Since 35 years for arms reduction and a safer world
Founded in 1979 by Bernard Adam, the Group for Research and Information on Peace and security (GRIP) emerged in the specific context of the Cold War. Hence, the first publications focused on the balance of power resulting from the East-West confrontation. Throughout the 1980s, GRIP became well-known for the accuracy of its analyses and information reports on the arms race, its mechanisms and the interests at stake.
With the fall of the Berlin wall and the emergence of new geostrategic dynamics, GRIP has broadened its scope of research and focuses primarily now on security issues. GRIP has acquired recognised expertise in armament and disarmament issues (production, legislation, transfer control, non-proliferation), conflict prevention and crisis management (particularly in Africa), European integration in the area of defence as well as in strategic challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.
GRIP’s goal is to enlighten the population and the decision-makers on complex issues in order to ease international tensions and promote arms reduction for a safer world. Thus, GRIP is working on conflict prevention, disarmament and the improvement of arms control.
GRIP, an independent research centre, has been recognised by the Belgian government (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) as an “organisation d’éducation permanente” (permanent education organisation). The 20-permanent-members of staff include researchers, editing and public relations managers, an archivist and administrative and secretariat staff. Besides this permanent team, GRIP relies on a large network of associate researchers both in Belgium and abroad. It is also active within numerous international research networks.
In 1990, GRIP was designated as “Peace Messenger” by the Secretary-General of the UN, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, for its “precious contributions on peace promotion”.
GRIP’s activities are consistent with its “fundamental options”.
GRIP’s research and expertise
GRIP’s research work revolves around the following topics:
- Prevention, management and conflict resolution: evaluation of risks and threats; causes and consequences of conflicts, especially in Central and West Africa; assessment of the use of force; development of civil means of conflict resolution (mediation, negotiation); peacekeeping operations; the role of international institutions (UN, EU, OSCE, African Union, …) and the role of African sub-regional organisations and strengthening civil society’s expertise.
- Small arms proliferation and arms transfer control: international, regional and national initiatives aiming at regulating the flow of small arms and improving arms transfers controls (through conventions, legislations, procedures); traceability and the marking of small arms; arms transfers to African countries, and civilians’ possession of weapons.
- European defence and integration: European Union policy and its role internationally (CSDP development) ; relations with the UN and NATO ; creation of a European security and defence policy ; the development of arms production and defence budgets; arms industries reorganization; technological developments and weapons programmes.
- Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: evolution of major nuclear, biological and chemical non-proliferation treaties; nuclear disarmament and initiatives for a nuclear-weapon free world, EU policy towards weapons of mass destruction, dual-use items and technologies; and missiles and their technology.
- Peace and Security in Asia-Pacific : maritime safety in Asia (States policies and stakes for the global security); Asian strategic thinking, military expenditure, arms transfers; development of Asian Defence Technological and Industrial bases; European role in the on-going strategic reorganisation; China and regional security (evolutions and scenarios).
GRIP works for – or together with - numerous institutions and official or civil society organisations, established in Belgium or elsewhere. In the past 35 years, GRIP has acquired a reputation of thoroughness and independence with a wide and diverse audience (civilians and institutions), interested in defence and security issues, disarmament and peacebuilding.
For its contracts or its conventions, GRIP works in partnership with the following institutions and organisations: the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Ministry of the Walloon Region, the Belgian Ministry of Defence, the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, the Ministry of Cooperation and Humanitarian action of Luxembourg, the French Ministry of Defence, King Baudouin Foundation, Flemish Peace Institute, SIPRI (Stockholm), BICC (Bonn), UNIDIR (Genève), BIT (Genève), European Union Studies Institute (ULB, Brussels), Small Arms Survey (Geneva), etc.
Furthermore, GRIP worked with various non-governmental organisations, amongst which are: Doctors without Borders in Belgium, Amnesty International, OXFAM, Human Rights Watch, Handicap International, Field Diplomacy Initiative, Belgian Red Cross, Justice and Peace Commission, etc.
GRIP has a specialised Documentation Centre, open to the public by appointment only, where books can be borrowed. Mainly in English and in French, the electronic data base counts about 14,000 bibliographical references. It has been accessible through GRIP’s website since 2010.
Since its creation, GRIP has been appreciated for its publications, which are the key for the spread of its research, but also for the accomplishment of its goal of permanent education. Most of the publications can be downloaded for free from www.grip.org.
GRIP has two book collections, whose authors are both researchers from GRIP and well-known leading figures:
• GRIP’s Books: published by GRIP, these books focus on geostrategic and international security issues. You can find them on GRIP’s website and in every quality bookstore.
• L’International en jeu Collection, published together with André Versaille editor. These books aim at broadening the issues tackled by GRIP’s researchers but also at reaching a wider audience. They are easily found in bookstores (in Belgium, France, Swiss, Canada and other French-speaking countries).
In 2013, GRIP’s books have been awarded the “Prix du meilleur ouvrage politique” (Best political book award) at the “Salon du livre politique de Liège” (Liège Political book Fair). On three occasions, GRIP has received the “Prix du meilleur ouvrage de vulgarisation” (Best popular book) by the Government of the French Ministry in Belgium.
Research work is published under three different forms, widely broadcasted through the website or the mailing lists:
• GRIP’s Reports: This collection is the main distribution channel for the GRIP researchers’ and associate-researchers’ work.
• The Analysis Notes are 12-to-20-page analyses on all the issues GRIP is working on. They can be downloaded from GRIP’s website for free. Moreover, through the mailing lists, they can be distributed up to thousands of copies.
• The Focuses, short 4-page notes, provide brief and useful information on a current event. As the Analysis Notes, they can be downloaded or received through the mailing list.
Last but not least, GRIP’s News is a quarterly 8-page newsletter which glances at the current events, gives an overview of the on-going activities and notifies the audience in case of new publications. Printed and mailed by postal service, it is also available on www.grip.org.
GRIP’s researchers are asked by the media (print media or radio and television press, daily newspapers or periodicals) on a regular basis to give comments on current events, and to shed new light on difficult issues or provide a scientific contribution through articles or interviews.
They are often asked by schools, universities, NGOs and other organisations to present a lesson, lecture or seminar.
Who finances GRIP?
Our financial resources are varied: public subventions (Ministries, European Commission: 50% of the budget), research contracts (30%), publication sales (15%) and donations (5%). This diversity guarantees our operational independence; however, in order to improve the efficiency of its actions, GRIP has to significantly increase its fourth source of funding (donations).
Everyone can support our project – and in the same time keep up with our activities- by subscribing to our publications or making a donation. CCP 000-1591282-94
(GRIP benefits from tax exemption. Each donation of more than 40 euros gives the right to tax exemption.)