We have finished another edition of the Course on the European Union! This time, we have celebrated the closing ceremony of the XL Edition of the Course on the European Union in the Hall of Degrees of the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona.


To preside over this act we have had the Hon. Mr. Senén Florensa, Diplomat and Director of the Course on the EU, as well as Dr. Helena Torroja, Academic Director of the CEI, and the main lecturer, Diplomat Miguel García-Herraiz, who gave a presentation on the European Union.


To celebrate the closing of an emblematic course in its fortieth edition, we wanted to have a Diplomat who would have dealt very closely with an organization such as the European Union, and that is why the speaker was García-Herraiz, currently Assistant Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean.


The diplomat offered the students and their families a brief lecture on "The expansion of the concept of the Southern Neighborhood in the strategic thinking of the EU" to complete, in a very practical way, the teachings that the students had already lived throughout the 3 months of the course.


To finish the event, Dr. Núria González, coordinator of the Course, has called the students to collect their diploma, granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Catalan Secretariat for Foreign and EU Affairs and CEI International Affairs.


Now we just have to start preparing the next edition of the Course on the EU. Full of news!


Do you want to have an idea of ​​the main lines of Spanish Foreign Policy today? Don’t miss this summary of each of the round tables that took place in the Course on Current Issues in Spain Foreign Policy, talking about future challenges, the Brexit, emerging actors and the Sustainable Development Agenda.


Challenges of Spanish foreign policy


The first conference of the Course was about the "challenges of Spanish foreign policy", by Ambassador Beatriz Larrotcha. It was commented that with respect to the current challenges of Spanish foreign policy we must differentiate between the challenges with essential geographic components and those challenges that make up sectoral vectors. In the geographical area, they stand out for Spain due to their importance: the Maghreb and the Sahel, Ibero-America, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia-Pacific. If we describe the priority social vectors for Spain we find: Human Rights.



Spain and the European Union: special reference to Brexit


The second part of the session consisted of a round table and debate on Spain and the EU with special reference to Brexit. Dr. Castellá gave a detailed description of the Brexit political and social process, while the Diplomat Fuentes Milani highlighted the relevance of Brexit to the EU and described the withdrawal process of the United Kingdom from the EU. Several questions were raised and one of the most recurrent issues was the future position of Gibraltar with respect to the EU. To this, it is answered that Gibraltar will leave the EU together with the United Kingdom, but that any future agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU will only be applicable to Gibraltar if Spain has so agreed.



Relations of Spain with East Asia with special attention to India as an emerging global player


Professor Nicolás de Pedro, highlighted the interest of India for its fast rise in the region, we are facing the 7th economy of the World that aspires to become the 3rd. Currently the country has systemic strengths and structural weaknesses. According to the same, India currently needs many resources that Spain can offer, such as infrastructure, tourism or construction. But, in order to take advantage of it, it is necessary that bilateral relations reach a greater intensity.


The Diplomat Fidel Sendagorta told us about his foreign policy, noting that since the 1990s there has been a rapprochement between India and the US, which considers India a counterweight to China. In short, the present and future of the Asian region will be marked mainly by the Chinese boom and the struggle of the rest of emerging countries for not being engulfed by the Asian giant.



Terrorism as a threat to international peace and security


In the round table: "Terrorism as a threat to international peace and security" was attended by two expert personalities from both the academic and diplomatic fields, with the assistance of speakers Mr. Javier García-Larrache from MAEC and Dr. Sonia Andolz, Professor of International Policy at the University of Barcelona.


In the face of decentralized terrorism and composed of "unorganized" individuals, in the whole of international society, new scenarios and challenges are proposed to fight against this scourge. In order to defeat this new form of terrorism, the proposed solutions are always framed within the rule of law. There is no talk of defeating them in the open, but by suffocation, looking for ways to reach prevention and reintegration. The role of large technology companies in the fight against terrorism was also raised, focusing the subsequent debate on the dichotomy between privacy or privacy VS. security.



