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.


Europe in the face of a new privileged strategic scenario: the Indo-Pacific region

Mario Esteban. Expert Comment 15/2018 - 20/2/2018.

European diplomacy must support regional initiatives that are inclusive, favour cooperation and are governed by international norms and standards. The Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy could be an excellent platform for such a purpose as long as it is not implemented merely as an instrument to contain China


Trump, Europe and one year into the US Presidency

Salvador Llaudes. Expert Comment 14/2018 (English version) - 19/2/2018.

If any benefit has come from Trump being in the White House it has been a new sense of urgency among Europeans, a realisation that Europe cannot continue with business as usual.


Latin America, the international community and Venezuela

Carlos Malamud. Expert Comment 13/2018 (English version) - 13/2/2018.

The clamour for an answer to the crisis in Venezuela will be even more intense in 2018 as the economic situation worsens (hyperinflation, shortages and growing debt) and the humanitarian drama deteriorates by the minute.


Portugal and Ibero-America: reflections on the past, present and future

Bernardo Ribeiro da Cunha. Expert Comment 11/2018 (English version) - 6/2/2018.

The event organised by the Real Institute Elcano and IPRI has generated a rich exchange of ideas, achieving the objective of deepening the perspective of both countries on the past, present and future of the bilateral relationship.


Brexit: yielding step by step to ‘sufficient progress’... for now

Salvador Llaudes. Expert Comment 10/2018 (English version) - 5/2/2018.

The recent European Council of 15 December 2017 finally agreed to proceed to the second phase of the negotiations between the UK and the EU. What we have witnessed to date is that the British have had to accept, slowly but inevitably, all of the stipulations of their EU counterparts.


A year of Trump and trade policy

Federico Steinberg. Expert Comment 9/2018 (English version) - 1/2/2018.

The first year of Trump has been less damaging to the multilateral trade system than was originally feared, but has also allowed us to see that the US Administration maintains a clear interest in isolating itself increasingly from the rest of the world.


Year one of Trump’s energy policy

Gonzalo Escribano. Expert Comment 8/2018 (English version) - 30/1/2018.

At a certain point, the Trump Administration will need to decide whether to honour campaign promises or to follow the dynamics of business and the market, as well as those of the domestic (and multilateral) institutions which shape the realities facing US energy policy.


Venezuela and PDVSA: killing the goose that lays golden eggs

Asier Achutegui. Expert Comment 5/2018 - 19/1/2018.

In a country that depends almost entirely on its oil exports it seems very strange that its leaders despise the national oil company.


The Strategic Review of French National Defence and Security in 2017

Félix Arteaga. Expert Comment 52/2017 (English version) - 12/12/2017.

Although the title of this comment suggests something different, the Strategic Review focuses on the defence and armed forces of France, and not on the country’s national security.


The potential impact of the Catalan crisis on the Spanish economy

William Chislett. Expert Comment 47/2017 - 8/11/2017.

The crisis in Catalonia, sparked by the regional government’s illegal proclamation of an independent state last month, is already exacting a toll on the Catalan economy.