Experts & Staff


José Ignacio Torreblanca

Head, ECFR Madrid
Senior Policy Fellow

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.


Latest from José Ignacio Torreblanca

  • Chinese Democracy

    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.

    Model, partner, rival

    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…

    Spain braces itself for a crisis made in Germany

    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…

    A pocket superpower

    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…

    Dear (new) foreign minister...

    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.

    A reed in the wind

    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…

    Afghanistan: Let me count the wars...

    José Ignacio Torreblanca - 29 September, 2010

    Waging even one war and winning it is complicated enough. Not to mention waging three different wars and winning them. This is what faces the international forces in Afghanistan. (In English and Spanish)

    Strategic weaknesses - at home and abroad

    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…

    Embryo states

    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.

    PIGS can fly

    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…

    The BRIC bloc

    José Ignacio Torreblanca - 7 July, 2010

    The Political West (the US, Europe and Japan) are in the doldrums while the BRICs keep growing. A third of world economic growth in the last decade has taken place in BRIC countries. So far, so good for the BRICs. But what next?

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