Yearly Archive: 2018

Forty years of democratic Spain

Forty years ago this month, Spaniards overwhelmingly approved their new Constitution in a referendum which sealed the country’s transition to democracy. General Francisco Franco had died in 1975, after ruling Spain since 1939 following his victory in the three-year civil war. Be it economically with, for example, the creation [...]

Climate action rules at COP 24: where the rubber hits the road

Almost three years ago the Paris Agreement was adopted. It was an unparalleled diplomatic success for a number of reasons. First, it brought almost all developing and developed nations together to address climate change. Second, it required limiting global mean temperatures to well below 2ºC compared to pre-industrial levels [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega ‘Yellow vests’: the first rebellion against the ecological transition

The relatively modest but nevertheless paralysing movement of the gilets jaunes, or ‘yellow vests’, has caught France, and French politics, off guard. It could be argued that it is Europe’s first rebellion against the ecological transition, to an economy free of fossil fuels, with the EU heralding the beginning [...]

When strongmen personalise foreign and security policy: the US and Turkey

When looking at the recent past in world politics, not only has Britain voted for Brexit and the US electorate chose Donald Trump for the world’s most powerful office, but there has been a noticeable democratic regression in both the EU and NATO. Autocratic tendencies and nationalism have made [...]

The CEO who is changing Algeria’s energy landscape

On 20 November 2018, the CEO of Sonatrach Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour visited Spain to celebrate the renewal of gas contracts with the Spanish energy company Naturgy. He also took the opportunity to present the Algerian oil and gas national company’s vision for 2030 at the Elcano Royal Institute. This [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The young have more sway in the US than in Europe

A significant number of young people seem to have mobilised against Trump in the US mid-term elections held on 6 November, which swept the Democrats to power in the House of Representatives although the Republicans retained their majority in the Senate. Elsewhere, contrary to what was initially claimed, young [...]

Present or powerful? A comparison of the Best Countries ranking and the Elcano Global Presence Index

Early this year, U.S. News published the 2018 Best Countries ranking that aims at classifying countries according to how these are perceived in terms of adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life. Countries’ assessments are made by a selection of 21,117 [...]

Is Sri Lanka caught in China’s ‘debt trap’? A view from the ground

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka thanks to an invitation from the Bandarainaike Centre for International Studies, based in Colombo, and the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka. It was obviously an exercise in public diplomacy by the Chinese Government. The official aim of the exercise [...]

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