The Egyptian Center For Public Policy Studies Named Finalist For Atlas Network’s 2018 Templeton Freedom Award For “Better Budget For A Better Egypt” Initiative

Cairo, Egypt-based Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) has been named one of six finalists for this year's prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award for its successful efforts to reform Egypt’s budgeting process.

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES


WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After the dust settled following the Arab Spring in 2011, Egypt’s score plummeted on the “Open Budget Index,” which measures government transparency and citizen engagement in the budget-making process. The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies’ project reversed the score, and citizens finally got a say in the budgeting process.

"In a politically challenging environment such as the one we're dealing with in Egypt, the most difficult challenge for a think tank is to find a way to drive positive change that is concrete, measurable and, above all, sustainable," said Ahmed Ragab, executive director of ECPPS. "With 'Better Budget for a Better Egypt,’ ECPPS found the perfect balance between practical success … and finding a space for classical liberal ideas in the public debate in Egypt, with near-daily visibility in the media and closer ties with lawmakers and opinion leaders.”

Seeking a more transparent and accountable state, ECPPS developed a program to tackle three longstanding problems in Egypt’s budgeting process, which were: a lack of transparency; limited citizen inclusion in the budget-making process; and out-of-control energy subsidies, which accounted for a third of all government expenditures. After four years working on the project partnering with various stakeholders and the Ministry of Finance to address each issue, Egypt’s score on the Open Budget Index increased 25 points from 16 to 41 in 2017, citizen participation in the budget exists for the first time, and the Egyptian government announced that it will cut all energy subsidies after 2019. Energy subsidies had constituted one of the most alarming expenditures in the budget. This became a widely discussed problem and, after the International Monetary Fund weighed in, the Egyptian government announced its decision to cut them.

“The hope that accompanied the Arab Spring in 2011 went unrealized because moderate voices in civil society went unheard,” said Brad Lips, CEO of Atlas Network. “How tremendously encouraging that ECPPS has answered the call and inspired the Egyptian government to move toward transparency and inclusiveness!”

What: The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies named one of six finalists for Atlas Network's prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award for its work on budget reform in Egypt

When: Nov. 8, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner closing ceremony – Intrepid Museum Manhattan Pier 86, West 46th St & 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Press Contact: Daniel.Anthony@AtlasNetwork.org or 202-449-8449

Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation, and human fulfillment via free competition. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network's Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner gala dinner ceremony Nov. 8, 2018 in New York City. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize and the runners-up will each receive $25,000.

The 2018 Templeton Freedom Award finalists are:

  • The Buckeye Institute (Columbus, Ohio, United States) – “Increasing Safety, Liberty, and Justice: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio”
  • The Commonwealth Foundation (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States) — “A Titanic Shift: Pension Reform in Pennsylvania”
  • The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies of Egypt (Cairo, Egypt) — “Better Budget for a Better Egypt”
  • Libertad y Progreso (Buenos Aires, Argentina)  — “Downsizing of Argentina’s Government”
  • Lipa Taxpayers Association (Zagreb, Croatia) — “Campaign Against the Introduction of the Property Tax in Croatia”
  • The Mercatus Center at George Mason University (Arlington, Virginia, United States) – “Unleashing Prosperity by Cutting State Regulations”

About the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies
Cairo, Egypt-based Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies proposes public policies aimed at reforming the legal and the economic system in Egypt, with the purpose of achieving the principles of free markets, limited government, individual freedom, and strong rule of law.

About Atlas Network
Washington-based Atlas Network is a nonprofit organization that strengthens the worldwide freedom movement by connecting more than 485 independent partners in over 90 countries that share the vision of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where limited governments defend the rule of law, private property, and free markets.

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After the dust settled following the Arab Spring in 2011, Egypt’s score plummeted on the “Open Budget Index,” which measures government transparency and citizen engagement in the budget-making process. The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies’ project reversed the score, and citizens finally got a say in the budgeting process.

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