ECDPM organised a high-level lunch on 17 March with the knowledge institutes of Maastricht (European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht University and United Nations University-Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation & Technology) , two representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Governor of the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Maastricht and the international Board of ECDPM.
The Governor of Limburg, Theo Bovens, kindly hosted this event at the Provincial Government building, the historic location where the Maastricht Treaty was signed in1992.
The Governor said international knowledge institutes and their networks represent an enormous “treasure trove”. He added that combining knowledge, increasing interaction and welcoming international citizens benefits Limburg’s international profile.
The knowledge and research hub in Maastricht is part of the Dutch investment in the so-called Euroegion that also includes Liège in Belgium and Aachen in Germany. ECDPM’s Chair Mr. Adebayo Olukoshi explained how ECDPM has made its contribution in terms of employment generation in the region.
He continued by stressing the importance of bringing young researchers from both Africa and Europe together to actively contribute to the lively academic exchanges on vital topics that concern us today.
ECDPM’s Chair also pointed at the growing importance of Africa in geo-political, economic and population terms. Europe is already Africa’s biggest trade partner, and the links between Africa and Europe should strengthen to the benefit of both continents. This is a focal point of ECDPM’s mission.
Mr. Olukoshi underlined the concerns that are shared by many regarding the support for the “European project”, and the important role of the knowledge institutions in increasing the interest and support from young people for Europe.
The celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty in 2017 will be an important highlight for Maastricht and the Province. On behalf of ECDPM he pledged to contribute to the celebrations around the 25th Anniversary of the Treaty of Maastricht.
Mr. Olukoshi encouraged the knowledge institutes present at the event to work together and complement each other’s strengths, for the benefit of the knowledge chain of Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and the Dutch knowledge economy in general, as well as the institutes themselves.
ECDPM is committed to strengthening the collaboration with its peer knowledge institutes. Mr. Olukoshi used an African proverb to illustrate the importance of this collaboration: “A single tree cannot make a forest”.