COVID-19 / Situation at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe – Letter from the Vice-Rector

Dear Students,

Dear Members of our College of Europe community,

Here at Natolin, we continue to take actions to minimise all potential risks to the health, safety and well-being of our community and the public at large. We are not alone in this: we join in a comprehensive effort by public authorities and higher education institutions.

Our actions affect more than just ourselves. COVID-19 is likely to cause the most harm to those less able to cope, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. Steps we take now to slow down the spread of the pandemic will have an immense impact, lessening pressure on overloaded emergency rooms and lowering the chances that the most vulnerable might be affected. Many of us arrived at Natolin with a dream to make a positive mark on the world. We now have a chance to do so.

Though these may be anxious days for all of us at Natolin, let me underline that my whole team is taking concrete measures to both mitigate risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the integrity, excellence and continuity of Natolin’s teaching and research activity. Natolin is very fortunate to have a team of experienced and dedicated members of staff who are committed to providing solutions to rapidly changing circumstances. It is a truly extraordinary situation for all of us, both at professional and personal levels. It has already profoundly affected the way in which we live and work on our campus, and will continue to do so. We will only be successful if we support one another and stand by our responsibilities.

Right now, unpredictability seems the only constant. It is our priority here at Natolin to track how the situation unfolds every day, react swiftly to events, and minimise any burden they might have on you and our communities at large. As you know, we have made the decision to move as many of our classes online as it is currently feasible. We refrain from any unnecessary domestic travel and suspended all international missions of our staff and visiting professors. Our annual study visits abroad, despite being fully prepared had to be remodelled with the support of digital communication tools in the interest of our health and safety. As you know, my team is implementing additional measures that ensure social distancing and reinforce sanitary precautions. I want to assure you that by taking dozens of very detailed and technical decisions regarding preventive measures, we constantly keep you at the heart of our decisions as members of our community for whom Natolin remains their home.

I know we have each other’s constant support, but I would like nevertheless to expressly convey my sincerest gratitude to all of you, individually, and also collectively. You have demonstrated responsibility and civic engagement. I am more than certain that we will be ready to continue to adapt our habits and work in the weeks ahead. I am also aware that, given the uncertainty of the public health situation in Europe and beyond, some of you have decided to go back to your respective families and homes. We are doing our very best to support you in these decisions, in the limits of what is possible.

Dear Students, limiting direct exposure to others, staying on-campus and following all health- and hygiene-related guidelines must be on top of our daily priorities while we continue to carry out our duties to the extent of what the public health situation requires.

These are difficult times for all of us, but I know that our Natolin community is built on strong foundations and solidarity. Let us stay calm, strong and united.

With my warmest regards,

Ewa Ośniecka-Tamecka, Vice-Rector

College of Europe in Natolin