Category: Uncategorized

Immigration-Integration Dilemma: An Inconvenient Truth in Swedish Politics

Since the end of the Second World War WW-II Immigration-Integration politics have been of importance for Europe especially during the early stages of the internal collective focus on building up a strong European economy. During this period, the foreign labor felt appreciation from the employers and the state by being an important part of an ongoing collective movement that will allow them to build their individual economies and to improve their future as well. Most of the foreign labor during this period came from other parts of Europe with great excitement and motivation to improve their economies and social status. A small part of the foreign emigrant came for the sake of education with great motivation to improve their own Career-Development-Plans. Later on, for the sake of creating social European integrity and during the formation of the European Union 🇪🇺, it was where most of success, or failure, in the integration process took place. Meanwhile, as Europe started to become economically strong and focused on the internal issues to form the European Union, the demography of the foreign labor and emigrants changed and shifted dramatically as a consequence of attitude changes in the labor market in Europe. Much sharper competition on jobs with new reforms of the immigration policies oriented more and more meet the new condition in the labor market. Along the way of these periods, there have been great variations in how individual countries in Europe succeeded in integrating foreign workers in their labor, social and economic structures (https://www.economy.com/dismal/analysis/commentary/258390/Europes-Biggest-Challenge-Since-World-War-II/).

Generally speaking, successful integration requires workable policies on anti-discrimination, family reunification, equal access to education, political participation, permanent residence, and above all, labour market integration. Other essential issues that were, and still, rarely considered include inclusive social participation and interaction in cultural, tradition and folklore activities. The last mentioned ones are typical engagement in free time, weekends and vacations where most emigrants, in countries with less successful integration, feel very much isolated from the rest of the society. The language that most emigrants acquire (especially during the first years of residence) is, not seldom, limited to integrating them in the labor market, as is the case in Sweden during the past decades. Here the state or the employers have, because of budgetary restrictions, very little resources to offer in this respect. Putting language learning and linguistic developments in practical and real social communication situations are, also, very important and can even be of central importance. Humans have natural explicit needs to express and understand feelings and to support social thinking and problem-solving for developing and maintaining relationships. This is where understanding and using the language is imperative to enjoy the deep social, cultural and folkloric roots in any society. This is how to turn “workers” to “citizens”, no one would really appreciate or like to stay a worker, a machine or a robot all his/her life. These are simple facts in sociology and psychology. This is the very reason why most foreigners/emigrants feel outsiders in new cultures even after relatively long time of residence. This can end up in gradual transformation of early stage cultural chocks of individuals to permanent and collective social trauma. It is, also, the core reason of the social segregation that took place in some places with minority groups in Sweden, in particular Malmö, Göteborg, Stockholm and Uppsala. This represents also obstacles and difficulties to enjoy working by being an essential path for complete social integration (sometimes understood as assimilation) and not only a wheel in the machinery of production and economy.

This said, the only way of integrating immigrants is that officials should recast the short-term threats into long-term benefits. It is a political and economic minefield and though immigration could stop the population decline of many European countries, including Sweden, integrating foreign workers will be costly, politically and socially sensitive. However, simple economic facts and basic rules of entrepreneurship tell us as that no gains without investment and the outcome and gains are always related to the level of investments assuming that proper planning, careful, tight and continuous management actions are being applied (https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/sites/futurium/files/jrc107441_wp_kancs_and_lecca_2017_4.pdf).

Ideally, there should be no marked difference between the unemployment rate of foreign-born and native-born workers, nor in their wages. This is true only in the Czech Republic, and to a lesser extent in the U.K. and Ireland. However, the unemployment rate of foreign-born workers exceeds that of native-born workers in nearly all EU states, especially in Sweden, Spain and France. In 2014 and beyond, Sweden had the widest gap between native and immigrant joblessness rates among OECD countries. But Sweden’s generous social policy, originally designed to help immigrants integrate, is partly to blame for widening the gap. The gap between domestic and foreign workers’ wages in Sweden was the second highest in 2014 after Luxembourg and still. While, Cyprus, Germany, and to a lesser extent the U.K. and Finland successfully integrated foreign workers into their labour markets, Greece, Spain and Sweden struggled. Indeed, the lack of political action by all political parties and for very longtime have caused draining on public funds and worsening social tensions.

