On the 17th and 18th of June the 21st Spain-U.S. forum took place in Santiago de Compostela. The forum was jointly organized by Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos, and its American counterpart, the U.S.-Spain council. The presidents of both groups, José Manuel Entrecanales and Senator Tim Kaine were deeply involved in the planning and organization of the event.
At the sessions on the 18th, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybáñez, thanked the Kaine and Entrecanales for organizing a dynamic and participatory forum, and bringing together a group of distinguished panelists. 120 high level experts and businessmen from both countries attended the forum to reinforce bilateral ties, and to promote cooperation between public institutions and the private sector.
Ybáñez also discussed the first official visit of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia to the U.S. in 2015, and the upcoming visit of President Obama in July. In addition to the Royal visit, Secretary Ybáñez highlighted the common support, and mutual benefits that would come to fruition, if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is signed into law.
The president of the Galician Government, Alberto Núñez Feijoo, invited the participants of the forum to a dinner on the 17th, where Defense Minister Pedro Morenés, and the presidents of each of the organizing councils spoke. The mayor of Santiago, Martiño Noriega was also in attendance.
The forum was split into three sessions. The first session, entitled “Cybersecurity, Cyber-resilience, and the Fight Against Cybercrime” was led by Félix Sanz Roldán, the director of the Spanish Center for National Intelligence. The second session, “The De-carbonization of the Economy: The Future of Global Compromise, and Opportunity for Economic Growth” was moderated by members of each government who focus on the fight against climate change. The third session, “The Role of Cultural Institutions in Social Progress, Global Integration, and Economic Development” was led by Ángeles González-Sinde, a former cultural minister. Miguel Zugaza, director of the Museo Nacional del Prado, and author Antonio Muñoz Molina also participated.
The United States is an important strategic partner for Spain. The bilateral relations have increased markedly over the past four years thanks to efforts from both countries’ governments, and Spanish businesses entering into the American marketplace. The expansion of the relationship with the U.S. will have an important impact on the Spanish legacy of common historical roots, values, principles, liberties, and our shared vision of the world.