Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy
October 19, 2016
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined Johns Hopkins SAIS students for a speech during his official state visit to the United States. Renzi stressed his belief in the centrality of education: “Universities today are the places where we build the future.” The prime minister also highlighted his appreciation for Johns Hopkins SAIS’ presence in Europe with its campus in Bologna.
Touching on current events, Renzi reminded students of his contrarian views regarding Europe’s security challenges and the refugee crisis. He believes the real threat to European security comes from marginalization in European metropolises and stagnant growth, not from refugees. The prime minister also explained his strategy to fight populism in Europe. Renzi intends to invest in culture and education as much as he invests in security. Finally, he stated that Europe needs to invest in a strategy of growth and not of austerity. Without investments in innovation, technology and culture, populist forces will shape the future.