Another aspect that did not get enough attention by Swedish politicians is proper management of the inflow of migrants as decisions should be driven by the structural requirements and the underlying needs of the host economy and, labor conditions as well as the social fabrics. Unlike the U.K. and the industry-oriented Germany, Greece, France, or the Nordic countries are, however, struggling to integrate emigrants into their service-driven economies. European leaders are focused on migrant quotas, but the social and economic integration of those already present is urgent. No simple and common solution fits all countries “one-size-fits-all”, but job-finding assistance, language and social programs would help (https://www.economy.com/dismal/analysis/commentary/258390/Europes-Biggest-Challenge-Since-World-War-II/kr).

Following the political debates in Sweden during the past decades and the culmination of the political situation that resulted in the emergence of “extreme” right, the Sweden Democrats SD, as a major political party with 20% of the Swedish population (about two millions of people) is a simple reminder of what needs to be done. During the same period the Immigration-Integration policies were being, and still, debated by all parties but with insufficient actions and measures to deal with the core reasons of the pile-up of the impacts that caused the emergence of the “extreme” right. Whether or not there are direct or indirect reasons for such shift (https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/forskare-alliansen-och-finanskrisen-orsak-till-sds-framgang/; https://www.dn.se/debatt/repliker/sds-okning-drivs-av-invandringsmotstand/) there remain urgent and serious needs for collective political actions and solutions. So far, all political parties including SD are in agreement for partial solutions, i.e. increase of the number of police, that will not necessarily result in the final solution the Immigration-Integration dilemma in Sweden. There are much more to be done. Flighting “fire” 🔥 by increasing the number of “firemen” 🚒 will not simply remove the core reason for the existence and expansion of “fire”. At least the Immigration-Integration issue should be appropriately and carefully assessed and detailed on the national level with active involvement of research councils. So far, research councils have passive involvement thus leaving the politicians and policy-makers to act more or less randomly without clear and validated data of the underlaying reasons. Another important aspect is how to effectively involve emigrants in finding the best practices for long-term and secure Immigration-Integration policies.

This said, globalization and the UN-SGD are calling for strong partnership that can be developed in sustainable manner when all Immigration-Integration policies consider win-win “employer-employees-citizenship” appreciation. These issues will remain to be central and imperative in national and global socio-economies, they are without hesitation the core of any future healthy and wealthy sustainable society.

Planet Earth – Current Politics Is For Adults Only. Not for Children and Youth

There are no guarantees that life on Planet Earth would or can offer any good living conditions for the years beyond 2050. It is highly risky future for current children 👶 (definitely unborn children) and youth to have safe and secure life, as their parents so far enjoyed on Planet Earth 🌏. Not to mention elderly people that have served their societies, yet they have to pass away with the same “business-as-usual” politics.

The 15-year-old Swedish girl is on strike from school for the climate (https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.thelocal.se/20180824/meet-the-15-year-old-swedish-girl-on-strike-from-school-for-the-climate/amp) as many other young people around that are doing the same (https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/07/21/us/politics/zero-hour-climate-march.amp.html) as they feel marginalized by business-as-usual politics. So far world politicians have excluded and eliminated children and young people from having a decent and fair future. All politics around the world are so far emanated from well established economic systems that are not suitable for a healthy and wealthy Planet Earth 🌏.

Many protests have taken place and will intensify and continue, here are some few examples (https://www.nrdc.org/peoples-climate-march; http://thisiszerohour.org/the-march/; https://peoplesclimate.org/actions/pledge/; https://peoplesclimate.org; https://www.campaigncc.org)

Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg describes herself as a “climate radical” and is protesting outside Sweden’s Parliament along with families and children that feel marginalized by politicians. These are the future victims of politics that contributed in deteriorating the quality of life, in all its forms, on Planet Earth.

Coming Soon: Making Planet Earth Great Again Is A Matter of Empowering It. The Dilemma of World Leaders Is How? They Keep Failing As They Fight Over Consuming Its Resources!

