Do not miss this summary of the XVIII edition of the Course on Current Issues in Spanish Foreign Policy, speaking of various geographical areas: Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near East and Latin America, as well as exploring a sectoral perspective: Human rights, peace processes, humanitarian crises and migration.


Challenges of Spanish foreign policy


The first conference of the Course dealt with the "challenges of Spanish foreign policy". On the one hand, Mr. Enrique Mora Benavente, General Director of Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEUEC), spoke about the constraints that weigh negatively on Spanish foreign policy, highlighting 3: multilateralism; the multiplier of the external action; and the outer image and inner stability.


On the other hand, he praised the strengths in terms of foreign action that Spain has, starting with the solid network of bilateral relations and the high industrialization and development of the country. 


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Spain and the EU: Challenges of the Brexit and the anti-European current


This second round table was given by Mr. José Pascual Marco, General Director of Integration and Coordination of General Affairs of the EU, (MAEUEC) and Dr. Laura Huici, Professor of Public International Law, University of Barcelona.


Dr. Huici began her presentation by contributing the academic vision, and talking about the UK legal procedure for leaving the EU, highlighting that we are facing the first example of someone who wants to leave, and not enter, which used to be the norm.


For his part, Mr. José Pascual Marco, who participated in the EU negotiating team, spoke about the time limit and the exit automations, highlighting several facts about the latent Brexit:


  •         Union of the EU countries following the Brexit


  • Historical anachronism: relationship between Gibraltar and the EU


  • Greater European integration in the medium term


  • Counterweight with the Franco-German axis



Relations of Spain with the Mediterranean, especially the migratory crisis


To speak about the Mediterranean, we have Mr. José Luis Pardo Cuerdo, Ambassador in Special Mission for Migratory Issues (MAEUEC) and Dr. Silvia Morgades, Senior Researcher, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.


Mr. José Luis Pardo told us about the main challenges of the Mediterranean region, among them: the Western Sahara conflict; the need to strengthen relations with our neighbors in the south, especially Algeria and Morocco; the Israel-Palestine multilateral conflict; and the migration challenge. According to the diplomat, they are challenges that cannot be solved easily or unidirectional.


Dr. Morgades focused on the main migratory routes: the Eastern, Central and Western and Atlantic. Her conclusion in this regard was that neither migration nor asylum policy was well designed.


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Spain and the United Nations and its presence in the Human Rights Council 


To talk about the Human Rights Council, Dr. Esther Barbé, Professor of International Relations, Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​spoke of China as a multi-center actor, as well as the key elements that are included in the Human Rights Council: normative controversy, multilateralism crisis and the divergence of interests between States.


D. Marcos Gómez Martínez, Director General of the United Nations and Human Rights (MAEUEC) defined the structure of mechanisms available to the Human Rights Council: universal periodic review, complaint procedure and special procedures.


Finally, he highlighted the importance of the Spanish action in the field of Human Rights as well as its objectives to be defended in the Human Rights Council as a member in the 2018-2020 biennium.


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Spain's relations with the Middle East: the armed conflict in Syria 


Ms. Eva Felicia Martínez Sánchez, General Director for the Maghreb, Mediterranean and Middle East, (MAEUEC) and Dr. Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science, University of Barcelona, ​​gave an account of the role played by the different regional actors in the conflict.


On the one hand, Vilanova shed light on the position of Israel and, on the other hand, described as an error the decision of Obama to establish a "red line" in case of use of chemical weapons.


Finally, DG Martínez pointed out the Western priority in the fight against Daesh and the difficult challenge of reconstruction, in which the support to the regime (Russia and Iran) will assume the leadership.



Spain and Latin America: the crisis in Venezuela


Dr. José Antonio Sanahuja, Professor of Internal Relations, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, spoke to us about the internal and external dimension of the current Venezuelan crisis, with the situation of stagnation and expansion of the conflict, which have led to an aggravation of the food, health and human rights crisis.


D. Juan Pablo de Laiglesia and González de Peredo, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, (MAEUEC) addressed the crisis from the point of view of Spanish foreign policy, launching historical data but without a political offer on table.


For the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, the massive emigration of Venezuelans is a problem for neighboring countries; in addition, the different positions in the regime and international public opinion hinder a peaceful solution to the conflict.


Curso Actualidad Política Exterior Española CEI



Report of the sessions prepared by the Coordinator of the Preparation to Join the Diplomatic Corps and the students of the Course:

Belén Guarner, Alex Armiñana, Aina Llamas, Juan Gallardo and Bruno Sanchez.


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