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Italian Scholar and Politician Romano Prodi visits PKU and delivers serial lectures

MAY . 02 2017
Peking University, April 27, 2017: Romano Prodi, Italian scholar and politician, also former president of the European Commission, visited Peking University between April 18 andApril 23 and gave three serial lectures on the general topic of “A World in Transition: A European Leader’s Prospect”. The event was undertaken by the Center for Mediterranean Area Studies of Peking University, Department of History, and Office of International Relations, co-organized by Yenching Academy, School of International Studies, and Guanghua School of Management, and sponsoredby Kwang-Hua Education Foundation. 
 
Romano Prodi served as the Prime Minister of Italy twice, from 1996 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2008. He also served as the president of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, and was president of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation since2008. Romano Prodi was appointed as the head of a joint AU-UN panel, which aimed at enhancing peacekeeping operations in Africafrom 2008 to 2010. From 2012 to 2014 he was the Special Envoy for the Sahel.

Recent photo of Romano Prodi
 
On the morning of April 19, Prodi delivered his first lecture focusing on “Europe after Brexit”. He was welcomed by Zhang Fan, dean of History Department of Peking University and Yuan Ming, dean of the Yenching Academy of Peking University. In the opening speech, Zhang Fan emphasized on the enlightenments of the new world pattern, which will later on be brought by Professor Prodi, and Yuan Ming pointed out that Yenching Academy would like to bridge Chinese-western communication just as Marco Polo did hundreds of years ago. The lecture was presided by Fu Xiaotian, hostess of “Talk with the World Leaders”, Phoenix Satellite Television. Prodi first introduced his experiences from his multiple visits to China, and emphasized China’s role in the process of globalization. He recognized the positive effect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the globalization process. Then, Prodi took WWII as an important factor to the European pattern.  He explained that Brexit was the consequence of multiple historical and practical reasons, and answered questions on chief concerns related to Europe, including refugee crisis, terrorist attack, illegal immigration and China-EU relations. 
 

Scene of lecture of Romano Prodi
 
On the afternoon of April 19, Prodi and his team were welcomed by Hao Ping, chairman of Peking University Council; Li Yansong, vice president of PKU; Yuan Ming, dean of the Yenching Academy of Peking University; Zan Tao, deputy dean of PKU's History Department; Niu Dayong, professor of PKU's History Department; Yan Jun and Zheng Ruqing, deputy Directors of PKU's Office of International Relations.
 
 

Romano Prodi with Hao Ping
 
Hao Ping first expressed his welcome for Prodi’s visit. Hao Ping then pointed out that China and Mediterranean area maintained close connection in politics, economy and cultural communication. Mediterranean area studies has significance influence to both the Belt and Road Initiative in China and regional and national studies in PKU. The Center for Mediterranean Area Studiesof Peking University (CMAS) will continue to improve to be an important academic institution and communication platform with joint efforts from Peking University and Professor Prodi. 
 
Prodi suggested that PKU, as one of prestigious universities in the world, has its strength in leading Mediterranean Area Studies in multiple disciplines. Prodijoined Torino World Affair Institute (T.wai) and wasa member of T.wai’s Scientific Committee after his tenure of president of the European Commission and Prime Minister of Italy. T.wai and CMAS has established cooperative partnerships under the guidance and encouragement of Prodi. He agreed to give full support to the development of CMAS. After the meeting, Hao Ping awarded the Certificate for Peking University Global Fellowship to Prodi. 
 
 

Hao Ping issuing Certificate for Peking University Global Fellowship to Prodi
 
On the morning of April 20, Prodi delivered his second lecture focusing on “New World Equilibria”. This lecture was organized by Jinjiu Forum from School of International Studies and presided by Professor Jia Qingguo, dean of School of International Studies. Prodi pointed out that the formation of new equilibria in the changing world pattern is the result of the shift of political powers within countries. He analyzed the trend of policy in the world’s great powers, for example United States, and then concentrated on the change of relationships between United States and Europe, China and Russia.
 
On the morning of April 21, the third lecture series by Romano Prodi, “A sea of opportunities? China, the Mediterranean and the fourth industrial revolution”, was held in Guanghua School of Management. This lecture was presided by Liu Qiao, dean of Guanghua School of Management. Prodi focused on the decisive role of the Mediterranean Sea during different historic periods in political, economic and security aspects. He also pointed out the significance of maritime transportation to the industrial revolutions, especially concerning to the booming Chinese investments in Mediterranean areas in the prospective of “the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
 
In the lecture, Professor Prodi also analyzed the crisis and challenges of Mediterranean areas to the European Union and to Europe. As a hotspot in global politics, Mediterranean areas was gaining attention from rest of the world, focusing on refugee issues, warfare in Syria and contests between world superpowers. As a buffer zone between Europe and Middle East, the refugee issues of Mediterranean areas deserved high attention. Prodi also mentioned the current insecurity atmosphere in Europe owing to the unsupportive attitude of the new-elected US president. He expected united policies and sound diplomatic stance across the European Union. 
 
By delivering three serial lectures, Professor Prodi offered us enlightenments on considering the current world pattern from the aspects of differences between the south and the north Mediterranean countries, China’s Mediterranean policies, anti-globalization trend and immigration issues. 
 
Written by: Pan Xuru
Edited by: Wang Chengsiou
Source: PKU News (Chinese)