To make the best sustainable benefits of Planet Earth 🌏 not only for us, but also for future generations, puts world leader in a deep and continuous dilemma. We can not afford repeating our failures, it is definitely not about putting counties in competitions against the rules of healthy and wealthy Planet Earth. It is certainly not about making single countries Great Again over night. It is rather to have a global brain with unified strategy and goals to promote and implement innovative, collective and sustainable approaches for empowering our living conditions.

Politics and Management of Planet Earth – Enslaving OR Empowering the Planet

A very basic phenomena in many elections around the world 🌍 is the struggle between the left, the right politics and anything in between, on political power and the associated manipulations with arguments to get the votes 🗳. The economic issues are always of central importance in all global elections. On the other-side it is interesting to know how the political, and thereby socio-economic-environment, ideologies of different parties are being perceived by “WE THE PEOPLE”, especially in the short time window where all the competing parties are actively engaged in a common public debate, i.e. just before the end of the voting period. Another very strategic question, not yet central in many elections or even absent, is the impacts of political systems and debates therein on the public what regards Planet Earth itself. Indeed, Planet Earth 🌏 and its subunits have no possibilities (tools or means to empower it legal rights) to vote and the only means is to actively illuminate all the critical and central issues, about the natural functioning and metabolism on Planet Earth, to the citizens. In principle, such possibilities/rights are delegated to someone else, but is it delegated to the politicians? or to “WE THE PEOPLE”?, this is not clear or even unknown. Another issue is the quality, transparency, the will and knowledge of the politicians on the one hand and the political maturity and the socio-economic-environment awareness of “WE THE PEOPLE” on the other.

In any case, in political elections someone else is taking decision or has the VETO, on behalf of the Earth. As we are in the geological era of the Anthropocene we have to re-consider the role of politics on Planet Earth and its performance in this regard as this on the long-run will have serious impact on all future generations. This is logic as we are getting more and more dependent on a Planet Earth and not the reverse. A degenerating Planet with declining resources in terms of quantity and quality. Let us analyse these issues.

The functioning and metabolism of Planet Earth, or the Earth’s system, as a unique organism in the solar system, can be understood (on its own merits or alternatively with consideration of the interference of humans) in several ways depending on how it is divided into subunits, subsystems or sub-spheres (all of these involve climatic zones with geographical boundaries and thereby counties). Before doing this, we must appreciate the imperative importance of the solar radiation 🌞, in particular the “sunshine”, i.e. the light 🌈 and the heat 🔥from the sun, for planet Earth.

From the biodiversity point of view, The Earth, as it is, is mainly composed of living things with essential biological processes. Without living things our planet could be anything else, of an empty physical space (as other planets), other than a home 🏡 for living things. We would even not have realized its and our existence, as we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Yet, we wouldn’t exist if there were no living things other than us. So, the diversity of living things is a pre-request for our survival. As our survival is dependent on other living things then we can at least appreciate that other living things need each other for their survival as well. Now let us examine the other needs of living things, i.e. the biosphere. First of all our biosphere is ruled by several boundary conditions that are primarily driven by what we have around us in terms of quantity and quality as well as the processes regulating, or being involved, in their functioning, metabolism and ecology. The living things, as they breath, need air but not any air, it must be of the certain suitable composition and quality that can support the life of the living things on planet Earth. That is what we know as the atmosphere and it has really what is needed for all living things (in particular oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide) providing that its composition and quality are kept within the requirements to support and sustain the life of the living things. As the atmosphere has active interactions with other sub-spheres, subunits or subsystems of the Earth, therefore, there are no guarantees that its composition will remain optimal for living things in particular with consideration to the enormous interference of humans through manipulating all the existing natural resources on planet Earth and beyond (think about colonisation of space and intensive use of airplanes). This however, has contributed in changing the atmospheric composition is such away that the temperature of the Earth is increasing and started to surpass what can be considered for safe living on the planet. Also, the air quality available for world population is not any longer as good as before and for some parts of the world, in particular cities, it is getting worse and unacceptable.

