The European Commissioner Laszlo Andor Is The New Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 18:50

In an official ceremony the Rector of UNWE Prof. D.Sc,(Econ.) Statty Stattev awarded the Honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE to Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. At the event attended the Academic Managing Body of the university, H.E. Andras Klein, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary to Sofia, Ognyan Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, Andriana Sukova – Tosheva, Director of the General Directorate for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities at the European Commission and alumnus of UNWE, the former Minister of Labour and Social Policy Totyu Mladenov, students and guests.

The opening of the ceremony at the Academic Hall

The Rector outlined the most eloquent biographical facts about the European Commissioner and announced the Academic Council decision of conferring the highest Honorary title of UNWE on Laszlo Andor. The title of Doctor Honoris Causa was awarded to him “for merits in the development of the university education and science and contribution to the field of social protection in the European Commission”. The suggestion for his conferring was made by the Human Resources and Social Protection Department and approved by the Academic Council.

Prof. Stattev bestowed on the European Commissioner Andor the academic regalia for the Honorary title – a roll in the Old Bulgarian and Latin language and the Honorary sign of UNWE. A photo of Laszlo Andor was hung on the wall of photos of all Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE.  

Prof. Stattev (on the right) is awarding the Honorary sign to Laszlo Andor.

We hope that in the future the European Commissioner Laszlo Andor will be among us as our colleague not as our guest, outlined Prof. Stattev. He reminded that according to the tradition every year all the awarded Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE should read an academic speech.  

The roll in the Old Bulgarian and Latin language

In his first academic speech Lazslo Andor expressed his thankfulness for the high distinction and opportunity of being again at the University of National and World Economy.

The European Union is facing global challenges, and the protracted financial and economic crisis that has dominated this Commission’s term of office has shown up many of its weaknesses, especially regarding the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union, pointed out Laszlo Andor. The European Commissioner examined also the EU 2020 strategy to drive towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

At the Academic Hall

The new Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE concentrated on the three main issues within his portfolio as a European Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion - youth unemployment, poverty and labour mobility. He examined the recent situation at the unemployment rate of 11% for the EU (for the Eurozone - 12%) and youth unemployment rate of 23% and pointed out the European Commission measures for its overcoming by the so called Youth Guarantee. “The Youth Guarantee means ensuring that every young person receives a high-quality offer of a job, an apprenticeship, traineeship or a new learning opportunity within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education”, outlined Andor.  He specified also the situation in Bulgaria where one in four young people are neither in employment nor in education or training and the loss to the national economy resulting of that is more than 3% of Bulgarian GDP. The main financial support for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in the EU comes from the European Social Fund and 26 Member States including also Bulgaria have Youth Guarantee implementation plans.

Laszlo Andor commented also on the issue of poverty pointing out that from 2008 to 2012 the number of people living in poverty or social exclusion across the EU had gone up by 6.7 million. A reform is needed and the European Commission has made tackling poverty an explicit EU commitment agreeing with Member States that at least 20 million people should be brought out of poverty by 2020. Through two important policy documents - the Social Investment Package (2013) and the White Paper on Pensions (2012), the Commission has been providing guidance for reforms of welfare and social security systems within the Member States.

The Rector is holding the books by Laszlo Andor gifted to the UNWE. They will be available for readers at the university library.

The freedom of movement for workers is a fundamental principle of the European Union along with free movement of goods, services and capital, and a cornerstone of the Single Market, said the Commissioner. He examined the difficulties, the mobile workers’ social security and pension entitlements, the directive adopted in April to ensure Union law on EU citizens’ right to work in another Member State and announced that the number of mobile workers had risen from 4.7 million in 2005 to 8 million in 2013. Andor outlined the positive impact of free movement by Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the EU’s long-term GDP. In the Employment Package (2012), the Commission outlined a vision for a genuine European labour market, together with actions that help achieving it, pointed out the European Commissioner. Strengthening and reforming EURES, the European job-search network, is one of the key actions.

Flowers for the new member of the academic family

The Europe 2020 strategy provides a valid framework for economic and social progress in the European Union. Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. This long term commitment to economic cooperation, solidarity and increasing living standards holds the key to the future of Europe. Our task is to pursue resilient economies and inclusive societies simultaneously, outlined also Laszlo Andor.

In front of the special wall where the photos of all Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE are hung

The Rector of UNWE announced that the academic speech by Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE Lazslo Andor would be published in a special brochure.

The epistle in the Golden Book of UNWE

The European Commissioner read the epistle in the Golden Book of UNWE which had been written by him during his first visit at our university two years ago and confirmed its relevance. In the epistle is said:”It has been an honour to have been invited to this university of great tradition. You have some pioneering achievements which is so important to maintain in an age of global competition. Economists need to know about the economic and also the social reality of Europe – hence the importance of demographic analysis. With analyses and coordinated actions, we can tackle more forcefully challenges like youth unemployment and Roma integration. The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth needs guidance and support. Your students should have advantage of that and other opportunities in the EU. I wish you success!”

Prof. Stattev and the European Commissioner Laszlo Andor laid flowers in front of the monument of Prof. Stephan Bobchev – founder and first Rector of the university (in the picture below).

Laszlo Andor was born in 1966 in Hungary. He has graduated his academic education in the USA and UK. Master of Science in Economics of Budapest University of Economic Sciences. Doctor in Economics. He has been Dean of the College to the same university, editor of a magazine, member of the Board of Directors of the Youth Committee to the Hungarian Economics Association. Professor at the Rutgers University (USA). He has also been a member of the Trustees Council to the European Research Foundation (Europe 2002), expert at the Budget and Finance Commission to the Parliament of the Republic of Hungary, adviser at the World Bank on the SAPRI initiative, adviser at the Prime Minister Office of the Republic of Hungary, etc. Since 2005-2010 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London representing Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia. He has participated in various research projects such as the project of European cooperation in the field of economic policy (EPOC 2002-2005) financed by the EU and the project in the field of economic policy and fight against poverty (2001-2002) financed by the UK. From February 10th 2010 he is a European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

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