European Council on Foreign Relations

Go to ECFR's "Reinventing Europe" page

What kind of HighRep does the MENA region need?

This piece is part of a series on the casting of a new High Representative. For the full collection, click here. Read Josef Janning's introductory piece here.

Audacious – at a time of unprecedented turmoil and transformations in a region that Europe cannot ignore, the High Representative will have to be more daring than in the past. Many on the other shore of the Mediterranean are already calling for more assistance from Europe.

Conciliatory – while showing audacity, the High Rep. will have to be a coalition builder with both southern countries and EU member states, in order to rebalance the concerns and focus, both political and financial, towards this neighbourhood.

Charismatic – in addition to robust networks and a good reputation among EU and world leaders, including the United States, the HR should be charismatic and project a stronger image of Europe as a credible foreign

Read more…

Can Europe rise to the geo-economic challenge?

What is "geo-economics" and does the concept help us understand some of the shifts that seem currently to be taking place in international relations? Over dinner during the ECFR Council meeting beneath the frescoed ceiling of the spectacular Renaissance Villa Madama on Monte Mario outside Rome, we discussed these questions with Ian Bremmer – best known for his idea of a "G-Zero World". Bremmer argued that, although there was currently much discussion about a "return of geopolitics", in particular since the Russian annexation of Crimea, both Europe and the US were increasingly using economic rather than military tools to pursue strategic objectives. This is as the American strategist Edward Luttwak suggested they would in a famous essay, “From Geopolitics to Geo-economics”, which was published in The National Interest in 1990 as the Cold War was coming to an end.

However, Bremmer

Read more…

HighRepCasting: Successful alchemist needed

This piece is part of a series on the casting of a new High Representative. For the full collection, click here. Read Josef Janning's introductory piece here

19th century alchemists had the unenviable task of creating gold out of a mix of less precious ingredients. The new High Representative for European Foreign and Security policy will be tasked with forging coherent and common foreign policy out of conflicting national interests and diverging strategic cultures. And while her/his predecessors had acceptable excuses for lack of results (Solana lacked an effective treaty and Ashton lacked a functioning institution) there is less room today for excuses.

The candidate needs to be able to take the blame for any kind of setbacks that the member states are responsible for, while graciously sharing possible triumphs with the national foreign ministers, who often harbor their own

Read more…

Europe’s High Representative: In 4 Words

This piece is part of a series on the casting of a new High Representative. For the full collection, click here. Read Josef Janning's introductory piece here.

Communicative - the first hurdle for a high rep is to sense what member states are able to live with and sell initiatives

Strategic– just because there are no battleships and tanks at his/her disposal doesn’t mean the High Rep can be a softie

Experienced- you don’t get the top EU diplomatic job without a long strong foreign policy and government CV

Daring- the only way to fake EU foreign policy is to take the initiative

Forget the Spitzenkandidaten, welcome to the bazaar

Campaign rhetoric had it that the proclamation of “Spitzenkandidaten”, front-runners for the position of President of the European Commission, would end the hitherto opaque process of selecting the EU’s top executive post. In light of the results, however, the scenario for the next weeks appears like another metamorphosis of bargaining EU-style, the outcome of which will likely be crushing the expectations that the campaign created.

As a matter of fact, the next European Parliament will bring about a strong majority only as a result of grand coalition building. Neither one of the two major party families, the Conservatives (EPP) and the Socialists (S&D) could bring together a majority against the other by joining up with the mainstream smaller factions of the Liberals and the Greens. Together, though, they could secure enough votes for a candidate, if they could agree on who it

Read more…

Page 4 of 40 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›

Latest Publications

Strategic sovereignty: How Europe can regain the capacity to act

The EU needs to learn to think like a geopolitical power.

False moves: Migration and development aid

Europe should not confuse development aid’s role in reducing forced migration with that of reducing migration more broadly

The instinctive multilateralist: Portugal and the politics of cooperation

The Portuguese hope that the EU can help them tackle the challenges of globalisation: from climate change to cooperation on the impact of freedom of movement

Publications

Three crises and an opportunity: Europe’s stake in multilateralism

Despite the existing crises to the multilateral system, the EU possesses a set of specific strengths needed to actually save the system.