Rosa Balas Torres, Chief Executive of External Action and President of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation’s Executive Committee today opened the course entitled: ‘The European integration process: 30 years of European Union in Spain and Portugal (1986-2016)’ taking place until Friday at the Royal Monastery of Yuste, the Foundation’s headquarters.
During her opening speech, Balas Torres gave her praise for the good relationship between Entremadura and Portugal for the last 30 years, describing the “cooperation that didn’t exist before because the countries were pursuing different strategic goals”. She went on to discuss how 30 years of European Union in Spain and Portugal gave rise to “political, social, and economic convergence”, changing the political landscape of both our countries.
The Director General added that for the border regions, Extremadura, Alentejo, and Centro, the membership of both countries started a “path of progress” by looking to the future together.
25 years ago, along with the creation of the INETERREG programme – started up to “break down borders” – Extremadura opted firmly for cooperation with Portugal. More specifically, to work together with the border regions of Alentejo and Centro, forming the European region Euroace in 2009 with the goal of continuing to “deepen knowledge and cooperation from an economic, social, and cultural perspective”.
From Rosa Balas’ perspective, Spain’s entry to the European Union was not straightforward. She went on to outline how we made great contributions to the European project such as the concept of ‘”European citizenship” and “cohesion policies” as well as the two languages spoken by over 500 million people allowing them to share the “Ibero-American and African view”; the outcome of historic relationships.
During the opening session the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Maribel López also spoke, pointing out that “education and training are essential to European policies”. To that end she talked about the university’s European programmes and projects, highlighting the Erasmus and Quercus programmes as well as those involving America and Portugual.
Enrique Moradiellos, Course Director, said the course would help students “to learn and understand the process of European integration better” because the Foundation is “the very fruit of Europe” in Extremadura.
The course will include a discussion of the Iberian Dictatorships and the process of European integration since 1945; the media and integration of the Iberian Peninsula; social policy and employment in integration, and the first Spanish and Portuguese European community officials.
Some of the speakers taking part are Maria Fernanda Rollo, the Spanish Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education; Manuel Marín, President of the Iberdrola Foundation and ex-Vice President of the CE; Araceli Mangas, Jean Monnet professor of European Studies and academic of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, Spain; Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, President of the President Rodríguez Ibarra Centre of Studies, ex-President of the Extremadura Regional Government and academic from the European Academy of Yuste.
Students from the following universities are taking part: Granda, Valencia, Extremadura, Seville, Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid Autonomous, Alicante, Salamanca, Madrid Complutense, La Rioja, Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela, and UNED.
The course has been organised by the Foundation and Módulo Jean Monnet EU-HOPE from the University of Extremadura.