teaching about sustainability, teaching about Europe to the world

Why Sustainability matters?

During the last decade, the EU has undergone some of the worst crises in its history: the Eurozone crisis, Brexit, the so-called migration crisis, the Covid pandemic, the crisis of democratic backsliding in some EU member states, and now, the war in neighbouring Ukraine.

They have challenged the basic features of the European integration project such as the idea of a borderless Europe and solidarity between EU member-states.

The crises have also obscured the view of what probably is the biggest challenge to the international community and Europe of our time – climate change.

How do we proceed?

In this context, the world needs more international cooperation than ever before. The European integration process is of uttermost relevance not only due to its role in coordinating climate mitigation policies among its member states but also because the EU is a leader in the global network to combat global warming, a role model for regional cooperation and integration elsewhere in the world.

Challenges ahead

At the same time, teaching about the European Union faces several challenges. As a consequence of the above-mentioned crises, the EU is now discussed in a different way compared to a decade or two ago. Whereas fifteen years ago students associated the EU primarily with enlargement and the unification of Europe, today the associations are with disintegration (Brexit), the (in)stability of its currency and/or with the organization’s lack of capability to agree on how to respond to Covid, migration and other pressing issues.

An innovative way of teaching is the key

In these new realities, we need to find new ways of making the study of European integration and the European Union interesting and relevant to a new generation of students. This project thus sets out to contribute to a new way of teaching the EU to students by focusing on a story of the role of the EU in dealing with the global challenge of climate change.

How will we accomplish this?

  1. By incorporating new ways of teaching about the EU into the study programmes of International Relations and European Studies, and Regional Studies.
  2. By designing a new elective course, The European Union and the Global Climate Challenge for students at MUP normally not exposed to EU studies.
  3. By evoking interest in European studies through sharing selected lectures for students of partner universities outside Europe, publishing newspaper articles, and producing podcasts.
  4. Starting a discussion on the role of the EU in relation to climate change by organizing a one-day conference and a roundtable debate held at the MUP and streamed for wider audiences. A special discussion lecture will be designed to articulate the topic of the conference to high school students, who will be invited to the university.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.