April 21st 2016

“Europe in the World” – Romano Prodi visiting MCI

Within the scope of the renowned series of lectures organized by the MCI Alumni & Friends Association, the Entrepreneurial School® recently welcomed Romano Prodi, who once acted as Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission.

Primarily known for his political commitment, Romano Prodi has also built an impressive academic career: He holds degrees in both law and economy. More than 300 students, graduates, friends, and partners of MCI were inspired by his profound analysis of the current European crisis, which he presented as part of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series.

Prodi points out that, despite its fascinating and unprecedented development, the European Union has lost momentum: As a leader in industrial production and export, the EU may still be able to keep up with the US and China with respect to economic performance, and yet its global image is gradually declining. Continual enlargement has not only changed the European Union itself, but also the character of its 28 member states. Enthusiastic phases of enlargement have thus given way to wide-spread uncertainty due to processes of globalization, waves of immigration, and economic crises. Nearly all member states have been affected by political crisis. Not many politicians think about what lies beyond the next elections. New political groups displace traditional parties. The power relations within the EU have drastically changed. The traditional balance between Germany, France, and the United Kingdom has been disrupted by internal crises in France and the continued discussions about the UK’s possible withdrawal from the European Union. In addition, the current course of globalization presents a challenge, which the EU is not able to cope with.

Prodi is convinced that remedial action can only be taken by strengthening the EU’s political power. Entering into cooperation with other nations, the EU will gain the power to rise to the current challenges. Prodi thus refers to the three pillars of the European Union: He considers it absolutely necessary to reinstall the balance between budgets, economy, and taxation systems. Common foreign and safety policies must be enforced, if necessary, with the help of a common army. In order to solve the refugee crisis, the EU must tackle the root of the problem and put its focus on peace efforts in Syria and Libya.

The lecture was organized by MCI in cooperation with the Industriellenvereinigung Tirol (IV) and the consular corps of Tyrol. MCI Rector Andreas Altmann was responsible for the moderation of a lively discussion in which the event culminated.

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