Madrid, 27 to 29 September
The eighth Annual Meeting of the Munich Young Leaders Alumni took place in the Spanish capital Madrid. About 65 Munich Young Leaders Alumni from Europe, Asia, Africa and the US met to discuss current issues of foreign and security politics in the group as well as with senior representatives of the host country. A conversation with King Felipe at the Royal Palace “La Zarzuela” about the role of Spain in Europe as well as the Kingdom’s challenges in domestic and foreign politics constituted the highlight of the two-day meeting.
The Annual Meeting was jointly organized by the Körber Foundation, the Munich Security Conference, and the Spanish Munich Young Leaders Manuel Muñiz and Carlos Oliver Cruz. For two days, the experts from governments, parliaments, think tanks, media and business discussed current foreign affairs and security challenges with senior political experts and policy makers such as former Foreign Minister of Argentina, Susanna Malcorra, and General Félix Sanz Roldán, Director of the Spanish Intelligence Agency.
In the various sessions the participants discussed the main challenges facing Europe in the context of growing calls for “European sovereignty”, continued tensions in the transatlantic relationship and next year’s European Parliament elections in particular. How can European unity be maintained and strengthened in times of Brexit and diverging visions for the European project? What could a future economic order look like and which actors will shape that order? And how should the EU position itself vis-à-vis external actors such as Russia, China or the countries of Latin America? Almost 15 years after Madrid was hit by terror attacks, a session with General Félix Sanz Roldán, Director of Spain’s Intelligence Agency, looked at the fight against terrorism, European cooperation mechanisms, and concrete measures on the part of member states and their partners.
The agenda was rounded off by a visit to the Prado museum and a Flamenco show in the historical heart of Madrid.