On 18 December 2010, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, one of Italy’s most highly respected economists, died in Rome aged 70 from a heart attack.
After graduating in law and business from Milan’s Bocconi University in 1966, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa completed a Master’s degree in Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1970. As an official at the Bank of Italy from 1968, then Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission (1979–1983), Deputy Director General at the Bank of Italy (1984–1997) and a member of the first Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) (1998–2005), Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa played a leading role in the definition of EMU and the creation of the euro (particularly in drawing up the Delors Report), and also in the establishment of the ECB and the consolidation of its role in the euro zone. His contributions to the theory behind the global financial crisis in 2008 led to him being labelled a ‘euro-optimist’, since he saw the debt crisis in the euro zone as an opportunity to work towards political unity.
The CVCE, in cooperation with ‘Notre Europe’ and the National Foundation for Political Science (FNSP-Sciences Po), has developed a file on Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa with the aim of providing new insight into his personality, his approach and his contribution to European and international economic and monetary affairs over the past 40 years.
This file contains 12 interviews with eminent European figures, all of whom worked closely with Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa during the various stages of his career. Their accounts offer a uniquely personal view of the many aspects of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa’s personality and work. These eyewitnesses all agreed to share their memories with us to pay tribute to a man who, for many of them, had become a close friend. We would particularly like to extend our thanks to them for their cooperation.
The publication was developed under the academic supervision of Renaud Dehousse, Professor and holder of the Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Law and Political Science at Sciences Po Paris, Director of the European Studies Centre and a member of the CVCE’s Committee of Experts. He made a hugely valuable contribution to the project, particularly in organising and conducting the interviews. We extend our sincere thanks to him.