European Council on Foreign Relations

ECFR this week: 28th September

Nick Witney followed up the publication of ‘A power audit of EU-North Africa relations’, which we published last week, with an op-ed on ‘Europe’s role in the Arab Spring’. Nick argues that although the North Africans will be primarily responsible for their own future, Europe (and in particular France, Spain and Italy) has a vital part to play in fostering reform in the region. We’ve got more op-eds in the pipeline, and will be putting translations of part of the report up on the website (in Spanish, Italian, French, Arabic and a few others).  

This week also saw the publication of ‘Transnistria: a bottom-up solution’ by Nicu Popescu, arguing that solving the Transnistria conflict is best achieved by the EU concentrating on improving conditions in the whole of Moldova and encouraging its people to see the benefits of reunification. 


  • The latest ‘China Analysis’

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ECFR this week: 21st September

This week ECFR published a major new report assessing EU-North Africa relations. Nick Witney and Anthony Dworkin argue that North Africa’s ‘Arab Spring’ is a huge historic opportunity for Europe, but Europe is in danger of fumbling it. Click here to download the 'Power Audit of EU-North Africa relations' to find out what the EU and key member states can do better. In a podcast Nick Witney also points out the dangers of Europe's complacent attitude to the region and argues that the EU has no 'drawbridge' option with North Africa. The kindle version of the report will also shortly be available on amazon where you can also download a whole range of other ECFR ebooks.

The Reinvention of Europe

  • Should Europe be more like Switzerland? Hans Kundnani writes about the 'Swiss illusion'.
  • Politicians are busy thinking about the future of Europe - but citizens are sceptical, says

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ECFR this week: 14th September

This week saw the publication of a new policy brief by Julien Barnes-Dacey on how Europe can help Lebanon to avoid a descent into chaos. Julien argues that European states should - in firm contrast to US policy - continue to talk to Hezbollah in order to assuage fears about an international conspiracy against the movement and contain its more incendiary instincts. Click here to download ‘Lebanon: Containing spillover from Syria’.

Middle East and North Africa

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ECFR this week: 31st August

It’s the last day of August and time to start sending out our weekly updates of ECFR’s work after a short summer break. Sign up here for our weekly newsletter.

This week saw the publication of a paper by Dimitar Bechev examining the impact of the euro crisis on EU enlargement, in particular in the Western Balkans. Dimitar warns that whereas the EU used to export prosperity to the region, now it threatens to export instability.

August also saw the publication of our latest National Paper, aimed at examining the debate over Europe in individual countries. This time the focus was on the Netherlands, ahead of elections coming up on the 12th September, with Adriaan Schout and Jan Marinus Wiersma explaining how Dutch pragmatism lies behind the apparent shift from a traditional pro-European viewpoint to a more sceptical one. Next week we plan to publish a National Paper on Germany by

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ECFR this week: 27th July

This week Mark Leonard analyses the state of the transatlantic relationship (‘The end of the affair?’):

'Four years ago Barack Obama gave a landmark speech in front of a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin. They came to see an aspiring American president give flesh to all of Europe's fantasies about American leadership: multiethnic and multilateral; pragmatic and peacefully minded; social democratic in his goals and so eloquent in their expression. Obama promised to purge the sins of George W. Bush and give new impetus to the alliance for a new century. "America has no better partner than Europe" he said.'

But the transatlantic alliance is fading fast. What went wrong?            


  • Jose Ignacio Torreblanca argues that austerity in Spain is the result of a serious collective failure. But there is also a complex problem linked to the financial sector or as Nacho sums it

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Rescuing multilateralism

The turmoil in the current system represents an opportunity for Europeans to shape a new order that meets their strategic needs.