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Lecture Held by Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament

Update:Feb. 22, 2008
Lecture by Dr. Pöttering
Lecture by Dr. Pöttering
Dr. Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
Dr. Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
Lecture by Dr. Pöttering
Lecture by Dr. Pöttering
From the left: Prof. Tatsuya Sakamoto, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education, Prof. Yuichiro Anzai, President of Keio University and Dr. Pöttering and his entourage Photo: Satoru Inoue
From the left: Prof. Tatsuya Sakamoto, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education, Prof. Yuichiro Anzai, President of Keio University and Dr. Pöttering and his entourage

Photo: Satoru Inoue

On Wednesday, 6 February, Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament and his entourage visited Mita Campus, and after meeting with Prof. Yuichiro Anzai, President of Keio University and Prof. Tatsuya Sakamoto, Vice President for International Collaboration and Education, he gave a lecture entitled "The Lisbon Treaty and the Future of the European Union", which was presided over by Jean Monnet Professor Toshiro Tanaka of the Faculty of Law. Despite the snowy weather, more than 150 attendees including Keio University students and EU researchers filled the Conference Hall at the Old University Library where the lecture was held.

At the opening of the lecture, Dr. Pöttering referred to the motto of Keio University, "the pen is mightier than the sword", and pointed out the commonality with the EU's mission to set high values on peaceful means, and praised Yukichi Fukuzawa for his foresight. The year 2008 has been designated European Year of Inter-Cultural Dialogue, and Dr. Pöttering mentioned that he chose Japan as his first destination for an official visit to Asia because Japan and the EU share fundamental values of democracy, and because Japan is an important partner in ensuring international peace and stability.

In regards with the Treaty of Lisbon, which was signed on 13 December 2007, he explained that the treaty recognizes more rights and freedom for European citizens, gives the European Parliament power as co-legislator and reinforces the dual legitimacy of the States and peoples. It also enhances the EU's capacity to act more strongly in areas such as diplomacy and security in addition to trade and currency. He also mentioned that all member countries are to ratify the Treaty by the end of 2008 so that it can enter in force on 1 January 2009.

As for the years to come, he pointed out that fighting climate change is the most pressing challenge we face, that the cost of failing to act would be very high and that fighting global warming is also an imperative of economic rationality. The EU aims at cutting 20% of its emissions of CO2 by 2020, and a 30% cut in emissions was proposed at the European Council last year. He expressed his belief that the EU and Japan should have a co-leadership on global action in combating global warming. The forthcoming G8 Hokkaido Toyoko Summit will be a crucial follow up meeting after the Conference in Bali (COP13), and he encouraged young attendees to lead the next generation and expressed his wishes for new environmentally-friendly technologies to be developed in Japan.

At the question and answer session, students and researchers asked about the ratification procedure of the Treaty of Lisbon, the relation of the European Parliament and national parliaments, independence issues within the EU and future EU-China relations, and Dr. Pöttering answered each question sincerely giving specific examples, and a meaningful exchange was made.