Professor Valentin Popa
Rector of the “Ștefan cel Mare” University of Suceava
While, at an economic level, Europe is building together, at the cultural and spiritual levels representations of Europe are varied, and the common values to with it aspires seem to still be in the process of accretion. Moreover, from the point of view of the concept it represents and, concurrently, of the reality in which it manifests, Europe itself is a phenomenon in motion.
It is also the role of Universities, whether they are found in the European centre or its periphery, to contribute to the creation of representations of Europe that engender tangible change in the real world. The present is, as you aptly put it, an anticipation of the future; going even further, it is the very crucible in which the future is itself forged. It therefore falls to each institution to envision their long-term internal architecture as being part of a cohesive whole and, even further, to contribute to harmonizing the different existing representations of Europe.
From our perspective, we in Bukovina we can well capitalise upon the multicultural experience of this space, and upon the history of its experience; it is not by accident that Bukovina was considered, not from within but from without, “a miniature Europe”. In moments such as these when we find ourselves at apparent crossroads, as Europe is facing a series of problems that threaten to undermine its very ideals, the future of Europe – in effect our own, individual future – depends not only on the broad-scope structural decisions being taken, but also on everyday occurrences. In the end, for the success of this grand project, high-level political decisions must meet the needs and representations of the common man.