Past events at the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at University of Iceland – Winter 2015/16

IIA Iceland

Open seminars hosted by the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland 

The Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland has organized a number of open seminars on various topics in the beginning of the year. The seminars include:

19 February 2016. The Role of Non-Arctic States in Emerging Polar Security.
Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) in Oslo and an Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík.

18 February 2016. The 2015 Human Development Report.
Dr. Selim Jahan, Editor-in-Chief of the 2015 Human Development Report: Work for Human Development and Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office.

8 February 2016. The EEA Agreement and Iceland’s obligations.
Páll Þórhallsson, Chair of the Committee for the Report on the Implementation of the EEA Agreement.
Claude Maerten, Head of Division, European External Action Service.

22 January 2016. Europe’s Refugee Crisis.
Hugo Brady, Adviser to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

12 January 2016. The Rise of ISIS: What does it mean?
Dr. Magnús Þorkell Bernharðsson, Professor of Middle Eastern History at Williams College.

Past events at IEE-ULB – Autumn 2014


“Swiss-EU Relations: State of Play and Perspectives”
15 October 2014

On October the 15th, 2014, the Institute for European Studies had the honnour to welcome the Swiss Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yves Rossier, to discuss the current and future state of the Swiss-EU Relations.

The European Union (EU) is Switzerland’s principle trade partner and Switzerland is one of the EU’s 4 main partners. The total value of trade in goods and services equals more than 1,5 billion Euros per working day. Human relations are intense as 1,2 million EU citizens live in Switzerland and 1,3 million persons cross the common borders every day. It is in this interdependency context that the EU and Switzerland are held to define the contours of the respective futures.

This privileged relationship is however confronted with a period of uncertainty: on February 9th 2014, the Swiss citizens endorsed a referendum “against mass immigration”. Its objective consists in allowing Switzerland to autonomously manage its immigration. Following this decision, on July 4th 2014, Switzerland requested the EU to re-negotiate its Agreement on the free movement of persons (AFMP). The EU High Representative, Ms. Catherine Ashton, officially rejected this request on July 25th 2014.

On the one hand; for Brussels, the introduction of quantitative limits and quotas, including the national preference in favour of Swiss residents, is fundamentally incompatible with the principles of the AFMP. On the other; Berne is confronted with the democratic imperative of having to respect its citizens’ will. This contradiction has come to weigh on both the EU-Swiss partnership as a whole, as well as on the institutional negotiations launched in May 2014 aimed at reinvigorate the bilateral relationship. Defining the means to overcome it is an essential question, which the new EU Commission and the Swiss government are called upon to answer.

In this context, better grasping and understanding the Euro-Swiss relationship constitutes a thrilling opportunity. Bearing this in mind, the Mission of Switzerland to the EU and the Presidency of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) decided to partner up and to charge the Institut d’Etudes Européennes of the ULB with the organisation of the series of events “A surprising Switzerland for Tomorrow’s Europe”.

Read more here.

International Conference – “The EU-US Approaches to Counter Terrorism” – 14 October 2014

On October 14th, 2014 the Institute for European Studies had the pleasure to welcome Mr. John B. Bellinger, former Adviser of the US National Security Council and former Legal Adviser to the US State Department during the George W. Bush presidency.

Mr. J. Bellinger delivered a speech on his experience as a former official of the US government regarding counter terrorism and about his experience while collaborating with the various European and EU counter terrorism officials. He addressed as well his view on the current terrorism challenges that are facing both the EU and the US.

An interesting debate, preceded by the analysis of both Mrs. Christiane Höhn, Adviser to the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator (European Council) and Prof. Pierre Klein (ULB); took place among the three speakers and the public.

“Imbalances & Inequalities in the EU: Challenges to the Europe 2020 Strategy”
10 October 2014

Conference by EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – 10 October 2014.

On October 10th, 2014, the Institute for European Studies of the Université libre de Bruxelles had the pleasure to welcome Commissioner Laszlo Andor to benefit from his in depth insight on the various EU member states economies, especially in the matters of Employment, Competitiveness and Social Affairs. At this occasion, he expressed as well his views and thoughts about the challenges that are facing the European Union in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
An interesting debate then took place between Commissioner Andor, Prof. André Sapir (ULB) and Andrea Garnero (ULB-Dulbea – Ecole d’Economie de Paris).

Past events at Real Instituto Elcano – Autumn 2014


On October elcano debate1, 2014 a debate on the implications and challenges in Spain caused by the jihadist mobilization to Syria and Irak, was organized by the Elcano Royal Institute in collaboration with the Casa Árabe.

