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The impact of Brexit on the protection of democracy in Europe

Collaborating with Think Tanks

Dr. Pablo Castillo is collaborating with Elcano Royal Institute through a Strategic Secondment. He will study the impact of Brexit on the protection of democracy in Europe. Elcano Royal Institute is the most important Spanish Think Tank for international affairs, and a leading institution in Europe.


In 2017 Dr. Castillo published with Elcano Royal Institute of brief Expert Comment about post-Brexit cooperation between the EU and the UK to protect democracy in the continent. Subsequently, the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Sheffield decided to fund Dr. Castillo with more than £20.000 to develop such ideas in the frame of a Strategic Secondment at Elcano Royal Institute.

Object of the inquiry

The European Union has had a protagonist role in the democratization of the European continent, through strategies such as democratic conditionality in agreements with third countries, democratic conditionality for accession to the Union, and support for democratic forces in authoritarian or semi-authoritarian countries. However, Brexit can affect negatively to the capacity of the EU to protect and promote the European democratic order. The work carried out by Dr. Castillo seeks to assess which are these potential negative impacts, and specially looks for solutions, through UK-EU cooperation, that allow both parties to continue to protect democracy in the continent after Brexit.

Resources from the project

Policy Paper: Partnering for democracy: protecting the democratic order in post-Brexit Europe

Read the paper here on the institute website

Photo of Pablo Castillo-Ortiz“I am convinced that the most remarkable contribution of the European Union to the European continent has not been the creation of a single market, not even the promotion of economic prosperity. The main contribution of the EU has been its promotion of democracy, peace, human rights and cosmopolitanism in Europe. If Brexit finally takes places, both the EU and the UK will have a moral duty to continue to work together in the protection of those values. My work at Elcano Royal Institute is aimed at looking for viable ways to do this possible”.

Dr. Pablo Castillo

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