Miguel Angel Moratinos

“The Middle East in the 21st century: violence, territory and justice”

Monday 25th May 2015



About the speaker: Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé was born in Madrid on the 8th of June 1951 and studied at the Madrid French Lyceum. He graduated in Law and Political Sciences at the University Complutense in Madrid, and then in Diplomatic Studies at the Spanish Diplomatic School. He entered Spain’s diplomatic service in March 1977. After being Spain’s Ambassador in Israel from July to December 1996, he was appointed by the European Union as EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, a mission in which he worked from December 1996 to June 2003. During this period, he promoted Peace Agreements and carried out actions on behalf of the EU to foster the Arab-Israeli dialogue and turn the Mediterranean into a region of peace and prosperity. On the 18th of April 2004, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. In his term at the head of the department, he held the presidency of the United Nations Security Council and the chairmanships-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union. He fostered the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the first Minister of Cooperation of the Spanish democratic period, he fostered effective multilateralism, the Alliance of Civilisations, the Group of Friends for the Reform of the United Nations and contributed to the creation of innovative programmes for development, healthcare and women within the United Nations system. He promoted new programmes and funds for water and sanitation in Latin American development countries. In his term as Minister, he doubled Official Development Assistance funds and placed Spain as the sixth donor in the United Nations system.


About the event: On the 25th of May former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos visited Oxford as a guest of the Madariaga Series. He met with senior faculty at the European Studies Centre, gave a public lecture at Christ Church’s Blue Boar Lecture Theatre, and had a private dinner with Oxford students at the Cotswold Lodge Hotel. Topics addressed by Mr. Moratinos during his afternoon at Oxford included the need to rethink Western policy towards the Middle East in light of the rise of ISIS, as well as the urgency of finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which in the eyes of the speaker is the source of many of the region’s troubles. Conversation during dinner veered towards domestic Spanish politics and the consequences of the recently held local and regional elections where the share of the vote going to traditional parties had decreased significantly producing a complex political landscape.


The Madariaga Series would like to thank Mr. Moratinos for his time and insights on an incredibly pressing issue of international politics. We would also like to thank Christ Church for providing the lecture theatre for our second Madariaga Lecture.