On the occasion of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union this year and in continuity with the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between France and Spain, signed in Barcelona on 19 January, UEx has attended a meeting organised by the French Government, the French Embassy in Spain and the Ministry of Universities.
The French Government is supporting the internationalization strategy of European Alliances, as the idea came from its President Macron. The meeting has been prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Universities, which considers the European Universities strategy as one of its priorities. Minister Joan Subirats, Secretary of State Pingarrón and Under-Secretary of State Markus G. Beilfuss. In addition, Juan Romo, President of the CRUE and Guillaume Gellé, President of the French CRUE also participated. Also the Director of SEPIE, the Director of CESIC of SEGIB, the President of the French Aneca and other Spanish Ministries, as well as the French Ambassador.
33 European Alliances out of the 44 existing ones were present. Rectors, vice-rectors, presidents, vice-presidents of some sixty French and Spanish higher education institutions, alliance coordinators, institutional actors, scientists and politicians took part in the event held under the insignia of Franco-Spanish friendship. In total, nearly 150 people attended.
The session highlighted that for the Government of Spain, European Partnerships is a priority because it is Europe’s priority. In other words, it is the most important initiative launched by the European Union in relation to universities in the last decades and it is the main protagonist of the transformation agenda of Europe. The president of CRUE stated that Europe is committed to transforming us as higher education institutions and alliances are the way to achieve this, at a geopolitical moment when the idea of Europe is very important to strengthen us as a society and as an economic power.
One of the most important topics was the integration of Latin American and African networks in the European Alliances, which was proposed by the Rector of the University of Seville, Miguel Ángel Castro. The meeting also allowed to address four essential issues for the future of the European Universities in addition to the internationalisation of the European Universities towards Africa and Latin America; the research within the European Alliances; the joint degree, the European seal and the accreditation system; the external and internal communication of the European Universities.
Four months after the Forum on European Universities held in Barcelona in September, in the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, this conference offered participants the opportunity to share good practices, to identify the obstacles encountered and to reflect on the tools to overcome them, while at the same time creating new synergies.