We are pleased to present the second edition of the European Foreign Policy Scorecard, which assesses Europe’s performance in pursuing its interests and promoting its values in the world in 2011. The objectives and basic structure of the Scorecard have not changed. Once again, the assessment is of the collective performance of all European Union actors rather than the action of any particular institution or member state. We focus on policies and results rather than institutional processes – in other words, we are interested above all in how effective Europe was in the world. In particular, we assign two scores (“unity” and “resources”, each graded out of 5) for European policies themselves and a third score (“outcome”, graded out of 10) for results. The sum of these scores translates into letter grades. A full description of the methodology for the Scorecard can be found on ECFR’s website at


However, although we are retaining the same methodology to allow comparisons with last year’s performance, we have made two innovations for the second edition of the Scorecard. First, we have added an assessment of European performance in the Middle East and North Africa to the other regional issues in last year’s Scorecard and merged the assessments of crisis management and European policy in multilateral institutions.

Second, we have added an exploration of the role played by individual member states on 30 of the 80 components of European foreign policy where they played a particularly significant role. In order to do this, we have, with the help of 27 researchers around the EU, categorised member states in each case as a “leader”, a “slacker” or just a “supporter” of common and constructive policies. Clearly, categorising member states in this way is not an exact science. Like the scores and grades we assign to Europe as a whole, it involves a political judgment in each case. We therefore do not consider it to be definitive. However, at a time when there is a trend towards the “renationalisation” of European foreign policy (as the authors describe in the introduction), we feel it is important to describe the roles that member states play in the development of common European positions. In some cases, they take initiative, lead by example, or devote disproportionate resources. In other cases, they fail to pull their weight or even block the development of policies that serve the European interest in order to pursue their own narrowly-defined or short-term national interests.

The Scorecard remains a work in progress that we will continue to refine and improve. We therefore look forward to a debate on this second edition in order to improve it when we come to assess European foreign policy performance next year. The aim remains to offer an informed judgment on what works and what doesn’t in order to help European citizens to decide for themselves and demand better policies from their leaders. We therefore encourage readers to join the discussion on the ECFR website.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Antonio Vitorino

January 2011

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