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« Our mission at Institut Montaigne is to work for the effectiveness of public policy, of social cohesion and of the competitiveness of the economy. That is why our daily ambition is to innovate, evaluate, propose and act in pursuit of these goals. »
Henri de Castries
PRESIDENT

Our Mission

Institut Montaigne is a nonprofit, independent think tank
based in Paris, France.

Our mission is to craft public policy proposals aimed at shaping political debates and decision making in France and Europe.

We bring together leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds - government, civil society, corporations and academia - to produce balanced analyses, international benchmarking and evidence-based research.

We promote a balanced vision of society, in which open and competitive markets go hand in hand with equality of opportunity and social cohesion. Our strong commitment to representative democracy and citizen participation, on the one hand, and European sovereignty and integration, on the other, form the intellectual basis for our work.

Institut Montaigne is funded by corporations and individuals, none of whom contribute to more than 3% of its annual budget.
 

Our governance

Our story

In 2000, founder and former Chairman & CEO of AXA Claude Bébéar had a clear vision for an organization that would devote itself fully to serving democracy and the public interest. Institut Montaigne gathered the best French expertise to carry out thorough analysis and to put together concrete policy recommendations. It set out to cover the main challenges facing France: diversity, education, the welfare state, energy and many more

Education was among the first subjects to be part of its work program. In 2001, Institut Montaigne advocated for genuine autonomy for universities, and in 2010, it created Agir pour l'école, a spin-off whose ambition is to find solutions to the dysfunctions and inequalities within the French education system.

The issue of diversity also quickly became a priority for Institut Montaigne. The Diversity Charter was thus created in 2004, becoming the first document of its kind in Europe calling for signatory enterprises to proactively ensure diversity and equality of opportunity. With the same mission in mind, an unprecedented survey on religious discrimination in hiring and the workplace was carried out in 2015. This was followed by an extensive report on Islam in France in 2016. 

Since then, Institut Montaigne has grown to extend its expertise far beyond France, through numerous partnerships with international think tanks, and an extensive network of experts from all over the world. Over the past 20 years, Institut Montaigne has gathered around it an impressive array of individuals from the private sector, civil society and academia, and developed expertise in the digital and health sectors, economy and finance, the US and Asia, religion, society, employment and much more. In 2020, during the lockdown in France, Institut Montaigne launched a free online course on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, designed in collaboration with OpenClassrooms and Fondation Abeona. The course is meant to provide a basic level of AI literacy to anyone. 

The challenge is far from over, and we are committed to spreading our ethos of fostering continuous dialogue for a healthy society.

Accounts & Statutes

Institut Montaigne is a non-profit organization, under the French law of 1901.

The annual budget of Institut Montaigne is about 6.5 million euros.

More than 180 companies, of all sizes and all industries, contribute to it every year, each one of them representing less than 3% of the total budget (a figure which stands de facto at 1.5% today). About 300 legal persons also support Montaigne, with a total contribution of 1% of the operating budget. The accounts and annexes are published in the Journal Officiel (Official Gazette of the French Republic), and available in their entirety here.

Institut Montaigne has established a set of rules in order to prevent conflicts of interest, and adheres to a strict code of conduct built around a number of fundamental principles.

Statuses of the association

An association is hereby created between the parties to these articles of association, governed by the amended law of July 1st, 1901, and by its implementing ordinance of August 16, 1901.

This Association exists under the denomination: "Institut Montaigne".

As an independent think tank, free from any political and economic constraint, Institut Montaigne is organized into several working groups gathering representatives of civil society (intellectuals, academics, experts, business managers, qualified individuals, etc.).

Dealing with a variety of topics, Institut Montaigne develops and circulates long-term concrete proposals. These proposals result from a rigorous and critical analysis method, relying especially on the study of relevant public policy experiences from abroad. Once adopted, these recommendations are relayed through public opinion, to set off the broadest debate as possible.

Institut Montaigne may also engage in any operation, including experimental or search operations, for the study and implementation of the concrete proposals and recommendations it develops.

Institut Montaigne can exceptionally implement the necessary means to these operations, including by contributing to their financing, insofar as they constitute the consequence and implementation of its concrete proposals and recommendations.

The headquarters of Institut Montaigne are located in Paris and may be transferred by sole decision of the Board of Directors.

The duration of the Association is unlimited.

Institut Montaigne is composed of “active members” and “associate members”, whose membership applications should be approved by the Board of Directors:

Are included as “active members”, the natural and legal persons who actively take part in Institut Montaigne’s operation, and who pay an annual fee. The minimum fee, which can vary based on the characteristics of these persons, is set every year by the General Meeting.

Are included as “founding members”, the legal entities who actively take part in Institut Montaigne’s operation, and who pay an annual fee. The minimum fee, which can vary based on the characteristics of these persons, is set every year by the General Meeting.

The “founding members” (or their representatives) take part and vote in the General Meetings.

Are included as “supporting members”, the natural persons who made a substantial donation to Institut Montaigne directly or, for the non-residents, through ad-hoc structures allowing to optimize their membership conditions. The minimum amount of this donation is set to one hundred thousand euros. This amount, which can vary every year, is set by the General Meeting. 

The “supporting members” (or their representatives) take part and vote in the General Meetings.

