular strand to his career has been crisis management and politico-military affairs; he was involved in policy on the UK interventions in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Sir Peter was British Permanent Representative to NATO 2003-6.

Lord Ricketts is a strategic adviser to Lockheed Martin UK, a Visiting Professor at King's College London, a Non-Executive Director of Groupe Engie, and Chairman of the Normandy Memorial Trust building the British national memorial to those who fell under British command in the 1944 battle of Normandy. 


The future of EU & UK relations: opportunity and responsibility

15th September 2021

The future of EU & UK relations: opportunity and responsibility - meeting with Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, chaired by Sir David Lidington.

João Vale de Almeida became the EU Ambassador to the UK in February 2020, he was previously the EU Ambassador to the United Nations from 2015 to 2019 and the first EU Ambassador to the United States of America. It was during this time, he focused on the strengthening of EU/US relations and the launching of negotiations for TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). 

Prior his Ambassador appointment in Washington, he was the Director General for External Relations at the European Commission and the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and main adviser) for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and acted as the EU “Sherpa” for G8 and G20 Summits. 


COP26 and the opportunities for the European centre right green agenda 

21st June 2021

COP26 and the opportunities for the European centre right green agenda - webinar with Claire Perry O'Neill, chaired by Sir David Lidington.

Claire is the Managing Director for Climate and Energy and Natural Climate Solutions for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and and a Public Policy Projects (PPP) Senior Advisor for Energy and Climate.

Claire served as the UK Member of Parliament for Devizes from 2010-2019 and as the UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Energy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from 2017-2019. After leading the UK’s winning bid to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), she served as COP26 President-Designate until 2020.

Prior to entering politics Claire worked for Bank of America, McKinsey and Company, and Credit Suisse before starting her own small business offering online financial advice to women


Matthew Parris "in conversation" with John Bowis OBE

9th June 2021

Matthew Parris is one of Britain’s foremost columnists and political commentators. During the event, Matthew shared his thoughts on current political events, followed by a Q&A. John Bowis is a Vice-President of CEF and former MP, Minister for Health and for Transport, and MEP. The event was hosted and chaired by The Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE, CEF Chair and former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office.


There is always something new out of Africa

14th April 2021

'There is always something new out of Africa'  - a meeting with Jeremy Lefroy and the Rt Hon Alistair Burt.

Jeremy is the Chair of the  CEF Foreign Affairs Policy Group, former MP for Stafford from 2010 – 2019. He is a director of the East African equipment leasing group, Equity for Africa, which he co-founded in 2003 to support SME finance and job creation and Vice Chair of the Board of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Alistair is a former Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.


Keynote speech by CEF Chair, Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE 

Building a new relationship: the United Kingdom and Europe in a changing world

28th January 2021

CEF Chair, the Rt Hon. Sir David Lidington KCB CBE, delivered a keynote speech entitled 'Building a new relationship: the United Kingdom and Europe in a changing world'. Ahead of Sir David's speech, CEF Deputy Chair, Stephen Hammond MP announced that CGE would now become CEF to reflect the organisations's change in priorities, focus and mission.


During the keynote speech by Sir David, CEF President, The Rt Hon. The Lord Clarke of Nottingham CH QC, formally endorsed the new organisation and its future direction.

European Britain Global Britain: Foreign Affairs and International Relations Post-Brexit

11th November 2020

A panel-style webinar with Rt Hon The Lord Hague of Richmond, Tom Tugendhat MP, Neale Richmond TD, Sir David Lidington KCB CBE and Rt Hon Alistair to launch the first publication by the CGE Foreign Affairs Policy Group. The publication is comprised of a collection of essays from CGE members, with a variety of backgrounds from retired diplomats and politicians to business, share a Conservative perspective in presenting a common approach on how this UK post-Brexit vision can be delivered by the government in a pragmatic way, whilst reconciling past divisions on the subject of the EU. 

A common theme running through the collection of essays is that for the UK to realise its ambition to become ‘Global Britain’, continuing to work closely with its allies and neighbours in Europe will be of significant assistance; our foreign policies will rarely be contradictory but more often mutually reinforcing


UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond 

4th October 2020

CGE Fringe Event at Conservative Party Conference - UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond with Rt Hon Julian Smith CBE MP, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and former Chief Whip


Meeting the challenge of climate change: the role of ESG and the City

Webinar with Rt Hon The Lord Deben and Sir Roger Gifford

2nd September 2020

Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE chairs a webinar with Lord Deben and Sir Roger Gifford to discuss the role of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and the City. 

Lord Deben is current Chair of the Independent Committee on Climate Change. Previously, he was  Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food between 1989 and 1993 and was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment.

Sir Roger Gifford is a senior banker, he led the UK Government's Green Finance Taskforce in 2018 and Chairs the UK Green Finance Institute. He is an Alderman of the City of London Corporation and was Lord Mayor of London in 2013.


Webinar with Dr Norbert Röttgen MP and Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE

24th August 2020

Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE chairs a webinar with Dr Norbert Röttgen to discuss the German perspective on the challenges facing Europe and on how the German Presidency is seeking to shape the future of the Union.

Dr Norbert Röttgen MP is a Member of the German Bundestag, former Deputy Federal Chairman of the CDU and current Chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee.


Conservatives and the European Convention on Human Rights

Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC

20th July 2020

The Rt Hon Sir David Lidington KCB CBE, the newly elected CGE Chair, former Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, chairs the launch of the CGE paper - Conservatives and the European Convention on Human Rights

Lord Finkelstein OBE, The Times Columnist and Conservative Peer, is in conversation with The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC, CGE Vice President & former Attorney General, to discuss the paper.


Webinar with Ian Wright and Fergus McReynolds

28th May 2020

Ian Wright is the Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation and Fergus McReynolds is the Director of EU Affairs at MakeUK. 


Webinar with David McAllister MEP and the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC

5th May 2020

David McAllister MEP is Chair of both the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and the UK Co-ordination Group. Before being elected to the European Parliament in 2014, David McAllister served as Minister-President of Lower Saxony from 2010 – 2013. He is a CDU politician and member of the European People's Party (EPP).