European Council on Foreign Relations

Go to the Madrid office's page

Go to the Madrid office's blog in Spanish

Madrid View: Saving Private Ashton

First was Tunis, then Egypt, later Libya. The EU failed in its diagnosis about regime stability, never quite supported the protesters and was late divided about Libya. To its merit, Brussels has acknowledged its failure and has set EUMED policy on a new footing.  Paradoxically, Commisioner's Füle acceptance of past mistakes has allowed member states to skip the blame, when in fact they are much more responsible of EUs failed Med Policy than Brussels.

As for the criticism of being slow in reacting to changes, it is a fair one, but easy to excuse. Diplomacy is, after all, little else than the constant exercise of cautiosness when facing change. See Obama: having a well greased diplomatc machinery and effective leadership did not prevent US foreign policy from dithering when faced with revolutionary changes in the MENA region.

As for divisiveness, we tend to forget that

Read more…

Madrid view: no happy ending yet

 

Yesterday, we saw Zapatero concentrated in reading his papers before the European Council started when Merkel entered the room and directly went to see him. He stood up and then, after the usual two kisses which are due to the Spanish tradition, they had a lively exchange. It looked as if Merkel was telling Zapatero “do not believe those who say Germany is not willing to save the eurozone”.   

Apparently, Merkel has taken enough fire: from her own Parliament; from other governments, and from the European press and she is now willing to be more reassuring about Germany’s role. This is all fine, and anything done to reassure markets is welcome, but if you have already have to move twice the firewall from one place to another, from Greece to Ireland, and now to Portugal, it might well mean that there is something failing.

This is what is happening with the EFSF and the doubling

Read more…

Page 11 of 11 pages ‹ First  < 9 10 11

Latest Publications

Reform from crisis: How Tunisia can use covid-19 as an opportunity

The government must build on its response to the pandemic to create a compromise that shares the burden of reform between political actors and interest groups

Demonstration effects: How the Hirak protest movement is reshaping Algerian politics

The Hirak protest movement has revealed flaws in Algeria’s ruling system, which lacks the tools to reinvent itself

A Gulf apart: How Europe can gain influence with the Gulf Cooperation Council

Europeans can shift the balance of power in the Gulf in their favour by approaching the Gulf through flexible new frameworks

Publications

The power of perspective: Why EU membership still matters in the Western Balkans

The EU should demonstrate its commitment to the Western Balkans by encouraging countries there to resolve their outstanding disputes

Not smart enough: The poverty of European military thinking on artificial intelligence

Failing to coordinate properly in the AI area could threaten future European defence cooperation, including PESCO and the European Defence