Europe Day Seminar 2022

Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. This year, the celebration was tinged with great sadness because of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In collaboration with the European Centre at RMIT, the Australian Institute of International Affairs, the Consular Corps of Melbourne and the European Delegation in Australia, a most interesting seminar was held on Thursday 12 May on the topic of the energy policies in Europe and its security during these uncertain times.

The European Union Ambassador HE Dr Michael Pulch started the conversation by stating that the EU reduction in gas emissions is really happening and that a threefold strategy will allow to decrease the dependence on Russia for both gas and coal:  * reducing cunsumption -*increasing green energy * finding alternative sources of traditional fossile-based energy during the transition period.

As France is current chair of the 27 Nations composing the European Union, it was appropriate for French Ambassador in Australia HE Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault to also be part of the panel.. The French Ambassador emphasised the dangers of avoiding the issues of climate change, not only on the economy but also its impact for potentially destabilising the indo-pacific region.

Finally, international technical expert in hydrogen and renewable energies Ms. Prune Bokobza  explained how hydrogen and new technologies could provide real answers to the race for greener energy. She cited local collaborations in Victoria with French companies leading the way.

The panel discussion was very professionally moderated by Dr. Emma Shortis of RMIT who had to stop the flow of questions as the debate was going over time. This showed the real interest of the audience to the issues presented by the panel.

Dr Emma Shortis – HE Jean-Pierre Thebault

For those attending in person, the event was followed by a light lunch that allowed for more informal discussions to take place.