Organization: CEI International Affairs

In collaboration with: CESEDEN – IEEE (Ministry of Defense)



Date: Thursday, 22th November 2018

Place: CEI International Affairs (Avda. Vallvidrera, 25 - Barcelona)


Direction: Dr. Pere Vilanova                                                 


The entry into the 21st century poses new challenges in terms of security unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. To traditional forms of military or economic challenges, new forms and doctrines will force states and international organizations to adopt innovative and multifunctional response policies. New technologies, as is inevitable, also become instruments for new threats, and cybercrime in all its variants has come to the fore. What can states and international organizations do in such a scenario?







- Dr. Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science and Administration, University of Barcelona and Representative of the CEI International Affairs.


- Dr. David Ramírez, IEEE Main Analyst, Ministry of Defense.


16:15 h. – 17:15 h. FIRST ROUND TABLE:





- Mr. Oleguer Rocafull, Open Source Intelligence Analyst.





- Dr. David Ramírez, IEEE Main Analyst, Ministry of Defense.


Moderator: Dr. Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science and Administration, University of Barcelona and Representative of the CEI International Affairs.


17:15 h. – 18:15 h. SECOND ROUND TABLE:





- Dr. Nicolás de Pedro, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Statecraft, London.






- Dr. Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science and Administration, University of Barcelona and Representative of the CEI International Affairs.



Moderator: Hon. Mr. Fernando Perpiñá-Robert, Ambassador of Spain and CEI International Affairs tutor.

18:15 h. – 18:30 h. CLOSURE OF THE CONFERENCE



General Information


Date: Thursday, 22th November 2018


Place: CEI International Affairs headquarters, Av. Vallvidrera, 25, 08017 Barcelona


Registration: Registration required here.

We have already started a new academic year at CEI International affairs! The classrooms are full again and we can't be more excited, this is a course full of new novelties.


In September we give the kick-off to the annual training formations of CEI: The Master in Diplomacy and International Public Service and the Preparation to Join the Diplomatic Corps.


This course has plenty of changes:


The Master in Diplomacy is growing so much that their classes have had to be transferred to the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona.


At the Inaugural Meeting, the new Executive Director of the Master, Dr. Miguel Ángel Elizalde, Professor of Public International Law, was presented.


As for the Preparation to Join the Diplomatic Corps, the students were received in a noble dining room of CEI headquarters, to tell them the details of the course, in an edition in which the students of the online modality have increased a lot.


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.



On October 16th  the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Excm. Mr. Nasser Kamel, will give a talk open to the public.


The Secretary General of the UfM will offer a conference in English that will be entitled: "Regional cooperation in the Mediterranean: ten years of the Union for the Mediterranean".


The Excm. Mr. Nasser Kamel has been formerly Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom and to France, which is why his expertise is closely linked to the Mediterranean area.





Date: 16/10/2018

Aimed at: Open to the public Registrations closed due to full seating capacity

Time: 5.30 pm

Place: Saló de graus, Faculty of Law. University of Barcelona.


Kindly confirm atendance here.

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!




On October 16th, the Meeting with the Secretary General for the Union for the Mediterranean, the Hon. Mr. Nasser Kamel, will be held at CEI International Affairs.


The Secretary General of the UfM will offer a talk focusing on the following topic: "Potential for economic growth in the countries of the southern Mediterranean".


The Hon. Mr. Nasser Kamel has been formerly Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom and France, and therefore enjoys great expertise in the Mediterranean area.




Meeting and lunch:  

Date: 16/10/2018

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

Hours: from 13:30 h. to 4:00 pm.

PlaceAvda. Vallvidrera, 25. Barcelona.

Contact: Sra. Àngels Vara

Price: 75 Euros (corresponding to lunch)


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

CEI has hosted a commemorative concert to celebrate the Anniversary of the Collaboration Agreement established between the University of Barcelona and the University of Puerto Rico.


The preparations began months ago, and everything gave its result on a magnificent summer afternoon in which the Center for International Studies hosted this celebration, consisting of an excellent concert and a cocktail.


The event was presented by Mr. Antoni Millet, director of the Center for International Studies, accompanied by Dr. Vivian Neptune, Dean of the Law School of the University of Puerto Rico.


Dr. Rebecca Páez was in charge of presenting the star of the act, the singer Mariona Sagarra. Sagarra and his musical group delighted us with a 100% accurate repertoire, in which they combined songs and poems from their latest album with boleros and Puerto Rican songs, which made the audience get up to dance and applaud, and more than one will arrive to drop some tear.


After this concert, we went to the cocktail area, where guests could enjoy a great pica a pica.


It has been a pleasure to host this event, we hope that relations with the University of Puerto Rico will continue for many years and generate many more agreements and beneficial agreements for our students.


Don’t miss the photographs of the act!


