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The European Union (EU), in collaboration with the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Indonesia (FISIP UI), held a public lecture today (26/2). Titled “The EU Strategy in Coping with Multidimensional Impacts and Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, the public lecture was delivered by the EU Ambassador to Indonesia, H.E. Mr Vincent Piket. The virtual talk gathered lecturers and hundreds of students, and was attended by University of Indonesia Rector Prof. Ari Kuncoro, S.E., M.A., Ph.D, as well as the Dean of FISIP UI Dr Arie Setiabudi Soesilo, M.Sc.

The Dean of FISIP UI give the opening remark, “The EU Strategy in Coping with Multidimensional Impacts and Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic is a very relevant topic these days as we have been experienced the pandemic Covid-19, changing our our lives in more than one year. The intensity of the impact and the magnitude of the intensity of pandemic is beyond our imagination. In this context of faculty of social and political sciences, in this public lecture Indonesian people can learn and take important lessons from the experience of the European union in copying with the impact and challenges of this pandemic to build stronger social relations and also more effective and stronger governance. I hope this public lecture can be a good beginning for future productive coorperation between University of Indonesia and the European Union Delegated.”

“Ensuring quality education and investing in youth have been strong factors which connect Indonesia and the EU. For decades, the EU has supported Indonesian scholars, students and universities through scholarships and university collaboration under the Erasmus plus programme,” said EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Piket. “Therefore, capacity development through various forms of cooperation must be continuously enhanced,” Ambassador Piket added.  

The EU is also highly emphasising cooperation in research. “Research and innovation are increasingly global initiatives that require cooperation between multiple partners to offer solutions to global challenges that do not recognise national borders, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU has been active in support of collaboration in research and innovation within the EU and worldwide, including with researchers in ASEAN. Until January 2021, the EU has invested over EUR 780 million through Horizon 2020, for research and innovation programmes specifically targeting the pandemic,” said Ambassador Piket.

The EU is also a strong supporter of the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that engages 90% of the world’s population and aims to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all.  “Through Team Europe, the EU and its Member States are providing approximately half of the funding of the COVAX Facility with EUR 2.2 billion. This funding will bring us closer to achieving COVAX’s target to deliver 1.3 billion doses of vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021, including Indonesia. For the first batch of the vaccines which will be distributed by the COVAX facility in Q1 and Q2 of 2021, Indonesia is expected to receive more than 13 million vaccines,” added Ambassador Piket.

This public lecture is part of the EU Ambassadorial Talk series, aimed to address topical issues and increase understanding of EU views, policies and priorities. The series of lectures will continue throughout the year, involving various universities across Indonesia.