USI hosts Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis

Institutional Communication Service

1 February 2018

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis assumed the leadership of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on November 1, 2017. He has chosen Lugano, city half way between Swiss Plateau and Milan, to present, on February 1, his first impressions of the tasks, responsibilities and challenges that await him as foreign minister. Choosing the Canton of Ticino for his first press conference, and inviting students, academics and citizens, is also a way to emphasise that to succeed, Switzerland's foreign policy needs support inside the country – including in regions like Italian-speaking Switzerland, where prudence is often called for. 

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), an academic institution which stands for Italian-speaking culture, openness to the world and innovation, will host Mr Cassis' '100-days' press conference.

The Rector of USI Boas Erez greeted the Federal Councillor with the following welcome address:

"È un grande onore per me accogliervi all’Università della Svizzera italiana, in questa occasione. Dove ci troviamo qui? Ci troviamo in un luogo fondato come aperto. Où nous trouvons-nous aujourd’hui? Nous nous trouvons dans un lieu fondé comme ouvert. Wo befinden wir uns heute? Wir befinden uns in einem Ort, der als offen gegründet war. Die moderne Universitäten sind alle schon offen. Lange forscht und unterrichtet man an Universitäten, in Bereiche die ein genuines Interesse an die Welt spiegeln. Aber die moderne Universität hatte noch ein nationaler Charakter und war immer den Eliten vorbehalten. 

Et arrive Mai ’68, qui—il y a juste cinquante ans—a bien secoué les habitudes universitaires et profondément modifié la position des universités dans la société. Les professeurs n’entrent plus en cours précédés par des appariteurs: ils sont descendus de leurs chaires pour discuter sur un plan d’égalité avec les étudiants. Aussi, les universités se sont ouvertes à de nouveaux publics, mais elles ont longtemps gardé un caractère national. 

Università della Svizzera italiana is well rooted in its surrounding culture, but its students come from 100 different countries and two out of three of our professors come from abroad. Like all Swiss universities, we collaborate with entities and institutions all over the world and we support the local economy in many different ways. The network of our institutional relations is ever growing and it is beneficial for all of our partners and stakeholders. The research we foster is certainly sparked by genuine curiosity, we do claim the freedom to create, but we act responsibly. This is the university where we are today.

Voilà donc où nous sommes: dans une université ouverte sur le monde, où la création est libre, mais l’action responsable. Das ist wo wir uns zur Zeit befinden: in eine Universität auf die Welt offen, wo man kreative Freiheit hat, wo man aber auch verantwortungsbewusst handelt. Ecco quindi dove ci troviamo: in un'università aperta sul mondo, dove c'è libertà di creare, purché si agisca con responsabilità. 

In conclusione, formulo i miei auguri di pieno successo al Consigliere federale Cassis per il suo lavoro, che dovrà svolgere su un percorso che si preannuncia non privo di insidie. Non sarà facile, ma voglio che lui sappia che in noi potrà sempre trovare il sostegno di chi quotidianamente lavora per costruire una Svizzera aperta, innovativa e competitiva, con l’obiettivo di offrire una via per il futuro per i nostri giovani e il nostro territorio".