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Europe Day Educates Public, Businesses, Students on European Union

Duquesne University will celebrate Europe Day on Wednesday, May 9, marking the steps taken in 1950 toward creating the European Union (EU).

Thanks to an $85,000 grant from the Delegation of the European Commission, this Europe Day observance will introduce students, the general public, tourists and regional businesses to the political, cultural and business impact of the founding of the EU.

“Just as Europe will celebrate on Europe Day, so will we,” said Dr. Mary McKinney, director of Duquesne University’s Chrysler Corporation Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Duquesne University Center for International Regulatory Assistance (CITRA). “This is an attempt by the European Union to educate American business and local communities about the EU in the hopes of better understanding and relations between the U.S. and EU countries.”

“We particularly want to get students involved to understand the EU more through Europe Day, concentrating on political, cultural and economic aspects,” said Daniel Assmus, marketing and research assistant with CITRA. “Business was a focus when the EU started, but the European Union goes beyond that to social and political institutions, not just economics.”

Europe Day events, including lunch, entertainment, speeches and a trade show, will start at 11:15 a.m. with a keynote speech by Anthony Smallwood, spokesman for the Delegation of the European Commission, and end at 4:30 p.m. Smallwood will explore the past, present and future cooperation between the EU and the U.S. in his keynote address, The European Union: U.S. Global Partner for the 21st Century.

Those attending also will have the opportunity to join and hear panel discussions on European harmonization and cultural diversity, as well as EU expansion, its constitution and cultural preservation, starting at 1:30 p.m. Panelists will include honorary consuls from Austria, the Slovak Republic, Italy, France, Denmark and the British-American Business and World Affairs councils, as well as the director of the Center for Trade Development with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Through the end of the year, SBDC and CITRA will continue to provide a series of business seminars, Webinars discussing exports and regulations for specific industries, and other events to familiarize western Pennsylvanians with the EU and the practical aspects of doing business abroad.

Two Duquesne students, winners of an essay contest, will travel with the SBDC, CITRA and about 10 Pennsylvania companies to Medica, the world’s largest medical device trade show, in Dusseldorf, Germany, in November.

“This is very important to Pittsburgh because the field of medical devices is a strong industry in Pittsburgh,” McKinney said. “Europe is still a little more traditional, in a sense, because a lot of business is done at the trade shows. Companies go there to look for businesses and suppliers.”

Strengthening these European-western Pennsylvania ties makes good business sense for the region, McKinney said.

Additionally, the grant will allow seven informational seminars on the EU to be presented in local communities, sponsored by high schools, universities or local civic organizations such as Rotary or Lions Clubs. Interested sponsors may contact CITRA at 412.396.4663 or via e-mail at citra@duq.edu. For more information, visit www.treatyofrome.com.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.