The Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, stated in the opening of the course “The Process of European Integration: the European Union and Present Challenges: Nationalism, Globalisation, Terrorism and Immigration”, that this course is “special” because it has caused great expectation as it deals with current issues instead of European memory.

In this sense, he added that the Royal Monastery of Yuste “has special connotations, since it is, furthermore, here where Emperor Charles V also delved into and reflected on Europe 500 years ago. Holding a course here bestows it a special note of singularity that makes it different to others”. The Royal Monastery of Yuste was declared European Heritage in 2007 to reinforce the sense of belonging to the European Union on behalf of its citizens through the emblematic places that are part of Europe’s living memory.

During his speech, the Director of the Foundation also highlighted that in this course the record of applications received had been broken, reaching 216 to cover 50 places and the average grade of the attendees is 8,63. He pointed out that, apart from the academic merits shown by the attendees, they also have personal qualifications as they chose to attend a summer course when they could be enjoying their free time instead.

Moreno Piñero also highlighted the quality of the speakers because many of them “are great actors and thinkers of European life”, though he stated that in fact “it is not only them who build Europe, it is everyone’s task, and specially that of the youth because you embody the future”. “In the vastness of Europe, this course may be something tiny, but when adding many concrete events, these may add on to Europe”, the Director of Yuste Foundation claimed.


The Director of the course, Mario Díaz Barrado, explained that the course intends to reflect on European challenges but from a positive perspective, dealing with them as opportunities because the subjects tackled: nationalism, terrorism, globalisation, misinformation and immigration, “are global challenges for this European project that started humbly but, however, seeks to be greater each day, or it would be deemed to fail”.

During his speech, Díaz Barrado claimed that we cannot use information to misinform because we would misdiagnose the European problems. According to him, “we have to recover the intention to tell the truth and this is a matter of time, because it is the youth’s challenge to adequately diagnose the problems of the European Union”.

The Director of the course stated that young people also stir in contradictions because “while you are critical with European institutions, you cherish the achievements of present day Europe, such as the Euro; you think that Europe has not made any progress as far as cultural cohesion is concerned, but you think that the Erasmus programme is the most relevant subject of your lives because you have been able to know other cultures and share values with other Europeans”.

According to him, this proves that there are peculiar contradictions that allow us to see “that what floats on the surface of this rough sea of constant information is not the real problems, which lie below, and what is important is to make a correct diagnose of them”. In order to reach below and make a correct diagnose, Díaz Barrado claimed that the best option is to recover the idea of the founding fathers of Europe, “to recover the idea of being honest, deal with the challenges with honesty and diagnose the problems adequately”.

Finally, the Vice Rector of University Extension of the University of Extremadura (UEx), Juan Carlos Iglesias Zoido, explained that the International Summer Courses, where the Campus Yuste programme is framed, aim to “reach greater interaction between society and the university”.

The Vice Rector explained that in his opinion this course is important because the joint approach of the subjects it tackles is “appropriate since we live in uncertain times where we, more than ever, need the European Union to take a clear stand in subjects such as the ones dealt with in this course, particularly in a frame of a world that is increasingly polarised, where global confrontations increase each day in this sort of commercial cold war we are starting to experience”. According to Iglesias Zoido, this course is vital because we in some way “collaborate in seeking solutions”.

The Vice Rector also expressed his satisfaction with the continuous and fruitful collaboration between the University of Extremadura and Yuste Foundation because both institutions exemplarily join their strength to create quality products, such as the courses included in Campus Yuste.


After the opening of the course, Ramón Jáuregui, member of the Academy of Yuste and former member of the European Parliament, gave the key-note presentation where he affirmed that the EU’s engine was once European construction under the idea of peace and progress, but it “has become more pragmatic today. The EU needs to remain because we may only face the future together”.

According to Jáuregui, the European Union has been on the verge of disappearing due to a “poly-crises made up of five crises: economical and financial; the migratory phenomenon; the Brexit; political in instability, and the new outbreak of nationalism”. In his opinion, Europe has managed to deal with this situation thanks to “an economical but sustained growth; the creation of employment, although precarious, and with highly debatable migratory agreements with Turkey and Lebanon, among other factors”.

A positive aspect mentioned by Jáuregui is that we are leaders in the fight against climate change, while other countries have abandoned the Paris Agreement. To conclude, the academician of Yuste affirmed that “only together can we do things in the interest of a more integrated Europe, or, in other words, a stronger Europe.

The course is organised by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, the State Secretariat for the European Union of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Jean Monnet Module of the EU-HOPE of the University of Extremadura, in collaboration with the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement and counts with the support of the Extremaduran food products company, Mafresa.

The speakers are, Josep Borrell, who participates with the presentation “La Europa que viene. Los retos de la nueva legislature” (“The Europe of the Future. Challenges of the New Term”); the Spanish Committee of UNHCR, Matilde Fernández; the Director of the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE), Francisco José Dacoba Cerviño; the Director of the Office of the European Commission in Madrid, Francisco Fonseca Morillo; the Director of the Office of the European Parliament in Spain, María Andrés Marín; the Secretary of State for the European Union, Marco Aguiriano Nalda; the President of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement, Francisco Aldecoa Luzárraga; the former President of the Extremaduran Regional Government and academician of Yuste, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra; the winner of the 2017 National History Award and Co-director of the Jean Monnet Module of EU-HOPE at the University of Extremadura (2015-2018), Enrique Moradiellos and the Extremaduran MEP, Ignacio Sánchez Amor, among others.

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