17 May 2017
Talking about Europe’s future
Working under the title “Europe: Integration and/or Disintegration”, this year’s Summer School from the Institute for Cooperation with Central and Eastern European Countries in Public Reform (IMO) at the BSEL saw some informative debates amongst its international students drawn from Poland, Ukraine and Germany. Founded 25 years ago as a Polish-German university co-operation, the network carrying the school has seen an increase in the numbers and intensity of discussions. With a similar forum established for Ukraine in 2009, this year’s event incorporated both groups for the first time.
In addition to four students from the BSEL, the German contingent was made up of two students from The University of Applied Sciences Kehl, the FSHV Meißen and the FHöVPR Güstrow. 16 Master’s students of administrative and legal studies from eight universities in Ukraine and six Polish students (from the University of Warsaw, The University of Rzeszów, UWM Olsztyn and the University of Szczecin) completed the line-up of students. They were joined by four professors from Ukraine and three from Poland, all of whom took an active role in the proceedings.
The international guests were greeted by Prof Andreas Zaby, President of the BSEL who reminded the guests of the 25-year tradition of which they were now a part, and called upon them to see their participation as part of the vital process of international exchange, the bedrock of international co-operation and understanding and the pre-condition for an inclusive society. His address was followed by the Ambassador from the Republic of Poland, Prof Andrzej Przyłębski, who gave a short address. Speaking as a philosopher, he outlined the ideal path to internationalization as a form of “learning dialogue” which grows out of academic discussion. He praised the Summer School as a good example of this practice. The third speaker was the Ukrainian embassy councillor Oksana Kozlovska, who underlined the importance of the EU for Ukraine: as a trading partner, an investor, a supporter and advisor in Ukrainian efforts to reform its system of public administration. The ceremony was closed by Prof Oesten Baller, Spiritus Rector of the IMO and the Summer School, who welcomed participants in both Polish and Ukrainian. He called on the students to view the Summer School as a “conference of students” in which the professors were not viewed as teachers, but consultants and supporters of student-led dialogue.
The 10-day Summer School was divided into 4 working groups discussing various aspects of the EU and its future, running a management game attended by a Professor from Serbia. A framework programme of excursions to various Berlin landmarks was enjoyed by all.