ECFR this week: 11th January 2013



As many of you have read (and tweeted about), our year kicked off with our predictions for the future in“Ten Trends for 2013.” Will the British debate about Europe become less toxic? How much is the single market being threatened by the euro crisis? Are small states the key to European foreign policy? Have a read and make your own mind up. 

Mark Leonard also wrote his latest column on issues discussed in “Ten Trends” – “In 2013, the great global unravelling.”

This last week we took a look at one of the key questions of European foreign policy – do sanctions work? We published a policy memo from Konstanty Gebert – “Shooting in the dark? EU sanctions policies” – that argues that if we don’t develop a better way of tracking the effectiveness of sanctions, then this key tool of European foreign policy is no more effective than shooting a gun in the dark. 


  • Dimitar Bechev took a long, hard look at Turkey’s relations with Europe in “Bringing Turkey back into the EU debate” (co-written with Nathalie Tocci), examining how Ankara might fit in to any future configuration of Europe that arises from efforts to deal with the euro crisis. 
  • In his latest “Sofia view” blog post, Dimitar also cast his eye over the 270 page report looking at Turkey's situation with the EU. Although much of the report reflects the negative turn these relations have taken in recent years, he finds a silver lining in the end of the Cypriot presidency. 
  • The British debate over Europe, which is set to be perhaps the most intriguing story in EU affairs this year, is the subject of a guest blog post by Petros Fassoulas, the chairman of the European Movement UK. He finds reasons for believing that (as I suggest in “Ten Trends”) that those wishing for a full “Brexit” from the EU might not get what they wish for. There’s also plenty more on the British debate in our “EU at the crossroads" project.  
  • Finally, we have a couple of pieces from Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, the head of ECFR’s Madrid office. In one, he asks whether the worst is over for Spain in 2013 (it depends how you define “worst”). In the other Madrid view” blog post – “The EU chessboard” – he takes a more continent-wide look at how dynamics are shaping up at a time of great flux and many challenges.
  • Our Madrid office also published our first podcast of the year, with Jose Ignacio talking about what he sees ahead in the coming year. 

That’s it for this week. Next week we should be publishing our compendium of papers looking at how the crisis has affected politics in 14 different EU countries – “Europe’s new political geography.” And later on in the month we’ll be publishing our third annual “European foreign policy scorecard” – which should contain an answer to the question I posed at the top of this email about the role of small states in EU’s foreign affairs…

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