On July 1, Sweden will hand over the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union to Spain, which will hold its reins for the fifth time since its accession to the then-European Community back in 1986. During the second half of 2023, Spain will have to steer the EU through troubled waters, making the most of arising opportunities to build a better Europe for the future.
The European project, as has often been the case in the past, faces a number of challenges as we come to the end of 2023. Russia’s devastating war of aggression against Ukraine continues, carrying with it the crucial question of how to further EU support to Ukrainian resistance, as well as the question of how Ukraine could be rebuilt, in the wake of victory, in a green and sustainable manner conducive to future accession to the European Union. The climate crisis continues unabated, with predictions that 2023 will once again become the hottest year on record and freak weather patterns becoming more commonplace, how can the EU accelerate its climate action to achieve the goal of making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent, and what can it do to encourage the rest of the world to pursue similarly ambitious aims? In the age of post-truth and populism, what can be done to fight for liberal democracy, where are the challenges, and how severe are they? These are but some of the themes this conference will address.
To scrutinise the priorities and challenges of the Presidency, TEPSA and its Spanish Member Institute, the Elcano Royal Institute, will host the Spanish Pre-Presidency Conference on 1 and 2 June 2023 in Madrid. The conference will feature high level discussions between researchers from the TEPSA Network, members of the public including students and civil society representatives, and key policy-makers from the Spanish government, including inter alia María Lledó, Secretary General for the European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain. Due to high demand, registrations for the Spanish PPC are now closed. However, the conference will be recorded, so stay tuned!
On the occasion of the Spanish Pre-Presidency Conference, TEPSA will also present recommendations to the incoming Presidency. The Recommendations from Members of the TEPSA Network to the Incoming Spanish Presidency form part of a long history of interaction between TEPSA and the Council Presidencies, starting with the first Pre-Presidency Conference in 1974. They will be circulated to key policy-makers in the Spanish Ministries, and discussed in depth at the Spanish PPC. You can learn more and read the Recommendations here!