Inauguration of SEA-EU 2.0 with a Rectors’ Solemn Ceremony 9 February 2023

The Rector of the University of Cadiz, Francisco Piniella, accompanied by the General Coordinator of the SEA-EU, Fidel Echevarría, presided today, in the Salón de Grados of the Faculty of Medicine of Cadiz, the institutional act of welcome to the rectors and/or government teams of the nine partner universities of the European University of the Seas SEA-EU. The UCA, as the coordinating university of this European alliance, is holding the kick-off meeting of the second phase of the alliance, called SEA-EU FOR ALL, where the technical, executive and government committees are meeting these days with the attendance of their top representatives, project leaders, teams and students.

SEA-EU is made up of the universities of Cadiz, Western Brittany (France), Kiel (Germany), Gdansk (Poland), Split (Croatia) and Malta, joined in this second phase by Naples Parthenope (Italy), Algarve (Portugal) and Nord (Norway). The proposal presented by SEA-EU to the European Commission last June achieved the requested renewal and has considerably increased its budget, with a budget for the next four years of 14.4 million euros (which triples that obtained three years ago).

The Rector of the UCA has welcomed them: “we are inaugurating a new stage in which, as the highest representatives of the universities of the Alliance, we exchange and commit ourselves to support all the work involved in carrying out an initiative of this type”. SEA-EU is a “complex machine, something that only a few years ago seemed like a dream”, which is why, he said, he was pleased “to share with you this legacy, which will remain forever as the first steps in the great transformation of higher education”.

Francisco Piniella explained that it is an honour “to have you here in a university that, although young, is located in a city that is more than three thousand years old, a city whose history has always been lived facing the sea”, as an example, he informed them that the Faculty of Medicine, where this international event is taking place, “is based on what was the first College of Surgery of the Navy in the eighteenth century”. Undoubtedly: “we are united by the sea. That is why nine universities are here that look out over the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea or the Norwegian Sea. With hundreds of thousands of students who are the new generation of this wonderful continent that is Europe”. To conclude, he encouraged them to sail “with a firm and determined course towards the future of European integration that we represent and that we have the obligation to maintain”.

The institutional ceremony was attended by the Rectors of the University of Nord, Hanne Solheim-Hansen, of the University of Algarve, Paulo Águas, of the University of Naples Parthenope, Antonio Garofalo, of the University of Split, Dragan Ljutic, the Pro-Rector of the University of Malta, Frank Bezzina, the Vice-Rector of the University of Gdansk, Arnold Klonczyski, and the Vice-Presidents of the University of Kiel, Eckard Quandt, and of the University of Western Brittany, François-Xavier Rouz-Demare. Their representatives, together with the Rector of the UCA, Francisco Piniella, today took part in the institutional signing of the strategic alliance of the European University of the Seas SEA-EU 2.0.

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