Europe and China's New Silk Roads

Edited by Frans-Paul van der Putten, John Seaman, Mikko Huotari, Alice Ekman, Miguel Otero-Iglesias. European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), January 2017.

This report provides a comparative perspective of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative (OBOR), as seen from the various European Union member states. The Chinese leadership officially launched this framework in autumn 2013, presenting it immediately as a key national concept and foreign policy priority for the years to come. This report covers the role of OBOR in the relations between China and 14 EU member states, including all larger countries and many middle-sized ones, as seen from the European side. It does so by systematically treating three basic questions across a selection of EU member states and at the EU level itself:

• Which OBOR-related activities exist currently in the host countries and at the EU level?
• What is China’s approach towards individual EU member states with regard to OBOR?
• What are the perceptions and reactions in individual European countries and at the EU level?

This is the second report by the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC). The ETNC members represent major European think tanks and are specialized in analysing China–Europe relations. It is devoted to the study of Chinese foreign policy and European Union (EU)-China relations and facilitates regular exchanges among participating researchers. The Elcano Royal Institute is a member institute of ETNC.

See also the first report: Mapping Europe-China Relations: A Bottom-Up Approach.

Europe and China’s New Silk Roads. Elcano Royal Institute

Elcano Global Presence Report 2016

Iliana Olivié (Senior Analyst) and Manuel Gracia (Research Assistant) at the Elcano Global Presence Index Project.


The 2016 edition of the Elcano Global Presence Index ranks 90 countries according to the extent to which they are currently ‘out there’, participating in and shaping the process of globalization. In addition to the incorporation of 10 new countries (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Myanmar, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Uruguay and Uzbekistan) and adjusting the weighting given to each variable (according to the international experts’ criteria resulting from a survey conducted in 2015), this year’s edition highlights the following results:

  • China jumps to second position while Europe stagnates.
  • The collapse of commodities prices affects the emerging economies.
  • The added value of global presence of all 90 countries for which this index is calculated barely grows in 2015, which could indicate the stagnation of the globalization process.
  • After years of increasingly disperse global presence, we are now seeing a re-concentration of external projection.
  • The results of a survey conducted in 2015 shows the extent to which foreign policy specialists have changed their worldview. The world now looks ‘harder’ than it did in 2012.

Also available: Informe Elcano de Presencia Global 2016 (Spanish version).

Elcano Global Presence Report 2016

A New Course for Spain: Beyond the Crisis

William Chislett. Elcano Royal Institute, 2016.

The global financial crisis of 2007-08 took a heavy toll on Spain’s vulnerable economy. The spectacular collapse of the real estate and construction sectors caused the unemployment rate to skyrocket to 27% in 2013. This shook the country’s economic, political, institutional and social foundations. There is now a glimmer of light in what has been a very long tunnel, thanks to some of the measures taken, the innate strengths of the country, particularly the extended family-based network, and the common sense of its people.

This book seeks to explain how Spain moved from crisis to incipient recovery by looking at the reforms and the main sectors –macroeconomic fundamentals, exports, banking, investment abroad, foreign direct investment in Spain, etc–. It also looks at the challenges ahead including the new political situation with the erosion of the two-party system –the Popular Party and the Socialists– that has alternated in power since 1982 and the emergence of two new parties, the anti-austerity Podemos and centrist Ciudadanos.

Mapping Europe-China Relations: A Bottom-Up Approach

Edited by Mikko Huotari, Miguel Otero-Iglesias, John Seaman and Alice Ekman. European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), October 2015.

As China’s rise continues to shape and shake the course of international affairs, and Europe enters a new chapter in its collective history, Europe-China relations are becoming more relevant, but also much more complex. Understanding these complexities requires a precise examination of the various state-level bilateral relationships and interests at play between China and the EU countries.

This report is the first in an on-going effort of dissecting and re-assembling Europe-China relations from an EU member state perspective. As the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) develops, recommendations will emerge on how these member states and the EU as a whole can better coordinate their various approaches to China.

A new Atlantic Community: the European Union, the US and Latin America

Joaquín Roy (editor), Miami-Florida European Union Center, 2015.

This monograph reflects the proceedings (with a few additions) of a seminar under the comprehensive title of “A New Atlantic Community: The European Union, the US and Latin America”. The main topics and themes were the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to be agreed between the European Union and the United States and its impact on Latin America, the relations between the EU and Latin America, and the overall issues of regional integration and economic cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. This seminar was organized by Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Miami, under the sponsorship of the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence (a partnership with Florida International University) and the EU Commission. It was held on Friday, February 27, 2015, in Miami.

A New Atlantic Community. Joaquín Roy, ed.

