Earlier this month the Alumni Association held a four-day event to reflecting on members’ common history and look ahead to new ventures at the EUI and the future prospects for Europe.
Around 80 people attended the event from 4 to 7 October, which launched with a careers day that allowed alumni to share their experiences with current EUI researchers. Speakers came from academia and the private and public sectors, representing organisations such as the WTO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Commission.
The programme for 5 October was organised in collaboration with the Historical Archives of the European Union. In the morning a ‘Friends of the Historical Archives of the European Union’ working group was created, while alumni who were at the Institute between 1976 and 1980 were given the opportunity to recount their memories.
The afternoon included presentations from current professors and members of staff, including Stefano Bartolini, EUI alumni and the current director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Niels Thygesen, who spent over a decade as a member of the EUI’s High Council and is now based at the University of Copenhagen, also spoke.
In addition the EUI Communications Service presented the Alumni Directory, a new social media site created for alumni members. This was followed by the Alumni Association’s general assembly, where finances and the composition of the Executive Committee were discussed.
The Alumni Conference was held on 6 October, focusing on the future of European integration in a time of crisis. Heated debate ensued, with some seeing the current financial crisis as the optimum time for greater integration, while others argued that the EU was fast losing its legitimacy. Participants included alumni current working for the European Parliament, the EU’s Committee of the Regions and the ILO.
The weekend concluded with a group visit to Villa medicea della Petraia on the outskirts of Florence, with EUI staff Laura Bechi as a guide.
A full account of the Alumni Weekend can be found here.