Experts & Staff


Mark Leonard

Director

Languages: English, French, German
Areas of Expertise: Geopolitics and Geoeconomics; China; EU-Russia relations; transatlantic relations; EU institutions; public diplomacy and nation branding; UK foreign policy

Mark Leonard is co-founder and director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the first pan-European think tank. His topics of focus include geopolitics and geoeconomics, China, and EU institutions. 

Leonard writes a syndicated column on global affairs for Project Syndicate.Previously he worked as director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform and as director of the Foreign Policy Centre, a think tank he founded at the age of 24 under the patronage of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the 1990s, Leonard worked for the think tank Demos where his Britain™ report was credited with launching Cool Britannia. Mark has spent time in Washington, D.C. as a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences.

He was Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geoeconomics until 2016.

Honoured as a “Young Global Leader” of the World Economic Forum, he spends a lot of time helping governments, companies, and international organisations make sense of the big geo-political trends of the twenty-first century. He is a regular speaker and prolific writer and commentator on global issues, the future of Europe, China's internal politics, and the practice of diplomacy and business in a networked world. His essays have appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, the Financial Times, the New York TimesLe MondeSüddeutsche ZeitungEl PaisGazeta WyborczaForeign Policy, the New Statesman, the Daily TelegraphThe EconomistTime, and Newsweek.

As well as writing and commenting frequently in the media on global affairs, Leonard is author of two best-selling books. His first book, Why Europe will run the 21st Century, was published in 2005 and translated into 19 languages. Leonard's second book, What does China think? was published in 2008 and translated into 15 languages. He has published an edited volume on Connectivity Wars and is working on a forthcoming book on the same topic. 


Latest from Mark Leonard

  • Seven days to save the European Union (Commentary)

    Susi Dennison & Mark Leonard - 16 May 2019

    The European Parliament elections take place next week - our latest pan-European polling reveals voters are deeply concerned about what the future holds

    Is winter coming to the EU? (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 24 April 2019

    Many observers expect a grand showdown between the forces of “open” and “closed” societies in next month’s European Parliament elections, with the very future of the European Union at stake. They are right to be worried, but wrong about the reason

    When European politics becomes personal (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 03 April 2019

    As the United Kingdom has hurtled ever closer to the Brexit cliff, once-abstract notions of a transcendent European identity have gained substance, and millions of people who still believe in the European project have come out in support of it. The question now is whether the European idea can win out over resurgent nationalism.

    The accidental Atlanticist (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 26 February 2019

    At this year's Munich Security Conference, appearances by former US Vice President Joseph Biden and current Vice President Mike Pence offered the transatlanticists in attendance a portrait in contrasts. Yet to achieve the bright future promised by Biden, Europeans need to heed Pence's dark warnings.

    How Europe’s populists can win by losing (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 04 February 2019

    The European Parliament elections this May have been described as a make-or-break moment for the future of the European project – and for good reason. With plans to form a populist united front, Eurosceptic parties need only capture one-third of parliamentary seats to bring EU governance to a crawl.

    Shaping Europe’s Present and Future (Commentary)

    An Interview with Federica Mogherini, conducted by Mark Leonard - 11 January 2019

    After a decade of economic and political crises, the project of European integration continues to face existential challenges. But while some observers worry about the EU’s future, its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is confident that through continued cooperation, Europeans can secure their interests even in an era of global upheaval.

    Top ten foreign policy trends in 2019 (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard & Jeremy Shapiro - 03 January 2019

    Top ten trends that will occupy European foreign policymakers in 2019

    The US and China are the closest of enemies (Commentary)

    Mark Leonard - 27 November 2018

     After years of economic symbiosis in which the US purchased low-cost Chinese imports and China purchased US Treasuries, China has begun to pursue the prerogatives of a superpower, and the US has responded in kind. As a result, both countries are becoming more alike, particularly in their belief that there can be only one winner.

Contact

Email: mark.leonard@ecfr.eu
Tel: +44 (0)20 7227 6869

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