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EUROPEAN UNION
from issue no. 02 - 2007

The Conference on the Capitoline organized by the De Gasperi Foundation

Our first fifty years



by Roberto Rotondo


As part of the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of The Treaty of Rome, the Alcide De Gasperi Foundation organized, in collaboration with the Mayor of Rome, an International Conference entitled: “Fifty years of Europe: Europe year zero?” The Conference, under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, of the President of the Senate, of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Prime Minister and of the Minister for Foreign Affairs was held on 23 and 24 March 2007 in the Giulio Cesare Hall of the Senatorial Palace on the Capitoline, in the same places in which the the Treaties setting up the EEC and Euratom were signed fifty years ago.
The opening ceremony, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, included speeches by the Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, Giulio Andreotti, President of the De Gasperi Foundation, Franco Marini, President of the Senate, Fausto Bertinotti, President of the Chamber of Deputies, and by the Prime Minister, Romano Prodi. The Conference consisted of three roundtables in which Italian and European speakers, from the world of politics, economy and culture, debated the key questions and basic options that will shape the future face of the European Union.
The authoritativeness of the many speakers made the Conference organized by the De Gasperi Foundation and its Secretary General Armando Tarullo, the most important arena of reflection and enquiry in the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the European Community in Italy.
The speakers at the first round table (“Fifty years of Europe: yesterday, today, tomorrow”) were José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Senator Emilio Colombo and the Honorable Pier Ferdinando Casini, as President of the Foundation of the Chamber of Deputies. At the second roundtable (“What to do today?”) the speakers were instead the Minister for European Policy, Emma Bonino, the Representative of the House of Lords, Douglas Hurd of Westwell, Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for the Safeguarding of Consumers, Bronislaw Geremek, former Polish Foreign Minister and now Member of the European Parliament. At the third roundtable (“Europe in a changing world”) the speakers were Jacques Delors, one of the most authoritative Presidents that the European Commission has had in its history, the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Herman De Croo, President of the Belgian Chamber of Deputies, and Leonard Orban, European Commissioner for Multilinguism. The Conference was closed by the Foreign Minister, Massimo D’Alema and Senator Giulio Andreotti.


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