MacroScope Strategies[M2S] (Previously called Westphalia Global Advisory)

Profile: MacroScope Strategies[M2S] (Previously called Westphalia Global Advisory)

1- Name of NGO:

MacroScope Strategies[M2S] (Previously called Westphalia Global Advisory)

2- Brief & Mission:

M2S, a private diplomacy firm, officially enrolled in the Transparency Register towards the end of 2018. With its headquarters located in The Hague, Brussels, Berlin, and Abu Dhabi (though the Abu Dhabi office is only referenced on their website and not in the Transparency Register), M2S is led by its co-founders and directors, Timo Behr and Tim Eestermans. Prior to their roles at M2S, Behr and Eestermans served in the political department of the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi. Notably, the head of that department from 2013 to 2016 was Mohammed Issa Hamad Abu Shahab, who later assumed the position of the UAE’s Ambassador to the EU until the summer of 2021.

The consultancy calls itself a “boutique consultancy firm” that specialises in diplomacy and international relations, geopolitical strategy, strategic communications, advocacy and international law.

Allegations have arisen suggesting that this firm is engaged in working for the UAE government and receiving financial support from them. These allegations imply that the firm actively works to protect and advance the national interests of the UAE on an international scale.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

It is active worldwide, but focuses its activities most notably on Europe and the Arabian Gulf.129 The website does not say anything about the policy areas the firm focuses on, or the clients it represents. Nor does it disclose any annual or financial reports.

After serving at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2016, Tim Eestermans transitioned to the position of Senior Counsel at DLA Piper in Brussels. One of his responsibilities at DLA Piper involved advocating on behalf of Saudi Arabia in Brussels and France, particularly regarding the US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. Notably, the UAE Embassy in Brussels was a client of DLA Piper, maintaining a professional relationship and earning between €100,000 and €200,000 until December 2018, which coincided with the establishment of M2S

Between 2013 and 2018, Timo Behr was employed at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In March 2020, he authored a research paper for the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi. It is worth mentioning that Tim Eestermans had briefly served as a guest lecturer at the academy in 2017. In the study, Behr emphasized the importance for the UAE to effectively communicate its foreign policies and aspirations to the international community. He recommended that the UAE develop a well-defined doctrine and clearly articulate its visions regarding regional stabilization efforts in order to enhance understanding and engagement with the outside world.

A crucial aspect of this task involves precisely defining the UAE’s perspective on “stability” and examining how it relates to the country’s foreign policy objectives. It is evident that this approach closely resonates with the UAE’s narrative emphasizing the significance of maintaining authoritarian stability.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The co-founder and director of the firm, having previously worked for the UAE government and demonstrating alignment with the UAE’s foreign policy agenda, actively safeguard and advance the interests of the UAE.

5- Sources of Funding:

As per the Transparency Register, M2S has disclosed receiving an amount ranging from €100,000 to €199,999 from the UAE government.

6- Activities:

Former employees of M2S have described their roles as encompassing projects focused on EU cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and emerging technology policies. These projects were undertaken with the purpose of advocating for the interests of clients such as the UAE through lobbying efforts.

7- NGO Leadership:

M2S is led by its co-founders and directors, Timo Behr and Tim Eestermans.

8- Controversy:

M2S conducted activities such as monitoring and analyzing EU regulations and specific policies that were of significance to the UAE. By engaging in these tasks, the firm actively promoted and safeguarded the interests of the UAE.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:macro-strats.com
  • Address:Hauge
  • Email: .

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The firm has been labeled as blacklisted because of its associations with UAE governments.

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