inaguracioncursotransicion2017The European Academy of Yuste Foundation today opened its Campus Yuste programme with the ‘8th Yuste Encounters on Transition’, under the title ‘The lengthy process of European integration (1982-1996)’. It is organising the event for another year together with the University of Extremadura and King Juan Carlos University.

During the opening, Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero, Director of the Foundation, said that Spanish transition was “a common effort of renunciations and achievements” and said that we must look towards a Europe that is “free, democratic, and respectful of citizens”.

The opening conference was led by Ana Bosch, who was a public television correspondent in Moscow, Washington, and London, and was part of the team that created the European Euronews channel. The journalist explained that just as the United States used CNN as a diplomatic platform to launch its messages, Europe wanted to counteract that media heavyweight by creating “a great media project with financial support from Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland”. In her opinion, “Europe’s very characteristics lessen the channel’s influential capacity” due to the need to re-broadcast in several languages, and the financial cost this entails.

Bosch ended her speech with three statements: “Europe is not easy to explain” and because of that, politicians and institutions should make a huge effort for them; the media needs to make more of an effort to educate and circulate awareness; and finally, citizens need to involve themselves more in the understanding of Europe.

The course will also explore the military coup and end of the UCD; European political dynamics and the socialist period (1982-1996); the influence of the French socialist experience on the policies of Felipe González’s first government; the role of the Spanish Government in integration into the European Economic Community (1982-1989); the projection of European Spain in Ibero-America; the process of Spain’s adhesion to the Council of Europe, which happened 40 years ago this year and was a landmark in the development of culture and human rights in Spain; Spanish film in the 1980s; the social shift in Spain during the 1980s; and analysis of whether transitions to democracies are familiar territory or an uncertain future.

The annual Encounters event, held at Yuste, aims to take stock of the changing perceptions of the Transition over time to the present day in Spain, Europe, and the world. The course will take place from 30-31 March, with the first day being held at the Royal Monastery of Yuste and the second day at the School of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Extremadura, at its Cáceres campus.

Speakers at the event include Anna Bosch, TVE journalist; Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, Ex-President of the Regional Government of Extremadura and member of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation; Pilar Barraca, from the Sub-Directorate General for the Protection of Historical Heritage for the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport; Alejandro Cercas, Ex-MEP; Susanne Gratius, researcher for the Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue (FRIDE), and University of Extremadura professors Enrique Moradiellos and Mario Díaz Barrado, with the latter being in charge of managing the Encounters.

The ‘Transition Encounters’ are organised by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, and the University of Extremadura and King Juan Carlos University, with additional support from Histipres Research groups, CRINI y FRAMESPA, the Extremaduran Centre for Study and Cooperation with Ibero-America (CEXECI), the European Fund for Regional Development (European Union), the University of Nantes, the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, the University of Almería, Patrimonio Nactional (National Heritage), and the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.