University of Pittsburgh
April 1, 2008

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker to Present Distinguished Lecture at Pitt April 10

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, will present a distinguished lecture and receive an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. April 10 in the Connelly Ballroom, Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Juncker is also Luxembourg's Minister of State and Minister of Finance.

"Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the longest-serving head of government in the European Union and one of the most popular, is a highly respected leader," says Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "He is widely admired for his visionary thinking and for successfully balancing his nation's own interests while maintaining Luxembourg's vital role in the European Union. We are honored to host His Excellency for a Distinguished Lecture and to present him with an honorary doctoral degree."

For many years, Prime Minister Juncker has strongly supported research collaboration involving Pitt faculty and scholars in Luxembourg, says Alberta Sbragia, director of Pitt's European Union Center of Excellence/European Studies Center. "He is widely considered to be one of the most respected political leaders within the EU, as well as being a key supporter of transatlantic research and scholarly research," adds Sbragia, who also is the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair and Jean Monnet Professor "ad personam."

The honorary degree from Pitt is one of many prestigious awards Juncker has received in recognition of his commitment to European integration. Other honors and awards include the 2006 International Charlemagne Prize.

During his 1989-94 term as president of the "Ecofin" Council, Juncker was one of the principal architects of the Maastricht Treaty. In 1991, he saved the Economic and Monetary Union negotiations during an informal meeting of 12 finance ministers by creating the "opting out" principle for the United Kingdom.

In 1996, the international press dubbed Juncker "the hero of Dublin" for his successful mediation during delicate negotiations between then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany and then-President Jacques Chirac of France.

In 2005, Juncker was elected the first permanent president of Eurogroup, an institution that brings together the ministers of finance of the Eurozone member states. Juncker currently heads a government comprising the Christian Social Party and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party.

Following secondary-school studies in Belgium and Luxembourg, Juncker earned a degree in law at the Law Faculty of the University of Strasbourg in 1979.

For more information, contact Timothy Thompson at 412-624-3503 or tst@pitt.edu.

###

4/2/08/tmw