In previous years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has opened the academic year in locations that could be called, without exaggeration, icons of Brussels.
This year, rector Jan Danckaert and chair of the board Karsten De Clerck invite you to the opening of the academic year 2023-2024 in a setting that is iconic for the whole of Europe: the hemicycle of the European Parliament.
In this arena where the most significant European debates take place, Jan Danckaert will deliver his opening speech, emphasising the vital importance of European cooperation for excellence in teaching, research and innovation. And beyond that: the need for a new Renaissance
Jan Danckaert: “The European Parliament is the ideal location for an academic opening session in the context of our EUTOPIA network. My message is: Europe and the world need a new Renaissance and a new Enlightenment. Alliances such as EUTOPIA contribute to this.”
To translate these words into actions, he and the rectors of nine European universities will sign an agreement that will make EUTOPIA a true reference point for academic partnership and connection across Europe. EUTOPIA is an alliance of 10 European universities, with VUB as a founding member. Based on European values such as inclusion, openness, sustainability and the defence of academic freedom, EUTOPIA aims to provide answers to the major challenges of our times.
Leading European speaker Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini is rector of the College of Europe and a former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security. She is the leading European speaker who will give an extra dimension to VUB’s academic opening session in the European Parliament. She will deliver a guest speech devoted to Europe and EUTOPIA. During the opening, the audience will also hear from the chair of EUTOPIA, Tiziana Lippiello, rector of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and from EUTOPIA student representatives.
The academic opening in the European Parliament takes place on Friday 29 September and will start promptly at 15.00.
In light of the strict security protocols, please confirm your attendance by 26 September to Sam Jaspers on 0499 28 34 00.