6th edition of the Spain - U.S. Congressional Visitors Program

07/01/2019 to 07/05/2019

For the second year in a row, the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU. organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the U.S. and with the support of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the 6th edition of the Spain - U.S. Congressional Visitors Program 2019, held in Madrid and Salamanca from 1 to 5 July.

The program aims to boost the communications lines and improve the relationship between the Spanish Public Administration and the U.S. Congress through an exercise of public diplomacy, enabling a mutual knowledge of the legislative measures developed by both countries that can affect the bilateral relationship. Besides, the program has the purpose of making know the U.S. officials the close relationship between Spain and the US in several areas, especially in defense and security fields, as well as the role of Spain within the framework of the European Union and NATO.

2019 edition welcomed seven participants, all having a wide experience in international relations and foreign policy issues. Five of them work for relevant Congressmen from both the Democratic and Republican parties, such as Joaquin Castro, Joseph Kennedy, or Francis Rooney. The cohort was completed by a Senior Professional Staff Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and an Analyst from the Congressional Research Service.

The busy agenda included high level meetings during the week, as the one hold at the Congress of the Deputies with Senator Antonio Gutiérrez Limones (PSOE) and representatives José Ignacio Echániz (PP) and Melisa Rodríguez (Cs), as well as those hold with the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs, Fernando Valenzuela; the Director General for Defense Policy, Elena Gómez Castro; and the Director of the European Commission Office in Madrid, Francisco Fonseca, among other high representatives of the Spanish Public Administration. Furthermore, participants had the chance to learn more about the work of renowned think tanks, such as the Elcano Royal Institute or the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE), and visited the headquarters of companies and institutions such as the Cervantes Institute, Indra, Navantia, Talgo or El País newspaper office.