The Blaise Pascal University organised a conference about:“Europe and Sustainable Developpement”.
Eva QUISTORP, FMA Member, participated in this event.
Mission report: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
It was a very good experience to participate in the university event in Clermond Ferrand, which was very well prepared by Professor Diemer, who is an expert in sustainable studies and has built a cooperation with Professor Vala Ragnarsdottir from Island, who is an expert in resource studies. The city is a nice provincial place, which integrates old and modern architecture in a human way, with good public transport near to an interesting historical volcano area and an impressive historical center with places friendly for pedestrians and families, a world wide known jazz and short film festival, as well as Michelin industry. The event was supported by the young green vicemayor of the city. With wonderful meals we became part of the city life with many students in social work and from French speaking Africa.
The lunch talk gave us some hard questions from students from all around Europe, from Turkey and Libanon. The knowledge about the EU, the succes of the EP in the field of environmental politics, was not the same. Female students from Kirgistan and Ukraine impressed me by their interest to learn for sustainable politics for their countries in the field of energy and water. The debate with French politicians was lively and included critics to the EU neoliberal and global trade politics and the lack of a common social policy. For me as a co-founder of the German Greens it was impressive to see that the environmental debate in France has really improved in the follow-up of the Rio-Conference for cities, agriculture and cooperation with African countries. We found a common language in the debate about indicators about energy and ressource efficiency and alternatives for a neo- colonial extract policy with oil and Coltan and other important minerals for the digitalisation with the global IT companies. How migrants can be better integrated in environmental consciousness and sustainable politics was an interesting lecture from a student from Australia. A Swedish lecturer described the tragic situation of Syrian refugees on Greek islands and the reasons of great hospitality of the Greek islanders. I learned how the Erasmus programmes support forms of cooperation of young scientists, who hopefully get an active part in European democracy buildung. But many students are only interested in their project and not many get involved in debates how to overcome the crisis. The EU and the EP play an important part in the global debate on sustainable development goals for 2030 decided by the UN, which should be better known by many students. The 17 sustainable development goals of the UN have some link with the equality for women and girls, women as leaders for change.
This was not enough included in the debate. Furthermore I was asking for a better control of the financial global oligarchies, which are part of the financial and debt crisis. This has to be more in the center of the debate for sustainable development. The demands of the European Parliament related to Luxleaks and financial havens, taxing google and other multinationals should be better known at universities, too. The conference was a good learning process and I will try to keep friendship to the interesting Erasmus plus study project of Prof Diemer in Clermond Ferrand. I am thankful to the FMA to facilitate such meetings.