Club of Madrid
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The Club de Madrid is an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community. Composed of 95 regular members, 64 of whom are former presidents and 39 of whom are former prime ministers (some are both) from 65 countries, the Club de Madrid is the world's largest forum of former heads of state and government.
Among its main goals are the strengthening of democratic institutions and counselling on the resolution of political conflicts in two key areas: democratic leadership and governance, and response to crisis and post-crisis situations.
The Club de Madrid works together with governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, scholars and representatives from the business world, to encourage dialogue in order to foster social and political change. The Club de Madrid also searches for effective methods to provide technical advice and recommendations to nations that are taking steps to establish democracy.
As of March 2014[update], there are 95 full Members, all of whom are previous government officials with full voting rights. The Club also has institutional members and foundations – private and public organizations that share similar democratic objectives, including FRIDE, the Gorbachev Foundation of North America (GFNA), both original sponsors of the founding conference in 2001, the Madrid City Council, the Regional Government of Madrid, and the Government of Spain. Additionally, there are six honorary members (e.g. Kofi Annan, Aung San Suu Kyi) and a number of fellows, who are experts on democratic change.
The Club is based in Madrid (Spain), although meetings are held worldwide. Currently, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the former President of Latvia (1999–2007), is the organization's president, and it has two vice presidents: Jenny Shipley (New Zealand) and Jorge Fernando Quiroga (Bolivia). A former president of the Club of Madrid is Wim Kok (2009–2013).
The Club was created from an event that was held in October 2001 in Madrid, a four-day Conference on Democratic Transition and Consolidation (CDTC). This event brought together 35 world leaders, over 100 academics and policy specialists from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa to discuss ideas and means of implementation from both objective and subjective perspectives. The conference discussed eight main topics:
- Constitutional design
- The Legislative branch and its relation with the Executive branch
- The Judicial branch and its relation with Executive branch
- Anti-corruption procedures
- The role of the armed forces and security forces
- Reform of the state bureaucracy
- Strengthening of political and social pluralism and of political parties
- Economic and social conditions
Structure and organization
The Club de Madrid's primary asset is its membership, which includes 95 distinguished former heads of state and government of democratic nations. The comparative advantage of the Club de Madrid is based on the following key assets:
- Personal experience and status of its Members
- Access to the world's leading experts on democracy
- Specialization in democratic transition and consolidation issues
- Practical approach of its activities, through the implementation of projects with tangible results
Full Members are members of the Club de Madrid who provide their personal and political experience as former Heads of State and Government. Their appointment, based on a proposal from the Board of Directors, is approved by the General Assembly.
Direct exchanges with current leaders of countries in the process of democratic transition on a peer-to-peer basis, and the Member's ability to deliver the right message at the right time, are two of the major assets of the Club de Madrid. In this sense, the Members of the Club de Madrid can also help focus much needed international attention on targeted countries and leverage the work of other institutions trying to promote democracy.
The Club's members are supported by a network of world-class experts who work together to offer assistance on a range of democratic reform issues. The Club de Madrid is composed of four executive and advisory bodies:
- General Assembly
- Board of Directors
- General Secretariat
- Advisory Committee
The Club is a non-profit organisation and members offer their services on a pro bono basis. It relies financially on donations which are used to support a permanent secretariat and fund some specific project. The Club's accounts are audited annually by an external organisation.
The Club of Madrid Foundation (USA)
The Club of Madrid Foundation Inc. (COMFI) is a grant-making foundation that has US 501(c)(3) tax exemption status. It exists to raise funds in support of the Club's charitable and educational activities.
COMFI is independent and not controlled by the Club itself, but solely by a four-person Board of Directors, all of whom reside in the US.
Several members of the Club played prominent roles in the diplomatic and military proceedings aimed at ending the wars in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s:
- In 1991, Milan Kučan, then the President of the newly independent Slovenia, negotiated the Brijuni Agreement, bringing an end to the Ten-Day War.
