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About me

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Actually I wasn’t supposed to be here. Germany was definitely not on the list of the countries I wanted to travel to as a kid. Whereas I was doing fine in other subjects, German classes where those I hated the most and could never image using this language in my everyday life. It was only because I was allowed to study in English at the Freie Universität in Berlin that I decided to come here back in 2004.

The country I saw was very different from what I had learned during history classes in Poland. Few nations learnt more from their past than Germans did and in fewer still was the repetition of their historic mistakes less probable. Unfortunately, as a Polish citizen I still wasn’t allowed to work legally in Germany, so after finishing my studies in 2005 I followed into the steps of hundreds of thousands of other East Europeans and went to Ireland but with the intention to come back to Berlin one day.

It took slightly longer than expected but on September 12, 2007 I was back in Berlin with enough money in my pocket and ideas in my head to start working on my PhD dissertation. My stay in Berlin was interrupted again in 2010 when I went to Brussels to do my internship at the European Commission, but in January 2011 I was back in the German capital. On February 1, 2013, after 1331 days of reading and writing and 458 pages remaining from the thousands written, re-written and deleted, I defended my PhD dissertation and decided to look for new challenges.

Teaching “European Environmental Policy” at the New York University in Berlin is one of these. At the time of the economic crisis it is easy to forget that economic growth is not necessarily the only thing that we should care about. Even more important than the budget deficits is the “environmental deficit” resulting from the overuse of the limited resources the existence of which we have taken for granted for way too long. It’s not only the stuff that we get out of the ground to burn, but also things that we need even more: clean air, fresh water, biodiversity. This is the message I try to convey to my students but also – to some degree – on this blog.

In May 2013 I was invited to become Visiting Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance. Within the framework of the Dahrendorf Symposium I am trying to find out why has the German energy transition so far failed to to find followers among Polish politicians. WIth the energy (r)evolution just across the border Polish government is following the old path of carbon and nuclear centred energy policy. Finding out why is that the case is a very important and equally fascinating research topic. Some of the results can be found in my publications.

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