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.


The Ambassador of Spain to Chile, the Hon. Mr. Carlos Robles Fraga, was invited by the CEI International Affairs in the framework of the "International Classroom Program". The meeting was attended by important personalities from the business, university and economic world, as well as other members of Spanish diplomacy.


The Ambassador began his presentation with a brief review of the colonial and postcolonial history of Chile. To understand it, an essential element is the "insularity" of the country: with a vast ocean to the west, an impenetrable mountain range to the east, the Atacama Desert to the north and, initially, a territory to the south without exploring beyond the Biobío River, in the colonial times, Chile was much smaller than we see today on maps. These geographical characteristics have made Chileans a people with their own characteristics, even sharing many cultural features with the countries around them. Even today, the diplomatic relations with Peru and the deficient infrastructures that connect the country with Argentina are the result of that Chile-island.


chile 9


That is why, for the Ambassador, the biggest mistake a Spaniard could make when arriving in Chile "is to think that they are equal to us". On the contrary, one must be aware that Chilean culture is different from Spanish culture and that, despite having a common language, there are particularities that must be identified quickly, such as the abruptness of the peninsula's accent in the ears of Chileans, or the particularly Chilean way of saying no without offending your interlocutor.


From this historical exhibition, it is worth highlighting an impression that the Ambassador shared with the audience, saying that one cannot understand the current Chilean society without having in mind the agricultural structure of the Chilean haciendas and, above all, it’s clearly hierarchical nature, with a "pattern" located on the cusp of it. Hence, today we observe a clearly centralized republic -with approximately 7 of the nearly 18 million inhabitants residing in the metropolitan area of ​​the capital, where also the main universities and institutions are located- and a very legalistic society, with circles of power clearly defined in which everyone is known. For the Ambassador, the elites of the country have been changing throughout its history, but those changes have not questioned the hierarchical system itself. That is why, unlike some of its neighbors, when Chile reached independence, the first century of the republic was a very stable period.


After a painful dictatorship, Chile has known in the last decades a remarkable prosperity, passing its income per capita from the $ 2,000 in 1990 to the current $ 14,000, joining the OECD and reducing their poverty from 40% to 11%. Even so, the indices still show relatively high levels of inequality, which the Ambassador attributed to a "social inequality", rather than a simple material inequality, since regardless of the personal qualities that one may have, it is still difficult to access positions of power if they have not taken certain university studies in the capital.


chile 6


In the words of Robles Fraga, Chile represents undoubted opportunities for the Spanish investor. It is a consolidated, stable democracy, with important solvent institutions: a modern and efficient criminal system, a transparent bidding system open to foreign companies, and an economic system influenced by the economic neoliberalism of the Chicago school that was implemented in the country under the Pinochet regime.


However, to these positive aspects must be added a dose of caution if you want to avoid that the Chilean adventure ends in failure. On the one hand, the Ambassador recommended that the attendees not try to go to Chile in a hurry, without knowing the surroundings. The insularity of the country has made the Chilean a person who will not trust the first foreigner, however interesting his offer may be. It is therefore advisable to prepare the investment well and ensure a network of contacts in Chile that allows the Spanish to prove their solvency and effectiveness. Another reason for caution is the current economic situation in Chile: the second term of President Bachelet has been marked by an economic situation that continues to be positive, with a growth of 1.5%, but which is far from the growth rates of the 5% or even 7% that Chile experienced at some moments during the 2000s.


What can Spaniards offer to Chile?


During the lunch that followed the presentation, one of the attendees asked the Ambassador what the Spaniards could offer to Chile. Mr. Robles Fraga responded that, at present, the Chilean economy is based around mining, agriculture and salmon fishing.


  • Spaniards can have a very important added value in the R & D sector and in everything related to infrastructures, specifically in the renewable energy sector. In this regard, the Ambassador praised the current policy of the Chilean Ministry of Energy, which has finally opted for the union of the country's electricity grid, with the active participation of the Spanish Red Eléctrica Group. This represents an opportunity, since the potential of solar energy of the Atacama Desert is enormous, and finally the energy produced there can be used in the metropolitan area of ​​Santiago de Chile.


  • Another sector where Spaniards can play a relevant role is the services sector. Robles Fraga mentioned the services to the elderly, but he made special emphasis on tourism, which only incipiently began to develop in recent years in Chile. There are still regions of the country that do not have a hotel structure capable of welcoming visitors, and beyond the infrastructure itself, the ambassador felt that the Spanish had a lot to say about the management and know-how of the hotel industry.


chile 14


At the end of the meeting, Robles Fraga had the opportunity to encourage all attendees to explore the economic opportunities that Chile represents. For this, he stressed that diplomatic relations between Spain and Chile are so positive and stable "that they become boring," in the best sense of the word. Chile and Spain share a similar vision of the world.


