Charles V world experts meet in Yuste

The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation hosts the international congress “Charles V, Vitoria and Erasmus in Yuste”, jointly organised with the University of Salamanca and the University Institute for European Studies of the CEU San Pablo University. This congress is directed by Marcelino Oreja, winner of the “Carlos V European Award”, member of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste and alumni of the University of Salamanca and José María Beneyto, International Law and International Relations Professor at the CEU San Pablo University.

During the opening session, the Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero, stressed the role that the University of Salamanca played in making Europe and America be what they are today, because “by decision of Charles V, the first American universities were funded; the first following the European style in another continent”.

As far as the CEU San Pablo University is concerned, Moreno Piñero affirmed that “it represents young universities that know how to combine tradition with the opening of new fields of knowledge through an integral method of training that is open to international experiences”.

On the other hand, the Director of the Foundation highlighted the figure of Marcelino Oreja, “he is one of those personalities that weaves a country and makes it shine”, and as he added that he has been a luxury for Spain and Europe for the work he has carried out during his professional career. In this sense, Moreno Piñero highlighted that “Europe is a project for the future” in which daily work has to be done in order to “make it a safer, more prosperous and a more social place “.

The Rector of the University of Salamanca, Ricardo Rivero, explained that this congress presents Charles V, Erasmus and Vitoria as a trio because, in spite of not thinking the same way, “they unintentionally work together with a purpose that explains our present sense and values concerning Europe and Ibero-America”. Rivero pointed out that Charles V’s “sense of power and how he exercised it” still convinces us and how he allowed enlightened men of the time, with a strong concept of State, to guide him. The Rector of the University of Salamanca expressed his admiration for Erasmus’ deployable capacity of “the idea of tolerance during a critical moment for the religious division in Europe” and Vitora’s “human behaviour’s moderated and rationalising eagerness”. “If I were to summarise their common contributions in a word”, he claimed, “the words would be: civilisation and European civilisation”.

To conclude, Ricardo Rivero expressed his discontent as he believes that current European and Ibero-American politicians have allowed themselves to be “contaminated by populist radicalism resulting from the blunders of the crisis” and expressed his grief because there are no intellectual voices nor political leaders who are able to sail against the tide, which is exactly what, he believes, “Erasmus and Vitoria did when convincing the Emperor”.

In his opinion, it is institutions such as those organising this congress which “should set forward an alternative discourse for the current challenges” from the best knowledge of our roots, as well as to recover the sense of “European civilisation that already existed during the period of Charles V, Erasmus and Vitoria”.

The congress will close tomorrow at 12:00 pm at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of the University of Extremadura (Avenida de la Universidad, s/n –Campus de Cáceres) under de presidency of His Majesty King Felipe VI. The Rectors of the University of Extremadura, Segundo Píriz, the University of Salamanca, Ricardo Rivero and CEU San Pablo, Antonio Calvo Bernardino will also attend the event. The keynote speech will be given by the historian Fernando García de Cortázar, awarded the National History Prize in 2008. The conclusions of the congress will be exposed by Marcelino Oreja Aguirre.

The international congress brings together academicians, jurists, historians and philosophers from the University of Salamanca; the Academy of Ecclesiastical History of Valencia; the University of Extremadura; the Wuhan University (China); the Basque Country University; the University of Padua (Italy); the Western Sidney University (Australia); the Temuco Catholic University (Chile); the CEU San Pablo University; the University of Seville; the University of Miami (USA); the University of Navarra; the university of Zaragoza; the university of University of Genoa; the Catholic University of Portugal; the Catholic University of Chile; the University of Cambridge (England); the University of Helsinki (Finland); the Tübingen University (Germany); the Macerata University (Italy) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University of Mexico.