Spain's relations with Africa: the challenges of the Sahel


Dr. Oscar Mateos shared with the audience his conviction that Spain must adapt its foreign policy to Africa, to ensure a better balance between the notions of development and security that inform it. For this, the notion of ownership of African partners is essential and the best way to ensure this way of working is by collaborating with the African Union or with ECOWAS, among other regional integration organizations, so that they can solve African problems on their own.


Mr. Robredo Rubio explained with reference to the Strategic Framework for Sub-Saharan Africa, emphasizing that it foresees that five times more resources will be allocated to development than to security. According to the speaker, this new Spanish approach to the continent is based on an essential observation: Africa represents a challenge and an opportunity for Spain. To extend this prosperity to the entire continent, the diplomat defended the creation and strengthening of anchor countries: States that, like South Africa, have an ability to attract organized immigration and provide new economic opportunities for Africans.



Spain and the Sustainable Development Agenda


In the last round table, composed by the speakers D. Juan Francisco Montalbán Carrasco, Ambassador in Special Mission for the Agenda 2030 and Dr. Angel Rodrigo, Professor of Public International Law, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, the question of the Agenda was discussed 2030 which is approved in 2015, the so-called year of the triumph and consolidation of multilateralism, thanks to the approval of the "Addis Ababa Action Agenda" and the "Paris Climate Agreement".


The 2030 Agenda is presented with all its slogans: "leave no one behind", integrating and mainstreaming the "5P": people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership (alliances). With these elements we try to give coherence to public policies in line with the international policy to which we have committed ourselves, conditioning and helping each other, to respond to the problems of our planet, promoting joint work. The complexity of the challenge is high; we need a universal, multi-stakeholder and multi-level effort, with a high level of accountability.



Summaries extracted from the reports prepared by the students of the Preparation Course to Join the Diplomatic Corps.


ministro morenes copy

On March 20th CEI International Affairs invites you to the Conference "Dialogue with the Ambassador of Spain to United States".



This colloquium will be offered by the Hon. Mr. Pedro Morenés, who will speak about the economic, commercial and diplomatic relations of the country with the Spanish state.



Ambassador's CV

Country card United States


(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation)




Date: 03/20/2018


Aimed at: Open to the public


Hours: 5.30pm.


Place: Salón de Grados. Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona


Confirmation is requested through telephone 93 205 45 16 or by email at info@ceibcn.com, indicating name, surname and ID.

Within the framework of the activities of the International Classroom of CEI International Affairs, we had the opportunity to receive the Hon. Mr. Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio, Ambassador of Spain to Russia, who explained the current situation of the country and Russia's relations with Spain, at a commercial and diplomatic level.


Ambassador Ybáñez began his dissertation analyzing a year that, for him, is essential to understand the current situation of Russia and its relations with the Member States of the European Union. This significant year was 2014 due to several factors:


  • In the economic sphere, there was a 45% drop in oil prices, which, due to the fact that its export is the fundamental basis of the Russian economy, had a strong impact on it.


  • In the political sphere, the crisis in Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea provoked a strong coordinated response from the EU and the US, which did not hesitate to impose severe sanctions on the country in order to make the Eurasian giant change its attitude. These sanctions, among other measures, included the prohibition of arms trade with the country, the prohibition of exporting certain extraction materials, which was a blow to a State, already suffering from the low price of oil. However, the strongest element of these sanctions was the measures imposed with respect to the financial system, since these caused the Russian companies to stop having any relationship with European and American companies.


With this scenario of crisis, the country decided to adopt a series of countermeasures that affected, among other countries, Spain, when the export of agricultural products to Russia stopped. This year, 2014, marked the breaking of the trend of rapprochement that had been taking place in recent years between the EU and Russia.




As of this year, in 2015, for example, the Russian economy suffered a contraction of 2.8% and the ruble was strongly devalued. To avoid a major crisis, the government of President Putin decided to take measures of constriction, that is, to apply the so-called "economic orthodoxy".


