The second Green European Summer University (after the great success of 2008) took place this weekend in Frankfurt/Oder (Germany) and Slubice (Poland), and brought together about 800 participants from all over Europe to discuss the future of Europe and the perspectives for European integration in times of the triple economic, social and environmental crisis and to put together the practical experience in order to draft real solutions to common problems.
The title of the University was ‘Make it or break it’. This theme reflects the reality of the European project today – either we set aside selfish national interests and unite to combat shared challenges, or Europe risks being pushed towards a breaking point. The Eurozone crisis which rumbled over the summer demonstrates this more than ever. At the opening of the event, For Green Group co-president Rebecca Harms argued that Greens are in favour of solidity but also solidarity within Europe, without one being at the expense of the other. She highlighted the need for outlining an alternative vision especially in the context of some of the recent unrest around Europe, such as the peaceful demonstrations by young people which have taken place notably in Spain and Greece.
The University was more than just a conference. It aimed to bring together a collection of interest parties, from academics to artists, from political to activists, and from businesspeople to NGOs. It was not just be an opportunity to discuss the future of Europe, but also to put together the practical experience of these participants in order to draft real solutions to common problems. The plenary sessions on “Right-wing populism in Europe”, “From scarcity to prosperity, on renewable energy for a new Europe”; workshops on “Priorities and building block of an EU Green industrial policy”,”Digital Divide – Access to the Internet as a Human Right?”, “Uprising in North Africa & Arabia: Consequences for European refugee and migration policy” etc started hot debates and discussions. It is possible to find the complete programme of the University at the Green European Summer University webpage.
Global Young Greens Steering Committee members from Europe visited the Summer University to participate in the debate and promote GYG. There we had a chance to meet with colleagues from Global Greens and discuss our common strategy for the coming Congresses at the end of March 2012 in Dakar, Senegal.