Languages: Spanish, English
Areas of Expertise: Populism and euroscepticism in Europe; Common Foreign Security and Defence Policy; EU domestic politics; institutional reforms
José Ignacio Torreblanca is a senior policy fellow and head of the Madrid office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a position he has held since the launch of ECFR across Europe in 2007. His topics of focus include populism and euroscepticism in Europe, common foreign security and defence policy, and EU domestic politics and institutional reforms
Torreblanca was previously editorial director of the Spanish daily El Pais. His list of publications, articles, multimedia content and press interviews with ECFR is available below.
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 16 December, 2010
It is easy to resign oneself to the idea that 'Chinese democracy' is an oxymoron. Yet the potential implications of democratisation in China are so huge that the possiblity of it happening is worth imagining. Lu Xiaobo allows us to do so, if only for a few hours.
Jose Ignacio Torreblanca - 3 December, 2010
Germany was a model for the post-Franco rebuilding of Spanish democracy, and for a time was perhaps Spain's most important ever partner. The switch to rivalry in recent years, and Spain's failure to support Germany while it struggled with the financial implications of…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 30 November, 2010
In the past, Germany has been both a model and a partner for Spain. But there have been deep-seated changes in how Berlin views southern Europe, and seen from Spain, it is as if Germany has decided southern Europe is a burden that prevents it from going global and needs to be…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 11 November, 2010
At first glance the recent Franco-British treaty on defence looks like a model of pragmatism, tinged by a British desire to keep greater pan-EU defence cooperation at bay. But like so many European agreements over the last decades, this aspiration to preserve sovereignty may not…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 25 October, 2010
Spain has a new minister of foreign affairs - Trinidad Jimenez. So what are the priorities? Firstly, to restore international confidence in Spain, but then to think of the long term challenges in a world that is changing quickly.
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 21 October, 2010
Europe's pathetic reaction to Liu Xiaobo's Nobel peace prize showed an urge by EU leaders to not only render themselves internationally irrelevant, but also a determination to cover the EU itself in ridicule. Europe must decide whether it wants to play a role in the new world…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 22 September, 2010
The EU is finally looking for coherent ways to organise itself as a powerful actor on the world stage. This is necessary in a multi-polar world of rising powers - but Europe needs to remember that dealing with its challenges at home is a prerequisite for being taken seriously…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 20 July, 2010
Everyone's talking about the BRICs. But we shouldn't forget about the territories trying to become states. Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan and East Timor: they're all looking for our attention, and in some cases make better 'states' that the recognised ones.
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 13 July, 2010
Spain's footballing triumph at the World Cup came as a welcome distraction for the Spanish people. Their economy is a shambles; their politicians are struggling to do their jobs; and the Spanish presidency of the EU badly damaged their international reputation. But at least…
by Carla Hobbs (ed.) - 30th July, 2020
The EU cannot continue to rely on its regulatory power but must become a tech superpower in its own right. Referees do not win the game.
by Jonathan Hackenbroich, Jeremy Shapiro, and Tara Varma - 29th June, 2020
Europe must improve its early warning systems, supply chain resilience, medical R&D, and cyber security and technology, to act decisively in future emergencies
by Susi Dennison, Pawel Zerka - 29th June, 2020
A new survey shows that, after the onset of the covid-19 crisis, there has been a rise in public support for unified EU action to tackle global threats
Spain, and Europe, need a new story about migration – it remains to be seen how the country will put this into practice.
by Susi Dennison, Mark Leonard, and Pawel Zerka
With Teresa Coratella, Josef Janning, Andrzej Mendel-Nykorowycz, and José Ignacio Torreblanca - 19th June, 2019
The results of the European election confront EU leaders with a considerable challenge: navigating a new, more fragmented, and polarised political environment
Spain's election, caught between the euro crisis and Arab revolutions.
Helping Moroccan democracy through evolution not revolution
Europe’s digital transformation and sovereignty has become a question of existential importance. But what does it actually mean to be digital sovereign? Host Mark Leonard is joined by Marietje Schaake, President of the CyberPeace Institute and International Policy Director…
The over 90-hour European Council summit in Brussels ended with a deal on a €1.82 trillion financial package. What does this deal mean for the future of Europe? Will the EU recovery fund, made up of €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans, be a historic…
The coronavirus crisis brought about financial hardship for the European Union, and many agree that a recovery fund would be needed to overcome it. In the beginning, countries like Italy and Spain, in particular, felt left alone in dealing with this health, social and economic…
The EU members states have been caught up in a heated discussion on possible European ‘coronabonds’, a joint debt assistance by the Union to help those countries hit by the virus particularly hard. Soon enough, the discussion seemed to produce little of substance and…
Recently declared a global pandemic, it is undeniable that the coronavirus will be a global political, social, financial and economic crisis - requiring actions that reach far beyond unilateral measures by single states. Within Europe, the virus seems to be calling into question…
North Macedonia and Albania wanted to start negotiations with the EU after having been candidate countries since 2005 and 2014. But the enlargement plans seemed to have stalled especially after opposition from France. Host Mark Leonard is joined by Susi Dennison, José…
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 8 April, 2019
ECFR Madrid sits down with former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González to discuss topics such as the state of the European Union ahead of May's European Parliament elections, the rise of Eurosceptic parties, Brexit, and relations with the US and Russia.
José Ignacio Torreblanca - 7 February, 2019
ECFR Madrid in collaboration with Fundación Felipe González recorded a conversation between former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González and Head of the ECFR Madrid Office José Ignacio Torreblanca on the situation in Venezuela and the legitimacy…