Yuste Foundation Defends the Principle of Solidarity in Order to Advance in the Construction of Europe
The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation inaugurated the Carlos V European Award-Antonio Tajani doctoral seminar entitled “The European Union and the Principle of Solidarity” today. This event brings ten researchers from different nationalities, who have been awarded a Research and Mobility Grant on European Studies, together. This academic forum is held from today until Friday at the Parador Hotel in Jarandilla. (24/11/2021)
In the opening, the Director General for External Action and President of Yuste Foundation’s Executive Committee, Rosa Balas Torres, spoke, expressing that, as a consequence of the pandemic, the subject chosen by Antonio Tajani in 2018, – when he received the Carlos V European Award – is a more timely issue than ever today due to the moment we are going through. In this sense, the director general pointed out that the challenges we face, such as the health, economic, supply, distribution, post-truth, nationalism and threats crises “which want to make Europe hostage to autocracy, populism or denial, can only be neutralised with the values which Europe was built on and which constitute its DNA”, Balas Torres affirmed.
Almost 20 years ago, the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste drew up a declaration called “Europe, a culture for solidarity”, which at that time already called for solidarity and a multiple Europe. In this sense, the director general pointed out that solidarity operates separately or simultaneously at different levels: political, economic, social, legal or cultural, “much more than any international organisation, Europe has been built on solidarity”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated Europe’s shortcomings, but it has also served to demonstrate its “strengths, to make us see that by working together and in solidarity, challenges are overcome”, the director general claimed, which, in her opinion, has been demonstrated by the centralised purchase of vaccines or by the creation of the Next Generation EU financial recovery plan.
Balas Torres encouraged the researchers to continue studying “this common project that is in continuous process of construction” in order to share opinions, ideas and messages in forums like this doctoral seminar that will, undoubtedly, “contribute to feed the debate that will help to continue growing in the European project”, she pointed out, and concluded recalling the phrase that Antonio Tajani said in Yuste: “the European Union is above all solidarity with those who need it most. Let us continue to build Europe because it is the best future we can dream of”.
Professor Jean Monnet “ad personam” and Vice-President of the Royal European Academy of Doctors, Teresa Freixes, who also participated in the opening ceremony, recalled that the holding of this seminar coincides with the Conference on the Future of Europe, a platform that “has to serve to move forward because we already know that politics and geopolitics serve to this end, but we citizens must also have a voice”. Moving on regarding this topic, Freixes warned of the long road ahead for Europe because with the pandemic it has become clear that there are health, economic, and foreign policy deficiencies, in addition to the reforms needed by the institutions. “We have several challenges ahead: better skills and better institutions, and the citizenry to keep pushing”, she concluded.
Then, the director of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, gave the keynote address of the doctoral seminar, which was entitled “The Europe of solidarity”. In his speech, he appealed to the solidarity of all and to face the great challenges which humanity is exposed to, because “the dramas we have seen in the camps for refugees and displaced people, the long queues to receive a hot meal or a blanket or the crowded boats of despair can also happen to us”. In his view, we are now aware that “perhaps the pandemic is only a general rehearsal of other problems that may happen to us in the future if we remain anchored in our daily absurdities”, he claimed.
In this sense, the director of the Foundation pointed out that the reaction of solidarity that has taken place in society and “the European solidarity through the reconstruction fund that leads us to rethink the value of what is public”, is one of the few benefits that the pandemic has brought us.
The doctoral seminar brings young researchers together from Israel, the Czech Republic, Colombia, Italy, Germany and Spain who are studying at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Salamanca University, the Comillas Pontifical University, UNED, Alcalá University, the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal, the Free University of Berlin, the Autonomous University in Madrid, and at the European University Institute of Florence.
The papers presented during the doctoral seminar will be published in the book collection “Cuadernos de Yuste”, which the Foundation publishes with a prestigious publishing house. In addition, the researchers will become part of the Yuste Alumni Network, which is currently made up of more than 100 people that are spread across a great part of the world, and who in many cases occupy important positions in European institutions.
The doctoral seminar is organised by Yuste Foundation in collaboration with the SEGEI Research Network (Socio-Economic Governance and European Identity), the University of Extremadura, the Regional Government of Extremadura, and the Provincial Councils of Cáceres and Badajoz.
The Carlos V European Award European Research and Mobility Grants on European Studies deal with European history, memory and integration, taking the profile of the person, institution, project or initiative awarded in each edition as a framework and priority. The topic and research priorities are defined with the award winner from a multidisciplinary perspective.
In the 12th edition, the jury of the Carlos V European Award awarded the prize to Antonio Tajani – who was the president of the European Parliament at the time – for “a political career of almost 25 years dedicated to the European Union and its institutions as guarantors of peace, democracy, human rights, equality, solidarity and the values it represents.”
In his speech at the award ceremony, Mr. Tajani also called for more democratic and transparent European economic governance “to help the economic and social convergence of the most disadvantaged regions” by advocating the principle of solidarity.
Finally, the fact that Tajani’s first words on the day of his election as president of the European Parliament were addressed to the victims of the earthquakes in central Italy in 2016 is to be highlighted. He thus wanted to dedicate the award to three of the municipalities that suffered from these earthquakes and asked that the research and mobility grants on European studies that the award – which bear his name – includes, be focused on researching the history, implementation and application of the mechanisms and principle of solidarity in the European Union, acknowledging that more is needed, but with this gesture he wished to recall that “the European Union is, above all, solidarity with those who most need it”.