Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category



In an interesting seminar, Tomas Abadía, CEO of IADIC International , shared with the MIR class his assessment of current EU-US  transatlantic relations. He touched upon the key issues that define the relations between the two largest economies in the world today: political, economic, and security. Indeed the US and the EU share a common commitment to democracy, peace, prosperity, and stability post World War II. In addition, they represent the world’s largest trading bloc with trade worth more than $2 bn a day. Together they represent 80% of funding for development assistance worldwide and 70% of funding for the UN peacekeeping forces.  However, the recent NSA surveillance scandal has brought tension between key allies.  According to Mr. Abadia, this scandal should not undermine an otherwise solid relationship. Indeed, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that is currently being negotiated should not be jeopardized by current tensions. This agreement if signed could represent combined gains for Europe and the US of more than 300bn euros a year. For Mr. Abadia, the EU-US strategic partnership is more relevant than ever and the two blocs should strengthen their shared values and interests in the world.

Students had many questions for Mr. Abadia, including questions on the reform on the UN Security Council, IMF, World Bank and other international institutions; on growing anti-Americanism in the world, and on the new balance of power in strategic regions such as Asia Pacific. Mr. Abadia agreed that the UN, IMF and World Bank should be reformed, democratized and made more transparent to reflect the new international order. He deplored increasing anti-Amercanism in the world and suggested that the US and EU further join efforts in foreign policy initiatives, especially in the Asia Pacific, home to half of the world’s inhabitants.


Mrs.Benita Ferrero-Waldner at IE School of International Relations

Written on October 28, 2013 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Europe, Foreign Policy, Video

Mrs.Benita Ferrero-Waldner, President of the Foundation EU-LAC and Former European Commissioner for External Relations, is interviewed by Areilza, Dean of IE School of International Relations, on the European Union foreign policy and the EU-LAC relations

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None of the deeper problems with American government was solved this week


Imagine you are in a taxi and the driver suddenly turns violently and speeds towards a wall, tyres screeching, only to stop at the very last moment, inches from the bricks—and cheerfully informs you that he wants to do the same to you in three months time. Would you be grateful that he has not killed you? Or would you wonder why you chose his cab in the first place?

That is the journey Congress has taken the American people on over the past few weeks (see article). The last-minute deal to raise America’s debt ceiling, avoid a default and reopen the government at least until mid-January, which was signed by the president on October 16th, is welcome only compared with the immediate alternative.

For a long time American politicians have poured scorn on their European peers for failing to deal with the euro crisis. This week Washington equalled Brussels on one measure of dysfunctionality and surpassed it by another. The way in which the Democrats and Republicans, having failed to reach any agreement, decided to “kick the can down the road”, was deeply European. The deal allows the government to stay open till January 15th and the debt ceiling to be raised until February 7th. Just as America’s economy seems to be recovering, with the promise of GDP growing by 2.7% in 2014, it could face another shutdown of the kind that has just sent consumer confidence to a nine-month low and knocked back growth in the fourth quarter by an estimated 0.6 percentage points.

The way in which the Americans have surpassed the Europeans is the unreality of their discussion. The Europeans at least talk vaguely about banking unions and other solutions to their mess. In America the immediate budget deficit—at 3.4% of GDP—is smaller than that of many European countries. Indeed the danger is of too much tightening in the short term. But the country’s long-term fiscal problem is immense: it taxes like a small-government country but spends like a big-government one. Eventually demography—and the huge tribe of retiring baby-boomers who expect pensions and health care—will bankrupt the country. By the IMF’s calculation, if America is to reduce its debt to what it regards as a sensible level by 2030, allowing for all this age-related spending, it needs a “fiscal adjustment” of 11.7% of GDP—more than any other advanced country other than Japan. Yet the Republicans refuse to discuss tax rises, without which Barack Obama and the Democrats refuse to discuss cuts to entitlements: neither of those things had anything to do with the impasse of the past few weeks. Read more…

As published in on October 19, 2013 (from the print edition).




On Wednesday 2 October, the IE School of International Relations was honored to host Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner as keynote speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the 2013/2014 Master in International Relations. Ms. Ferrero-Waldner served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister of her native Austria from 2000 to 2004 and then was European Commissioner for External Relations from 2004-2009 and then European Commissioner for Trade and Neighborhood Policy from 2009 to 2010. In her speech, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner shared some personal insights on her career in international politics. She recommended to students to follow their instincts, reach for their dreams and take their cue from chance encounters that could deeply influence their lives. Indeed, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner gave her own personal example. She initially thought she would become a doctor until one of her teachers told her she was a “born diplomat”. Ms. Ferrero-Waldner had no political connections but knew that she would have a career in diplomacy. With the support of her father and her teachers, she reached this objective. In addition to a career in politics, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner also was Head of Protocol to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. In 2000, she was also President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Ms. Ferrero-Waldner today is President of the EU-LAC Foundation. The EU-LAC Foundation is active in all areas that form part of the bi-regional agenda between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foundation focuses especially on promoting the role of civil society in both regions and proposing policies for investment.






On September 26th, Alfonso Moreno and Xuyang Ma, MIR 2013 alumni currently on academic exchange at St Gallen University, participated in the International Exchange Fair held at St Gallen. This annual event showcases the different exchanges available to St Gallen students and enables visiting exchange students, such as Alfonso and Xuyang, to represent their universities of origin — in their case, the IE School of International Relations. Students are assigned booths in the fair in which they can display brochures and information about the different programs open to outgoing exchange students. IE was pleased to be represented at the fair by Alfonso and Xuyang, excellent ambassadors for the Master in International Relations. According to Alfonso, local students expressed great interest in IE, especially those who had already spent some time in Spain or Latin America.


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