Bridging the Policy Worlds of Trade and Climate

Imagination is the ability to look at things as if they could be otherwise, said social reformer John Dewey. With the enormous challenges awaiting us, with climate change, loss of biodiversity, food scarcity and increasing geopolitical conflicts, what we need are people with a “passion for possibility” (Maxine Green). We need a new generation of skilled policymakers – climate diplomats – to mitigate the consequences of climate change and engage for a sustainable and just development.

With our Joint Master in EU Trade and Climate Diplomacy (EUDIPLO) we aim at bridging the policy worlds of trade and climate by training a new generation of climate diplomats – to engage for a sustainable economy and society with a focus on climate mitigation, circular economy and fair digital trade.

From 11 to 15 March, the EUDIPLO students went on a study trip to Brussels to visit the European institutions and receive first-hand insights by a wide range of EU experts. The trip started with a meeting with EUDIPLO Alumni, now working in the EU institutions, and a keynote speech on 'The Sustainable Transition of the EU Food System' by Wolfgang Burtscher, Director General at EU AGRI and CIFE Alumnus.

On the first day, the students visited the Council of the European Union and attended a laboratory with Marc Vanheukelen on the EU’s Climate Policy in the World and Fernando Criado Alonso on the EU Global Gateway. An insightful conference by John Alistair Clarke, former Director of International Affairs at the European Commission on Trade Negotiations concluded the first day.

During their visit of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the students discussed with Clément Pignot, Deputy European Correspondent at the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Siegfried Richter, Policy Officer, Sanctions Division.

At the European Commission, they were introduced to science diplomacy instruments and strategies for global collaboration by Ramona Samson, Chief Economist and Team Leader Strategy at the European Commission. Lothar Ehring and Mattijs Kempynck from DG TRADE gave an introduction to Trade & Investment Diplomacy: EU in Dispute and Conflict Resolution at the WTO. And Sebastian Kurpas spoke to the students about challenges and opportunities of EU trade policy.

At the European Parliament, students had the opportunity to meet Tom Morgan, DG Communication, and Michael Kaczmarek and Marie Ramot who introduced them to the work of the EP’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

The study trip concluded with a debate with Jim Cloos about the EU elections and a farewell drink.

We thank all our experts for their engaging presentations and the precious insights and advice they shared with our students!




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