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Felipe González, the longest-standing Spanish President, is a sought after keynote speaker and seminar director. As well as his advisory undertakings and frequent media collaborations, González is President of the Commission for Global Progress of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party). This body encourages debate and creates a new launch pad for ideas and proposals for political activity with which to face the challenges and problems of a changing world.
“There can be markets without democracy, but it is impossible to have democracy without markets”
In 2007, the Minister’s Council named him plenipotentiary Extraordinary Ambassador for the celebration of America’s Independence bicentenary, which began 2010. Also in 2007, the Heads of State and Government of the European Union, brought together in the European Council, designated Felipe González President of the Reflection Group on the future of Europe, known as the Committee of Wise Men.
Felipe González is also a member of the Orientation European Committee “Our Europe”, the International Council of the Simon Peres Centre for Peace, the Interaction Council, the Madrid Club and the Montevideo Circle. He has published books featuring conversations such as Un estilo ético (An ethic style) with Víctor Márquez in 1982, or El futuro no es lo que era (The future is not what it used to be) with Juan Luís Cebrián in 2001. He has also written the essays El Socialismo (1997) and Memorias del futuro (2003). His political labour has been recognised on numerous occasions. Among the many awards he has received are the prestigious Carlomagno Prize in 1993 for his contributions to European unity and the Great Golden Cross of Merit of the Republic of Austria. In addition to many other honours, he was also named Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universities of Toulouse and Leuven.
After studying Law, Economics and Work Relations at university, he joined the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) in 1963, forced to act clandestinely under Franco’s regime. He was elected Secretary General in 1974, starting then to work on the definition and ideological and theoretical strengthening of the party.
Felipe González made an effort to participate in the political transition in Spain. The strong cohesion of his party in the 80s and his undoubted positive disposition facilitated his party’s triumph in the 1982 elections, obtaining an absolute majority.
Felipe González was President of Spain until 1996. His time in office was defined by very significant reforms such as universalisation of free public education until the age of 16, making a university education more accessible or the establishment of a wide-ranging Social Security system. He also carried out a major industrial refurbishment plan as well as an overhaul of the Army with the professionalisation of officials. With regards to foreign affairs, the cornerstone of his policy was the adhesion of Spain to the European Union in 1986.
Felipe Gonzalez's most well known book is called Memorias del Futuro (Memoirs of the Future) which was published in 2003.
Memoirs of the Future explores Felipe González’s reflections on the most severe problems of our time. The Spanish Former President analyses the occurrence of terrorism, the role of Europe in the world order, relations between Spain and Latin America and Morocco, or the situation created after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York. Furthermore, he expresses his opinion on the situation in Irak amongst other topics of great national and international relevance, always looking to the future.
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