Home - OPEWI - Europe's War Institute OPEWI - Europe's War Institute Humane ClubMade in Humane Club

OPEWI – Europe’s War Institute

Europe & neighborhood focus, led by practitioners, only with European funds

Block Pattern: Gallery
Block Pattern: Slide

Block Pattern: Slide

Why this Brussels-based think tank?

Europe now faces war at its borders but also within.

In that context, OPEWI aims to gather conflict practitioners from all over Europe to lead a tactical and technical conversation on how to best allocate defence resources according to today’s and tomorrow’s threats.

More importantly, we want to prove that European defence is possible, thet Europeans can overcome their differences and prejudices to protect their own continent.

Pic source: United 24

Block Pattern: Regular

Our Team

Michael Benhamou

Executive Director

Former EU/NATO political adviser (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Brussels).

MA Sorbonne & Sciences po

Nationality: French 

Francesca Sterzi

Research Director

Political Advisor at NRDC-ITA (reserve officer). Formerly deployed on frigates.

PhD International Law, Sant’Anna

Nationality: Italian

Mate Paden

Defence Director

Retired Lt. General. Former MilRep to NATO and to the EU. Former DCHOD.

PhD (candidate) in Economic Science, Zagreb University

Nationality: Croatian

Block Pattern: Regular

Advisory Council

Erhard Bühler

Lt. General (ret.). Former Commander of NATO forces – KFOR (Kosovo), JWC, Brunssum.

CoB: Germany

Andrzej Fałkowski

Lt. General (ret.). Former Military Representative to NATO/EU. Former DCHOD.

CoB: Poland

Ketil Olsen

V. Admiral (ret.). Former Military Representative to NATO. Formerly in the Navy Coast Guard.

CoB: Norway

Antonios Platias

Brig. General (ret.). Former StratCom officer in NATO/EU missions. Operations: Bosnia.

CoB: Greece

Gary Deakin

Maj. General (ret.). Former senior officer at NATO JFC Naples, SHAPE, Afghanistan. Operations: Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.


Marco Serronha

Lt. Gen. (ret.). Former Deputy Commander to NATO/EU operations – Kosovo, Central African Republic.

CoB: Portugal

Juha Vauhkonen

V. Admiral (ret.). Former Military Representative to NATO. Formerly head of Intelligence. Operations: Afghanistan.

CoB: Finland

Igor Schvede

R. Admiral (ret.). Former chief of Staff to Estonian Defence Forces. Former military representative to EU/NATO. Operations: Afghanistan, Baltics.

CoB: Estonia

Robbie Boyd

Retired Brig. General. Former adviser to the Chair of the NATO Military Committee Operations: Cyprus, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Sudan.

CoB: Ireland

Block Pattern: Regular

Our Goals


Influence EU and European policymakers on police and defence matters – legislation, budgets, programmes.


Foster security cooperation & autonomy in Europe by connecting industries with elected officials and civil servants.


Convince the European public, on all platforms, of the necessity to finance and ramp up European defences. 

Block Pattern: Regular

Our Values


OPEWI is a place where police & military are honoured – active duty, veterans, wounded personnel.


Only European projects and sponsorships, whether public or private, are accepted (EU27, UK, Switz., Norway & Iceland)


Our staff is on the road, visiting leaders, factories, war zones, unsafe neighborhoods, throughout the whole year.


We are creating a European community federated by a Brussels-based house where staff and guests can gather.