European Power

About the European Power Programme

In a challenging international environment, ECFR’s European Power programme aims to help Europeans develop responses to, and capacity for, dealing with the obstacles to an effective foreign policy. Our goal is a globally engaged EU, which understands the internal and external threats that it faces, and equips itself to respond to these threats and grasp the opportunities to realise its founding values. To this end, our focus is not only on the EU’s foreign policy strategy and instruments, but also on analysing and challenging the nativist arguments of the populist wave that has taken hold across European societies.

Security is among the primary preoccupations of European citizens today. It is a thread that runs through all of European Power’s work, from analysis of the Transatlantic relationship and exploring the future of the liberal international order, to geoeconomics, to looking at how fears about the impact of terrorism, migration and technological change are affecting cohesion across the EU. We have launched the New European Security initiative – the first pillar of the European power programme, which is led from our Paris office - to bring together expertise on the future of co-operation between EU states on hard security questions such as military capability and nuclear deterrence, with new tools such as sanctions, cyber, and artificial intelligence, and combine this with the expert analysis within ECFR’s regional programmes.

The second pillar of European Power, led from our Berlin office, is Cohesion and Governance. Our work in this area looks at the politics, mechanisms and interstate relationships within the EU which can help or hinder a collective foreign policy. We explore how Europeans can work in a more flexible, light- footed way in a post-Brexit union, to deliver on the issues which matter to voters. Our Rethink project looks at coalitions and the underlying potential for member states to work together on different policy areas. We monitor the foreign policy views in the political parties shaping the European political landscape, including those who are anti-establishment. This analysis informs the foreign policy work across ECFR, ensuring that our recommendations are grounded in what is politically possible.