The Opening Ceremony of the academic year 2015-2016 of the Natolin campus of the College of Europe took place in the Auditorium Copernicus and at the Natolin Palace and Gardens on Thursday, 24 September 2015 at 11:45. The event was live-streamed on the College of Europe website.
Dr Jacek SARYUSZ-WOLSKI, Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Natolin campus, presided over the ceremony and introduced the guest of honour Mr Johannes HAHN, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations.
In his opening address, referring directly to the students and mission of the Natolin campus with its unique European Neighbourhood Policy Chair, Commissioner Johannes HAHN stated: "As future political and business leaders, your specialization in the wider neighbourhood is needed now more than ever."
He then went on to underline what has been achieved so far with the European Neighbourhood Policy and what does not work as had been wished. Commissioner HAHN explained that the revised ENP – which will be launched in November 2015 – will be based on three main pillars: a more targeted differentiation according to partner country, a stronger focus on a limited number of priorities reflecting current EU interests, and a greater flexibility. The floor was then opened for a short Q&A session with the Natolin students. The full speech of Commissioner Johannes HAHN is available here.
After the opening address, Professor Richard BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI, Chairholder of the European Civilization Chair, recalled Fryderyk Chopin, Patron of the Promotion 2015-2016. The full speech of Professor BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI is available here.
The end of the ceremony was greeted by the Natolin Choir singing the College Anthem, which was followed by a standing lunch at the Natolin Palace and Gardens.