Eventually, the Ambassador put himself at the disposal of the assistants to help them in their future investments in Chile, and assured them that the Spanish diplomacy in the country had experience helping investors to deal with the Chilean administration. Finally, and taking advantage of the presence of attendees from the university world, the ambassador congratulated the good reputation of the Spanish university education in Chile, particularly the master's programs offered in Barcelona, ​​encouraging attendees to deepen the educational ties between both countries


Report prepared by Guillem Manso

Student of the Preparation Course to Join the Diplomatic Corps

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 to Join 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.


Because of the initiative of the member of the Commission, eminent professor and former dean of the Washington College of Law of the American University, Dr. Claudio Grossman, and the Academic Director of the CEI, of the Master's in Diplomacy and International Public Service, and professor of the Faculty of Law of the UB, Dr. Helena Torroja, has begun a line of work in the CEI aimed at studying current issues in the phase of codification and progressive development within the framework of the International Law Commission of the Organization of Nations United.


One of its first projections has been the celebration of a joint Conference between some students of the Master in Diplomacy and International Public Service and the Washington College of Law. The Conference took place by videoconference last April.


Conference CEI - American University


Those students who voluntarily joined the initiative, doing their Master Final Project on topics of the ILC, under the direction of the professors Dr. Ángel Rodrigo and Dr. Marta Abegón presented the following topics:










After the presentation of each student, both Professor Grossman and the students of the Washington College of Law formulated questions and comments, establishing a fruitful dialogue.


Conference CEI - American University


In addition, it is planned to attend the next session of the ILC in Geneva, during the first week of July, of these students together with professors Dr. Helena Torroja and Dr. Angel Rodrigo. There they’re going to participate in some of the sessions of the ILC and they’re going to attend the commemorative events of the 70th anniversary of this body. They’re also having the opportunity to share and personally meet the WCL students and Professor Grossman and Professor Jennifer de Laurentiis.


We are very pleased with this collaboration with Professor Claudio Grossman and his students at the WCL, which is so enriching for the students of the Master in Diplomacy. Participation in new editions will be held in the next academic year, for our future students.

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 


Last month, the meeting with the Ambassador of Spain in the United States, Pedro Morenés, was held at CEI. In this meeting of International Classroom program, several issues were discussed from the perspective of current domestic policy of the United States and its impact on international relations between this country and the rest of the international community.


Ambassador Morenés explained the evident concordance between what happened in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States, with the unexpected triumph of President Trump, and those other situations -electoral or not- that were lived in other countries. The new sensitivity of societies opposed to "as usual" politics has produced reactions of different political colors, depending on each country, but with a common factor: its populist condition. That is, the proposal of easy solutions (apparently) and simple messages before the enormously complex and intertwined problems that make up the classic framework of political action in the present, both internally and internationally.


In this sense, the messages of "America First", "buy American and hire American", "make America great again", undoubtedly hide irrevocable principles of politics in all countries, but their exclusionary application of others as important as these, legitimately, they do that the first ones do not reach the objectives that they pretend.




And that happens, fundamentally, with international mercantile relations. The uncertainty in the markets about the rules with which they must be governed makes access to them difficult not only for medium and small nations, but fundamentally for large ones -which are the main beneficiaries of their global dimension.


The change of multilateralism by bilaterality does not favor the generation of shared prosperity, so this generates political instability. Derived from this political instability is the generation of problems of insecurity: legal, economic, social and physical -even.


In this sense, Pedro Morenés explained succinctly the relations of Spain with the United States, NATO and the European Union. In all three areas, our country has high credibility, and that favors the position of Spain in other forums; besides being a responsibility to which any country that wants to have a relevant status in the world must attend.


The Ambassador insisted that the best contribution of Spain and its European partners to NATO, was to develop an effective and efficient European defense, coordinated, with which to contribute to NATO more than the capabilities of the partners separately.




Economic relations with the US are acceptable, having experienced spectacular growth in recent years:


  • Spain is the ninth largest investor in the United States, with more than 62,000 million dollars, employing approximately 85,000 people, in more than 600 companies with Spanish capital established in this country.


  • In the current political situation, the relationship with the authorities of the different States is more important than ever, therefore, the Ambassador put the various services of the embassy at the disposal of those who would like to establish their economic activity there.


  • He also expressed the importance of knowledge of the administrative legal framework before beginning the American adventure. He pointed out that investment, the creation of economic activity, should be planned in the long term and with an important orientation towards technological competitiveness: that is how these markets open up and remain in them.


Finally, we reflected on the global leadership of the US, which was always based on the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Today in the world, this system of values ​​is discussed by other powerful actors whose systems are based on personal autocratic or single-party leadership.



Report by Beatriz Castejón

Student of the Master in Diplomacy and International Public Service

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!


