This chapter deals with the ideals and the practicalities of the life of European think tanks. In the ideal world, think tanks should be independent of all kinds of interests and do their analysis and policy proposals true to their mission statements in order to be credible – and thus useful for policy makers. While the term ‘think tanks’ originates from post-World War II, United States (US), one can see similar organisations which pre-date the term but perform pretty much the same functions as think tanks do today. European think tanks are generally much smaller than their US counterparts, and probably have a lot less political influence. Governance structures are also important for credibility and independence. The formal structure of the governance depends on the legal requirements, but the real issue here is, who is in the governing bodies, and who decides what.