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Harvard, IE and the Rafael del Pino Foundation Bring Together World Experts to Examine the Future of Transatlantic Relations  

Transatlantic Conference

Madrid, July 6, 2018. The future of transatlantic relations will be the central issue discussed this weekend at the Transatlantic Conference, an international event organized in Madrid and Segovia by Harvard Kennedy School, IE School of Global and Public Affairs and the Rafael del Pino Foundation. Leading experts in the field from around the world will be examining the causes driving the transatlantic crisis and its impact on international politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School, presided the opening session of the conference along with Diego del Alcázar, President of IE University, and María del Pino, President of the Rafael del Pino Foundation.


The Conference commenced this morning at the headquarters of the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid and will continue throughout the weekend at IE University’s Segovia campus. Participating experts centered on issues that included the ambivalent position of the United States toward NATO, the way it sees the European Union as more of an economic competitor than strategic partner, and the diminishing leadership role of the United States in areas like world trade, climate change and the defense of human rights. Speakers will also be examining the impact of Brexit in Europe, terrorism, the immigration crisis, and the growth of anti-democratic populism in Latin America. They will analyze the impact these challenges have on transatlantic security, the resilience of western democracy, the future of the global economy or 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 US and Europe is as urgent as it is important,” said Nicholas Burns, the Roy and Barbara Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School and Faculty Chair of its new Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship. “This year’s Transatlantic Conference in Madrid sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School, IE University, and the Rafael del Pino Foundation will convene leading officials, journalists, and academics from both sides of the Atlantic to strengthen the politics, economics, and security of an alliance that has anchored global order for 70 years.”


Manuel Muñiz, Dean of IE School of Global and Public Affairs spoke about how the transatlantic alliance has been the central pillar of the liberal order for decades. “Some have spoken of the existence of a true Atlantic civilization with shared values, interests and institutions. The peoples that live within its boundaries have enjoyed long lasting peace and prosperity. 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”.


“The determination shown in recent decades by democratic governments on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to consolidate the standards of co-existence enshrined in the so-called liberal order have helped drive levels of freedom, prosperity and solidarity in the world. Spain once played a decidedly key role in creating transatlantic connections and now strives to make a major contribution to upholding western values through an approach that is both open and shared on a global level,” said Vicente Montes, Director of the Rafael del Pino Foundation. “As co-organizer of this conference the Foundation hopes to help strengthen transatlantic dialogue in general, and in particular to drive universal values which, like the laws and international institutions that bring order to trade flows, peacekeeping efforts, and protection of the environment and human rights, are essential to shape a global agenda on which future peace and freedom depends.”