Read more here.


Past events at Real Instituto Elcano – Spring 2016



Presentation of the report “Spain in the World 2016: perspectives and challenges” and debate on the Spanish external action in this new political cycle’

18 February 2016

elcano 1Organised by Elcano Royal Institute. The analysts at the Elcano Royal Institute have written a collective report titled “España en el mundo durante 2016: perspectivas y desafíos”, which makes a prospective analysis on the Spanish external action towards the global, European and regional challenges to be addressed this year. Analysts from the main think-tanks on foreign affairs based in Spain debated on the foreign policy to be adopted in this new, complex political cycle. With the participation of Eduard Soler, Research Coordinator at CIDOB Barcelona Centre for International Affairs; Vicente Palacio, Deputy Director of OPEX, Fundación Alternativas; Francisco de Borja Lasheras, Deputy Director of ECFR Madrid office, and Ignacio Molina, Senior Analyst at Elcano Royal Institute. Moderated by Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Debate: “Schengen in danger: the European response to the migration and refugee crisis”

8 March 2016

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute with the collaboration of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. With the participation of Gil Arias Fernández, ex-Frontex Deputy Executive Director; Javier Carbajosa Sánchez, Spanish Embassador for the Special Mission of Migration Affairs; Alfred Pfaller, independent consultant and political economy analyst and RIE Senior Analysts Carmen González Enríquez and Félix Arteaga. Moderated by Emilio Lamo Espinosa, President of the Royal Institute Elcano.

More information can be found here.

Roundtable Discussion “The new political and economic cycle in Latin America”

30 March 2016

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute. The Roundtable Discussion analysed the change in dynamics in Latin America with a special focus on the most relevant political and economic factors. With the participation of José Gasset, Head of International Relations at Iberdrola; José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at the University of Columbia and RIE Senior Analysts Federico Steinberg  and Carlos Malamud. Moderated by Rafael Estrella, Vice-president of the Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

International Colloquium: Spain-Israel: 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations, Future Perspectives And Challenges

4 April 2016

elcano2Organised by The Latin American Unit at the Truman Institute, The Department of Romance and Latin American Studies and The European Forum at the Hebrew University, in collaboration with the Elcano Royal Institute. Charles Powell, director of the Elcano Royal Institute, and Gonzalo Escribano, director of the Energy and Climate Change Programme at the Elcano Royal Institute, participated in this colloquium.

More information can be found here.

Elcano Debate “Europe’s Terrorism Threat: Challenges and Response”

14 April 2016

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Botín. The first cycle of “Elcano Debates”- after the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris we asked what is the nature of the current jihadists’ terrorist expressions in Europe, what are the internal and external dimensions of such threat and whether or not we are doing what needs to be done in terms of counter-terrorism policies and radicalization prevention. With the participation of Fernando Reinares, Director of Elcano’s Global Terrorism program; Jesús Núñez, Co-Director of the Institute of Studies on Conflicts and Humanitarian Action and Carola García-Calvo, Analyst of Elcano’s Global Terrorism program. Moderated by Emilio Lamo Espinosa, President of the Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Roundtable “The ASEAN Economic Community: Potentials and Opportunities for All”

20 april 2016


More information on this event can be found here.


Seminar “The geopolitics of TTIP”

21 April 2016


With a keynote speech by Jaime García Legaz, Deputy Minister for International Trade, Spain

The talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are surrounded by controversy. European concerns about investment arbitration, transparency, and environmental and health standards have fuelled public opposition to a transatlantic trade deal. But absent in the debate about TTIP is a fair consideration of its foreign policy and strategic impact: What does a successful TTIP mean from a foreign policy perspective? And what could its strategic merit be? How will TTIP affect third countries? And what happens if a deal does not materialise?

More information can be found here.

Recent publications from Real Instituto Elcano – Spring 2016



William Chislett, Inside Spain nº125 20th January- 22nd February. 22.02.2016. Spain to contribute €153 million to migration fund for Turkey. Countdown to the investiture of a Socialist Prime Minister. Spain records its worst score in corruption index, Popular Party hit by more scandals. New government, whenever there is one, faces big budget hole. CAF wins £490 million rolling-stock contract in UK.

