EUSecure Info Day
5 April 2022, Budapest
In her opening remarks, Professor Boglárka Koller vice-rector for international affairs of the Ludovika University of Public Service highlighted the relevance of EUSecure, an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project financed by the European Union, especially in light of the current challenges that Europe is facing, such as the war in Ukraine, the pandemic and a refugee crisis. As a goal of the project, the consortium partners from Italy, Portugal, Romania, Greece and Hungary aim to make European youth, university and high school students, the future intellectuals aware of the diverse security challenges and prepared for taking the right decisions in the future.
Ambassador Gábor Zupkó emphasised in his keynote speech the importance of security that is not a given phenomenon in Europe, but an establishment we have to take care of and protect. Whenever possible, challenges have to be solved on a local level, but when it isn’t possible, the EU should act as one, finding common answers for the challenges. Looking at the Human Development Index, the Global Peace Index, and the Global Innovation Index, we see that Europe is excelling. Even more, the EU is a great place to live in! Nevertheless, aging population, the decrease of Europe’s economy’s share in the global economy are challenges ahead of us that can lead to Europe losing influence in global affairs. Ambassador Zupkó highlighted the EU’s responses to the current crosscutting challenges and acknowledged that the EUSecure project is fitting in the EU’s strategy to enforce its resilience.
Mr Márton Bese Deputy Head of Department of the Hungarian Ministry of Defense agreed with the earlier speakers on the diversity of the security issues Europe is standing in front of. Mr Bese saw the key in compromises in order to ensure peace. He praised the new tools established by our international communities, such as the EU’s Strategic Compass and the NATO’s New Strategic Concept. Ms Katalin Horváth, Deputy Head of Section of the Hungarian Ministry of Defense spoke in detail about the Strategic Compass and the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity, a new tool in international crisis management that allows for quick, effective and robust reactions to conflicts. Ms Horváth highlighted the question of whether the EU will be able to be an equal partner to the US, China and Russia in the forming multipolar world.
Professor Anna Molnár, academic coordinator gave a short introduction to the EUSecure Project’ content, activities and expected outputs, such as the EUSecure MOOC, the joint elective curriculum that is being developed and the Learning and Teaching Activities. Professor Antonella Longo invited students warm-heartedly to the Salento University, hosting the EUSecure Pilot Summer Course in Lecce in July 2022. Students have to submit their application for the EUSecure Summer School before the 15th of April and will undergo a selection procedure.
Professor Dr. András Szöllősi-Nagy delivered a mind provoking presentation on water security. “Is there war over water? – Not now, but due to the fluctuation of floods and draughts a war over water can happen any time”. Professor Szöllősi-Nagy analysed the key factors affecting water security, highlighting climate change, beyond demographic, tendencies of land-use, geo-political developments, urbanization, trade and subsidies and technological developments. The age of stationarity is over, the world has to prepare for a crisis. Due to climate change the extremities will be more common, and that is a security risk. Since the last 250 years, there was so much deterioration of the biodiversity and change in water cycles that we passed the point of no return, and in about 100 years a global water crisis will be obvious. The main take-on message of Prof. Szöllősi-Nagy is: Climate change is all about water!
Dr. Ágnes Sántha, associate professor of the Sapientia Hungarian University in Transylvania gave a presentation on the Epidemiological Transition in Europe. Regarding the mortality rate, chronic diseases are far more relevant then infectious diseases and this tendency is increasing with economic development, better nutrition, housing conditions and sanitary measures, and of course aging population. Dr. Szabolcs Szilveszter, associate professor of the Sapientia Hungarian University in Transylvania continued elaborating on climate change and the importance of preparation for the changes ahead. Mr Achilles Tsirgis gave a presentation on the current migration patterns and challenges of the EU.
Concurrently with the EUSecure InfoDay, the EUSecure Team held its first transnational project meeting.
The Roundtable Discussion About digital education on security matters took place in the afternoon hours. Prof. Mónika Szente-Varga went into short details during her presentation about e teaching and learning methods that are planned to be in use in the project and also touched upon the importance of the involvement of high school students into the programme. Veronika Hornyák, PhD student, Ludovika - UPS; Erasmus+ Project Consultant, Gordius Learning Plc. gave a presentation about the EUSecure Project’s dissemination regarding the motives behind this and then offered possible methods on how to share the projects results not just for the participating universities and students, but further beyond. She emphasised that dissemination is not only a simple tool for the project, but it is also one of it’s main goal. In this, outreach itself is the key in raising the awareness among youth on emerging security challenges. For this, we have to find possible entry points into the different countries like taking English as a common language and then targeting bilingual schools or taking a more professional/sectorial focus by targeting VET schools with specialized education. Using best practices from social media is also method that we can’t forget about.
Professor Antonella Longo focused on the digital technologies, stating that the educational usage of them holds endless possibilities but the cybersecurity challenges behind them is also something that we have to take into account. Éva Jakusné Dr. Harnos outlined in a short presentation one of the modules from the course: the Social media issues and fake news. Pre-recorded lectures and podcasts will be in great use in the module and they also included a short simulation in it about fake news.
In her closing remarks Professor Anna Molnár thanked the participants for visiting the InfoDay and also thanked her colleagues for working on this project.