Regarding its foreign policy, as we have already seen, 2014 was a paradigm shift for the country. During the months before the political and diplomatic crisis between Russia and the EU, together with the US, the relationship was becoming increasingly cold, as there was a feeling that the Russian giant was radicalizing in its approach.


It was the decision of Ukraine to approach the EU, which provoked the irritation of a country that even demanded that Ukraine not sign any kind of agreement that supposed a rapprochement with the European organization. In this context, the country made the decision to invade Crimea, thus violating the laws of international law. In this situation, Russia decided to look for other allies in the region, especially among those states with which historically it has maintained a strong relationship, that is, with those of the orbit of the extinct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as they could be Belarus, Armenia, etc. However, other countries such as Georgia, Moldova, or Ukraine itself, began to strengthen their relations with the EU.


Another important aspect of its foreign policy is to create a new polarity, especially with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and, within these, fundamentally with the Asian giant, China. Russia, in short, has reinforced its presence in other spheres of international relations, such as in the Middle East, where it wanted to play a leading and fundamental role in the Syrian crisis, or, also, in Latin American countries, like Mexico or Argentina. This new approach to its foreign policy is a response to the situation in which it was placed after the aforementioned events of 2014.




After this exposition of the situation by the Ambassador, different questions were asked, due to the high commercial and economic interest that the country presents:


  • On the one hand, the fact that the EU did not know how to communicate well enough to Russia the true intentions of its neighborhood policy, but that in the current situation it is fundamental to strengthen the dialogue between the parties, which can be boosted by important figures such as Macron or Merkel. Regarding the question of Russian interference in the internal affairs of other states, these are not due to an ideological issue, but to a reaction against the EU, and it is stressed again that more work should be done on the positive side, i.e. in improving the means of communication, than in the negative, to prevent these types of attacks from occurring. It also revealed the growing interest in Spanish and Spanish culture, as well as agreements already made between some Spanish and Russian universities.


  • On the other hand, debating about the Russian role in the Syrian War, it was stated that Russia presents its participation in it as a victory. From the beginning he cared about the movements of the Arab Spring. For Russia, their participation in the conflict has been a good investment, although now they only want the political negotiation to advance so that the withdrawal can be effective as soon as possible. Interestingly, it highlights that the military cooperation on the ground between the US and Russia has been absolute.


As a conclusion, we can see that Russia is in a new situation after that turning point marked in 2014, but has managed to adapt to it. In the commercial sphere, there are good business opportunities for Spain and its companies and, in short, Russia is "doomed" to dialogue with the EU to face the numerous global challenges that arise in this century.


Report prepared by José Javier Espinosa López

Student of the Preparation Course to Join the Diplomatic Corps

After the "Working in the EU" Conference, we bring a complementary training for all those who want to enter to the world of public official examinations, to become official of the European Union.

There it is one of the key moments of the course! The students of the Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Public Service have already planted the tree, a tradition that continues to be fulfilled for another year.


When the end of the course is coming, every year the traditional tree plantation is celebrated by the students of the Master in Diplomacy, who choose with enthusiasm what to plant to leave their roots at CEI.


This year, the chosen one has been a lemon tree, which has been planted in the same garden as the orange tree that was planted the year before by the students of the 2016-2017 promotion.


The event was presented by the CEI Director, Mr. Antoni Millet Abbad, who celebrated one year more the joy of planting the tree, Hon. Mr. Fernando Perpiñá-Robert, Ambassador and Director of the Master's Degree in Diplomacy, who encouraged the students to continue with the life cycle of "planting a tree, writing a book and having a child". In addition, they were also accompanied by Ms. Laura Mas, coordinator of the Master's Degree.


We interviewed Dr. Elisenda Calvet, director of the Course on Current Issues in Spain Foreign Policy, to solve the most frequent doubts about the course and tell us about the novelties of this edition:




Which is the origin of the Course?

The course has been done for 17 years in CEI with the collaboration of the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, with the aim of publicizing the current foreign policy of Spain and discusses it. It is also a way of awakening interest in international relations and diplomacy in general.


