Expert Comments

The expert comments are brief 900- to 1,500-word pieces produced by the Elcano Royal Institute's analysts as an immediate response to international events relevant to Spain.

Jihadist mobilisation, undemocratic Salafism and terrorist threat in the EU

Fernando Reinares. Expert Comment 13/2017 - 10/3/2017.

Each time a terrorist attack is perpetrated, jihadism is to be thought of not just as a national security problem but also as a challenge to the very fabric of open societies.

Turkey’s critical constitutional referendum: an introduction

Ilke Toygür. Expert Comment 12/2017 - 6/3/2017.

As a new challenge to its democratic existence, Turkey is going to a constitutional referendum on April 16th, with a heavily polarised society. It is widely questioned if the referendum will be ‘free’ and ‘fair’ under the current state of emergency.

The EU, facing one of its most challenging years

Salvador Llaudes. Expert Comment 10/2017 - 28/2/2017.

Adding to concerns about terrorism, the handling of the refugee crisis and existing economic risks, there is the delicate management of the UK’s departure, the unpredictability of president Trump and, above all, an electoral calendar that offers no let-up.

Spain’s merchandise exports notch up yet another record

William Chislett. Expert Comment 8/2017 - 21/02/2017.

Spain’s exports of goods rose in 2016 for the seventh year running, defying expectations that they would tail off as the economy recovers and domestic consumption picks up.

Towards a post-Brexit ‘partnership for democracy’ between the EU and the UK

Pablo José Castillo Ortiz. Expert Comment 6/2017 - 17/2/2017.

In an era in which authoritarian populists have already started to cooperate, partnerships between democratic actors are more necessary than ever. A ‘democratic partnership’ between the EU and the UK would be a win-win situation for both parties.

EU-Mercosur: tapping the Atlantic’s potential

Paula Lamoso. Expert Comment 4/2017 - 31/1/2017.

Although the Mercosur-EU agreement is a first generation FTA, mainly focused on tariff reductions, it is also necessary to highlight its geo-political significance, and potential.

Trump and the defence of Europe

Daniel Keohane. Expert Comment 2/2017 - 12/1/2017.

No one knows what US President-elect Trump will do in office. Will he cut a geopolitical deal with Russian President Putin? Will he keep American soldiers in Europe? Or worse, even rip up the North Atlantic treaty?

Italy and Spain: a tale of two countries

Sebastián Puig & Ángel Sánchez. Expert Comment 1/2017 - 4/1/2017.

While Italy is still more economically powerful than Spain, it displays more structural imbalances and declining trends.

European institutional responses to the recent developments in Turkey: divided in unity?

Ilke Toygür. Expert Comment 52/2016 - 23/12/2016.

The institutional division between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council regarding Turkey has become even more visible over the last months. Both Member States and institutions are divided on the steps that are required to be taken.

Will Trump cut a deal with Putin?

Ulrich Speck. Expert Comment 51/2016 - 22/12/2016.

A deal between Putin and Trump would not change the underlying reality. It is not Western influence which undermines the Kremlin’s influence in the former Soviet space but its failure to deliver the kind of governance people want.