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The Royal Institute for International Relations is an independent think-tank based in Brussels. Its interdisciplinary research is conducted in a spirit of total academic freedom. Drawing on the expertise of its own research fellows, as well as that of external specialists, both Belgian and foreign, the institute provides analysis and policy options that are meant to be as operational as possible. Close cooperation with other research centres, both in Belgium and other European countries, has recently resulted in a growing number of joint conferences and in more structured cooperations on research and publications.