The living things on Earth need water 💦(hydrosphere) as it is the essence of the generation, regeneration and the diversity of living things. The underlying process for life on planet Earth is photosynthesis (whether on land or in the aquatic systems of surface and marine waters). Water and carbon dioxide are the basic components for the generation and regeneration of living things on planet Earth through photosynthesis and by being fueled by the sun ☀️ . Yet, other elements/compounds must be available in water in particular nutrients but with appropriate amounts, not too little and not too much. Fortunately, water is a perfect carrier for such elements “trace elements” and the balance between the atmosphere and the hydrosphere (including global exchange processes of carbon dioxide) was so far appropriate for healthy photosynthesis on land and in aquatic systems. However, water is also a solvent for other harmful elements/compounds, so water through its journey in global environmental systems can be also a source of threat as well. Water like air, in this sense, needs to have certain content of life promoters, i.e. nutrients, to support and sustain life. The hydrosphere (including surface water, groundwater and the ocean 🌊) as the atmosphere has been exposed to serious degradation in quality because of the severe interference of humans with both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere through the three main revolutions, i.e. agricultural, industrial and rechnological. This has loaded, and for some regions overloaded, both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere with several pollutants and waste remains. The water cycle, in variable degrees and scales, has also started to deviate from what can be considered safe for our living.

For several reasons we need land (lithosphere) for our living, where else can we live? The survival of living things, in particular humans, need healthy ecosystems with suitable and appropriate living environments on the first hand. Modern urbanization including the vast expansion of cities that have developed very rapid on the expense of natural ecosystems such as forests, river and lake catchments, islands, oceans and marine coasts. Though cities are important form of living yet they generally need to be up-graded to fulfill modern sustainability requirements in terms of supporting the economic, environment and social needs of the citizens. In many parts of the world cities are either over-aged or mainly built (modern cities) to serve mostly (and in best cases) working and economic needs of the citizens with little consideration to the environmental and social needs of well-balanced mix of people of different ages, interests, origin and requirements, and in particular to support the diverse needs of families. This however, evolved with heavy price of mental instabilities, stress, segregation, social isolation, limited mobility, insecurity, loneliness, lack of transparency, ……….. etc. Most seriously is the growing lack of multi-layered integration of rural (villages, desert 🐫 and agricultural communities) and urbanized areas (cities and industrial centres) though the considerable advance of technology in particular transportation and ICT. The land, also, provide several other basic services, i.e. the same way ecosystems provide services, for humans. Mining, for example, of natural resources is among these services which also developed in such a way that it can produce enormous amounts of diverse waste and pollution. This is of course, in addition to draining the Earth in unsustainable manner, from its natural resources. In several parts of the world, the living conditions of the communities that are dependent on mining for their living are indeed not acceptable. Agriculture and land-use consume over 70% of our freshwater resources, yet food is becoming insufficient for the growing world population, also climate change and global warming can hit hard and further worsen the situation.

With this said, the political debates around the world are very much similar in one sense. In terms of sustainability they show how politics failed to manage Planet Earth and the needs of its future inhabitants. The situation as we have it today on Planet Earth, on any level from individuals to countries is to forget about the future generations, live now and take a “selfie”. To avoid to take responsibility for what went wrong or can be a threat for future generations and just blame it on others: it is simply not our failure; it is someone’s else. The same story we hear everywhere and at anytime. The politics now is about putting our world, including the global population, in competition (for more consumption) to see who is the best to make himself, a group of people, a piece of land, a culture, an ideology or ……. or …….. Great Again and for some populations it is to re-invent a future that brings back the Great distant past Again. This is done, unfortunately, with little consideration to the consequences to the rest of the world. “FIFA” did it good, again and again, and made our world happy, let us have politics a la FIFA’s model. Nature played it good according to Darwin, so if FIFA’s model would not work, let us do nothing and let the “natural selection” fix it all and for ever. In the world of politics, it would not work these ways, would it? It is getting confusing and the world politicians are in despair what to do, or precisely what not to do, as the problems we created for Planet Earth are by far much complex, larger and deeper than we can ever imagine.

