The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) is the successor of the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth (EULY), founded in 2007 by Mahmoud Farouk as the first and only initiative in Egypt to gather all liberal student and youth groups. The idea back then was to spread the culture of liberalism amongst young people in the country and to promote values of individual freedom and economic freedom. In 2009 EULY won the Templeton Freedom Awards for Excellence in Promoting Liberty, in the “Special Achievement by a Young Institute” category. In 2011 EULY’s members decided to transform the organization into a think-tank, in order to created a bigger impact on their society by providing evidence-based research to advocate for legal reforms and public policies in the economic, civil and political spheres. Today ECPPS employees a total of 10 men and women, all of them younger than 35 years old.
Throughout the years, its young motivated team has worked hard to transform ECPPS into a major player in the field of economic and individual freedoms and in particular in the areas of privatization, property rights, intellectual property and market regulations, as well as in the areas of freedom of assembly and association and religious freedom. ECPPS is member of the Egyptian Coalition of Rights Organizations that monitor and support the Egyptian democratic transition, issuing common statements and pushing for meaningful political reforms.
In 2014, as the Egyptian government declared a war on the civil society in Egypt issuing laws and decrees that threaten their work and their existence, ECPPS decided to stay open and keep its activities running as before, refusing to bend in the face of difficulties.
Awards and Achievements
Atlas Economic Research Foundation announced the winners of the 2009 Templeton Freedom Awards for Excellence in Promoting Liberty, the largest international awards program for think tanks, with a 10 thousand dollars award for each winner. 16 winners were selected this year from more than 130 applications from 47 countries. EULY has won in the “Special Achievement by a Young Institute” category, for its “Why Am I a Liberal?” essay competition, the first of its kind in the Arab world.
Atlas will host a conference featuring the winners on November 9 and 10 2009, tied to its annual “Freedom Dinner”, a gala celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. EULY Executive Director Mahmoud Farouk will accept the award. He will also represent EULY in the conference, accompanied by Senior Partners Amr Bargisi and Samuel Tadros.
We at EULY thank Atlas and the Panel of Judges for their confidence and appreciation of our work. We take the chance to congratulate the other winners for their achievements on the path towards liberty. We express our gratitude for our members, participants and everyone who contributed to our winning of this distinction. We promise to carry on with our efforts to establish a full-blooded Egyptian Liberalism, grounded in the values of individual liberty, minimal government and free market.
For more information on the award and registration for attendance of “Freedom Dinner”, please visit Atlas Foundation official website at www.atlasnetwork.org
Individual Liberty: The first principle of Liberalism is that Man is born absolutely free, his one and only path to happiness is to live free, or as close as possible. What we mean by freedom in this context is Individual Liberty, the opposite of servitude, i.e. freedom from restrictions imposed by another human being.
Small Government: Man invented Government to protect his personal freedom from the harms others might do him, but he had to give up some of this freedom to Government so that it may perform its task, namely, his freedom to use force to achieve his interest.
The original task of Government is to monopolize the legitimate use of force, as the only party which may apply force without punishment. However, Government does not use force arbitrarily, rather, according to a set of rules that we call the Law. The law is ordained as a Social Contract between individual human beings. All individuals endorsing a Social Contract must stand before the law as equals of no rank or distinction. This principle is what we call: the Rule of Law.
Government is evil, since it detracts from Individual Liberty, but a necessary evil, to maintain the larger part of that Liberty. Therefore, Individual Liberty and Size of Government (the fields in which Government may intervene) are inversely proportional. The larger Government gets, the more Individual Liberty is restricted and vice versa. Government, as the monopolist on force, is always the stronger side in a conflict with an individual. Thus, Government should always be kept as small as possible.
The closest Government model to perfection – least evil – is that of the Small State which intervenes only in specific cases: to prevent or amend physical harm done to an individual, damage to property, violation of a contract and to guarantee, though not necessarily provide, a minimum of services to its citizens for the perpetuation and viability of the Social Contract. This includes education, health care, water, electricity, communications, transportation, roads et al. depending on levels of poverty or priorities of development.
There are two possible guarantees that a Government will obey the law. First, that Government has no source of income other than Taxes paid by the individuals under this Government’s authority, devised and appropriated by these very individuals or their elected representatives. Second that the individuals are able to monitor, hold accountable and dismiss those responsible for running their Government. These two guarantees combined can be called: Representative Democracy.
Free Market: Liberalism supposes that Man’s ultimate goal is happiness. Since Man is and should be absolutely free, he is the only one capable of defining what will bring him happiness, i.e. defining his interest, and the means by which he will seek to realize this interest.
Liberalism sees the Market as the medium through which individuals seek to achieve their material interest with scarce resources. Free Market means that this medium is open for everyone without restriction. Government should not intervene in the Market but within the limits of its three aforementioned tasks. This includes intervention to protect the Free Market value of property (e.g. Anti-Trust Law) and preservation of implicit contracts (e.g. Printing Money and subsequent Monetary Policies).
The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) is a non-governmental, non-partisan, non-for-profit organization whose mission is to reform the legal and economic system in Egypt in order to achieve the principles of free market, minimum state, individual freedom and the rule of law, through:
RESEARCH: Performing timely research on key policy and legal issues, formulating and proposing innovative and alternative solutions to the current legal, economical and social problems facing Egypt.
ADVOCACY: Engaging policy-makers to implement these solutions and raise awareness of local stakeholders on the need for reforms in Egypt.
- OUTREACH: Promoting public dialogue to defend these solutions, mobilizing and building the capacity of the Egyptian civil society to be more independent and free and participate in decision making.
Provide solid legal and economic reforms for the Egyptian legal system to the policy makers in Egypt.
Create an intellectual group to stand for and defend individual and economic freedoms.
Advocate for the importance of the rule of law, economic freedom and individual freedoms towards the general public.
- Property Rights
- Economic Freedom
- Rule of Law
- Individual Freedom