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.
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