Miguel Otero-Iglesias, How to strengthen the G20: Spain’s multilateral perspective. 25.02.2016. In the context of slow growth, destabilizing capital flows and currency wars, the G20 must develop joint solutions to overcome common problems. The threats faced are protracted rather than punctual and not easy to explain, which has dampened the sensation of urgency. The resulting inactivity has fed two intertwined dangers: the return of protectionist and nationalist policies and the formation of rivaling blocs

Miguel Otero-Iglesias, Sebastián Royo and Federico Steinberg, The Spanish financial crisis: Lessons for the European Banking Union. 01.03.2016. This report examines the Spanish banking crisis and uses it to extract valuable lessons for the construction of the European Banking Union (EBU), which is a complex process that resembles in some respects the variety of actors and preferences encountered in the Spanish case.

Jessica Almqvist, ‘Even war has rules’: a call for global action to protect civilians. 02.03.2016. There is an urgent need to address in a comprehensive manner the problem of systematic and flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human-rights law in ongoing conflicts, including its sources and implications. More specifically, possible lines of action to counter the growing importance of non-state armed actors and the use of explosives in populated areas must be discussed. A Global Action Plan on how to prevent, repress and redress serious violations of international law in armed conflict, taking into account the present and future role of UN peace missions, is a must.

Salvador Llaudes and Ignacio Molina, Spain’s stance on Cameron’s negotiations. 02.03.2016. Spain is finalising its stance on the negotiations being conducted by the European institutions to restrict the chances of a so-called ‘Brexit’. Some parts of the offer put forward by the President of the European Council are of concern from an integrationist perspective, but the proposal provides a good basis for arriving at a position that is agreeable to the 28. It is in the strategic interest of the EU in general, and of Spain in particular, to avoid ‘Brexit’. Therefore, so long as none of the red lines set in the various sections of the negotiations are breached, Spain will not raise objections when it comes to forming a consensus. The special circumstances surrounding these negotiations, particularly on the domestic Spanish stage, raise a series of procedural issues that shall also be briefly addressed here.

Youssef Amrani, Morocco: a singular path in a troubled region. 03.03.2016. Since 2011 the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been grappling with many hotbeds of instability, internal strife and an existential struggle against extremist terrorism. Yet the Moroccan global approach is different, unique, in that it capitalises on four elements: stability, vision, effective transformation and internationally-gained trust. These make Morocco’s democratic path unique and successful.

William Chislett, Spain moves towards fresh elections to break deadlock. 07.03.2016. Spain took a step toward fresh elections when Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, twice failed to secure sufficient backing in Parliament to become Prime Minister. If no political leader obtains the required support by 2 May King Felipe will dissolve Parliament and call a new ballot, probably to be held on 26 June, which could produce another stalemate.

Carmen González Enríquez, Schengen: a collective asset no one stands up for. 09.03.2016. Schengen is the main collective asset that the EU has produced, along with the euro and the common market, but it is currently in grave jeopardy of disappearing as the closing of borders continues to spread.  


İlke Toygür and Melih Özsöz, Stormy months on the Aegean: the refugee deal and its impact on Turkey-EU relations. 15.03.2016. The refugee deal of 2015, followed by the opening up of a negotiation chapter, has revitalised the relations between Turkey and the EU; however, there are crucial points to bear in mind for future relations to be sustained, such as the lack of transparency and of a long-term plan.

Alfredo Arahuetes and Federico Steinberg, The interdependence of the British economy: a contribution to the Brexit debate. 17.03.2016. This paper analyses the interdependence of the British economy, both in terms of trade and direct investment, in order to assess the economic justification of a hypothetical Brexit. It concludes that it is difficult to justify the UK’s leaving the EU on the basis of economic arguments. The British economy has extremely close economic ties with the other countries in the EU, which would be jeopardised if Brexit were to go ahead.

Salvador Llaudes, Limited but non negligible consequences of Cameron’s agreement for Spain. With the exception of the section of the agreement regarding competitiveness, which is more ambiguous and imprecise, the rest (economic governance, sovereignty and social benefits) will bring about some changes regarding the relationship between the EU and UK, and will have certain effects on Spain. Though undesirable for a country so firmly pro-European, these effects do not have to be particularly dramatic, especially if they do not entail a cascade of petitions to obtain a singular status from other countries.

Miguel Otero-Iglesias and Erik Jones, What Europe needs is not an end to the euro, but better leadership. 22.03.2016. If there is a consensus, it is that the eurozone should integrate further. But politicians have failed to translate this into action. The time has come for European policymakers to advocate an economic policy prescription that promotes growth and employment while also restarting the flow of capital from the core to the periphery.

