Guillermo Fernández Vara, President of the Regional Government of Extremadura and President of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, has opened the summer course entitled ‘Prospects, strategies and challenges of the European Union: conflict and safety threats in a global context’ organised by the Foundation together with the University of Extremadura.
In his talk he said “Either we transfer sovereignty to the European Union or the European project is neither possible nor viable”. The Head of the Extremaduran Government said that society is going through a period of “great complexity” in which citizens need to show leadership and carry out sound judgements: “We must be serious and rigorous, stay away from the obvious and from absolute truths. In order to begin to make sound judgements about the reality we live in there needs to be an element of doubt… We must not act alone, nor as independent movements, nor without common projects”, vowed Fernández Vara, who has said the UK’s exit from the EU, and the fragility it represents, should be used as an opportunity to bolster the role of the Europe.
Guillermo Fernández Vara recalled how ex-President and Carlos V European Award winner Felipe González said that one of the errors made at the start of the EU process was a lack of attention to issues of security and defence policy, and pointed out how disastrous the UK’s exit from the EU is in terms of safety, given the country’s first-rate army and intelligence service.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor Maribel López talked about the importance of supporting education, allowing students to see Europe from different perspectives early on. “We need to be positive and enthusiastic when it comes to Europe” she said, “that’s what we’re working on at the University of Extremadura”. Lastly, the Vice-Chancellor thanked the Foundation for its efforts in organising the grant programme, which gave students from other universities the opportunity to attend international courses held at the Royal Monastery of Yuste.
Juan Manuel Rodríguez Barrigón, Senior Lecturer of International Public Law and Public Relations at the University of Extremadura, and Course Director, explained how today “safety is one of the key concepts in international public relations”. He outlined the various interconnected themes the course will cover, such as the humanitarian dimension of conflicts, Latin America, human rights, conflict from a perspective of gender, and the position of women in peace-keeping operations.
The course, which will take place until Friday, has had collaboration from the Extremaduran Centre for Cooperation with Ibero-America (CEXECI). Students from the following universities are taking part: Granada, Jaén, Salamanca, Valladolid, Zaragoza, Comillas Pontifical, Alalá de Henares, Valencia, Madrid Autonomous, Cantabria, La Rioja, Deusto, Extremadura, Pablo de Olavide, Barcelona Autonomous, Sevilla, Madrid Complutense, Rey Juan Carlos, Carlos III and UNED (Open University).