The great relevance of foreign policy in the Sahel

On 10 September, the Francisco de Vitoria University will host an event on this issue with a view to strengthening cooperation and integrating solutions to common challenges between this African region and Europe
Europe Sahel Day


The Sahel region and the instability in the area is of vital importance in other parts of the world. International diplomacy has a lot to do with this issue and deserves an in-depth analysis.

In this regard, on 10 September 2021 from 16:00h-18:00h (CET), a conference on foreign policy in the Sahel will be held: "Eight years of international operations in the Sahel: reviewing the strategy". The event will take place at the Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid (UFVM), by invitation and in compliance with the capacity regulations established in the Community of Madrid, and telematically through the Zoom platform.

The conference on European foreign policy in the Sahel will analyse the impact of international operations in the region, which began more than eight years ago, following the Tuareg revolution and the 2012 coup d'état in Mali. The event will bring together African and European speakers, experts on the challenges of this constantly changing region. The international powers are progressively modifying their strategy on the ground, as demonstrated by the downsizing of the G5 Sahel, the end of Operation Barkhane as we know it, or the proposed evolution of the European Union's missions and strategies to better adapt to the current strategic scenario. After eight years of political and social instability, inter-community conflict and the fight against jihadism and organised crime, it is time to rethink international strategy.

For all these reasons, the International Security Centre of the International Politics Institute of the Francisco de Vitoria University has decided to organise the "Conference on foreign policy in the Sahel". The Centre for International Security represents a meeting place for reflection and discussion of the characteristics and implications of the ever-changing international scenario. A clear understanding of this new international environment is the Centre's primary objective. Therefore, the priorities focus on understanding how the national strategies of the main reference powers are evolving to adapt to the new circumstances; measuring the effectiveness of existing international organisations; and critically analysing challenges, risks and threats, whether direct or derived from our international commitments. 

Speakers and moderators from both Africa and Europe will participate in the conference, including the following: Ángel Losada, Spanish diplomat and former EU Special Representative for the Sahel, Alfonso García-Vaquero, Brigadier General of the Spanish Army and former commander in the EUTM Mali mission, Beatriz de León Cobo, researcher and coordinator of the Expert Group Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum of the UFV Centre for International Security, Boubacar Ba, researcher at the Centre d'Analyse sur la Gouvernance et la Sécurité au Sahel, Emmanuel Dupuy, president of the French think tank Institut Prospective et Sécurité en Europe, and Florentino Portero, director of the Master in Political Action and the Institute of International Politics at the Francisco de Vitoria University; The event will also be presented by Ignacio Cosidó, Director of the UFV Centre for International Security.

The Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE) is the main partner of the event. In addition, Atalayar, entre dos orillas, the Institute for Security and Culture, La puerta de África and Sierra Delta, among others, are also collaborating as media partners. 

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is compulsory via the following link: 

For more information, you can consult the full programme on the website: