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Past Projects



Building Bridges Project

IFRI with the collaboration of the Egmont Institute.

Project updates

Future of democracy in Africa: Trends in state-society relations

Date : 10-05-2017
This workshop held in Brussels and organised by the Open Society European Policy Institute brought together experts on and from Africa and policy-makers from across the EU to discuss what long-term trends in state-society relations are likely to mark the future of democracy in Africa. Read more

Africa growing? Past, present and future?

Date : 19-04-2017
This brief by Morten Jerven seeks to dispel some of the negative narratives about Africa’s economic record, as well as discern factors which could lead to future growth on the continent. Read more.

EU-Africa strategic dialogue

Date : 04-04-2017
This workshop on 'EU-Africa strategic dialogue' held in Rabat, in cooperation with the OCP Policy Center, explored African trends in terms of demography, economy and society, governance, international relations and security. 80 experts from Africa and Europe came together to exchange views on such horizontal issues as mobility and resources and their impact on regional development, stability and security. Read more.

African Security: between fragility and resilience

Date : 22-03-2017
This workshop held in Paris discussed the evolution of the African security landscape with a medium-long term perspective. Sources of conflict, drivers of radicalisation, trends in organized crime and challenges for peacekeeping were addressed with a view to fostering local resilience, building on emerging strengths, and focusing international support activities.

Organised crime and fragile states: African variations

Date : 22-03-2017
This brief by Luca Raineri and Francesco Strazzari explores how transnational organised crime (TOC) poses a security threat that may undermine the state in Africa, including its societal institutions, geopolitical stability and economic prosperity. Read more.

Africa’s international relations: between foreign actors and external projection

Date : 01-03-2017
The workshop, held at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, brought together experts on Africa’s international relations alongside officials from the EU, Belgian and French institutions in order to explore what long-term trends are likely to mark the position of Africa in the world. The focus was on both discussing the role of external partners in Africa (in particular the role of emerging powers) and the influence and power of Africa in the world. Read more.

Africa Uprising? The protests, the drivers, the outcomes

Date : 02-12-2016
This brief by Valérie Arnould, Aleksandra Tor and Alice Vervaeke explores whether the recent surge in political and social protests in Africa can be the harbinger of broader social and political change on the continent. Read more.

Beyond the ICC exit crisis

Date : 02-12-2016
This alert by Laura Kokko discusses the implications of Burundi, Gambia and South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. Read more.

The political economy of regional security integration in Africa

Date : 27-04-2015
The Observatoire de l’Afrique convened a conference discussing political and economic processes and the power relations which surround regional responses to security dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more

2015 BTTD on 28 January

Date : 21-01-2015
For the fifth year in a row, ten leading European Think Tanks will join forces to host the annual Brussels Think Tank Dialogue, a unique opportunity to hear leading voices debate pressing issues, forecast major trends for the coming year, and put forward recommendations for the new European leadership.  More than ever, guidance is needed. Read more

EU Partnerships on Development

Date : 11-12-2014
This new ESPO report edited by Clare Castillejo brings together a number of international experts on development issues, with a view to explore the EU’s cooperation with some of its strategic partners on development. Read more

Korea-EU Partnership on Development

Date : 02-12-2014
This policy brief reviews South Korea’s development policies, and how synergies are being developed with European donors. The partnership between the EU and South Korea in development contains a number of commitments and opportunities, Read more

Development and the India-EU Strategic Partnership

Date : 28-10-2014
This policy brief suggests that while some basic collaboration is taking place between the EU and India, it is unlikely that in the medium term the strategic partnership will significantly expand bilateral or trilateral development engagement. Read more

The EU and its partners on development: how strategic on the ground?

Date : 10-10-2014
In this Policy Brief, two international experts examine the level of interaction on development cooperation between the EU and its strategic partners, focussing on two specific case studies: Nepal and Mozambique. Read more

China-EU Partnership on Development

Date : 08-09-2014
This policy brief looks at the fundamental divergences between the European and Chinese approaches on development issues, but it also identifies potential complementarities and priorities for the two partners. Read more

Brazil’s strategic partnerships: origins, agendas and outcomes

Date : 25-07-2014
In this working paper, Brazilian scholar Alcides Costa Vaz reviews the origins, agenda and outcomes of Brazil’s strategic partnerships. This paper is part of a series on ‘The Global Partnerships Grid’. Read more

The EU and South Africa: towards a new partnership for development

Date : 15-07-2014
This policy brief, authored by Lesley Masters, compares the EU’s and South Africa’s development policies in Africa. It identifies convergences, divergences, and evaluates the potential for trilateral cooperation. Read more

The EU-Brazil partnership on development: a lukewarm affair

Date : 02-07-2014
In this policy brief, Lidia Cabral looks into the main priorities of the Brazilian policy for international development, and how it cooperates with the EU to pursue regional and global objectives. Read more

China’s strategic partnership diplomacy: engaging with a changing world

Date : 30-06-2014
CICIR senior experts Feng Zhongping and Huang Jing offer an original analysis of the motivations behind the booming of strategic partnerships in China’s diplomacy. Read more

The rise of cyber-diplomacy

Date : 18-06-2014
In this paper, Thomas Renard reviews the scope of the EU’s cooperation with its strategic partners on cyber-security and internet governance. Read more

The American way of partnership

Date : 04-06-2014
Daniel Hamilton examines the purpose and content of US strategic partnerships with other countries worldwide. Read more

Partners in crime? The EU, its strategic partners and international organised crime

Date : 06-05-2014
A new ESPO Working Paper on the EU, its strategic partners and international organised crime. Read the paper here.