The arguments of the coming politicians, or on their way to enter politics and take over, are the ones that say “those before us were not good and we can do it better”. It is all about new experiments of the same old versions but with different facade, who knows. We can only judge by the outcome after they leave the political theater and by that time it is late or even too late, this is how the state of Planet Earth as we have today developed.

What politicians did so far is to Take power over the citizens for the purpose to represent them. To represent them for whom? and for what? Is Planet Earth existing in the political equation of affairs? Take over our fate, Take over the management of all the natural resources on Planet Earth that were the result of billions of years of evolution with arguments to create jobs and multiply the economic gains. But this has resulted in an accelerating deterioration and degradation of Planet Earth. Has Planet Earth ever existed in any political managent model? , i.e. including Taking control over national capital and wealth and Taking decisions to shape the future of all coming generations, to form new pathway of competition for more consumption (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot). All of these created more and more barriers, frustrations, caused degeneration of planet Earth and stripped it out of its natural resources. At the same time degraded the quality of all life forms on Planet Earth. Humans on planet earth are reproducing themselves and generating new copies of the same old ones with politics that support and promote these trends. More of the same with increasing numbers where the typical route of success is to do like others, be part of a main stream culture to consume more and carry on to produce more and more waste and pollution.

The collective global results and the overall sum of all political transformations over the past generation, regardless how, where and when they were originated, developed and performed have definitely resulted in a major trend towards complete consumption of all the natural resources on planet Earth including enslaving its population.

We need a political well to empower Planet Earth against deteriorating the living conditions and the quality of life on Earth. Yes, it is probably late but definitely not too late as much of the human achievements on Planet Earth are indeed reversible with the help of innovation. It is all about one goal and one mission that can be summarized in one word “Sustainability” no more no less.

The final question to politicians (including capital based policy-makers, is: would the management of planet Earth empower OR enslave it? Is current and future politics and associated economic policies, are still tuned for an ever increasing unconditional consumption. If so who would promote and implement the UN-SDGs, if not how would the UN-SDGs be promoted and implemented? The UN-SDGs are currently looking like a huge vessel in a stormy ocean with little fuel and unorganized staff with no pilot on charge. It is hoped that the passengers on the vessel “WE THE PEOPLE” will anyhow and by any means navigate it peacefully to its final destination. May be or may be not who knows, those who constructed the vessel “THE POLITICIANS and CAPITAL OWNERS” are not actively and promptly prepared to revise and restore whatever goes wrong which unfortunately resulted in what we have today.

What do Swedish Politicians need to know, to Safe and secure us from Future Climate Threats?

Sweden has been a leader in climate change research for many decades. It has, also, many early research contributions in predicting the impacts of fossil fuel consumption on global climate by being the main driver (https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/2/) of the ongoing global warming. Sweden has been active also in supporting global actions against global warming. All of these thanks mainly to the Swedish researchers. But this is not enough and there are risks that the changing political landscape in Sweden can follow the trends in the USA under Trump administration. Thereby what Sweden did and achieved in decades can be lost and gone overnight or at least would require much work and resources to recover.

This said, Sweden’s approach in the past and still, as many other countries around the world, did not take enough measures to cope with its internal security and safety against the threats and the consequences of global warming. It is becoming more and more clear from what Sweden is currently facing from forest fires (https://nordic.businessinsider.com/sweden-is-battling-historic-fires—asking-europe-for-help–), increasing algal blooms and impacts on water quality (https://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/1121659?programid=2054), fluctuations in groundwater levels and feedback impacts on water security for household and agriculture (http://www.vattenmyndigheterna.se/SiteCollectionDocuments/gemensamt/nyheter/2017/Ronja_uppsats.pdf), changes in precipitation/rain with various feedbacks on many sectors (https://grist.org/climate-energy/the-16-scariest-maps-from-the-e-u-s-massive-new-climate-change-report/), changes in temperature with feedback impacts on railways infrastructures (https://d1rkab7tlqy5f1.cloudfront.net/TBM/Over%20faculteit/Afdelingen/Engineering%20Systems%20and%20Services/EJTIR/Back%20issues/9.2/2009_02_05%20Climate%20Adaptation%20of%20Railways.pdf), ……….. just to give some examples. Climate change and global warming are threats that can ruin the basic underlying infrastructures of the Swedish welfare system. As in many other countries around the world, the focus was, and still, on strengthening the energy systems with relatively little attention to the weather itself, the associated effects on the water sector and the coupled impacts on energy, eco-system services, household and food production. Water, Energy and Natural Resources nexus are technically neither fully understood by political elites in Sweden nor in many other countries around the world. Apart from the technicality of these nexus they have many critical interactions with the main sustainability pillars (environment, economic and social) that will shape our future societies for generations to come.

