Posted on 16 June 2012
Yesterday dozens of researchers gathered in the church of the Badia Fiesolana to formally accept their PhD or LLM certificates, while a number of awards for outstanding theses were also awarded.
EUI President ad interim Marise Cremona opened the conferring ceremony, praising the “tremendous achievement” of the new doctors and recognising the support given by family and friends throughout the process. In all, 91 PhD and two LLM certificates were awarded, in what Cremona described as “one of the most enjoyable days in the EUI calendar”.
Five additional awards were presented, the newest being the ‘James Kay Memorial Prize for the Best Thesis in History and Visuality’, awarded to Achilleas Hadjikyriacou for his thesis that examines the political contours of film; ‘Men in Crisis: Representations of Masculinity and Gender Relations in Greek Cinema, 1950-1967’.
Two prizes were awarded to law students; the ‘Mauro Cappelletti Prize for the Best Thesis in Comparative Law’, given to Michal Bobek for his work entitled ‘Comparative Reasoning in European Supreme Courts: A Study in Foreign Persuasive Authority’. The second, ‘The Jacqueline Suter Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in European Law’, went to Sacha Margaretha Maria Garben’s thesis, ‘Harmonisation by Stealth: The Bologna Process and European Higher Education Law’.
Yvette Peters was awarded the ‘François Mény Prize for the Best Comparative Study of Political Institutions’ for her work entitled ‘Patterns of Change. A Study of the Relation Between Political Participation and Institutions’, while Theresa Kuhn’s thesis, ‘Individual Transnationalism and EU Support: An Empirical Test of Deutsch’s Transactional Theory’, received the ‘Linz-Rokkan Prize in Political Sociology’.
Two Honoris Causa degrees were also awarded; to Jacques Delors and Marek Safjan. In light of the grave challenges facing Europe, in his acceptance speech Safjan highlighted the importance of the past 30 years of change, and pointed to the importance of an integrated Europe.
Jannis Avram Panagiotidis, collecting his PhD from the Department of History and Civilization, said that along with bringing old friends back together, the ceremony was an important reflection of the EUI’s outlook: “It’s feeling the international community and the spirit of the place; that comes to life when you see everyone that filled the place.”
Visiting Fiesole to pick up her LLM, Lu Yiwei was moved by the church setting and the atmosphere of the ceremony, which was filled with families and friends of the researchers. “How they arrange the event with the choir and the music is very special. It’s not only serious and academic; it’s also a very beautiful event.”
The presentations were complimented by a piece from the EUI Choir, and two performances by the Quartetto La Fenice, a group of musicians aged 11 to 13.