Go back

IE School of Global and Public Affairs Hosts Three Day Conference to Explore the Future of the Transatlantic Relationship


The Transatlantic Conference took place from July 6th to 8th in Madrid and Segovia, focusing on the current state and future implications of transatlantic relations. Leading experts from around the world came together to discuss the causes of the transatlantic crisis and its global consequences. The event was organized by the IE School of Global and Public Affairs with academic partners Harvard Kennedy School and in cooperation with the Rafael del Pino Foundation.

The conference’s opening session was held in Madrid at the Rafael del Pino Foundation. The opening session consisted of María del Pino, President of the Rafael del Pino Foundation along with Diego del Alcázar, President of IE University, IE Business School and IE Foundation. Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros the High Commissioner for Marca España and Nicholas Burns, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School, led the opening keynote. After a welcome cocktail and a panel discussion, participants traveled outside the city to IE’s Campus in Segovia to continue the conference.


Looking toward the future of the transatlantic relationship

Over the course of three days, speakers and panelists provided a broad overview of transatlantic relations as well as in-depth insight into relevant and pressing issues. Vicente Montes, Director of the Rafael del Pino Foundation, summarized the purpose of the event: “As co-organizer of this conference, the Foundation hopes to help strengthen transatlantic dialogue in general, and in particular to drive universal values… which are essential to shape a global agenda on which future peace and freedom depends.”

tr_22Topics included the changing leadership role of the U.S. in areas like world trade, climate change and the defense of human rights; its ambivalent position toward NATO; and its view of the European Union  as an economic competitor rather than a strategic partner. Panelists also talked about the impact of Brexit in Europe, terrorism, the immigration crisis and the growth of anti-democratic populism in Latin America.

Manuel Muñiz, Dean of the IE School of Global and Public Affairs, addressed the ongoing evolution of the transatlantic alliance. According to him, “Some have spoken of the existence of a true Atlantic civilization with shared values, interests and institutions… However, this order is today questioned not just by forces outside of it but also from within. With this conference we seek to study the drivers and consequences of the transatlantic fracture that we are witnessing.”

Panelists analyzed the impact of this evolution on transatlantic security, the resilience of western democracy, the future of the global economy and the policy of emerging powers like China. “At a time when we are facing the most serious transatlantic crisis in seven decades with the US-EU trade war and President Trump’s public doubts about NATO, the need to revitalize the relationship between the U.S. and Europe is as urgent as it is important,” said Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School.


An all-inclusive experience for guests to discuss and debate on topics most relevant today.

Conference guests stayed at the Eurostar Convento Capuchinos hotel in Segovia, where they were treated to five-star accommodation and various activities. In between sessions, attendees enjoyed a walking tour of Segovia, special dinners at local restaurants, coffee breaks and more. On Sunday afternoon they attended an informal farewell lunch at IE’s Segovia campus to conclude the weekend._mg_5983

Attendees returned home with a broader and more complex understanding of how the transatlantic relationship is changing, as well as the impact of this evolution in various regions and spheres. IE was proud to be a part of the conference, which was a resounding success and an incredibly valuable experience for all involved.

Want to know more? Read the press release!