On 20 October 2020, the College of Europe in Natolin held its official Opening Ceremony of the Academic Year 2020/2021.
On this special occasion, we had the privilege to host Mrs Sviatlana TSIKHANOUSKAYA, Leader of the Democratic Belarus, who delivered an inspiring keynote address to the Natolin students of the Mário Soares Promotion, professors and members of staff.
"It is a true privilege to open a new academic year at the College of Europe. I am here first and foremost as a Belarusian who wants positive changes for my country."
In her speech, Mrs TSIKHANOUSKAYA gave us her precious perspective on the situation in Belarus, highlighting stories of unity, solidarity and courage, and gave us hope for a better future.
"Dear students, I believe in you, you can build bridges between different nations, the future of the EU is in your hands, long live Europe, long live Belarus!"
During the ceremony Mrs Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA, Vice-Rector of the College of Europe, gave the opening address to the students of the Mário Soares Promotion presenting the promotion patron and stressing the importance of the visit of our guest of honour. In her words: "Every European and everyone with faith in human dignity, freedom, peace, and justice feels a sincere commitment towards the Belarusian cause."
The Vice-Rector also expressed her solidarity with the entire Natolin community on this special day: "My thoughts are with our students that could not take part in this ceremony in person because of the sanitary measures. I am proud of your unwavering cooperation, involvement, and commitment."
Mrs Federica MOGHERINI, Rector of the College of Europe, was connected live from the Bruges campus and delivered an address to all the guests and a special message of support to students: "I think this year will be even more important than other Promotions have been for past students, because the bonds that you manage to establish in difficult times are sometimes even stronger than the ones you establish in normal times."
The ceremony was marked by beautiful musical performances by this year's Natolin Choir conducted by Mrs Katarzyna BONIECKA, as well as by the talent of Belarusian singer Mrs Tatiana TROJANOWSKA and pianist Mr Jakub LUBOWICZ. Last but not least, our Student Representative Ms Sara RUISEÑOR GARCIA conveyed a heart-warming and inspiring address to her fellow students and present guests.
Video highlights of the Opening Ceremony
Take a look at our video featuring the highlights of this inspiring day and the heartening testimonials of our current students!
All videos of the Opening Ceremony
Musical performance by the Natolin Choir ("Ode to Joy")
Film about Mário SOARES, Promotion Patron 2020/2021, introduced by Mrs Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA, Vice-Rector of the College of Europe
Speech by Mrs Federica MOGHERINI, Rector of the College of Europe
Speech by Mrs Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA, Vice-Rector of the College of Europe
Film about the revolution in Belarus
Keynote speech by Mrs Sviatlana TSIKHANOUSKAYA, Leader of the Democratic Belarus
Musical performance by Mrs Tatiana TROJANOWSKA
Speech by Ms Sara RUISEÑOR GARCIA, Natolin Student Representative
Musical performance by the Natolin Choir ("Gaudeamus igitur")
Musical performance by Mr Jakub LUBOWICZ ("Imagine")
Full recording of the Opening Ceremony