This blog post by Mark Leonard is one of a series (mainly by lead author Hans Kundnani) on the debates in a series of events on ECFR's Foreign Policy Scorecard 2012 across Europe and beyond.
I have just got back from Stockholm where Anna Jardfelt, the dynamic director of the Swedish Institute for international relations, organised a fantastic event to launch our Scorecard. The speakers included Gunilla Carlsson (minister for development), Björn Fägersten, and Olof Ehrenkrona, and the chair was Mark Rhinard.
Sweden’s performance was one of the headlines of this year’s Scorecard. We looked at the performance of individual member states across 30 issues and were quite surprised with the results. At any time over the last few decades I would have expected to find France and the UK way out ahead, a more passive Germany coming in much further down, and no smaller countries in the top
The last couple of weeks have been disorienting for veteran observers of the United Nations. The spectacle of the U.S. and Europeans lining up with the Arab bloc – and many developing countries – to put pressure on China and Russia over Syria upsets many assumptions about the balance of power in the UN system. Over the last decade the Chinese and Russians have been able to harness the majority of non-Western states to oppose Western initiatives in New York and Geneva. Their success in doing so was the theme of an ECFR report I wrote with Franziska Brantner in 2008: A Global Force for Human Rights?
Back then, we caused quite a rumpus with our argument that the Europeans - admittedly struggling to manage the Bush administration’s anti-multilateral tendencies - were having a rough time at the UN. But we also had two underlying strategic messages that seem relevant today. The first was
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Hans Kundnani is one of the lead authors of the ECFR's Foreign Policy Scorecard. He's writing this series of blog posts as he attends a series of Scorecard events across Europe and beyond.
The first stop of my Scorecard tour was Sofia. I'm writing this from the departure lounge at Sofia airport, which overlooks the snow-covered tarmac (it's been snowing here for three weeks and shows no signs of stopping). This afternoon, we had a very interesting discussion with a group of a dozen or so people that included a former foreign minister, parliamentarians, officials (including someone from the new president's office), journalists and think tankers.
There was an interesting discussion of the idea of the European interest on which the Scorecard is based. The participants suggested we should look more closely at how to define it: is it simply lowest common denominator? or something
Angela Merkel's announcement that she will actively support Nicolas Sarkozy in the upcoming French presidential elections came as a surprise to many. And although I have not been a staunch supporter of Merkel’s European policy, I am convinced that she is doing the right thing. But I was also irritated that many Germans felt alienated and spoke about interference in domestic affairs.
In Franco-German relations, this kind of ‘interference’ is not a new phenomenon at all. In 1983, Francois Mitterrand helped Helmut Kohl with a speech in front of the German Bundestag in which he supported plans to deploy Pershing missiles. Today, this speech is remembered as the ‘Raketenrede’. Similarly, in 1992, when France was about to hold its referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, Helmut Kohl spoke via live transmission to some 500 students at the Sorbonne. The speech was not only broadcasted on
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As part of ECFR's 'Reinvention of Europe' project, we are running a series of responses from leading thinkers and academics to Mark Leonard's recent paper, 'Four scenarios for the reinvention of Europe'. The paper outlined four possible routes towards solving Europe's current crisis, and argued that Europe's main challenge was to solve the acute euro crisis without exacerbating the chronic crisis of declining European power. In the eighth in this series of responses, we hear from Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Athens.
Mark Leonard’s incisive article discusses critically the long-term tension between a technocratic vision of Europe and a lingering populist perception of it. This tension, however, should be put in the context of past inadequacies and temporal constraints of European
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Towards a new EU foreign policy
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How regional actors shape the conflict in Syria
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What Europe needs to do
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