The international congress “Charles V, Vitoria and Erasmus in Yuste” closed today at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of the University of Extremadura with the presence of the President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara; the Rectors of the Universities of Extremadura, Salamanca and San Pablo CEU: Segundo Píriz, Ricardo Rivero and Antonio Calvo respectively, as well as with representatives from the academic, social, business, cultural and the world of the Third Sector.

The Rector of the University of Extremadura emphasised the good judgement in celebrating this congress that “defends historical reflection as an analysis device of the present time”.

Píriz highlighted the figure of Francisco de Vitoria, pointing out that he “faced the greatest intellectual challenges of his time, renewing methods and subjects and creating a real school of Jewish Theological thought”. As far as Erasmus of Rotterdam is concerned, the Rector claimed that “his obsessive concern about the reformation of the Church considered the deprivation of paganism in Christian customs and ceremonies”. Píriz said that the “Erasmism relates to thinking freely and tolerating the thoughts of others”. All these ideas had an influence on Charles V’s political action. In his opinion, Charles V, Vitoria and Erasmus operate as “architectonical elements of the construction of Europe”.

To conclude, Píriz has referred to Yuste as “a place of vital revision for Charles V and of analysis and reflection for everyone through the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation”.

Finally, the Director of the congress, former winner of the Carlos V European Award and member of the Academy of Yuste, Marcelino Oreja, presented the conclusions of the sessions. During his speech, Oreja pointed out that this congress attempted to highlight the figure and ideas of Francisco de Vitoria which “shaped international law and were the origin of modernity”.

Oreja added that the discovery of America opened the horizon towards a new unknown space, but -in his view- “today there are other new worlds, other new challenges, such as globalisation; the threats to peace and international security; the risks affecting sustainable life on Earth or great displacements of those running away from wars, terrorism and poverty”.

It is in this spirit that the Director of the congress has defended the values European of liberty, equality, solidarity, men and women’s dignity, pluralism and human rights in order to face new challenges.

This congress has brought together academicians, jurists, historians and philosophers from national and international universities in Yuste. During three days, they have shared the conception of how important International Law is, as we understand it today, as a European invention where thinkers, such as Vitoria, contributed to create a set of concepts that were the answer to a period of geographical and spiritual discoveries.