Spanish foreign policy recorded important achievements in the last three months of 2014, including non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and the approval of the first Foreign Action Strategy. Meanwhile, the Veracruz Summit concluded the reform process of the Ibero-American dialogue. In addition, economic diplomacy and Brand Spain continue to be the government’s best bet to reignite the economy and improve its international image.
At the start of each year, FRIDE looks at the challenges for European foreign policy in the following twelve months. This year, at a time of growing geopolitical stress across the world, our central theme is how others deal with disorder. The book analyses the strategies of nine different countries for coping with instability – ranging from major powers with the ability or aspiration for global influence (i.e. China, the United States) to others with a regional focus (i.e. Iran, Turkey) – and the implications of those strategies for Europe.
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.