Romano Prodi is an Italian economist and politician who was Prime Minister of Italy between May 1996 and October 1998 and subsequently held the post of President of the European Commission until 2004. He has been the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Italy since 2006.
Graduated cum laude in law from the Catholic University of Sacred Heart of Milan and a doctorate with a thesis about protectionism of domestic industry in Italy, Romano Prodi began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Bologna in 1963. Three years later, he became professore incaricato obtaining in 1971 the chair of Political Economy and Industrial. Romano Prodi has also been a visiting professor at Harvard University and the Stanford Research Institute.
His political career began in 1978, when he became Minister of Industry and later in 1982, Romano Prodi was appointed by Giovanni Spadolini as President of the Public Holding Company IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale). In 1996, he went to the head of the coalition “El Olivo” in the general elections of Italy and after the electoral victory of the group, was elected Prime Minister. The performance of the Romano Prodi government was focused on the reorganization of the Italian economy in order to solve the major economic crisis and achieve the entrance of Italy into the European single currency project.
Between 1999 and 2004, Romano Prodi was appointed President of the European Commission and following the ending of his term, he returned to Italian politics. In May 2006, Romano Prodi became President of the Council of Ministers, to be convened to form a government by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, however, two years later submitted his resignation.
His long experience as a politician and economist, enabled him to become one of the most recognized experts in Europe to treat some of the more topical issues such as the economic crisis or the use of renewable energy.