The closing ceremony of the Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Public Service for the 2017-2018 academic year has already been held. The CEI state was the place chosen for the celebration, which was chaired by Mr. Antoni Millet, Director of CEI International Affairs, the Hon. Mr. Fernando Perpiñá-Robert, Ambassador of Spain and Director of the Master, and Dr. David Bondia, Executive Director of the Master.


The main talk was made by the Hon. Mr. Luis Cuesta Civís, Diplomat and alumni of the Course of the Diplomatic Career at CEI, currently Deputy Permanent Representative for politico-military affairs in the Permanent Representation of Spain to the OSCE.


This parliament was about the new era of diplomacy, a moment full of opportunities and challenges in the new global order, something especially important for our students, new professionals of diplomacy who begin their professional career in this field.


In addition to this presentation, the most emotional point of the act came by two students of the Master, Jennifer Blanco and Michele Pitta, who gave a funny and a heartfelt speech, in which they remembered all their colleagues, teachers and CEI staff, and remembered the best moments of recent months. Impossible not to get excited!


We will miss you so much! That you have great luck in your practices, the CEI will always be your home.


And now, the complete compilation of the images of the closing act of the Master 2017-2018:


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.

As we have already said, each month we’re going to post questions that may appear in the Diplomatic Career exams, through #QuizCD in our social networks, Facebook and Twitter specifically.


This month, the formula was as follows: "The word «State» was first theorized by...". Our followers had to choose between: Machiavelli, Marx, Bodin or Hobbes.


Quiz Carrera Diplomática


Is the answer with more votes the correct one?


The word "State" was formulated for the first time by the philosopher Nicolás Machiavelli (1469-1527), who is considered the creator of the modern term of "State".


The origin of this modern "State" comes from the Late Middle Ages, a time in which a slow process of concentration of political power in the hands of the King began to be generated, in the detriment of the feudal lords. The process has just taken shape in the Modern Age (since the 15th century) with the creation of national monarchies such as the Spanish, French or British.


The theorization of "State" appears in The Prince (1513). For Machiavelli a State had to guarantee a social order that restrained human violence, hereafter the well-known affirmation of the author: "Is the end that justifies the means".


Machiavelli had a special conception of human society: for him, humanity had a perverse and selfish nature, only concerned for his safety and for increasing his power over others. For this reason, the philosopher considered that the State should be strong, governed by a cunning prince and without moral scruples, that could guarantee a just social order that would curb violence.


Bodin and Hobbes lived in a time closer to Machiavelli; however, Marx was born in an era much later than this definition of State.


Now you’re in the know! If you want to know more about the tests of the Opposition to Diplomatic Corps, and to know in depth the world of Diplomacy and International Relations, don’t miss a single question.


Start to follow us in our Social Networks:





 New economic and geopolitical realities "

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

Once the academic part of the Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Public Service has been completed, the traditional Students Forum is celebrated, an event in which the best Master's Final Projects are presented before a court.


The Court has been formed: the Hon. Mr. Fernando Perpiñá-Robert, Director of the Master in Diplomacy, Dr. Helena Torroja, Academic Director of CEI, and Dr. David Bondia, Executive Director of the Master.


This year, the selected students have been 9, and with thesis on the most varied in the scope of the international scale:


"Mandatory transparency record: solution for bad lobbying practices in Brussels?", By Jennifer Blanco.


Jennifer Blanco - Students Forum


"The Permanent Structured Cooperation - In Defense of Europe" by Carlos Cañellas.


Carlos Cañellas - Students Forum


"The recognition of unpaid domestic work: Comparative Cross actor discourse and policy analysis of the global governance project on the Gender Equality Sustainable Development Goal" by Laura Copete.


Laura Copete - Students Forum


"The regulation of civil aviation in the European Union within the framework of new relations with the State of Israel", by Lluís Girbau.


Lluís Girbau - Students Forum


"The fiscal pillar of Europe - Analysis of the alternatives for the completion of the economic and monetary union", by Begoña Morales.


Begoña Morales - Students Forum


"Analysis of the myth of the Afghan" blowback ". To what extent is it true that we trained the jihadists from their cradle?" By Razvan-Sebastian Pantea.


Razvan-Sebastian Pantea - Students Forum


"Statehood and Recognition: the Case of Palestine", by Michele Pitta.


Michele Pitta


"The radicalization of young people by the Islamic State and the phenomenon of the returnees", by Guillem Roda.


Guillem Roda - Students Forum


"Comparative analysis of the role of women in the Zapatista revolution and in Rojava", by Elisabet Torà.


Elisabet Torà - Students Forum


We remind you that you can access the best Thesis of the Master's students in all editions through the section Research papers. Soon all of this year's Master's Thesis will be published!

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!


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

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