The European Academy of Yuste Foundation, together with the University of Extremadura, today inaugurated the course titled The process of European integration and the challenges for the future of Europe. Participation, representation and democracy in a federal context of nation States in the EU.

During the opening ceremony, Mario Díaz Barrado, the course director, stated that it fulfils the aim of “making us more aware of the need to promote the European Union which, although it is an ethereal concept, affects us on a daily basis”, adding that “if we move forward in its construction, we will all see the benefits”. Enrique Moradiellos, the director of the Jean Monnet Chair, explained that the chair is an academic field made up of historians interested in Europe which is complemented by the presence of political figures who have formed part of the process of European construction. Moradiellos explained that the course sets out “multiple perspectives which will offer us the opportunity to understand the process of European construction”.

Enrique Barrasa, the director of the Foundation, underlined the continuance and enhancement of the activities conducted by the Foundation “in spite of the crisis undergone by the public institutions”, thanking the patrons and the University of Extremadura for the efforts they have made. Moreover, Barrasa pointed out the three principles which govern the activities of the Foundation: “pluralism, because we offer different approaches to enrich the student’s training, freedom for all the speakers who provide their knowledge and academic rigour, which is why the activities are always conducted by university professors”.

To bring the opening ceremony to an end, Maribel López, Vice-Rector of University Extension of the University of Extremadura, expressed her satisfaction with the number of students enrolled on the course and with all the young people interested in attending the courses organized by the Foundation and the University. In this regard, addressing the attendees, she encouraged them to be “chroniclers of history” because “you form part of the history of Europe and, with the spreading of your knowledge, you help the construction process”.

For four days professors and European experts will visit the headquarters of the Foundation. These will include Marcelino Oreja, former European Commissioner and member of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, Francisco Fonseca, former Director of the Office of the EC in Spain and Director for Criminal Justice of the DG for Justice of the EC, Enrique Barón, former President of the EP, Alejandro Cercas, former MEP and Co-Director of the Jean Monnet Chair of the University of Extremadura, Enrique Serbeto, correspondent of the ABC newspaper in Brussels, Álvaro López de Goicoechea, RTVE correspondent in Brussels, Griselda Pastor, Cadena Ser correspondent in Brussels, Jaume Duch Guillot, Media Director and Spokesman of the EP and José María Gil-Robles, former President of the EP.

In addition, Jose Manuel Barroso, the former President of the European Commission and winner of the Charles V European Award, addressed those attending via a video in which he stated that “European political leaders should not nationalize successes and Europeanize failures”, adding that “Europe is stronger than ever today, despite always undergoing tensions, which Europhobes have always tried to take advantage of, fortunately without success to date”.

The course is being streamed on our online channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUYKRDOh1TAzGYed3zKrtHA

The course, as part of the Campus Yuste program, aims to analyse the need to take the European process forward, an issue which has come to the fore as a result of the serious economic and institutional crisis and the questioning of political credibility which has plagued Europe since 2007, calling its citizens and institutions to seek reliable, robust and defining solutions which ensure the process of European construction and integration and dispel the existing doubts about its feasibility.