The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is the first ever pan-European think-tank. With a policy team in seven capitals – London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Sofia, Madrid and Warsaw -– it unites some of our continent’'s most distinguished researchers and analysts to promote Europe’'s role in the world. The ECFR is based on a belief that, in a world order defined by great powers and even larger problems, European countries can either band together and develop common responses, or risk losing influence over their fates. As Martti Ahtisaari, Joschka Fischer, Mabel van Oranje and I explain in today's Financial Times, the ECFR has been launched to fight against Europe's tendency to introversion, and to inspire European governments to develop a more vigorous common foreign policy.
The centerpiece of our launch is our Statement of Principles which has been written and signed by fifty founding members. It is a call on governments in European countries to adopt a more coherent and vigorous foreign policy in support of European values and interests backed by all of Europe’s power: political, cultural, economic and – when all else fails – military.
We’re now encouraging all European citizens to endorse the Statement and thereby to become Associates of the ECFR. You can read the statement in full and sign up here. By adding your name to the list of signatories, you will be invited to be an Associate of the ECFR. As an Associate you’ll benefit from the following:
- Invitations to the ECFR events and our eurotalks series: telephone & VOIP briefings with leading foreign policy practitioners and analysts.
- Advance copies of ECFR publications.
- Regular email updates about ECFR research, advocacy and campaigns and participation in ECFR straw polls on the big issues facing Europe.
In the weeks ahead we will be releasing the results of our first major research project, looking at the EU’s relationship with Russia. Too often European countries see themselves as weak and helpless in the face of a resurgent Russia that is increasingly ready to use energy as a political weapon. We think that by acting together, the countries of the EU can re-balance the relationship, reflecting the true realities of European power.
We will also be publishing new analyses of the situation in Afghanistan and recommendations on how European countries can mobilize more effectively at the United Nations in support of our values of protecting human rights. We’re also partners in an exciting new departure in ‘deliberative democracy’: Tommorrow’'s Europe, which will bring a representative sample of 400 European citizens together for a weekend of debate and discussion. To find out more all this week of our launch I'm guest blogging at The Economist's Certain Ideas of Europe blog and I'll be using the opportunity to focus on some of the key issues, for example on Monday on Europe's foreign policy dilemma in the new multipolar world. Our launch period culminates in a big event in Berlin on 9 November. The event will gather some 200 European policy makers to discuss the EU’s relationships with Russia, China and its role in the Middle East. The German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has agreed to be our keynote speaker.
It's great to be up-and-running finally and I'm looking forward to the coming months in which we’ll be bringing a new voice and new ideas to strengthen Europe’s role in the world. For those looking for the website in other languages than English, multilingual functionality will be coming very soon.
Mark Leonard, Executive Director
The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. ECFR publications only represent the views of their individual authors.