The European Academy of Yuste Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a concert from choir Amadeus, directed by Alonso Gómez Gallego. The concert is on Saturday, 8 April, at 12.00, at the Royal Monastery of Yuste church. The concert marks the opening of a series entitled ‘The Emperor’s Concerts’ organised in collaboration with Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage).

The concert programme includes pieces from 20th and 21st century composers with a touch of Iberian folk, full of optimism. Many of the works were presented at the Concurso Internacional Amadeus de Composición Coral (Amadeus International Choral Competition, where the group succeeded in bringing Extremaduran culture and music to the rest of Spain, Europe, and Ibero-America. The concert will also include texts from Rainer Maria Rilke, James Agee, Edward Esch, José María Gabriel y Galán, and Federico García Lorca. The finale will be a version of L. V. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (with words from Friedrich Schiller) officially adopted by the European Union as a European anthem.

Since it was set up on 9 April 1992, the Foundation has worked tirelessly on a number of activities in the fields of culture, research, education, and social commitment, to reach a peaceful, prosperous, stable, free, and democratic Europe, showing solidarity with the weakest citizens, committed to its citizens, and respectful of diversity; an organised and lively Europe which understands and takes on board the glories and errors of its past, and confidently looks towards the future as a time of peaceful coexistence.
Over the years, the Foundation has converted the Royal Monastery of Yuste into a meeting space for people coming from all over the world: a place where ideas come together, where visitors join on equal footing with the wisdom of our academics with their enthusiasm for learning from young people; a diverse, free enclave, committed to reflecting on the issues worrying European citizens, and a valuable conduit to project the image of Extremadura and Spain overseas. In this work, the Academy has carved out its position as an intellectual foundation in the process of European construction: something to which the Foundation is committed. Some of our academics are painter Antonio López; sociologists Abram de Swaan, Edgar Morin and Alain Touraine; historians, Gilbert Trausch, Paul Preston, Carmen Iglesias and Manuela Mendonça; Italian mathematician Edoardo Vesentini; gerontologist Ursula Lehr, theologist Hans Küng; Spanish scientist Margarita Salas; researcher Peter Piot; cardiologist Valentín Fuster; pianist María João Pires; politicians Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Marcelino Oreja and Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra, and orchestra conductor Franz Welser-Möst, among other personalities.

Throughout this quarter of a century, the Foundation has organised hundreds of summer courses, seminars, meetings, events, exhibitions, and concerts, together with a number of Spanish and European networks and universities, above all with the University of Extremadura and always with close ties to Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage), the Orden de San Jerónimo (the Order of Saint Jerome) and the Orden de San Pablo Primer Eremita (the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit). To date, hundreds of students have come through the Foundation’s doors on scholarships to attend campus Yuste; eighty doctoral candidates have benefited from the European Research and Mobility Grants associated with the Carlos V European Award, which has allowed them to finish their doctoral theses, and these professionals are today joined to the Foundation through the Yuste Alumni Network. These are just some of the results achieved by the Foundation, which is recognised by the European Union as an Organisation of European Interest and works in the field of Exterior Action for the Regional Government of Extremadura.

And to give recognition to people, organisations, projects and initiatives that have contributed their efforts to the general understanding and promotion of European cultural and historical values, the Foundation introduced the European Carlos V Award. It has granted the award to ten illustrious personalities over the years: Jacques Delors, Wilfried Martens, Felipe González, Mijaíl Gorbachov, Jorge Sampaio, Helmut Kohl, Simone Veil, Javier Solana, José Manuel Durão Barroso and Sofía Corradi; plus the recipient of the latest edition, Marcelino Oreja Aguirre. As from this year the Award will be granted annually, presented on 9 May to coincide with Europe Day in a formal ceremony traditionally presided over by the King.

And the immediate future will see new horizons opening thanks to a merger with the Extremaduran Centre for Study and Cooperation with Ibero-America (CEXECI) which will come to form the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation. This new Foundation will serve as a connection point between Europe and Ibero-America and will have the goal of contributing to the promotion of democracy, respect for human rights, and the advancement of peace and international understanding; as well as comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development for all the peoples and nations of the world, especially through the promotion of culture, research, the spreading of understanding, and the promotion of multilingualism.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”. Shuman Declaration, 9 May 1950.