In the framework of the "European Elections 2009", Jaime Mayor Oreja, Minister of the Interior of the Spanish Government (1996-2001) and head of the Popular Party's list for the aforementioned elections, gave a keynote speech at the Rafael del Pino Foundation on 16 April 2009. The title of the conference was "Spain and Europe beyond the crisis".
Jaime Mayor Oreja pointed out during his speech that "we are living in times of crisis", but that this crisis has a solution. It will require more Spain and more Europe: "First of all, it is necessary to regenerate the concept of Spain. We need to believe once again in the strength of the concept of the nation as opposed to the current government's residual conception of the state", he said. The reason, in his opinion, is that "a State, a Nation, cannot be a flea market of regional interests (...) It is the sum and not the subtraction that makes a Nation strong". He added that along with more Spain, more Europe will be needed, but a real Europe. "We increasingly need a real European Union, faithful allies who can trust us, a presence in our own right in international decision-making forums, a sense of cooperation and international solidarity that goes beyond the gimmicky propaganda or fickle whims".
Jaime Mayor Oreja was born on 12 July 1951 in San Sebastian. He is an agricultural engineer and began his political career in 1977 when he joined the Unión de Centro Democrático. In 1996 he was appointed Minister of the Interior, a post he held until 2001. He has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 and is currently Vice-Chairman of the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED), among other posts. Jaime Mayor Oreja is also Head of the Spanish Delegation and Spokesman for the People's Party in the European People's Group, and Honorary President of the Basque Country People's Party.