What countries or geographical areas will be discussed this year?

In this edition, the course will focus on the European Union, especially on the impact of Brexit. In addition, Spain's relations with India, an emerging actor in East Asia, will also be analyzed. Finally, the challenges of the Sahel and Mali in Africa will be considered, in which Spain has a significant role.


How’s the methodology of the course?

The course is structured in round tables in which, on the one hand, a person from the diplomatic corps of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and, on the other hand, a person from the academic field participate. Then there is a debate between the public and the speakers.


Who is the course aimed at?

The course is aimed at general public, people who are studying university, especially Political Science or Law, but not exclusively, as well as people interested in International Relations and Spanish diplomacy.


Can the students take the course in each edition?

As the course deals with the current affairs of Spanish foreign policy, the issues addressed are changing in each edition and allows keeping abreast of international relations of Spain in relation to different countries and topics.


What knowledge will be obtained by those who take this edition of the course?

Those who attend the course will be familiar with the Spanish foreign policy, hand in hand with academic experts and diplomatic personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

As we have already advanced you through our Social Networks, we start a new monthly section in the CEI, the #QuizCD: The Quiz of the Diplomatic Career.


Each month we will share questions that appear or may appear in the tests of the examinations for the Access to the Diplomatic Career, in this way you will know much better the world of the Diplomacy and the International Relations, and also you will test your knowledge of general culture.


The correct answer to the first question of the recently inaugurated Quiz of the Diplomatic Career:


"What deaths are commemorated on April 23, International Book Day?"


There were 3 possible answers, and only 20% of the participants had the answer right. The correct choice was: is commemorated the anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso.





The answer that has taken most votes has been the commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and Cervantes, as it is the most popularly known.

But truly, UNESCO declared in 1995 that the 23rd of April would be the International Book Day, commemorating the day in which Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso died, all of them in 1616. In this sense, the concrete denomination that granted the UNESCO to date was: International Book and Copyright Day.


Inca Garcilaso is the least known of the three authors. This writer, of Peruvian origin, is considered the most emblematic representative of Hispanic-American miscegenation as a cultural process and as a stimulus for creative.


UNESCO also took into account that April 23 corresponded to the birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.


UNESCO's intention in commemorating this day was and continues to be to encourage everyone, especially young people, to discover the joy of reading and to value the irreplaceable contributions of those who have promoted the social and cultural progress of humanity.


We have celebrated the II Seminar on Economic Diplomacy, organized by CEI International Affairs with the collaboration of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain.


For this, we have counted with the direction of Professor Raül Blanco, organizer of the cycle of Seminar of Economic Diplomacy. This edition has been about the geopolitical changes experienced in recent years and how these are influencing the international investment decisions of companies.Through the introductory presentations of Mrs. Evada Prada and Mr. Bill Murray, they have done special emphasis on the Brexit case.



Mr. Murray, Ms. Eva Prada, Mr. Millet and Mr. Rosàs


On one hand, Ms. Prada, Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, spoke about the importance of the work of Chambers of Commerce, and how they are at the service of companies, especially in cases of great uncertainty such as Brexit. The Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain has stated that, in recent months, one of the most important tasks has been to convey as much information as possible to British companies established or investing in Spain. 


After that, Mr. Murray, director of the economic and public policy section of the British Embassy in Spain, approached us his vision of diplomacy in uncertain times, making a special reference to Brexit. For Murray, the next months will be the key, especially in the March European Council, since the idea is finding free-trade agreements, which for Murray must be halfway between the case of Canada and Norway.


The second part of the Seminar was structured in a round table focusing on the influence of geopolitical changes on trade and international investment, for which it had Mr. Manuel Egea, Ms. Ana Ruiz Jiménez and Mr. Francesc Subirada.