Fernando Reinares, Brussels attacks: Challenge to Security and Coexistence. 28.03.2016. The attacks in Brussels, as in Paris, are an attempt to instil fear in the hearts of European citizens, forcing them to change their behaviour and to shape the decisions of their governments. We have to avoid the spread of Islamophobia without losing sight of the challenge that both the Jihadists with their terrorist outrages and the Salafists with their anti-democratic preaching pose to open societies.

William Chislett, Inside Spain nº126 22nd February- 28th March. 28.03.2016. Spain to join International Syria Support Group. Socialist Sánchez fails in PM bid, Popular Party and Podemos still refusing support. Close to half of Spaniards say corruption is the country’s second largest problem. European Commission urges Spain to reduce budget deficit. Ferrovial wins £300 million contract to maintain 370kms of highways in UK.

Charles Powell, EU Global Strategy 45: Expert Opinion. 31.03.2016. Royal Institute Elcano’s contribution to the European Union Global Strategy project.

Patricia Lisa, The EU-Turkey Agreement: a turning point in the EU’s policy approach to the refugee crisis but with the devil lurking in the detail. 08.04.2016. Is the agreement the right way to manage the refugee crisis? Or are we misinterpreting the signs once more and not understanding that structural, non-transitory challenges cannot be overcome with exceptional, transitory actions, however difficult they may be to implement?

Leonard Seabrooke and Duncan Wigan, Panama Leaks and the Tide of Tax Reform. 13.04.2016. The leak of the ‘Panama Papers’ has created an enormous scandal and, more importantly, a great deal of political momentum for the international tax reform agenda.


Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- European prose for David Cameron: not much changes. 23.02.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- Middle classes cut down to size. 01.03.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- Globalisation: factors of unity or division, depending on the circumstances. 08.03.2016

Lara Lázaro Touza, Climate change and Big Data. 09.03.2016.

Fernando Reinares, The terrorist threat in the EU: expect the unexpected.14.03.2016.

Antonio Rubio Plo, Kennan’s ‘long telegram’: reflections from the past and the present. 14.03.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- Europe: too many crises for so little leadership. 15.03.2016

Gonzalo Escribano, Libya: finding a way out of the labyrinth must be by way of the oil terminals. 15.03.2016

Antonio Rubio Plo, Contrasts between the realism of Kennan and Obama. 17.03.2016

Iliana Olivié, Is India the new China? 21.03.2016.

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- China viewed from Japan: weakness with stability. 22.03.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- Brexit: possible political disasters. 29.03.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- An odd Dutch referendum on the Ukraine: another European crisis on the horizon? 05.04.2016

William Chislett, Spain’s failure yet again to meet budget deficit target strains relations with Brussels. 06.04.2016

Andrés Ortega, Global Spectator- Tax evasion and avoidance: a global problem. 12.04.2016

Clara Pérez Bocanegra, Ukraine, Russia and the sanctions: ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. 15.04.2016

Past events from the Real Instituto Elcano de Estudios Internacionales y Estratégicos – Autumn 2015


V International Conference of the Red Iberoamericana de Estudios Internacionales (RIBEI)
1-2 December 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE).

More information can be found here.

Meeting, The EU Internal-External Security Nexus
26 November 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute, EUISS and the Strategic Planning Division of the EEAS in the context of the EU-wide expert outreach and consultation process for the preparation of the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy.

More information can be found here.

Presentation, Informe Elcano 19 – Spain/Morocco Relations
24 November 2015

With the participation of Charles Powell, director at Elcano Royal Institute, Carlos Westendorp, general secretary of Club de Madrid, Miguel Ángel Bastenier, journalist at El País, Bernabé López García, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Haizam Amirah Fernández, Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Conference, Governing Energy: The Atlantic Basin and Global Institutions
19 November 2015

Organised by the Spanish Committee of the World Energy Council and Spanish Energy Club, in collaboration with Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

3rd Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism: the current jihadist mobilization in Western Europe
16 November 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States and the Swedish Defense University. Directed by Fernando Reinares and co-ordinated by Carola García-Calvo, respectively Senior Analyst and Analyst of the Program on Global Terrorism at Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Seminar, `Spanish Cooperation 2030: The role of Spain in the New Development Agenda´
03 November 2015

Organised by Spain´s Biblioteca Nacional and Elcano Royal Institute, with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, ISGlobal and Oxfam Intermón. Participants agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals and an international agenda for achieving them before 2030.

More information can be found here.

