Speech by Chairman Dr. Knud Larsen
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my privilege and indeed my pleasure to welcome all of you to the celebration of ECMI’s 10th anniversary.
Ten years! If you have children – or have had children – of that age, you will know that ten years age is an essential point in the course of life. On one hand still child – on the other hand ambitions to behave in a more grown-up way and stile. You have an individual full of energy, vitality and willingness to learn but also an individual with a rapidly growing self-esteem.
This is a picture of today’s ECMI. Still not fully developed, but with energy and vitality working along the lines of our mandate and vision. The ten years now gone has shown and has confirmed the importance of our task – and the results obtained so far have given ECMI recognition in political as well as in scientific circles.
There are lots of challenges to be dealt with in the future. The expansion of EU, the globalisation of politics and economy and the growing of conflicts among people of different race or belief are a mixture, that creates minority problems. We have the ambition to be instrumental - with our knowledge and experience - in attempts to solve these problems where they are or might occur within or near to the European frontiers.
But if this is what we ought to do – and I believe it is – we have to face the shortcomings of ECMI and mainly concentrate on the shortage of economic means. When ECMI was created it was assumed by the Founders that a substantial part of the financing would be contributed by the EU. This has never been received and therefore we do have a gap in our funding.
It is my wish on our anniversary day that our founders will be supportive in our planned attempt to establish closer relations between ECMI and EU. And my wish is not a new one, but a mere repetition of what is dealt with in our statutes, article 4 where the founders impose on ECMI the obligation to apply for what was called “direct funding from EU”. We are prepared to do so, but a successful outcome depends on forces, stronger than ours.
Once again: Welcome to everybody and thank you for coming and for sharing your time with us for a couple of hours.