- In 1993, Bosnian politician Zlatko Lagumdžija advised the then-President of Bosnia and Herzegovina against agreeing to the Vance-Owen peace plan. The two had been kidnapped by the JNA in Sarajevo in 1992, before their release was negotiated through the U.N.
- Former Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki was a special U.N. emissary to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and, in 1993, issued a report on human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia. In 1995, Mazowiecki stepped down in protest of the lack of international response to the atrocities being committed in Bosnia, particularly the Srebrenica massacre.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton was instrumental in pushing NATO to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo. In 1995, his efforts produced Operation Deliberate Force, resulting in the Dayton Accords which ended the Bosnian War. In 1999, the U.S. and other NATO powers sought to end the Kosovo War with the Rambouillet Agreement, but Yugoslavia felt that the agreement forced them to concede too much and refused to sign. This refusal resulted in Operation Allied Force, during which NATO utilized air supremacy and strategic bombing to cripple Serbian forces and force them to withdraw from Kosovo.
- Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt served as the EU's Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia and was a Co-Chairman of the Dayton Conference. He became the first High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war, from 1995 to 1997, and was the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Balkans from 1999 to 2001.
- Other Club de Madrid members involved in the diplomatic process include the late Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor of Germany who oversaw the reunification of East and West Germany, who was a signee to the Dayton Accords, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who urged support for Canada's participation in Operation Allied Force, and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari who, along with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, convinced Serbian President Slobodan Milošević to retreat from Kosovo in accordance with NATO's demands.
List of current members
Regional background of members:
Political affiliation of members:
- Socialist/Social democrat/Centre-left – 35
- Centrist – 16
- Liberal conservative/Christian democrat/Centre-right – 21
- Conservative/Right-wing – 14
- No affiliation – 9
Office held (some members have held both):
List of honorary members
|Aung San Suu Kyi||75||Myanmar||NLD||State Counsellor of Myanmar (2016–present[update])|
|Jimmy Carter||96||United States||Democratic||President of the United States (1977–81)|
|Enrique V. Iglesias||91|| Uruguay
|(unknown)||President of the Inter-American Development Bank (1998–2005)|
Secretary General of the Iberoamerican General Secretariat (2005–13)
|Jacques Delors||95||France||Socialist||President of the European Commission (1985–95)|
|Javier Solana||78||Spain||Socialist||Secretary General of NATO (1995–99) and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (1999–2009)|
List of members of the constituent foundations
|Diego Hidalgo||78||Spain||(unknown)||Founder and President of, and donor to, Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE)|
Founding Member and Senior Fellow of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America (GFNA)
|T. Anthony Jones||(unknown)||(unknown)||(unknown)||Vice-President and Executive Director of GFNA|
|George Matthews||(unknown)||United States||(unknown)||Chairman and co-founder of GFNA|
|José Manuel Romero Moreno||80||Spain||(unknown)||Vice President of FRIDE|
List of former members (deceased)
- The count of former Prime Ministers includes the former Chancellor of West Germany and former Chancellor of Austria as well as the former Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and former Taoiseach of Ireland.
- "Club de Madrid". European Partnership for Democracy (EPD). Retrieved 2021-04-18.
- "Milan Kučan". European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation. 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- "Milan Kučan is the former President of Slovenia, club madrid member". Club de Madrid (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- Gelb, Leslie H. (1993-02-07). "Opinion | Foreign Affairs; Sarajevo, Dead and Alive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- "Zlatko Lagumdzija". www.culturaldiplomacy.org. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- Warsaw Voice Poland Recognizes Kosovo Archived 2010-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
- "NATO Who's who?: Carl Bildt". www.nato.int. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- "Dayton Accords | international agreement". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- "Diego Hidalgo". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Anthony Jones". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "George Matthews". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "José Manuel Romero Moreno". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Official website
- "Members of the Club of Madrid by region (March 2014)" (PDF). Club of Madrid. March 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.