Ms. Ruiz Jiménez, Mr. Egea, Mr. Subirada and Mr. Blanco


Egea, an expert in corporate diplomacy and professor at the UCAM, gave an exposition about the concept of "corporate diplomacy" reflecting on the growing role of large companies. For Egea, in a changing environments like the current one, it is increasingly important to have instruments and expert profiles in corporate diplomacy, since current events are moving in tables of ministers, politicians and company directors, that is the reason why the managers of big companies must assume institutional and political roles.

For Egea companies must set a foreign policy if they want to integrate corporate diplomacy into its strategy. 


Ms. Ana Ruiz Jiménez, General Director of TD & T, explained the success story of a Spanish SME that has managed to lead major infrastructure projects in the United States, with its ventilation system for road and rail tunnels. For Ruiz Jiménez, the key to success is always to focus and specialize to the maximum.


Finally, Mr. Francesc Subirada, General Director of Research of the Generalitat of Catalonia, spoke to us about the importance of the creation of large companies at the national level, as they are those who pay taxes and do research in their countries of origin. Subirada dealt with the case of the European Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been planned in Hospitalet de Llobregat.

Last Tuesday, March 6, the Ambassador of Spain to Saudi Arabia, the Hon. Mr. Álvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, was invited to present information about the political, economic and social situation, as well as on diplomatic relations between Spain and Saudi Arabia in the framework of the International Classroom Program of the CEI. Important personalities representing the business, economic and institutional world as well as other members of the Spanish diplomatic attended the meeting.


The ambassador began by describing Saudi Arabia as one of the most important countries in the Middle East, highlighting its economy (with a GDP of 700,000 million dollars) and its political influence in the region, being the cradle of Islam. Saudi Arabia has an economy that has historically and fundamentally been based on oil, of which it is the world's leading exporter, allowing it to be considered one of the twenty most important economies in the world.


Particularly, Saudi Arabia presented in its last 3 fiscal years a public deficit that is estimated to reach 16%, but has been able to finance the deficit by borrowing with foreign markets for the first time, thanks to its large reserves of foreign currency, maintaining its credit quality with an A note.




The first aspect highlighted by the ambassador was the recent political decisions that have marked an evolution in the situation and expectations of the country. For the first time since 1932, King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has agreed to his succession, producing a generational leap, with Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, 32, chosen to succeed him, assuming, due to his young age, a radical change in the traditional line of succession. There is great hope that this generational change, through the 2030 Vision of the Crown Prince, will allow implementing the structural change, that Saudi Arabia needs in order to have a more diversified productive base and an economy that does not depend exclusively on oil.


Likewise, the Ambassador stressed that the relations between Spain and Saudi Arabia, characterized by mutual appreciation, lack a marked contemporary relationship, but arise from the historical link shared between Spain and the Arab world. The evocation of Spain for the Saudis implies cultural and historical prestige. These relationships are also reinforced by the strong connection between the royalty of both countries, the recognition of the Saudis of Spain's tourist attraction and the anecdotal culmination of the Spanish football follow-up that Saudi citizens appreciate so much and that represents an additional link.




These cordial relations served as a solid base in the Spanish business presence in Saudi Arabia to be developed around various sectors such as infrastructure, transport, water treatment and a multitude of services for Saudi Aramco, which is undoubtedly the main company state. It is estimated that the economic exchanges between both countries are between 5 and 7 billion Euros per year, importing 15% of the necessary oil in Spain and exporting mainly capital goods. The ambassador highlighted the Spanish presence in Saudi Arabia, listing strategic projects such as the AVE from Mecca to Medina or the Riyadh metro, among others.


Following the planning instrument of Prince Mohamed Bin Salman called Vision 2030, there is a desire for economic development and modernization. Although the infrastructure sector has suffered a break, certain key elements such as toll roads or the privatization of airport management remain fundamental for the development of its economy. Other sectors of market relevance for Spanish companies have gained prominence. They represent a great opportunity for these sectors, such as renewable energies, water in all its facets (treatment, distribution and desalination), education and professional training services, entertainment with the creation of large theme parks and sports development and tourism, traditionally very closed, but with great potential, especially on the coast of the Red Sea.