Elcano Global Presence Report 2015

Iliana Olivié (Senior Analyst), Carola García-Calvo (Analyst) and Manuel Gracia (Research Assistant) at the Elcano Global Presence Index Project.


This year’s edition of the Elcano Global Presence Index ranks 80 countries according to the extent to which they are currently ‘out there’, participating in and shaping the process of globalization. Given that this index reflects mainly structural trends rather than short-term events, it comes as no surprise that there are virtually no changes within the top 10 positions of the 2014 ranking in relation to the previous year. The only relevant change is that the United Kingdom climbs one position to claim 2nd place, leaving Germany in 3rd. As a result, the new top 5 starts with the United States (leading the ranking since 1990), followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and France. It should be noted, however, that the up-scaling of the British position responds in large part to a massive sale of gold to Switzerland in 2013; probably a one-time event, and one that might be insufficient for holding the country at its current position in future editions of the index.

The report also contains the contributions of Miguel Otero-Iglesias, Mario Esteban and Ángel Badillo, all of them Senior Analysts at the Elcano Royal Institute.


1. Slower globalization and a re-concentration of global presence. Iliana Olivié and Manuel Gracia.
2. From global to local: the architecture of the European Union's external projection. Iliana Olivié and Manuel Gracia.
3. Europe's global economic presence vis-à-vis the emerging markets. Miguel Otero Iglesias.
4. The role of Asia in globalization: much more than just China and economics. Mario Esteban.
5. A comparative anañysis of foreign-policy strategies and global presence: the cases of Australia and South Africa. Carola García-Calvo.
6. Measuring soft presence through news wire services. Ángel Badillo y Manuel Gracia.
7. Methodological annex.

Also available: Informe Elcano de Presencia Global 2015 (Spanish version).

Elcano Global Presence Report 2015

The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden's Death

Bruce Hoffman and Fernando Reinares (editors)
Columbia University Press

Examining major terrorist acts and campaigns undertaken in the decade following September 11, 2001, internationally recognized scholars study the involvement of global terrorist leaders and organizations in these incidents and the planning, organization, execution, recruitment, and training that went into them. Their work captures the changing character of al-Qaeda and its affiliates since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the sophisticated elements that, despite the West’s best counterterrorism efforts, continue to exert substantial direction over jihadist terrorist operations. This book is possible thanks to the support of the Elcano Royal Institute and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), and the Center for Security Studies in Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (US).

Further information: Columbia University Press.

The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat. Hoffman & Reinares. Elcano 2014

Elcano Global Presence Report 2014

Iliana Olivié (Senior Analyst), Manuel Gracia (Collaborator) and Carola García-Calvo (Research Assitant) of the Elcano Global Presence Index Project.

The Elcano Global Presence Index measures global presence, which we define as the effective positioning of countries outside their own borders. The index takes into account a broad array of economic, military and soft dimensions (such as the tourists they attract or their success in international sports competitions). The top 10 slots in the 2013 ranking are held by the United States, which has consistently emerged first, followed by six European countries in positions ranging from second to tenth, with China and Japan at fourth and seventh. The first year-on-year change appears at number 12, with Saudi Arabia climbing one position in our ranking.

Also available: Informe Elcano de Presencia Global 2014 (Spanish version).

Elcano Global Presence Report 2014

Elcano Global Presence Index 2012

Iliana Olivié,Senior Analyst of the Elcano Royal Institute, and Manuel Gracia, Collaborator of the Elcano Global Presence Index Project

The Elcano Global Presence Index displays the current situation and evolution, since 1990, of the global presence of 60 countries and of the European Union in the world order. Furthermore, since 2005, an additional calculation has been performed for the member States of the Union –the Elcano European Presence Index–, which limits the presence exclusively to the intra-European sphere. Global presence is divided in three areas which in turn are composed of diverse indicators: economy (energy, primary goods, manufactures, services, investments), defence (troops and military equipment) and soft presence (migration, tourism, sports, culture, information, technology, science, education, development cooperation).

Also available: Índice Elcano de Presencia Global 2012 (Spanish version).

Elcano Global Presence Index 2012

Think Global Act European IV. Thinking Strategically about the EU's External Action (2013)

Directed by Elvire Fabry (Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute)


The fourth edition of the Think Global - Act European Project focuses on the need to think strategically about the EU’s external action. The Elcano Royal Institute has contributed to this project, which was coordinated by the Jacques Delors Institute (Notre Europe), with four policy papers and a seminar which was held in Madrid.

See also: 
La Acción Exterior Europea: implicaciones para España (TGAE Madrid)
Presentation Think Global - Act European IV (Brussels).
Elcano Flash News 38 - Contributions to the Think Global-Act European IV Project.

Think Global Act European IIV (2013).