European foreign policies

Spanish foreign policy monitor: April-June 2015

By Elisa Lledó (29/07/2015) Policy Brief
La Moncloa-Gobierno de España/Flickr

The current wave of instability and conflict affecting their neighbours to the South and East has been a key issue on the Spanish and European agendas during the second quarter of 2015. In particular, the tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea that unfolded in April has returned the controversial issue of migration to the forefront of debate, both at a European and a national level. On the other hand, Spain has actively contributed to discussions in the United Nations Security Council just a few months before it assumes the monthly presidency of the organisation in October. Finally, economic diplomacy remains a central plank of Spanish foreign policy activity.

European integration starts abroad

By Giovanni Grevi (02/07/2015) Commentary
European Commission

Following the European Council on 26 June and the expiration of Greece’s bailout, all eyes are now set on the outcome of the Greek referendum and the future of European integration. The summit has shown the extent of strain in Europe’s political fabric. Sharp exchanges among European Union (EU) leaders on the pressing refugee issue and the breakdown of negotiations on Greece point to the risk of a much-diminished Europe at home and abroad. Faced with the risk of collective failure, a strong collective reaction to restore political cohesion is urgent. But Europeans should beware of spinning into another spiral of introspection. The world is watching and taking notes.

Spanish foreign policy monitor: January-March 2015

By Elisa Lledó (21/05/2015) Policy Brief
MAEC/Jorge Fernández

Spain has assumed its seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2015-2016, amidst increasing tensions and challenges to international security, including the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, among others. At European level, the fight against jihadist terrorism and the European energy union have dominated debates. At national level, Spain has begun to recover (albeit slowly) economically, while the country continues to search for business opportunities with both traditional and new trade partners.

Fragile states: an urgent challenge for EU foreign policy

ONU Brasil/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Around a quarter of the world's states are classified as 'fragile', meaning that they generally suffer from weak governance and persistent poverty while being prone to conflict. State fragility is a particularly urgent challenge for EU foreign policy, partly because a large proportion of fragile states can be found in Europe's extended neighbourhood, stretching from West Africa via the Middle East to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and partly because of the EU's strong commitment to more effective development policies around the world.

Spanish foreign policy monitor: October-December 2014

By Elisa Lledó (16/02/2015) Policy Brief
Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

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.

Challenges for European Foreign Policy in 2015. How others deal with disorder

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.

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

FRIDE ceased its think tank activities on 31st December 2015 for economic reasons. The Board of Trustees had to take this difficult decision since, despite many efforts to diversify its funding sources, FRIDE cannot sustain its think tank operations with a view to 2016 and beyond.

Established in 1999, FRIDE has made a major contribution to shape debate on Europe’s external activities in an increasingly challenging international environment. It has covered issues ranging from democracy and human rights to sustainable development, new approaches to multilateral cooperation and security affairs. FRIDE’s long-standing focus on the extended neighbourhood of the European Union proves today all the more relevant given widespread turbulence in the region. FRIDE’s emphasis on the importance of the values framing Europe’s external activities is central to current political debates in Europe and beyond. This shows the need for continued engagement in the pursuit of a common European foreign policy that is both effective and informed by the core values of European integration.

The Board wishes to thank Diego Hidalgo, FRIDE’s founder, for his tireless commitment and very generous support for many years. The Board also wishes to thank FRIDE’s dedicated staff, the members of the Board and the Advisory Committee for their contribution in making FRIDE one of the top foreign policy think tanks in Europe. We are very grateful to all those who have supported FRIDE’s work and projects over the years and we thank the many partners from all parts of the world who have worked with FRIDE on joint initiatives. We hope that FRIDE’s extensive input to the debate on Europe in the world will continue to inform thinking and action at a very critical time for Europe’s future.

The President of the Board

FRIDE cesó sus actividades como think tank el 31 de diciembre de 2015 por razones económicas. El Patronato tuvo que adoptar esta difícil decisión dado que, a pesar de los intensos esfuerzos realizados para diversificar sus fuentes de financiación, FRIDE no puede sostener sus operaciones como think tank a partir de 2016.

Establecido en 1999, FRIDE ha realizado una gran contribución al debate sobre las actividades exteriores de Europa en un ambiente internacional cada vez más complejo. Ha trabajado en temas que van desde la democracia y los derechos humanos al desarrollo sostenible, los nuevos enfoques en la cooperación multilateral y las cuestiones de seguridad. La atención prestada por FRIDE a la vecindad extendida de la Unión Europea durante mucho tiempo prueba ser hoy aún más relevante debido a la turbulencia que azota a la región. El énfasis de FRIDE en la importancia de los valores que enmarcan las actividades exteriores europeas es central en los debates en Europa y más allá. Esto muestra la necesidad de un compromiso continuo con la búsqueda de una política exterior europea común que sea eficaz y esté basada en los principios fundamentales de la integración europea.

El Patronato desea agradecer a Diego Hidalgo, fundador de FRIDE, por su incansable compromiso y muy generoso apoyo a lo largo de tantos años. También quiere expresar su gratitud a la dedicada plantilla, a los propios miembros del Patronato y del Comité Asesor por sus contribuciones para hacer de FRIDE uno de los principales think tanks de Europa en cuestiones de política exterior. Estamos muy agradecidos con todos aquellos que han apoyado el trabajo y los proyectos de FRIDE a través de los años y también damos las gracias a los numerosos socios de todas partes del mundo que han colaborado con FRIDE en iniciativas conjuntas. Esperamos que las extensas aportaciones de FRIDE al debate sobre Europa en el mundo continuará informando el pensamiento y la acción en un momento muy crítico para el futuro de Europa.

El Presidente del Patronato

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