Expert Comments

The expert comments are brief 1.000- to 1,500-word pieces produced by the Elcano Royal Institute's analysts as an immediate response to international events relevant to Spain.


Discovering the Mediterranean (and tapping into its pro-European attitudes)

Ignacio Molina. Expert Comment 20/2017 (English version) - 8/5/2017.

If it sets its mind to it, it seems likely that the group of Southern EU countries that met in Madrid will be able to mould the debate on the future of Europe in a decisive way.


From Istanbul to Madrid: five things to know before the Turkish constitutional referendum

İlke Toygür. Expert Comment 18/2017 - 12/4/2017.

Polls show a neck-to-neck race between the two sides. Today, the main question is not the constitutional reform itself, but approval of the governing party, and even more so of the figure of President Erdoğan.


Germany and Trump-America: back on track?

Ulrich Speck. Expert Comment 16/2017 - 11/4/2017.

The widely anticipated clash between Germany and the Trump Administration has not happened. Instead, Berlin and Washington DC seem to be on the way to pragmatic cooperation, even when there is still significant disagreement.


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?