I am very privileged and gratified to talk to you today. I think it is most appropriate to have this meeting at the Humboldt University, Berlin, because of the impetus for the creation of the European network, the sequence of events, and that great turning point of history, which is symbolised by the fall of the Berlin wall. It was that particular impulse that started an enterprise to bring together teachers and students in, first of all, Western European Universities to offer resources to those universities which had only recently emerged in other parts of Europe – the reason we started the Europaeum network.
There are universities because knowledge is always being created and has to be passed on. Research is the lifeblood of the university!
One of the risks of holding a conference like this is the European weather in December; sometimes airports close completely, stranding delegates, and this is exactly what has happened to Dr Norbet Bensel. He sends his sincere apologies that he cannot be here in time and will try and join us as soon as possible.
On behalf of DaimlerChrysler Services, the sponsor of this conference, I too would like to welcome you to this second of three European gatherings supported by our company. Lord Weidenfeld thanked DaimlerChrysler services, but I think he deserves the thanks. It is a little over three years now that we’ve been working not just with the Europaeum, but with other international projects as well, and I guess I would just like to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate your professional cooperation, but also our personal relationship. Thank you very much indeed.