On the other hand, the private sector is called to increase its presence in the Saudi economy. Less tender will be offered for turnkey projects that will be replaced by different types of public-private partnership. The privatization of 5% of Saudi Aramco will allow the creation of a sovereign fund that will be an investment vehicle to be especially taken into account to attract investments in real estate but also in the Spanish industrial sector. Mr. Iranzo Gutiérrez also pointed out the importance of the defense sector for Saudi Arabia, which is the third world importer. Spain has known how to exploit this fact until now and should continue to do so in the face of Saudi necessity in this matter, highlighting the agreements that are in the negotiation phase between Saudi Arabia and Navantia or Airbus for the importation of 5 corvettes and air transport.




The ambassador emphasized the transition phase the country is going through. Investors and businessmen demand legal security and certain guarantees that will condition their presence in Saudi Arabia, but was confident that these elements will exist in the near future highlighting legislative changes, giving as an example the new bankruptcy law or the transparency in the adjudication of contests, filtered by foreign advisers. The labor market is also immersed in a transformation to accommodate the growing national demand for employment, led by well-prepared new generations, especially the female sector that claims its place in the world of work.


The ceremony ended with both him and his office at the disposal of those present for any additional information or necessary assistance that might be required in the development of bilateral projects or investments in both Saudi Arabia and Spain, and encouraged to explore the opportunities that will arise from This change taking advantage of the good relations between Saudi Arabia and Spain.


Report prepared by Jordi Sixto
Student of the Preparation Course to Join the Diplomatic Corps 


We celebrated the opening day of the Course on the European Union, which this year celebrates 40 editions. The welcome session was attended by the Hon. Mr. Jorge Toledo Albiñana, Secretary of State for the EU, together with Mr. Antoni Millet, Director of the CEI International Affairs, and the Hon. Mr. Senén Florensa, Director of the EU Course and Consul General at the General Consulate of Spain in Italy.

One more year, we had the pleasure of celebrating the Course on Current Issues in Spanish Foreign Policy in collaboration with the Diplomatic School of MAEC.


This has been the XVII Edition of the course, and has had a huge variety of topics, which have dealt with the future challenges of areas such as Africa or India, as well as crosscutting themes such as the Sustainable Development agenda or the concept of security and terrorism in today's society.


We had the pleasure of having a group of diplomats from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, specialized in each of the areas or areas that were exposed day by day:


  • Dª Ambassador Beatriz Larrotcha, Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, MAEC.
  • Mr. Raúl Fuentes Milani, Deputy Director General of Institutional Affairs, MAEC.
  • Mr. Fidel Sendagorta, General Director for North America, Asia and the Pacific, MAEC.
  • Mr. Javier García-Larrache Olalquiaga, Deputy Director General of International Cooperation against Terrorism, Drugs and Organized Crime, General Directorate for Foreign Policy and Security, MAEC.
  • Mr. Raimundo Robredo Rubio, General Director for Africa, MAEC.
  • Mr. Juan Francisco Montalbán Carrasco, Ambassador in Special Mission for the 2030 Agenda, MAEC.


In addition to the vision on the ground, contributed by the diplomats, each roundtable counted with the participation of an academic expert in the theme of each session:


  • Dr. Josep Maria Castellà, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Barcelona.
  • Dr. Nicolás de Pedro, Principal Investigator, CIDOB.
  • Dr. Sonia Andolz, Professor of International Politics, University of Barcelona.
  • Dr. Óscar Mateos, Professor of International Relations, Blanquerna-URL.
  • Dr. Ángel Rodrigo, Professor of Public Interaction Law, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


Do not miss the images of each of the sessions of the Course on Current Issues in Spanish Foreign Policy!


Saudi Arabia is defined as an absolute Monarchy, is divided into 13 provinces that at the same time are divided in 118 governments. The State of Saudi Arabia extends for the Arabian Peninsula, occupying a total surface of 2.150.000 square kilometers (roughly 80% of this one).

Saudi Arabia is a monarchy based on the rules that govern the Islamic society, in its strictest interpretation. Declaring that only the Koran is its Constitution, lack of Parliament itself, and the political parties and trade unions are forbidden. Executive power resides in the King, who appoints and directs the Council of Ministers.

Saudi Arabia's main regional relations are established with Yemen, Iran, Syria and Iraq. About international relationships, recently Saudi Arabia had maintained a close relationship with the United States. Currently, it presents a lot of mutual interest in Asia, particularly in China, India and South Korea. If we talk about the European Union, Germany, United Kingdom and France are some of the major trade partners of Saudi Arabia in Europe.

Diplomatic relations with Spain have been traditionally characterized for being cordial, marked by a traditional sympathy and friendship between the two countries and between the two monarchies. the King is the principal attendant of the relations between Spain and this country.

The economic relations between Saudi Arabia have been stronger recently, although they are still away from their potential. An example of that is that the movements of direct investment registered are still much reduced in both directions.

The Hon. Mr. Álvaro Iranzo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Spain in Saudi Arabia, will explain the current commercial and diplomatic situation and the relations between Saudi Arabia and Spain.

Source: Information of Saudi Arabia’s Country (Ministry of external Affairs and of Cooperation).

See complete information of the Country.




Meeting and lunch

Date: 06/03/2018

Aimed at: Journalists, academics, representatives of institutions and entrepreneurs (at the express invitation of CEI International Affairs)

Hours: from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Place:  Avda. Vallvidrera, 25. Barcelona.

Contact: Sra. Àngels Vara

Price: 75 Euros (corresponding to lunch)

On 3th of May, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, the Hon. Mr. Fernando García Casas, will offer a lecture at the Salón de Grados of the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona.


The conference will be entitled: "Navigating on convoy: challenges of development cooperation".


Fernando García Casas was appointed Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean in the Council of Ministers held on December 2, 2016.


Free registration: Sending an email to info@ceibcn.com indicating name and surname.


PLACE: Salón de Grados, Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona.

DATE AND TIME: May 3, 5:30 p.m.

Because of the next Conference on Economic Diplomacy on February 21, we have interviewed Dr. Manuel Egea Medrano, Professor of Corporate Diplomacy at the UCAM.

If you want to know more about economic and corporate diplomacy, and its importance globally, read on!


What is corporate diplomacy?

Corporate diplomacy is a strategic management tool used mainly by multinational companies that, within the framework of a corporate foreign policy, need to manage their influence in the host society. For this, the company assumes political and social roles, not only economic ones, as we are already seeing in some cases in which CEOs meet with high-level foreign politicians -such as presidents or ministers- without having to intervene in the country of origin, or in others in which a great contribution is made to said community through CSR policies, an aspect that goes in benefit of the so-called "social license" to operate.


Why is this type of diplomacy becoming increasingly important?

If we look at the international panorama, we will see that there is growing geopolitical and regulatory uncertainty in certain markets. After the crisis, narratives of a nationalist and 'strong state' nature have proliferated, which, for example, are propitiating a return to commercial protectionism and the 'recovery of power' on the part of some nations; but there is also concern about cyber attacks and some alarm at the spread of false news that can destabilize markets and even the world's vision towards countries or companies. This situation has generated the need to better filter personal information for decision making, to adapt and relate better with stakeholders, to react in real time and even anticipate opportunities and risks. And Corporate Diplomacy helps meet those needs.


There will come a time when all large companies have corporate diplomacy departments?

The functions of Corporate Diplomacy are already present in many companies, although separately and not in departments of 'corporate diplomacy'; there are regulatory, corporate communication, public / government affairs, RRII, CSR, etc. I think that as this change in business mentality takes place and it is assumed that to operate abroad, we must position ourselves with a corporate foreign policy and assume social / political roles, eventually adopting a diplomatic know-how in international strategy.


In what sectors of the Spanish economy do you think corporate diplomacy can have a greater role?

