Mauricio Macri was invited to be part of the Madrid Club, an independent organization defined as the largest forum of former presidents and prime ministers from around the world (It has 112 members) and whose objective is “to strengthen leadership and democratic institutions, necessary for the progress of societies, development and the well-being of citizens.”
The Club de Madrid includes personalities from 60 countries such as Bill Clinton, Felipe González, Mijail Gorbachov, Michelle Bachelet, José María Aznar, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jean Chrétien, Julio María Sanguinetti, Antono Gutérres, Mary Robinson, Sebastián Piñera, Belisario Betancour, Ricardo Lagos, Romano Prodi, Helen Clark, Felipe Calderón, Horst Köhler, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Laura Chinchilla, Yasuo Fukuda, César Gaviria, George Papandreou and Vicente Fox, among others.
The former president received this morning the letter with the invitation, signed by the former Slovenian president Danilo Turk, and this afternoon he will accept it. Macri’s idea is that the task he will carry out at the Club of Madrid be coordinated by Fulvio Pompeo, PRO’s secretary of International Relations.
“His experience as Head of Government of Buenos Aires, Member of Parliament and, of course, as President of Argentina would greatly enrich our organization and our ability to continue to strengthen democracy, democratic values and leadership in today’s particularly challenging and uncertain context, ”Türk said in the letter to Macri.
Macri will be the second former Argentine president to join the Club of Madrid: in 2002 Raúl Alfonsín had joined this organization.
On its website, the Club de Madrid states that it “promotes consensus towards positive change among key political and social actors, supporting processes of transition and democratic consolidation in the Middle East region, the Horn of Africa, as well as in Bolivia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Serbia, South Africa and East Timor ”. And he adds: “In recent years he has also collaborated with numerous political and social actors in thematic areas that correspond to the most important global challenges of today such as the quality and future of democracy, social inclusion, prevention of violent extremism, global governance and climate change, among others”.
The Club of Madrid was created in the Spanish capital in October 2001, during a meeting of 35 presidents and prime ministers, and its current head, Danilo Turk, who governed Slovenia between 2007 and 2012, declared last February to the Spanish media El Independiente, that one of the organization’s priorities “is what we call a new generation of democracy: we see problems in democracy today and we need to address them, some have to do with technology, artificial intelligence, social networks, microtargeting, etc.”
“We will see how to protect democracy from the abuses and manipulation we are seeing in recent elections he remarked. We are concerned about these issues and for this reason we will also reflect with legislators and make recommendations. In turn we want promote multilateralism, which is a duty, it is the way to tackle global problems ”.
He also held that nationalism and populism “are often the same” because “sometimes populism is another name for a bad nationalism that comes from the past and is being reborn in places like Italy, Hungary … and we have to look for alternatives.”
Asked about the case of Venezuela, the former Slovenian president said: “I have the feeling that many believe that the government will change as a result of demonstrations and collection of signatures and that will not happen. Something more is needed and that is missing. (…) The regime in Venezuela is involved in drug trafficking, crime … with all kinds of social pathologies. It is not a normal political situation. I do not see conditions for dialogue at present ”.
Last January, Macri was appointed executive president of the FIFA Foundation, a body that was created in 2018 and is in charge of encouraging positive social change and rebuilding damaged sports infrastructure around the world.
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