Keynote speaker: Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, 1999-2004 and former Prime Minister of Italy, 1996-1998, 2006-2008
In February 1995, Romano Prodi founded the 'Olive Tree' centre-left coalition, which designated him as its candidate for premiership.
The coalition won the 1996 election and, in May 1996, he was appointed Prime Minister. He remained in office until October 1998. The bold measures introduced by his cabinet enabled Italy to meet the Maastricht criteria for joining the Eurozone.
From 1999 to 2004 he was President of the European Commission. During his presidency, the Euro was successfully introduced, the Union was enlarged with the addition of ten new countries from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was signed.
In 2006 Romano Prodi was elected leader of the centre-left coalition in Italy and after a victory in the 2006 elections he became Prime Minister, until 2008.
Romano Prodi was also President of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation, from 2008-2010 he was named Chairman of the United Nations-African Union High-level Panel for Peacekeeping in Africa.