On Thursday 11 October 2012 Professor Elmer Sterken, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen gave a special lecture to an audience of 100 Osaka students and staff entitled ‘Europe after the eurocrisis’. Prof. Sterken is a renowned expert in the field of monetary systems and banking. The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) organized this special event.
According to Sterken, Europe is in a crisis because of financial and productivity problems. This has led to the most serious problems of the euro-financial sector since the beginning of the last decade of the previous century. The ‘Big Divide’ between the Northern and Southern parts of the Eurozone puts the European monetary union under pressure, as is shown by recent developments. In order to resolve the European problems financial regulation is needed, especially of the banking sector. Sterken is convinced that economic policy should focus on innovation.
For this, the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission is an indispensable tool. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an € 80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Sterken underlined that Horizon 2020 fosters cooperation between European and Japanese universities and industries.
Prof. Sterken expressed the hope that many new projects will evolve as a result of the wide range of cooperation linkages that already exist between Osaka University and the University of Groningen. This first lecture was the kick-off event for an annual new series of lectures organized by Osaka University and the University of Groningen: Gateway to Europe Contemporary Dutch Studies. The first series will take place between October 2012 and January 2013.
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