Publications - Elcano Royal Institute empty_context Copyright (c), 2002-2018 Fundación Real Instituto Elcano Lotus Web Content Management <![CDATA[ Political values in Europe-China relations ]]> 2018-12-10T12:02:09Z Edited by Tim Nicholas Rühlig, Björn Jerdén, Frans-Paul van der Putten, John Seaman, Miguel Otero-Iglesias and Alice Ekman. European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), December 2018. ]]> Questions of democracy, human rights and the rule of law have long been a source of tension in Europe’s relations with China, both in exchanges with China and among Europeans themselves. The European Union was in part built on a foundation of common political values, but member states are often at odds over the extent to which these values should constitute a central element of their respective relations with China. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has become increasingly critical of Western political values and sought to position itself as a role model for other countries. In this context, the question of how to treat political values in relations with China only grows more relevant for Europe, as does the question of how China will seek to promote its own understanding of political values in Europe.

Through an analysis of 16 EU member states, Norway and the EU as an institution, this report sets out to examine how political values enter into Europe- China relations. It looks at how European actors treat political values in relations with China, and how China, directly or indirectly, shapes the debate on political values in Europe.

<![CDATA[ Elcano Global Presence Report 2018 ]]> 2018-05-31T10:27:28Z Coordinators: Iliana Olivié (Senior Analyst) and Manuel Gracia (Research Assistant) at the Elcano Global Presence Index Project.
2018 ]]>
The 2018 edition of the Elcano Global Presence Index ranks 110 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 (Cameroon, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Senegal), this year’s edition highlights the following results:

  • A stable global presence ranking. The countries in the top positions of the global presence ranking maintain or strengthen their positions. The United States tops the list with a global presence index value of 2,494 points. It still trebles that of China, which is second, with 841 points.
  • Globalisation or regionalisation? 88.4% of globalisation occurs within and/or between North America, Europe and Asia and the Pacific. This figure has dropped from 90.9% in 1990, indicating a strong but weakening regionalisation in global flows.
  • Africa lags behind in global presence. Compared with the other regions in this Index, Africa shows a low volume of external projection. With a global presence of 408 points in index value in 2017, it ranks 6th out of six regions.

Also available: Informe Elcano de Presencia Global 2018 (Spanish version).

<![CDATA[ Informe Elcano 22. Why does Latin America matter? ]]> 2018-03-07T05:35:36Z Coordinator: Carlos Malamud
Edited by: Real Instituto Elcano
2018 ]]>
The main object of this report is to draw the attention of the EU –meaning both the institutions of the organisation and the governments of its member states, their politicians, news media and public opinions– to the potential offered by Latin America and the various benefits the EU could derive from strengthening biregional relations. In order to throw more light on these issues, a range of pertinent data, analyses and observations will be offered over the course of the report that highlight the unity and diversity of Latin America, as well as many of its strengths and some of its weaknesses.

Spanish version: Informe Elcano 22. ¿Por qué importa América Latina?

<![CDATA[ Chinese Investment in Europe: A Country-Level Approach ]]> 2017-12-19T02:05:29Z Edited by John Seaman, Mikko Huotari, Miguel Otero-Iglesias. European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), diciembre de 2017.

Chinese investments in Europe have surged in recent years, and have become a critical feature of Europe-China relations. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the European Union traced back to mainland China hit a record EUR 35 billion in 2016, compared with only EUR 1.6 billion in 2010, according to data gathered by the Rhodium Group. In a historic shift, the flow of Chinese direct investment into Europe has surpassed the declining flows of annual European direct investments into China. As China continues to grow, develop, and integrate into the global economy, its overseas investments expand in quantity and quality, reflecting both the growing sophistication of the Chinese economy and broader Chinese commercial and policy goals. Going beyond FDI, Chinese investment is creating new realities for Europe-China relations.

This report by the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) brings together original analysis from 19 European countries to better understand these trends and their consequences for policy making and Europe-China relations, including at the bilateral, subregional and EU levels. This is not just a story about FDI strictly defined, but about the (geo)political implications that emanate from deeper economic interaction with China. Ultimately, Europe is far from speaking with a single voice on these matters, and identifying where the divergences and convergences lie, will be crucial in formulating solid and complementary policy positions at the EU and national level moving forward.

<![CDATA[ Elcano Global Presence Report 2017 ]]> 2017-05-31T05:02:54Z Iliana Olivié (Senior Analyst) and Manuel Gracia (Research Assistant) at the Elcano Global Presence Index Project.


The 2017 edition of the Elcano Global Presence Index ranks 100 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 (Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Panama, Serbia, Tunisia, and Yemen), this year’s edition highlights the following results:

  • China hangs on to the 2nd position of our ranking. There are no relevant changes in the top 20 positions with respect to last year’s Index.
  • Decaying countries and emerging economies: blurred categories. Unlike in previous editions, traditional powers and emerging countries do not behave as two distinct and homogeneous blocs.
  • The beginning of de-globalisation? The foreign policy space has decreased for the first time in our series. This goes hand in hand with the re-concentration of total global presence in the top global players.

Also available: Informe Elcano de Presencia Global 2017 (Spanish version).

<![CDATA[ Europe and China's New Silk Roads ]]> 2017-01-04T03:12:44Z 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.

<![CDATA[ Informe Elcano 20. The Spanish financial crisis: Lessons for the European Banking Union ]]> 2016-03-28T11:22:51Z Published by: Elcano Royal Institute
2016 ]]>
In the first years of the Global Financial Crisis, Spanish financial institutions were not as severely affected as those of other countries. However, their apparent success was short-lived. As the crisis intensified, Spain’s banking sector could not escape its dramatic effects. Our analysis of the Spanish crisis confirms a long-standing tenet: financial systems collapse when they take on too much risk and when they do not have sufficient capital in reserve to absorb the losses of their risky investments and loans.

This report examines the Spanish banking crisis and uses it to extract valuable lessons for the construction of the European Banking Union (EBU), which is a complex process that resembles in some respects the variety of actors and preferences encountered in the Spanish case.

<![CDATA[ A New Course for Spain: Beyond the Crisis ]]> 2016-02-16T11:19:19Z 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.

<![CDATA[ Mapping Europe-China Relations: A Bottom-Up Approach ]]> 2015-11-16T04:51:11Z 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.

<![CDATA[ A new Atlantic Community: the European Union, the US and Latin America ]]> 2015-05-26T01:32:23Z