The European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015 concluded that in a year of crises, European countries pulled together over a response to Russia, but failed to have an impact in many other policy areas. According to this annual systematic assessment of Europe’s foreign policy performance, the main leaders in 2014 were Germany, Sweden and the UK, with a surprisingly strong role for the Baltic states. In this series of articles, ECFR experts from our national offices as well as contributors from other countries debate the Scorecard results in their respective countries.
Sweden's second-place ranking in the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015 may say more about European weakness than about Swedish success.
The Netherlands got things done in 2014, but remained careful to protect their economy and relations with powerful allies.
Despite renewed leadership in some areas, Spain failed to engage fully on some of the defining foreign policy issues of 2014.
France did not seem inclined to build coalitions on foreign policy in 2014, preferring to go it alone – which made it less effective as a foreign policy leader.
Governmental upheaval limited Italy’s ability to lead on foreign policy, but it remained engaged in the southern neighbourhood and moved forward the debate on privacy and security.
In spite of the rising tide of anti-European rhetoric, the UK’s diplomats are still cooperating with Europe and driving foreign policy initiatives within the EU framework.
Driven by a new sense of its own responsibility, Germany has stepped up to take the lead in European foreign policy.
The German question has emerged again, but this time, the answer will depend on whether Germany is willing to embrace its role as an agent of change.
The Ukraine crisis pushed Poland to the forefront of EU diplomacy, but as Germany stepped up, Poland’s leadership was sidelined.
Bulgaria took few foreign policy initiatives in 2014 because of internal troubles, but the country made one tough decision in abandoning the South Stream pipeline project.