Campus Yuste Analyses the Future of Europe, the Opportunities Ahead in the Face of Global Challenges

The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation opened the course “The Future of Europe: Opportunities in the Face of Shared and Global Challenges”, which is being held virtually from 12 to 15 July within the programming of the international summer/autumn courses included in Campus Yuste. (12/07/2021)

During the opening, the Director General of External Action of the Regional Government of Extremadura and President of the Executive Commission of Yuste Foundation, Rosa Balas, said that “we are at a turning point where we Europeans have a responsibility to choose the future we want for ourselves and for the next generations, because the decisions we take in the coming months and years will determine and contribute to shaping the European Union of the 21st century”.

In this regard, Balas said that the European Union is obliged to “switch the headlights on and to equip itself with the necessary resources, tools and mechanisms to face the green, digital and demographic transitions that characterise our present and that will mark our future”.

On 9 May, Europe Day, the Conference on the Future of Europe was formally launched, a dynamic and participatory exercise that will serve to debate, give one’s opinion and define what the European Union will be like in the coming years, and whose central axis is a multilingual interactive platform which the course that is inaugurated today is already part of.

Finally, Rosa Balas explained that the region’s pro-European vocation will be reflected in the different events and panels “which will include some of the elements that perhaps best define us as a region at present as their guiding thread: the ecological transition, sustainable tourism, or relations between the European Union and Latin America, in this case, thanks to the support of the institution that welcomes us today: Yuste Foundation”.

This course aims to analyse the challenges and opportunities that the future of Europe offers at a critical time in detail, but it is also a key moment before the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will certainly be an opportunity to define the Europe we want and what its competences, priorities and strategies should be for the long term, offering a new impetus to European democracy.

While a new 2021-2027 financial framework is being negotiated, reinforced by a recovery plan and the NextGenerationEU initiative, Europe must tackle major internal and external challenges: the health, economic and social crisis caused by the Covid19; and the major global challenges that urgently need to be addressed to ensure the sustainability, stability and development not only of the EU but of the planet – climate change, an inclusive digital transformation and the development of a future economy at the service of people -.

This requires rethinking the EU’s functioning and equipping it with the necessary strength and skills for it to carry out its mission. The citizenry asks it for solutions, while unaware that on many occasions it does not have the competences to do anything.

The aim of this course is to publicise the current mechanisms available to Europe to meet these challenges, their functioning, their evolution and the areas in which improvements could be made or develop new mechanisms to enable us to achieve more effective solutions communally than when acting individually. To this end, it is essential to count on the citizenry and civil society and they should know how to be part of the process and of the existing different mechanisms of participation to contribute to the development of strategies, initiatives and proposals to help define a more integrated future for Europe. Thus, this Campus Yuste activity is organised within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The course will be attended, among other speakers, by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain and Member of the European Parliament, José Manuel García-Margallo; the Director of the European Commission Office in Spain, María Ángeles Benítez Salas; the Director of the European Parliament Office in Spain, María Andrés Marín; and the Jean Monnet Professor ad personam and Vice-President of the Royal European Academy of Doctors, Teresa Freixes.

173 people from 14 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, and the USA have registered in this course, which is directed by the Professor of Contemporary History of the University of Extremadura, Alfonso Pinilla, and the Head of European Affairs and delegate in Brussels of Yuste Foundation, Miguel Ángel Martín.