How did Belgian MEPs vote during the 2009-2014 legislative term?

Date : 29-04-2014
A new Working paper on the voting behaviour of the Belgian MEPs during the 2009-2014 legislative term. Read the article here.

The European elections: what is at stake for the citizens? An analysis

Date : 29-04-2014
A new book on The Citizen and the European Elections. Read the book here.

Re-designing the European Climate and Energy policies post-2020

Date : 01-04-2014
A new European Policy Brief on European climate and energy policies by Clémentine d'Oultremont has been published. See the paper here.

The European Parliament: it has to do with you

Date : 26-03-2014
New European Policy Brief on the European Parliament: it has to do with you, by the Egmont Institute. See the paper here.

The Belgian parliaments and EU affairs: the reasons behind their limited involvement

Date : 26-03-2014
New European Policy Brief on the Belgian parliaments and EU affairs: the reasons behind their limited involvement, by Xavier Vanden Bosch. See the paper here.

A European commonality of destiny: through social justice and strategic autonomy

Date : 24-03-2014
New European Policy Brief on European commonality of destiny: through social justice and strategic autonomy, by Pierre Defraigne. See the paper here.

Twenty eight national elections for a Parliament in constant evolution

Date : 24-03-2014
New European Policy Brief on European commonality of destiny, by Michel Theys. See the paper here.

What future for the eurozone. Combining discipline, solidarity and institutional reforms

Date : 24-03-2014
New European Policy Brief on What future for the eurozone, Combining discipline, solidarity and institutional reforms, by Xavier Vanden Bosch and Stijn Verhelst. See the paper here.

The case for a European social union

Date : 20-03-2014
New Brief on the case for a European social union, published by Frank Vandenbroucke. See the paper here.

European policy brief on migration policy

Date : 19-03-2014
New Brief on Lampedusa to the Post-Stockholm Programme: Difficult European solidarity in the field of migration, published by Corinne Balleix. See the paper here.

New Policy Brief on the EU’s role in the world

Date : 19-03-2014
New Brief on the the role of the European Union in the world, published by Eneko Landaburu. See the paper here.

European Policy Brief on the European crisis of democratic legitimacy

Date : 17-03-2014
New Brief on the EU's crisis of legitimacy, published by Eline Severs and Alexander Mattelaer. See the paper here.

European Policy Brief on Institutional reforms in the EU

Date : 05-03-2014
European Policy Brief by Philippe de Schoutheete on Institutional reforms in the EU. See the paper here.

New Paper on counter-terrorism

Date : 16-01-2014
ESPO publishes a new Working Paper on the EU’s cooperation with its strategic partners on countering international terrorism. It is the second paper in a series of four on the EU’s strategic partnerships and international security issues. See the paper here.

2014 BTTD held on 28 January

Date : 16-01-2014
This year’s BTTD will take place on 28 January 2014 at Résidence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Brussels. Our fifth Dialogue will comprise four sessions which will provide cutting edge policy analysis and hammer out recommendations through open discussion. The first three topical sessions will focus on ways how to strengthen the legitimacy of European policymaking by improving the interplay between the EP and national parliaments, how to achieve a genuine Economic and Monetary Union and how to conceive a new EU foreign policy. In the concluding session, key arguments and findings from these debates will be wrapped up by the directors of some of the think tanks jointly organizing the annual BTTD conference.

New Paper on non-proliferation

Date : 14-10-2013
Egmont's Senior Researcher Thomas Renard published an ESPO Working Paper on the EU's cooperation with its strategic partners on nuclear non-proliferation. It is the first in a series of four papers on the EU's strategic partnerships and international security issues. See the paper here. (Photo credit: NNSANews, Flickr)

Conference on EU-China

Date : 13-09-2013
ESPO, in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, is organising a panel discussion on the theme 'Partnering for the Future'. As the scope and importance of the strategic partnership between the EU and China continues to grow, this event provides a timely occasion to debate the opportunities and challenges facing this relationship, and assess prospects for its development. See the programme of the event here.

New Policy Brief on EU-India

Date : 13-09-2013
FRIDE's Researcher Gauri Khandekar published a critical assessment of the EU-India strategic partnership. She offers concrete recommendations to enhance trust and foster cooperation between the two sides. See here.

New Policy Brief on EU-Brazil

Date : 13-09-2013
Following the EU-Brazil summit, which took place in March 2013, ESPO is publishing an assessment of the partnership. This policy brief was written by Elena Lazarou, Director of the Centre for International Relations, Fundação Getúlio Vargas. See here. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Launch of new ESPO website

Date : 13-09-2013
ESPO is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, which is the first-ever platform providing extensive information and analysis on EU strategic partnerships. This website was kindly supported by Germany's Federal Foreign Office.

EGS Report is launched

Date : 28-05-2013
The final report of the European Global Strategy project was launched: "Towards a European Global Strategy: securing European influence in a changing world