On January 30, 2012, Universidad Europea de Madrid hosted a special event titled 'The values of the transition and its transfer to the modern world', which was attended by the youngest member of Congress, Belén Hoyo, and the historic socialist leader Alfonso Guerra, a member of Congress since 1977.
The event was organized with the Association for the Defense of the Transition (Asociación para la Defensa de la Transición) as a tribute to Adolfo Suarez and coincided with the launch of UEM’s Adolfo Suarez Centre for Excellence for Research in Values and Global Society. "In the globalized world that we live in, universities have a responsibility to generate and transfer knowledge, but we also need to show our students the importance of ethical and moral values so that they can integrate into society with respect, trust and commitment. Adolfo Suarez, in a single name, encompasses everything that our Centre of Excellence for Research in Values and Global Society wants to honor: integrity, honesty, social responsibility and tolerance." said Agueda Benito, Rector of Universidad Europea de Madrid.
During the event, Belén Hoyo and Alfonso Guerra discussed the role of the Spanish transition to democracy as the driver of contemporary society from their respective generational perspectives. Hoyo noted the great work done by those politicians who "discovered in dialogue a new way of conducting politics that made working together the tool to reach consensus. Thanks to them and their efforts, the children of the eighties and today think of democratic rights as natural."
Alfonso Guerra fondly recalled the time he spent with the president. "Suarez embodied the perfect example of the two sides of being human and being a politician, which created the foundations of equality, education, democracy and consensus. Hard working, but secretive, he rose through a system that he ultimately brought down. He understood better than anybody the need to bring democracy to Spain." he said.
The journalist and UEM professor, Manuel Campo Vidal, recalled the path Suarez took as symbolic of the Spanish transition and made special mention of the importance of the vision that people like Suarez, Sabino Fernández Campo, Santiago Carrillo and José María Aznar, among others possess. "Suarez was the key to opening up francoism. He also had the courage, the intelligence and the ingenuity to negotiate with the opposition. His appointment surprised everyone, but so did his leadership and policy management capabilities," he added.
Hipólito Suárez, brother of former president, closed the ceremony by transmitting, on behalf of the whole Suárez family, their thanks to Universidad Europea de Madrid for this recognition.