Experts & Staff

Susi Dennison

Director, European Power programme

Areas of expertise

European foreign and security policy strategy; politics, political movements and cohesion within the EU; Flexible Union; European refugee and migration policy; human rights, democracy, and justice

Languages

English and French

Biography

Susi Dennison is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her topics of focus include the strategy, politics and governance of European foreign policy; migration, and the toolkit for Europe as a global actor.

At ECFR, Dennison leads the European Power programme, which explores how to protect European interests in the post-corona era,  balancing the tensions between building European sovereignty and shaping a rules-based international system.  She previously led ECFR’s foreign policy scorecard project for five years and worked with the MENA programme on North Africa. Before joining ECFR in 2010, Dennison worked for Amnesty International, on advocacy towards the EU institutions. She began her career in HM Treasury in the United Kingdom. There she held a range of positions, including with the EU Co-ordination and Strategy team during the Convention on the Future of Europe. She advised on prison, probation and migration policy in the run-up to the 2004 wave of accession to the EU, on enterprise in disadvantaged regions and served in the Private Office of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

 

Egypt’s election: Watch this space

The first round of Egypt's elections suffered from irregularities and unfair competition, yet this received little coverage abroad. This must change, especially if Egypt is to be thought of as a benchmark for political progress in the wider Middle East.

To engage or not to engage?

The EU-Africa summit is taking place in Libya. The country's lengthy history of human rights abuses put EU leaders in a difficult position over simple questions such as whether to attend. EU leaders should now put pressure on Colonel Gaddafi by posing difficult questions and backing this up with meaningful sanctions rather than just lip service.

Where does Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel leave Europe?

China's anger over the award of the Nobel peace prize to Liu Xiaobo leaves the EU with a hard question to answer: Should it stick to its human rights principles or should it look to compromise on its values in pursuit of the world's most important rising power?

Decision time for Afghanistan

If the EU wants to be a credible promoter of democracy, it needs to highlight the achievement of holding elections in Afghanistan, rather than dwell too long on the undoubted imperfections. Many Afghans are taking part in the elections despite the danger of violence and concerns about corruption, and the polls are not just being imposed by the outside world.

A crisis of values?

The economic crisis has unquestionably dented the credibility of the liberal international order and caused a Europe-wide identity crisis. But, Susi Dennison argues, it would be a dangerous time for the EU to abandon its values, principles and approach to international relations. The economic crisis is already big enough; the last thing Europe needs is an existential one too.

EU-Cuba: Time for a change of mindset?

The EU's position on Cuba will be discussed at the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council, and the debate is likely to be heated. But beyond the arguments the EU can learn lessons from its relations with Cuba: strong-arm tactics don't work, realism is important, and the EU's approach is out of date.

The price of principle

Attention turns once again to Sri Lanka this week as the country gears up for its parliamentary elections. The EU recently decided to stop treating Sri Lanka as a preferential trading partner. What does this mean for Sri Lanka, and does it affect the EU?s clout in standing up for human rights around the world?

Publications

How to govern a fragmented EU: What Europeans said at the ballot box

The results of the European election confront EU leaders with a considerable challenge: navigating a new, more fragmented, and polarised political environment

Articles

Specials

Video

The incurable European

Diplomat Robert Cooper, UK PSC Ambassador Angus Lapsley and ECFR's Susi Dennison, explore where and how the UK has influenced European foreign policy decision making in 2014

Podcasts

In the media

The latest report by Susi Dennison and Livia Franco on how Lisbon can guide the EU into the post-covid era is quoted by the portuguese outlet RTP

The report by Susi Dennison and Livia Franco is quoted by the portuguese newspaper Publico.