The instinctive multilateralist: Portugal and the politics of cooperation (ECFR)

  • The Portuguese people believe that their country’s fate is inextricably tied to that of the European Union.
  • A survey carried out ahead of the Portuguese national election suggests that the Portuguese bounced back quickly from a surge in Euroscepticism linked to the strict conditions of Portugal’s 2011 bailout package.
  • Portugal values the economic benefits of EU membership primarily, but its people believe in the EU as more than just an economic project.
  • The Portuguese are instinctive multilateralists, and hope that the bloc can help them tackle the challenges of globalisation: from climate change to cooperation on the impact of freedom of movement on Europe.

Susi Dennison and Lívia Franco

Border games: Has Spain found an answer to the populist challenge on migration? (ECFR)

  • Spain, and Europe, need a new story about migration – there is some recognition of this in Spain but it remains to be seen how the country will put this into practice.
  • Spaniards are relatively open towards migration, but the policy challenge for their government should be to allay, and not provoke, fears of migrant invasion.
  • The Spanish government has called for reform of the EU asylum system, favouring solidarity and shared responsibility as opposed to simply stopping ‘secondary movements’.
  • Spain’s migration diplomacy aspires to work with origin and transit countries rather than acting in a coercive way towards them.
  • The Spanish experience should inform EU member states’ efforts to seek to answers to the populist challenge: they should enact comprehensive, planned, and proactive policies that see migration as normal and necessary.

Shoshana Fine José Ignacio Torreblanca

Guarding the guardians: Ukraine’s security and judicial reforms under Zelensky (ECFR)

  • Despite Ukrainians’ deep unhappiness with the corruption and inefficiency of the judiciary and security bodies, the Poroshenko administration failed to reform these services.
  • Political interference and personal enrichment have long been part of the practice of these services, overshadowing the strong work they are often capable of and holding back reformist elements.
  • The office of the prosecutor general and the Ukrainian Security Service need particular attention, but merely passing new laws will not be enough: replacing incumbent high-level officials should be an early step.
  • The EU, US, and NATO have worked effectively together on encouraging reform in Ukraine, but they must now ensure that these services remain high in the minds of the Zelensky administration and of Rada members.

Gustav Gressel