On Monday, October 22nd, our University had the pleasure to host the conference “Europe: Mirage or Reality?”
This was the closing event of a three-year long project called “Europeans” that started in 2015, and the main goal was to promote the debate regarding the European Union among university students to increase their awareness as citizens.
In his welcome speech, Gianmario Verona, Rector of Bocconi University, focused on the resonance between the University motto “Knowledge that Matters” and the impact of social, judicial and political sciences at the European level.
The president of the University, Prof. Dr. Mario Monti, had the pleasure to introduce the keynote speaker, as well as former colleague and friend, Senator Emma Bonino. His highlights on her role in the European context, particularly as the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs from 1995 to 1999, remarked her vigorous dedication in promoting human rights in Europe.
The firing speech held by Senator Bonino certainly left no one indifferent to the current internal and external issues which affect and undermine the European Union. The global economic and political instabilities such as the war in Syria, the military moves of China, and the new foreign policy of the US are just some of the challenges that the EU is facing. However, these changing dynamics and the surge of many regional powers all over the world should revamp the European dream, says Bonino. She continued by addressing the "within" issues, pointing out the failure of a "European state" in favor of the "Europe of states" as the result of the risky take of the intergovernmental aspect over the communitarian aspect.
Bonino called to take action to improve the situation starting from a national level, remarking that “we have to build a future, it does not fall from the sky” to the crowd of students filling the Aula Magna. Using the power of knowledge as a democratic weapon and the sense of European belonging as a shield against the ghost of nationalism, we should stand up without being frozen by fear and yet, give weight to the many small episodes of “vocal and tribal” violence that fill the net every day. This is the key to build a new cultural, political and economic renaissance for the EU to be able to deal with the challenges of today, according to Senator Bonino.
The conference was followed by a presentation of the book “The state of the Europeans”, offered by Lorenzo Cuocolo, during which he outlined the purpose of the book: granting the opportunity to everyone to know the mechanisms and the functioning of such a complex reality as the EU, in order to defend it in the best way possible.
Andrea Boroli, Vice president of the Foundation Achille, and Giulia Boroli continued afterwards to deliver the prize for the Best Student Thesis on the European Union and to stress the long-lasting collaboration between the university and the foundation.
The closing speech was reserved to Bruno Pavesi, the CEO of Bocconi University, who underlined the importance of motivation and commitment to shape our future.