Romano Prodi was born in Scandiano (near Reggio Emilia, Italy) in 1939. In 1969 he married Flavia Franzoni; they have two sons, Giorgio and Antonio.
After completing his secondary education at the Liceo Ludovico Ariosto in Reggio Emilia, studied at the Catholic University of Milan, where he took a degree in Law with distinction in 1961, presenting a dissertation on protectionism in the development of Italian industry to Prof. Siro Lombardini. Went on to specialise at the universities of Milan and Bologna, at the London School of Economics under Basil Yamey, Professor of Industrial Economics.
Was Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Stanford Research Institute.
His academic career began at the department of economics and at the Faculty of Political science of the University of Bologna, where he worked as an assistant professor (1963), associate professor (1966) and lastly professor (1971-1999) of industrial organisation and industrial policy.
While lecturing, actively pursued his research work, initially in two areas which have since become mainstream topics in industrial economics: the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and industrial areas (his Modello di sviluppo di un settore in rapida crescita: l'industria della ceramica per l'edilizia, published in 1966, charting the rapid growth of the heavy clay products industry was one of the very first studies of its kind) and antitrust policy (publishing Concorrenza dinamica e potere di mercato in 1967). In the international literature, his name features alongside Giacomo Becattini, Franco Momigliamo and Paolo Sylos Labini among the founders of the Italian school of industrial economics.
Subsequently broadened his research interests to include analysis of the relationships between the State and the market, privatisation policies, the key role played by education systems in promoting economic development and social cohesion, the process of European integration and, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the dynamics of the different capitalist models. Il capitalismo ben temperato, published in 1995 (a collection of essays published in the first half of the 1990s in the journal Il Mulino), and Un'idea dell'Europa (Bologna, 1999) sum up his thinking in all these fields.
From 1974 to 1978 was chairman of the publishing house Societ� Editrice Il Mulino. In 1981 founded Nomisma, one of the leading Italian economic consultancies, and chaired its Scientific Committee until 1995.
Has written editorials for the main Italian newspapers, such as Il Corriere della Sera and Il Sole 24 Ore. Was for many years editor of the journal L'Industria - Rivista di economia e politica industriale. In 1992 presented on RaiUno the television programme "Il tempo delle scelte", a series of six lectures on economics.
From November 1978 to March 1979 was Industry Minister. From November 1982 to October 1989 was Chairman of the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI), at the time Italy's largest holding company. Under his chairmanship, IRI underwent far-reaching reorganisation, embarking on a process of change and preparing its subsidiaries for privatisation.
Called back to the helm of IRI in May 1993 and successfully saw through the privatisation of large companies like Credito Italiano and Banca Commerciale Italiana.
In February 1995 founded the Ulivo centre-left coalition, which appointed him as its candidate for the Premiership. At the April 1996 general election the Ulivo beat the centre-right coalition, and in May 1996 the President of the Republic therefore invited him to form the new government. Having obtained a vote of confidence from both Houses of the Italian Parliament that same month, the Prodi Government remained in office until October 1998. One of its achievements was to secure Italy's place in the first wave of countries adopting the euro.
In March 1999 was appointed President of the European Commission by the European Council, and his appointment was confirmed in September 1999 by a vote of confidence in the European Parliament.
During his academic and institutional career, Romano Prodi has been awarded a number of recognitions.
He was made an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1989) and an Honorary Member of the Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Politicas, Madrid (1997). In May 1999 he was awarded the Schumpeter Prize of the Schumpeter Society, Vienna.
He also holds a number of honorary degrees, such as those conferred by the University of Madras, India (January 1998), the University of Sofia, Bulgaria (February 1998), the Polytechnical University of Barcelona, Spain (December 1998), Brown University, United States (May 1999), the University of Michigan, United States (December 1999), the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania (January 2000), the Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (February 2000), the University of Malta (March 2000), the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Italy, the University of Ottawa, Canada, the Freedom Prize from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland (2000), Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea (October 2000), the University of Pisa, Italy (October 2001), the University of Tirana, Albania (November 2001), the Institute of Enterprise, Madrid, Spain (MBA Diploma, February 2002), the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (April 2002), the University of Pavia, Italy (Gold Medal in Economics, 2002), the University of Skopje, Macedonia (February 2003), the University of Tunis, Tunisia (April 2003), and the University of Tunis (Doctorat Honoris, mars 2003).
Friday 25th Feb
Session I: Cultural development and cooperation between Mediterranean cities
Moderated by Giovanna Pancheri (Anchor Sky TG 24)
Cultural development and cooperation between Mediterranean cities. How to support cultural development projects between cities and countries of the Mediterranean to foster Culture as a
vehicle of economic and social growth, hence stability and peaceful coexistence.
9.30 am: Keynote speech by Prof. Romano Prodi - former President of the European Commission.
09.40 am - 11.30 am: “Urban dialogues”, Mayors' open talk session
During this session mayors will be invited to discuss the topics addressed by the keynote speakers to debate priorities and share possible solutions.