Conference, `NATO and the New Arc of Crisis´
28-29 October 2015

Organised by the NATO´s Public Diplomacy Division and Elcano Royal Institute, with the participation of Istituto Affari Internazionali and Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais (IPRI). Speech by Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General of NATO and Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, President of Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Seminar, `African Women Who Build Peace´
27 October 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Mujeres por África, the event gathered together women activists for women’s rights and experts in peace and security. Among the speakers were María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of Fundación Mujeres por África, Oumou Sall Seck, Hibaaq Osman, Nicole Ndongala and Caddy Adzuba.

More information can be found here.

Debate, `How to deepen the eurozone integration?
22 October 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Rafael del Pino. Thomas Westphal, General Director of European Affairs at the German Ministry of Finance, Philippe Martin, Advisor to the French Minister of Economy, Manuel Conthe, Editorial Director at Expansión newspaper.

More information can be found here.

Conference `Alcance de las reformas en México y su impacto en las relaciones con España´
21 September 2015

Organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Mexico DF, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and Elcano Royal Institute, with the sponsorship of Santander Group and the collaboration of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica.

More information can be found here.

Conference `Transatlantic Conversation: Confronting Common Security Challenges´.
16 September 2015

Organised by the Wilson Center (Washington D.C.)
Experts´ conference on security and transatlantic relations at the Wilson Center. Participants in the conference included: The King of Spain; Jane Harman, director, president and CEO at The Wilson Center; Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, president at Elcano Royal Institute; Bruce Hoffman Director at Center of Security Studies and director of the Programme of Studies on Security, Georgetown University; Charles Powell, Director at Elcano Royal Institute; Fernando Reinares, expert on international terrorism at Real Instituto Elcano; Bruce Riedel, Brookings Institution and former senior adviser for the past four presidents of the US; Catherine Herridge chief intelligence correspondent, Fox News.

More information can be found here.

Past events at Real Instituto Elcano – Winter 2014/15


The presentation of the Working Paper “Los latinos y las industrias culturales en español en Estados Unidos”
29 January 2015

The presentation of the Working Paper “Los latinos y las industrias culturales en español en Eelcanostados Unidos” written by Jéssica Retis and Ángel Badillo took place on 29 January 2015. It was organised by the Elcano Royal Institute with the collaboration of SEGIB. It was attended by José Ignacio Wert (Minister of Education, Culture and Sports), Emilio Lamo de Espinosa (President of the Elcano Royal Institute) and Víctor García de la Concha (Director of the Instituto Cervantes) among others.

More information can be found here.

“Greece and the Euro’s future”
21 January 2015

A debate on “Greece and the Euro’s future” took place on 21 January 2015. elcano 2It was organised by the Elcano Royal Institute and was attended by José Carlos Diez (economist and lecturer at the Universidad de Alcalá), Irene Martin (lecturer on Political Science at the UAM), Evangelos Liaras (postdoctoral researcher at the CEPC), Ignacio Molina and Federico Steinberg (both analysts at the Elcano Royal Institute).

More information can be found here.

“Spain and Poland: strategic partners in a Union in flux”
11 December 2014

A debate on “Spain and Poland: strategic partners in a Union in flux” was held on 11 December 2014. It was organised by the Elcano Royal Institute and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Secretary of State for European Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Spain), and Rafal Trzaskowski, Secretary of State for European Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland) partcipated, among others.

More information can be found here.

“Global Energy: Strategies and Values”
20 November 2014

A conference on “Global Energy: Strategies and Values” took place on 20 November 2014. It was organised by the Spanish Committee of the World Energy Council (Comité Español del Consejo Mundial de la Energía, CECME) and the Spanish Energy Club (ENERCLUB), with the collaboration of the Elcano Royal Institute and with the sponsorship of Repsol. With the participation, among others, of Jaime García-Legaz Ponce (Secretary of State for Trade), Antonio Brufau Niubó (Chairman of Repsol), Pedro Miró Roig (Chairman of ENERCLUB), Emilio Lamo de Espinosa (President of the Elcano Royal Institute) and Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri (Chair of the CECME).

More information can be found here.

Second Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism: “Transformations of Global Terrorism”
17-18 November 2014

The second Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism: “Transformations of Global Terrorism” was held on 17-18 November 2014. It was organised  by the Elcano Royal Institute with the collaboration of the Uelcano 3S Embassy in Spain and Casa Árabe. In its 2nd edition, the Elcano Forum reviewed the recent transformations undergone by global terrorism, especially the latest developments in international Jihadism, dominated by the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

More information can be found here.