Unparalleled in scale and loss of life, the challenge of cross-Mediterranean migration to the EU is rightly receiving much attention. Around 165,000 individuals have already crossed to Europe in 2014 so far, twice the figure for 2013. Yet this grave (and growing) humanitarian crisis has scarcely been tackled in policy terms, and the EU still lacks a clear approach to migration across its southern flank. Policy-makers have struggled even to conceptualise the challenge of cross-Mediterranean migration, let alone to identify the right mix of policy tools to cope with it. This working paper argues that EU defence policies could help plug a major gap in the bloc’s approach to migration in the Mediterranean.
Spanish foreign policy throughout summer was marked by the first moves of new Spanish King Felipe VI on the international stage. The priorities of Spanish external action included, among others, Spanish efforts to obtain a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, the celebration in Madrid of the Conference on Stability and Development in Libya and the prominence of economic and public diplomacy with a view to improving Spain’s image and investments abroad.
The new leaders of the European Union will take office at a watershed moment for Europe. After five years of damage limitation at home and abroad, the next five years will either be about investing in Europe’s economic growth, political cohesion and global influence, or managing decline while trying to cope with destabilising shocks. Europeans face a stark choice: a pivot to Europe or Europe’s decay.
In this report FRIDE and its partners in the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG, which includes DIE, ECDPM, FRIDE and ODI) examines the five most pressing global challenges facing the incoming European Union (EU) leadership: a fairer world economy, climate change, peace and security, democracy and human rights, and poverty and inequality. They argue that tackling these challenges is vital both for global welfare and for Europe’s own security and prosperity. The publication calls on EU leaders to recognise the interconnected nature of these global challenges and act rapidly and with determination to address them, including through a High Representative for Foreign Affairs that is responsible for all external relations including development; through commissioners that move beyond their silos to work together; and through enhanced scrutiny by the European Parliament to strengthen accountability on these issues.
In early 2013, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that after its 2014 drawdown from Afghanistan, the strategic posture of the Atlantic Alliance would shift ‘from deployed NATO to prepared NATO’. Following the annexation of Crimea earlier this year, Russia’s invasion of other parts of Ukraine has sharpened the meaning of Rasmussen’s words, setting a challenging new security context for the NATO leaders who meet at a summit in Wales on September 4-5th. However, while the Ukrainian crisis will surely dominate the summit proceedings (and developments in Libya, Iraq and Syria may also be discussed), two interrelated tensions – one operational, the other political – will also greatly affect NATO’s future.
The abdication of Juan Carlos I de Borbón will have a significant impact on Spanish foreign policy as the ex-monarch has molded the foreign policy over the last forty years. One of his last acts during his reign was his three visits to the Persian Gulf between April and June, which is part of the new trade policy map and Spanish foreign investments. The reshuffling of the list of Spanish posts in the EU following the European elections should also be noted, as this is likely to have a greater affect than would first appear in the future of Spain in European politics.