The ongoing election campaign in Sweden is still characterized by short-term interests what regards sustainability. The reason is that the political landscape become cloudy as it gradually went through long period of degeneration and confusion. What happened in Sweden this summer forced climate change threats to “occasionally” take more space in the political agenda (https://www.thelocal.se/20180809/wildfires-put-climate-on-the-agenda-in-swedish-election). If what happened this summer did not take place, for statistical reasons, then more “business as usual” was a definite outcome. Sadly enough, no political party has a unified policy for how to secure and safe Sweden against climate change. More seriously, there is no collective and unified responsibility from all the political parties on what, when and how Sweden can act or at least should do to meet what researchers have addressed for many years, if not decades. The existing arguments that emanated from what happened this summer in comparison with last summer clearly demonstrate how politicians mix long-term climate changes with short-term weather phenomena (https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/norrbotten/akesson-sd-om-demonstrationerna-ovardigt-en-demokrati). The political debate what regards climate change and global warming is very shallow, misleading, confusing and even couterproductive (https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/lovin-mp-och-akesson-sd-rok-ihop-om-varmen-och-branderna, https://www.svt.se/opinion/jimmie-akesson-om-bonder-och-lantbruk).

It turns out that like common people our politicians (except MP), what regards the strategic values of sustainability, are taking the same path as “resistant bacteria”, in particular SD thus following what is known as “psychological climate paradox”. The main question is and remains to be why our brains ignore climate change (https://www.weadapt.org/knowledge-base/using-climate-information/climate-psychology)?.

Naturally the weather is dependent on the climate and not the other way around. Much of the changes that are happening now are irreversible weather phenomena triggered by climate changes (https://youtu.be/4PBuwXeotII). Without hesitation no country on planet earth would be safe and secure from climate change threats as global warming has multi-layered weather phenomena that are tightly linked to the diverse facets of the water cycle and its spatio-temporal interactions with coupled atmospheric-hydrologic processes and interactions on planet earth (including the ocean).

Is Death on Planet Earth our Common future?

Many media sources are reporting severe and serious disasters around the world because of the emerging and ongoing threats of extreme weather events in the summers of the Northern Hemisphere, e.g. heat waves, forest fires, hurricanes, sandstorms, floodings, intensive haze and humidity events. If we still do not believe in what global research and predictions that are bring made during several decades by international climate expertise there are no other means to be convinced than experiencing the harsh and deadly consequences that we can not run away from them. Welcome to a planet heading to a definitive death. Photos @CNN

Why our weather is getting wild?

The consequence of the global cancer that mother earth got because of the global warming (increase in the global average temperature) is growing rapidly in the earth’s body and the impacts of the such fever is causing the global weather to be wild as can be observed and felt everywhere and anywhere around the globe.

Follow us on Instagram @sustain.earth where we will share with you the situation and observations in the Gulf region where the temperature is expected to increase to above 60 degrees Celsius in the future. How would life looks like at such extreme temperature?

The Marina of Dubai, UAE, with its haze in the background. The temperatures now, in summer 2018, is still just above 40 degrees Celsius which is more or less within the range of affordable living.

Sustainability in Science and Technology – What, Why and How?

A new doctoral course for post-graduate students at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Uppsala University  “Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” is now opened for participation. 

“Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” will treat three strategic questions facing science and technology in a wider trans-sectoral and transdisciplinary perspective. WHAT is sustainability? WHY it is needed for socio-economic developments? and HOW to achieve smart but yet sustainable societies?
Water, energy and natural resources are essential for our living on planet earth, yet they are not INFINITE. Declining access to these essentialities are gradually taking place around the world. The transformation process to sustainable societies is not only urgent but more importantly imperative. 
Water and energy systems require natural resources in their lifecycles, but at the price of severe negative impacts on environment, biodiversity and life quality. Sustainability in science and technology is the only means to cure and heal this paradox. 
“Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” is planned in lectures, group assignment and seminars (part 1) with “lecture-based” instructions and case-studies involving individual mentoring (part 2). Target groups are PhD students in all domains of Science and Technology. The participant of the course will gain knowledge on how to structure their own future “Career Development Plans”.  

Early registration is recommended for pre-planning of individual mentoring that can be used as additional credit in Academic Teaching Training Course. For registration, please add your personal identity number (Swedish: personnummer), i.e. Swedish national identification number. 

More information on the course is given at: http://teknat.uu.se/digitalAssets/395/c_395062-l_3-k_sustainability-in-science-and-technology.pdf

Catalonia First or Make SPAIN Great Again

After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent. It was natural that mitigation actions should be found to save Europe and its population. Already in 1946 Winston Churchill postulated the emerging of a United States of Europe during the 20th century. In 1952 the European Coal and Steel Community was formed and was a declaration towards the first step for the federation of Europe and the gradual build up of Europe towards full industrialization and technological progress. Thereafter in 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome, where the European Economic Community (EEC) was created with the establishment of a customs union as trade is among key socio-economic issue to gain maximum market yields post the industrialization and technology advances. At the same time another pact was created, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for co-operation in developing nuclear energy. This is again a natural step in further developing the social-economic programs in Europe, as energy resources are strategic and imperative drivers. From 1967-1973 the European Communities were formed with the enlargement to include Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. In 1981 Greece joined, Portugal and Spain following in 1986. 1985, the Schengen Agreement paved the way for the creation of open borders without passport controls between most member states. In 1986, the European flag began to be used by the EEC and the Single European Act was signed.  These steps are key issues of importance for trade, mobility and integration in the larger inner market in Europe, also for the international protection of the European trade-market. 

After the fall of the Eastern Bloc in 1990 ((https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/short-history/berlinwall), the former East Germany became part of the Communities after the reunification of Germany. With further enlargement to include the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta, the Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to join the EU were agreed upon in June 1993. This expansion of EU introduced new levels of complexity and discord especially as historical conflicts have to be resolved. With this, the European Union was formally established by the Maastricht Treaty (1992–2007), whose main architects were Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand. The treaty also gave the name European Community to the EEC. Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. In 2002, euro banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states. Then, the eurozone increased to encompass 19 countries and in 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the Union. In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members. The same year and the following years, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania adopted the euro. On 1 December 2009, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force and reformed many aspects of the EU, e.g. the legal structure of the European Union, strengthened the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Both the introduction of the euro and expansion of Europe were further steps towards building the new identity of the larger Europe.

However, new realities emerged since the global economic crises of 2007-2008 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007–2008) also from the beginning of the 2010s where the cohesion of the European Union has been tested by several issues. Including a debt crisis in some of the Eurozone countries, increasing migration from the Middle East, as consequences of wars and civil instabilities, and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from EU ”Brexit” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit). The UK formally notified the European Council to leave on 29 March 2017. Also, the 2016 elections in USA with the new political reforms by President Trump aiming at Making America Great Again have feedback impacts on the international socio-economic politics.  

Catalonia is now calling for independence from Spain (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/20/spain-guardia-civil-raid-catalan-government-hq-referendum-row) which already indicating, as in the case of Greece, regional economic insecurities can pile to trigger not only political instabilities but further large-scale and long-term economic consequences for both Catalonia and Spain. 
(http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/spain-economy-survive-catalan-secession-170930163702214.html; http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/29/news/economy/catalonia-independence-spain-economy/index.html). From the viewpoint of the richer Catalonia and its population, the socio-economic developments in Spain as a whole can not be sustainable by being dependent on Catalonian economy forever. For both Spain and Catalonia a long-term solution has to be found as the situation is indeed getting much serious and the risk is that such scenario can have spillover effects to other parts of Europe.