Are included as “associate members”, the natural persons interested in the work of Institut Montaigne. They pay an annual fee; the minimum amount is set every year by the General Meeting.

The associate Members take part and have an advisory vote in the General Meetings.

The Membership can be lost by:
•    Death or incapacity
•  The dismissal pronounced by the Board of Directors, the concerned party having been called upon beforehand to provide an explanation
•    The resignation notified to the Board of Directors
•    The non-payment of the annual fee
•    For the legal entities, their dissolution, liquidation or receivership

Institut Montaigne is administered by a Board of Directors, which ensures consistency and circulation in the work and publications.

The Board of Directors is composed of at least four and at most fifteen members, appointed by the General Meeting, for a renewable period of three years. The members of the Board of Directors do not necessarily have to be members of Institut Montaigne.
The Board of Directors shall elect from among its members a President, one or several Vice Presidents, and a Treasurer. The function of Treasurer can be held concurrently with the function of Vice President.

The Board of Directors can elect from among its members an Honorary President. He/She takes part and has an advisory vote at the Board of Directors’ meetings.

Decisions shall be taken on the basis of a simple majority. In the event of a split vote, the President’s vote takes precedence.

The President has the most extensive powers. He/She represents Institut Montaigne in dealings with third parties. The Vice-President(s) shall stand in for the President in the absence of the latter. The Treasurer is in charge of the accounts.

In case of death or resignation of a member of the Board of Directors, a replacement shall be elected at the next General Meeting.

Meetings of the Board of Directors are convened by simple letter of the President, as often as required in the interest of Institut Montaigne. They can also be convened, on the same terms, by half of its members. The agenda is set by the President.

In an advisory capacity, the President can invite to the Board of Directors’ meeting any person he/she may deem useful for advancing the work of Institut Montaigne.

Upon the proposal of the President, the Board of Directors shall appoint an Executive Director, responsible for executing its decisions, and managing Institut Montaigne’s services. He/She can be an employee of Institut Montaigne.

The Executive Director shall have the right to attend the meetings of the Board of Directors and the General Meetings, with an advisory capacity.

Upon the proposal of the President, the Board of Directors shall appoint a Director of Studies, who assists and coordinates the work of Institut Montaigne. He/She can be an employee of Institut Montaigne.

Institut Montaigne is served by an Advisory Board of fifteen members at most, chaired by a qualified individual appointed by the President of Institut Montaigne.

Upon the proposal of the Board of Directors, the members are appointed, by a majority vote, by the General Meeting, for a three-year period.

The Advisory Board shall meet at least twice a year. It is consulted especially on: Institut Montaigne's work (studies, research, circulation, etc.), and the collaborative projects with foreign institutes.

The Ordinary General Meeting is made up of all Members of Institut Montaigne. It gathers at least twice a year, when convened by the President. Invitations shall be sent out by simple letter, at least fifteen days before the date of the Meeting, and should include the agenda.

The General Meeting listens to the activity report of the Executive Committee. It approves the financial report of the Treasurer, as well as the annual accounts submitted by the Board of Directors. It deliberates on the issues on the agenda.

The Ordinary General Meeting is also competent in any matter not expressly assigned to another body.

In an advisory capacity, the President can invite to the Ordinary General Meeting any person he/she may deem useful for advancing the work of Institut Montaigne.

Minutes shall be kept of the deliberations and resolutions of the General Meetings. Signed by the President, they are kept in a register.

The Ordinary General Meeting may validly deliberate only if at least a quarter of its founding members and benefactors are present or represented. In the absence of a quorum, a new General Meeting shall be convened within thirty days; it may then deliberate whatever the number of founding Members or benefactors present or represented.

The active members who cannot be present at the Ordinary General Meeting can empower another active member to represent them. The active members present at the General Meeting cannot hold more than two nominative powers. The non-nominative powers will be deemed established for the decisions proposed by the Board of Directors.

Decisions shall be taken on the basis of a simple majority of the present and represented active members. In the event of a split vote, the President’s vote takes precedence.

The President can convene an Extraordinary General Meeting on the same terms as for an Ordinary General Meeting. 

This Meeting has the power to proceed to the amendment of these articles of association, upon the proposal of the Board of Directors.

The Extraordinary General Meeting can also decide on the dissolution of the Institute, as well as on its terms and conditions. In case of a dissolution, it shall appoint one or several Commissioners responsible for the liquidation. In case of net assets, they will be given to similar institutions, according to legal regulations.

The Extraordinary General Meeting may validly deliberate only if at least a third of its founding members and benefactors are present or represented. In the absence of a quorum, a new General Meeting shall be convened within thirty days; it may then deliberate whatever the number of founding members or benefactors present or represented.

Decisions shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the present and represented active members.

Institut Montaigne’s resources come from: membership fees; subsidies and donations it is empowered to receive; any other resource authorized by law.

Almost 95% of our income comes from our members’ donations, which do not represent any future benefit for the donator other than nominal consideration. The other sources of income come from our financial proceeds.

The Board of Directors can establish and amend the rules of procedure, which adopt the necessary implementation conditions of these articles of association. It can also establish various points not provided for by these articles of association.

The rules of procedure are approved by the Ordinary General Meeting.

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© Institut Montaigne 2017