I do not discover anything new if I think that Corporate Diplomacy is especially useful in key strategic sectors such as the supply of electricity or natural gas, oil, transport, telephony or infrastructure, but also in any other sector that operates in high-risk environments, political volatility or in those where information transparency shines due to its absence, among other factors.


If you want to know more, you still have time to sign up for the II Conference on Economic Diplomacy.

 New economic and geopolitical realities "

Organization: CEI International Affairs with the collaboration of: Obra Social "La Caixa"

Andorra, located on the Mediterranean slope of the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France, has a population of more than 70,000 inhabitants, with capital in Andorra la Vella.

Due to its size and possibilities, the Andorran priorities focus on the neighboring countries (Spain and France), in Europe and the small States with which they share many similarities.

The bilateral relations are established by virtue of art. 2 of the Treaty of Good Neighborhood, Friendship and Cooperation between Andorra, Spain and France, June 1993. After the difficult years of smuggling and tax evasion (mid to late nineties), relations began a process of improvement, that has not stopped in all these years. At the moment the relations are excellent and the two governments are endowed with the collaboration mechanisms necessary to prevent or, where appropriate, solve the problems that as neighbors may arise.

The Hon. Mr. Manuel Montobbio de Balanzó, Ambassador of Spain to Andorra, will present the current situation and relations between Andorra and Spain.

Source: Country Fact Sheet Andorra (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation).

See complete country profile


Meeting and lunch

Date: 30/01/2018

Aimed at: Journalists, academics, representatives of institutions and entrepreneurs ( at the express invitation of CEI International Affairs)

Hours: from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Place:  Avda. Vallvidrera, 25. Barcelona.

Contact: Sra. Àngels Vara

Price: 75 Euros (corresponding to lunch)

We are celebrating that the lists of candidates in the first 4 tests of the Diplomatic Career opposition have already been made public, and our student, Carlos Valero Carrasco, is one of the elected candidates.Congratulations!

CEI International Affairs and the University of Barcelona organize again the workshop: "Work in the European Union"; this time in the cycle #Internationalminds

United States is a Constitutional, Presidential and Federal Republic (50 States and the District of Colombia) with a bicameral legislative system; Senate (100), and House of Representatives (435). The system of government is a presidential democracy with presidential elections every 4 years that are attended by the Republican and Democratic parties and other parties.


At the economic level, the United States imports mainly from the countries of the Pacific basin (37.0% of the total), and Canada and Mexico (North America), which reach a quota of 26.1% between the two. Observing the evolution of the last years, the most significant change from the point of view of the suppliers of the United States is carried out by China, which has gone from being the fourth country in importance with a share of 8.2% in 2000 to the first with a 21.1% share in 2016. Japan has been the major handicap of the increase in importance of China, losing share to reach 6.0% in 2016, ranking behind China, Mexico and Canada.


The bilateral relations of Spain with the United States date back to the very moment of the birth of the new American nation, at the end of the 18th century. Spain contributed in a remarkable way to the independence of the Thirteen Colonies of the British Empire. The establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Spain occurred in 1785, just two years after full American independence.


The Hon. Mr. Pedro Morenés Eulate, Ambassador of Spain to the United States, will present the current situation and the country's relations with Spain, both commercially and diplomatically.


Source: United States Country Tab (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation).



Meeting and lunch

Date: 03/20/2018

Aimed at: Journalists, academics, representatives of institutions and entrepreneurs (by express invitation of the CEI International Affairs)

Hours: from 1:30 p.m. at 4:00 p.m.

Place: Avda. Vallvidrera, 25. Barcelona.

Contact: Mrs. Àngels Vara

Price: 75 Euros (corresponding to lunch)

Economic diplomacy has become a central element in the external activity of governments at both the state and sub-state levels. In a global environment that is increasingly open and more complex at all levels, but especially at the economic level, it is essential to have instruments to support the external economic action of companies and professionals.


Contact CEI if you would like to receive more information about our training programs and events

+34 93 205 45 16