To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Delegation of the European Union, the Italian Embassy and the Lebanese American University (LAU) in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, organised a lecture on the topic of: "Europe at Sixty. A State of the Union". The topic was presented by Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, Secretary General of the European University Institute.
The lecture focused on the main achievements of the last 60 years and on the current challenges that the European Union faces. It also discussed potential scenarios for the EU's future.
The event was opened by Dr Georges Najjar, Provost at LAU, Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, and Ambassador of Italy Massimo Marotti.
Ambassador Grassi stated that “Most of the dream is reality”. He added: “it is time to turn our weakness into a new strength and recreate a new European solidarity. The reasons to be together as a union are still strong and Europe can still be a key player on the international scene. United we stand, divided we fall”.
Dr. Georges Najjar highlighted the commitment of LAU in strengthening the partnership with the EU on key values: “Human Rights, Democracy, Diversity, Rule of Law, Gender Equality, and multi-lateral cooperation in pursuit of a better future for the coming generations”.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Lassen said: "The 60th anniversary creates an opportunity to look back on how much we have achieved throughout the years. It is a reminder of why we decided to have the EU in the first place and why countries have decided to join this cooperation. And we are proud of what we have achieved."
Ambassador Marotti emphasized that “the European integration process cannot stop as a result of the current crisis and the new challenges. Addressing the people’s concerns in order to relaunch the European model is our key challenge”.
Link to European University Institute http://www.eui.eu/Home.aspx
VINCENZO GRASSI biography:
Vincenzo Grassi was appointed Secretary General of the EUI in December 2016. He assists and advises the President in all institutional external affairs and diplomatic matters, including relations with EU member states, EU institutions, and third countries. He also deals with the management of the EUI administration and all tasks delegated to him in this regard.
A career diplomat and expert on European Institutions, Vincenzo Grassi served most recently as Italy’s Ambassador to Belgium. He has been Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union (2007-2012), and subsequently Principal Director for European Integration at the DG for the EU within Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013). He was appointed Head of the Department for European Policies (DPE) within the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in 2014, before returning to the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation.
Secretary General Grassi obtained his laurea magistrale in Law from the University of Naples Federico II in 1982, and participated in the Cycle Etranger at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in 1985-86. He has been a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, and is the author of various publications on European politics.