Ambassador Vincenzo Schioppa has been appointed Secretary General of the European University Institute (EUI) of Florence. After serving in South Africa and in Libya, the ambassador will now replace Pasquale Ferrara as the head of the Institute which was created 40 years ago by the six founding countries of the European Union and that is now sponsored by 21 member States and the European Commission. The EUI boasts world excellence in higher education, with PhD programmes and post-graduate courses offered in Economics, History, Law, Political and Social Sciences. It collaborates with top research centres renowned for their interdisciplinary courses like the Schumann Center and the Max Weber Programme. It keeps the historic archives of the European Union and of the Court of Justice in the splendid Villa Salviati, made available by Italy, as well as in other prestigious historic buildings in Florence and Fiesole. The Institute is staffed by over 1000 people, including faculty members, researchers and employees from sixty different countries, thus creating one of the most vibrant intellectual communities in Europe and in the world.