Graduated in Economics at the University of Palermo, Dr. Villafranca got a Master degree and a PhD in International Politics and Economics at the Catholic University of Milan, where he was also awarded with the “Premio Gemelli”. After a brief experience as junior reseacher at the CNR (National Research Council), in 1998 Dr. Villafranca joined ISPI’s staff. He is currently Head of the European Programme and Senior Research Fellow at ISPI. From 2000 he is also lecturer of International Relations at the Bocconi University in Milan. Member of the “Team Europe” Italian delegation from 2003 to 2009, in 2011 he was awarded by the State Department of the USA in the framework of its cultural exchange Programs.