» Feb. 11: European Parliament President Martin Schulz to Receive Honorary PhD, Discuss Future of Israel-EU Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Feb. 11: European Parliament President Martin Schulz to Receive Honorary PhD, Discuss Future of Israel-EU Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Submitted by on Mon, 10/02/2014 - 14:12

Will deliver lecture: "Israel-European Union: How Can We Tackle Future Challenges Together?"

Recognized for his leadership, dedication to human rights, and efforts to deepen the European Union’s relations with Israel and Israeli universities

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem will confer an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree upon Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. The ceremony will take place at the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, during President Schulz's visit to Israel.

The honorary doctorate will be presented in recognition of President Schulz’s leadership in the national and international arenas; his dedication to human rights; his longtime efforts to deepen the European Union’s relations with Israel, in particular through his advocacy of European support for research at Israel’s universities; and in tribute to his public condemnations of anti-Semitism, exclusion and intolerance.

Following the conferment, President Schulz will deliver the lecture: "Israel-European Union: How Can We Tackle Future Challenges Together?"

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: “The Hebrew University is proud to award its highest honor to the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz. We are grateful for his efforts to enhance the relationship between Israel and Europe, especially in the area of European support for Israeli academia and research. We are equally impressed by his principled leadership of the European Union, his steadfast support for human rights, and his rejection of anti-Semitism, exclusion and intolerance within Europe.”

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said: “I am deeply honoured to be awarded Doctor honoris causa by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, such a prestigious institution in the history of Israeli higher education. It has always been a centre of excellence in the scientific field and a reference as a centre of peace and dialogue. Not only do Israeli universities have a fantastic and growing global reputation, there are close ties between the EU and Israel. Israeli researchers are benefitting from EU funds, and the EU is benefitting from the hi-tech innovative private public partnerships that are a shining example to all." 

President Schulz added: "Israel and Europe are building an unprecedented and strong community of interest in the academic field, which will culminate soon with the formal participation of Israel in the EU science and research programme Horizon 2020. I pay tribute to the commitment of the Jean Monnet Chair on EU integration studies in being instrumental in strengthening the relations between European and Israeli citizens, who share the same fundamental values. I am particularly happy to see that a growing number of Israeli students are participating in the Erasmus Mundus exchange programme."

Prof. Ben-Sasson of the Hebrew University added: "Cooperation with the European Union and Germany are among the Hebrew University's most important international relationships, enabling us individually and in partnership to lead the world's scientific and technological progress. This cooperation, which continues to grow, is evident throughout the university: from European Research Council grants, to our European Forum, Minerva Institutes, Center for German Studies and the new Max Planck-Hebrew University Center to study sensory processing and the brain in action."

Born on 20 December 1955, Martin Schulz grew up in Hehlrath, Germany, close to the German-Dutch-Belgian borders. After high school he did an apprenticeship as a bookseller, and in 1982 he opened his own bookstore in Würselen, which he successfully ran for 12 years. Joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany at the age of 19, he started out his political career. Aged 31, he was elected as the youngest mayor of North Rhine-Westphalia, a post he held for 11 years.

Since 1994, Martin Schulz is a Member of the European Parliament and has served in a number of committees, first serving on the sub-committee on Human Rights and then on the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs. He led the SPD MEPs from 2000 and was subsequently elected Vice-Chair of the Socialist MEPs.

In 2004 he was elected group leader of the second largest group in the European Parliament. As leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz campaigned for social justice, promoting jobs and growth, reforming financial markets, fighting climate change, championing equality and creating a stronger and more democratic Europe.

Martin Schulz was elected President of the European Parliament on 17 January 2012. He is married with two children.

Throughout his career Martin Schulz has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the security of Israel and an authentic commitment to deepening and strengthening the relationship between Europe and Israel. In an interview before assuming the office of President, he declared that Germany’s integration in the EU, “along with the German commitment to Israel's security, are the raison d'état of Germany in the modern era, and we must hold to that."

Since assuming the Presidency he has reaffirmed that the struggle against anti-Semitism, exclusion and intolerance are at the heart of the European project. At the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in the European Parliament several days after he took office, he said: “As a German representative I feel that I have a very specific responsibility… For me this means that whoever today is representing the German nation has one first duty: to take into account our responsibility to the Jews in the world today... Whatever is happening in the world today; anti-Semitism, action against the existence of the Jewish community, of the state of Israel or whatever, we are the first ones who have to defend our Jewish friends.”

About the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's premier academic and research institution, consistently ranked among the top universities worldwide. Serving 23,000 students from 80 countries, it trains the public, scientific, educational and professional leadership of Israel and world. Producing a third of Israel’s civilian research, it is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. The Hebrew University was founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann. In the last decade, faculty and alumni have won seven Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal.

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