Franco Frattini becomes Doctor Honoris Causa of RANEPA
On November 26, President of the Institute for Eurasian Studies, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2002-2004, 2008-2011) Franco Frattini was awarded RANEPA Doctor Honoris Causa title in a ceremony at the Presidential Academy.
RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau commented on this landmark event: “Mr. Frattini has long been dealing with issues of cooperation between Italy, the European Union and our country, and has extensive experience in the regional, domestic and foreign policy governance, in international relations and European integration. He works closely with Russia, a country that has always been a part of Europe, no matter what political changes occur.”
Dr. Mau especially noted Franco Frattini’s consistent and outspoken disagreement with sanctions against Russia and his regular attempts to promote an update of the cooperation agreements between Europe and our country. The President of Russia awarded him the Order of Friendship in 2012.
The RANEPA Rector said he welcomed a deeper partnership between the Academy and Italian scientists, politicians, business leaders and public officials. He invited Mr. Frattini and H.E. Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano to the 10th Gaidar Forum, to be held at RANEPA from January 15 to 17, 2019, which will bring together interesting participants with the support of diplomats. “Russia and Italy have always had close relations,” Dr. Mau said emphasizing Franco Frattini’s role “in building and maintaining very important cooperation between our countries in this difficult period of European politics.”
The Italian Embassy in Moscow is among the few that are friendly towards Russian citizens, the Rector said welcoming the Italian Ambassador, who follows the tradition of warm relations between Italian diplomats and Russia. Mr. Terracciano stressed that “the main value of any organization is its people, and the involvement of employees in decision-making increases efficiency. Less rigorous disciplinary requirements in companies improve performance, and it really works,” he said. The Ambassador thanked Vladimir Mau on behalf of the Italian Government and appreciated the importance of Franco Frattini being awarded the RANEPA Doctor Honoris Causa title.
After the ceremony, Dr. h.c. Frattini delivered a lecture for RANEPA students on EU-Russian relations. “It is a great honor for me to be at the Academy and to be awarded this title. It is a sign of friendship between our countries,” the guest said before listing significant events in the cultural and political cooperation between Russia and Italy. In 2003, Vladimir Putin invited an Italian delegation to attend the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, and in 2008, Mr. Frattini presented a Russian delegation with symbolic keys to the Church of St. Nicholas. “The cultural, historical, and humanistic foundations of our friendship are something that unites us and needs to be strengthened,” he said.
“The policy of confrontation with Russia is deeply erroneous, as I also said as a minister in 2009. The policy of choosing between friendship with Russia or with Europe has led to distrust between countries and a crisis. A policy of partnership with Russia is badly needed now, as Russia’s involvement is crucial for addressing global problems including terrorism, economic issues, cyber security and others. It is important to address these and other challenges in advance,” the guest added. In his opinion, the European policy with regard to our country needs to be reviewed and the sanctions lifted. No accusations should be made without political analysis, and confrontation should give way to cooperation.
Answering a question about his student years, Mr. Frattini said that he chose jurisprudence while advocating human rights and fighting “injustice and a rule-free world.” In the late 1970s, Italy was seriously threatened by terrorism. The ex-minister is especially proud of helping save the lives of six Italian citizens who were captured by terrorists.
Speaking about the potential areas for cooperation between Italy and Russia, Franco Frattini mentioned energy, scientific research, security, fighting violence in prisons, cooperation and exchange between universities. “We are very interested in the exchange of experience and knowledge, and the Academy has many partners among Italian universities,” the guest concluded.
Summing up the meeting, Director of RANEPA Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service Igor Bartsits proposed expanding cooperation with the companies and institutions in Italy and wished the attending students not only to achieve material benefits in life, but also to be able to do something they would be just as proud of the future.