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IE and Harvard: Building bridges between Europe and the United States


There is a crisis in the transatlantic relationship, and that is why more than ever we need to build stronger bridges.

On Wednesday April 24th, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government launched its Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship. This project has partnered with IE’s own Transatlantic Relations Initiative to address some of the biggest challenges our world faces. The European-American relationship has been the cornerstone of the international liberal order built since the end the Second World War. The fundamental pillars of that order – liberal democracy, human rights, open markets, and a rules-based international system – are, however, today more questioned than ever. The threats to the liberal architecture come not just from without but also from within. Indeed, democracy is under threat not just from exogenous attacks but also from growing disillusionment within our own societies. The benefits of free trade, open markets and globalisation are contested by groups of citizens in Europe and America that have seen their economic prospects stagnate or worsen over the last three decades. The ultimate result of these trends is a sense of drift and fracture that calls into question the entire edifice.

It is with the aim of buttressing the American-European partnership that Harvard and IE have decided to work together. This partnership is born out of the desire of both institutions to promote research and teaching on transatlantic relations. The partnership also aims to build a community of scholars and practitioners committed to understanding and to perfecting a partnership that has underpinned much of the human progress of the last seven decades.

In addition to all the activities that each institution will carry out in Spain and the United States, we will collaborate on a annual conference on transatlantic relations that will take place in Europe every summer. This gathering will bring senior academics and practitioners to the table to discuss some of the pressing issues enumerated above. The first edition will take place in Madrid and Segovia in July of 2018.

As an institution that was itself constructed on the values of openness, diversity, cosmopolitanism, freedom of thought and expression, as well as entrepreneurship and an open global economy, IE is fully committed to this partnership and to the agenda that it will develop.

Dean Manuel Muñiz was also able to have a quick interview with university professor, columnist, lecturer and former American diplomat Nicholas Burns to talk about the initiative.

“Europe is vital to the U.S.” Burns stated.

This initiative focuses on NATO, the European Union and the transatlantic bridge between Canada/US and Europe. Our Dean Manuel Muñiz of the School of International Relations with the help of our Executive Director of the Master in International Relations Waya Quiviger, have been working on this project throughout the past year.

For more information, please visit our website on the Transatlanic Relations Initiative.