Wed27Jul2011Sun31Jul2011Barcelona, Catalonia - Spain
2011 Transatlantic Leadership Forum
A Cry for Freedom: The Arab Spring and its
Political Impact on the Mediterranean Region
This summer, sixteen US Legislative Leaders, thirteen of their European, Canadian, and Asian counterparts, representatives of the US business community, and special guests convened in Barcelona for SLLF’s 13th Annual Transatlantic Leadership Forum. Home of the extraordinary architecture of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona is Europe’s 6th largest city and an economic powerhouse for the region.
The program, our first in Spain, was called “A Cry for Freedom: The Arab Spring and its Political Impact on the Mediterranean Region”. Hosted by Member of the Spanish Parliament Hon. Jordi XUCLÀ i COSTA, the agenda focused on the ‘Arab Spring’ and Catalonian regionalism. The participants from Catalonia hold a special appreciation for freedom and independence - Catalonia has won and lost its autonomy multiple times in its lengthy history. The discussions were sometimes intensely passionate. Participants from Egypt, for example, were critical of European and US policies towards the Middle East and said so. According to SLLF President Steve Lakis, the biggest issue - one that overrides all else with respect to policy in the region - is the Palestinian question. It’s difficult to envision progress on most other issues without a resolution to this seemingly intractable conflict.