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An event that has achieved to become a benchmark on its very first edition
‘20
Welcome to a benchmark event for intellectual and academic discussion
A forum focussed on Excellence and Diversity
  • A unique meeting guided by the excellence of its speakers and guests.
  • A benchmark event for intellectual and academic discussion.
  • A space to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Why an Atlantic discussion forum?
The phenomenon of globalization and the appearance of new powers with a strong focus on being in the spotlight have transformed the classical geostrategic equilibriums. New areas of influence have burst with economic and political strengths which present a clear challenge to western countries and the values they have defended throughout history.

Western civilization is being challenged by new political and economic models. However, the Atlantic axis maintains its status as a reference space in the world order. Beyond conjunctural circumstances, the two shores of the Atlantic constitute a community with a homogeneous cultural model that has defined our societies on both sides of the ocean. A humanistic model that protects the human being conceived as a unique being and whose rights and freedoms must be protected and preserved.

Our history is Atlantic, as it is our reality and will necessarily be our future. Not only is this accurate from the geographical point of view, but also culturally and economically. Despite competition from other areas of the planet, the Atlantic space continues to be an area integrated by economically, politically and socially developed countries, in an overwhelming majority.

Foro Atlántico "La Toja" is created as a space for dialogue between both sides of the Atlantic, an invitation to look together at the challenges we share, the problems we have to face and the possibility of doing it together. This is a major opportunity to look to the future from our common roots and our shared interests.
A vocation of excellence and plurality
Unlike other events, Foro Atlántico “La Toja” is posed as a singular meeting which is guided only by the excellence of speakers and guests. The forum is not meant to be a crowded date, but a benchmark for intellectual and academic debate. The guests will have the opportunity to listen to experts talking about their respective fields and to chat with them in an atmosphere specially designed to promote that exchange of ideas and experiences.

The independence of the criterion, plurality and excellence are the approach that will define the organization of the forum, which has no economic or business interests. It is guaranteed a balanced representation of the countries that form the Atlantic area to ensure the different visions and contributions of both seashores and hemispheres.
In defense of liberal democracy
Liberal democracy is one of the elements that have defined the value system of our western civilization. Nowadays this model, based on the limitation of political power through institutions, in open deliberation and respect for minorities, seems to be suffering a profound crisis that appears in many different ways: the rise of excluding nationalisms, the delegitimization of the representative system, the accession to power of messianic and authoritarian leaders, the attacks on the separation of powers or the press freedom, etc.

Populisms of all kinds, conceived as a way of subverting democratic institutions from within democracy, represent a clear threat to our current model of society. Our political systems must reconnect with citizens to rebuild the bonds of trust on which to articulate the representative systems. It is necessary that open societies are able to give effective answers to problems such as inequality and social exclusion, insecurity or migratory flows that foster disaffection.

Beyond the purely academic or political debate, it is also important to pay attention to the influence that this phenomenon is exerting on other aspects of reality such as the economy, the rights of individuals or the geostrategic situation. The rise of protectionism, the manoeuvres of internal destabilization as a new form of confrontation between countries or the growing risk of massive disinformation are some of the symptoms and consequences of this new paradigm.

All these elements are a subject for discussion and reflection at Foro Atlántico “La Toja”, always based on an unequivocal commitment to the values of liberal democracy and its achievements throughout history.
Central themes
Forum Boards
  • Board
    A new direction for our societies
    A world which is yet to finish healing the wounds of crisis is facing new challenges with a spirit far removed from that which defined the early years of this century. The concept of sustainability is shifting from environmental matters to other areas, defining a new philosophy which advocates seeking balanced and inclusive growth. Today, capitalism is being redefined and companies want to play a leading role with a responsibility that goes beyond mere wealth generation for their shareholders. A balance is being sought between them and other stakeholders, between private enterprise and the protection guaranteed by strong States, between economic development and protecting the environment, between technological advances and defending democratic values.
  • Board
    Trump, Brexit and the future of the Atlantic link
    The upcoming American elections are an unknown quantity. The final development of post-Brexit UK-European relations also still needs to be defined. Our Western democracies are experiencing a decline against a strong China that wants hegemony, and the aggression of other players, such as Russia or Turkey. Furthermore, the deeply disruptive policies of some Western leaders have also weakened the cooperative links which we have shared for decades. What is the role of Europe in this new world order, in which the USA is increasingly distancing itself? Will Brexit set a precedent with other member states following suit, or will it be a wake-up call to restore faith in the European project, as Merkel and Macron have requested? Will multilateral institutions such as the WTO or NATO survive a second Trump term?
  • Board
    Looking South
    The South Atlantic, including South America and Africa, demands our attention because it represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the future of the Atlantic Link. We have the challenge of strengthening our ties to consolidate, on both sides of the ocean, our growing commitment to the democratic values of open societies against the influence of other powers that do not share these principles. Likewise, we must ensure that they play a greater role in our political, economic, trade and institutional relations. Greater South American and African integration and participation in the Atlantic area is the best tool for maintaining the weight and influence of the West in the new world order.
  • Board
    Cyber security
    If sustainability is the common and increasingly accepted goal of all organisation types, cyber security is the most urgent issue which governments and businesses face today. Cyberspace has become a tremendous factor in economic, social and cultural progress, but it is not without its risks, which have legal and strategic implications. Cyber security is already recognised as a significant factor which affects company value; it represents a quality indicator in corporate management and a fundamental issue in terms of the governance of any type of organisation. It has also moved to the top of the geostrategic risks list, as highlighted by the debate on security when rolling out 5G networks, including spying or diverting the traffic circulating on them, and destroying or tampering with their associated infrastructures.
  • Board
    Solidarity or division?
    Western societies have based their cohesion on solidarity: solidarity between people, between territories and between generations. However, we are seeing growing signs of division in this great social contract. The depopulation affecting rural areas is a wake-up call on the failure of the principle of equal opportunities; European societies are ageing societies which rely on immigration to maintain their growth rates. We have fewer and fewer young people and we are burdening them with the responsibility of maintaining our social protection systems. Are we showing solidarity with them? Are the mechanisms of generational replacement working properly?
The location
Galicia, a land with an atlantic spirit
Galicia is the most Atlantic of the Spanish regions, thanks to its location in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula and to its character, always related to the sea.

The history of Galicia offers multitude of references that connect with the organization of a project of this nature in its territory. Galicia constituted a forum of attraction and cultural mixing thanks to the pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela, a phenomenon that undoubtedly contributed to build the current European identity and, by extension, the occidental culture.

The proximity – even with the language – between Galicia and Portugal brings to the forum the Iberian character. The celebration of this kind of meeting outside the common locations as Madrid and Barcelona also contributes to offer a more plural and balanced image of the Spanish reality.
Gran Hotel de La Toja, an iconic establishment
With over 100 years of history, Eurostars Gran Hotel La Toja 5* is truly iconic.
Galicia is the most Atlantic of the Spanish regions, both due to its location in the far north-west of the Iberian Peninsula and due to its character, which has always been connected to the sea. The history of Galicia has many references that tie in with the organisation of a project of this nature in the region. Galicia represented an appealing cultural melting pot as a result of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. This undoubtedly contributed to shaping current European identity and, by extension, Western culture. The proximity -even linguistically- of Galicia to Portugal adds to the Iberian nature of the Forum. Holding a meeting of this kind outside the usual venues of Madrid or Barcelona also helps to convey a more diverse, balanced image of Spain.