marcelinoyuste2017The European Academy of Yuste Foundation presented the Carlos V European Award to former Minister for Foreign Affairs and ex-MEP Marcelino Oreja, in a formal ceremony presided over by Felipe VI. As from this year, the award ceremony will be held annually on 9 May to coincide with Europe Day.

King Felipe VI showed his support for building trust in the European project, “improving and renewing it in an intelligent manner”, in order to maintain its position as a “reference for freedom and progress”. 67 years after Robert Schuman’s historic speech on 9th May, to be celebrated every year, King Felipe praised the fact that “Spain is one of the countries where the notion of feeling European is felt most strongly among its citizens”.

He sees the European Academy of Yuste Foundation’s annual presentation of the Carlos V European Award as a renewal of this commitment, something that will now coincide with Europe Day, from Extremadura and Spain, “with the Crown’s full support”, and he congratulated the Foundation on its 25th anniversary.

He also recalled how Spain, along with Portugal, has the additional responsibility of facilitating, supporting, and encouraging relations between the European Union (EU) and Ibero-America, and said how fitting the Foundation’s forthcoming conversion to the European and Ibero-American Yuste Foundation was.

The President of the Regional Government of Extremadura and President of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation Board of Trustees, Guillermo Fernández Vara, also took part in the ceremony. He has contributed to democratic culture and European awareness being an essential component of our policies and projects, in order to attain true progress and well-being through mutual understanding and harmony between nations.

To do so, he has appealed for commitment and responsibility, as politicians and human beings, and has highlighted the importance of investing in communications through advocates who can get close to people and businesses, “especially in the railways, which are so important in countries such as ours”.

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, also took part, who on the 60 anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, reminded us that “the European Union is a project for the future” which, in his opinion, includes working towards “Europe being safer, more prosperous, more social, and stronger on the world stage”. To do this, he suggested key points such as coordinating ourselves in the fight against terrorism, joint working at foreign borders and providing shelter with the firm application of the law, among others.

In the same vein, prize-winner Marcelino Oreja supported “defending peace at any cost, guaranteeing unity and domestic cohesion and encouraging a bigger and better Europe as a unique alternative in the face of inward-looking and divisive risks”. He has recently shown his support for “updating the European project” which, from his point of view, involves reinforcing the European Union’s social pillar, uniting in defence, calling for globalisation, and moving the European project forward to a different rhythm, from respect to the principle of subsidiarity.

Representing the European Yuste Alumni Network, made up of recipients of Carlos V Award European Research and Mobility Grants for European Study, Delia Manzanero, professor at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid also gave a speech. Manzanero made her case for the power education has to conserve a sense of belonging to Europe as the best way of guaranteeing prosperity and shared European destiny, and preventing a new European civil war.

The Carlos V European Award ceremony organised by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation has institutional backing from the European Parliament, the support of the Regional Government of Extremadura, and collaboration from Extremadura Avante and Canal Extremadura.

Attending the ceremony were Rebeca Grynspan, Iberoamerican Secretary General; Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo, Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, and government representative; and Alfonso María Dastis Quecedo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, among others. With the Carlos V European Award the European Academy of Yuste Foundation aims to give recognition to people who stand out for their commitment to the process of European Union construction or their contribution to the enhancement of Europe’s cultural, social, scientific, and historical values. In this way, the Carlos V European Award represents the spirit of the construction of a united Europe.