The Role of Europe in a Multilateral World
November 19, 2009. Walter E. Edge Lecture.
In his lecture, “The Role of Europe in a Multilateral World,” Romano Prodi will examine the benefits and challenges presented by the European Union’s expansion. Although the enlargement of the union has had significant impact on the democratic transition in eastern Europe and has extended European markets, there is no unanimity on issues of security, energy, and foreign affairs. Prodi maintains that if the EU aims to play a key role on the world’s political stage, it will need to develop an integrated European foreign policy.
Trained in law and economics, Dr. Prodi graduated from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan) and the London School of Economics. He taught at the University of Bologna before entering politics. A founder of the center-left coalition, the Olive Tree, he served as prime minister of Italy from 1996 to 1998. He then served as president of the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, from 1999 to 2004. During that period he presided over the eastward expansion of the European Union and the adoption of the euro as a common currency. He returned to Italian politics, once more serving as prime minister, from 2006 to 2008. Prodi is currently professor-at-large at the Watson Institute for international studies at Brown University.