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ss a rt lo n au p te b ts it ar en sto Fr st B ee iran ń P ssin at Esk Bra W urg ca ków nkf scia W r S ege Le a G urg ór ago Pa yon Hel se nk o T -In ste ivs rov elo trec om M nas Fir el- rag u T ies he na Gd lló er ia Tal rto ax u is M ri an u n a ow işe tis ars Sa stl K urt B ien ev n ón әn os a A n ss M sin nz ara or vic r M ’k I sk na ht a R osk Kh en Bru oz bil ti P im s K ań Ca g B Vo lin -In çıv ë P a a a a r n l k r A T ra a e M z r z s i N Si as nc Ka fur gos dan or ha ila ice hir ava zaw nta -up yiv am no Wr lla iš Le cә G Cag Co Ta u P aas ki H D Ath uń ta P an mi Dre Ba Val ost va ark e F xel a Zi isi T lzeň Ma har k G tan anj on Ta vict u S i en sa he to t K R N r L F n n rt át tr er arm in To oz nh r K sd ri en ov M iv ra les elo ek P rib kiv e ia a L ez rr a o n B a l B u a o C i i l v M a ’ e e b v a o a a d o c o r h a n C B e ñ u r ic a et a u st wi m ag A n i u u r r W - u K n g e i ta Sk Pá er ce M lia gr To gio Mi na rar esc ie er S -Ty v L ain uss ław iu S vi S n 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Bu dar So Osn le L rod nte de ğ Te Pi us na n D Ba Tyu io ss arls Ein o alle n S ap c Kr Ga ape ña he -Inv no c K sgo apo Fr te er in tg ás ri iv G an A re Ro ğ Kr fu l-B v na iš en ń cu Z fia a ju n rb en n sa a Is e n m Ca in ru dh B tt a ol a zi s A ss ic M ra w c a M ta lf ja e l a a a b b o m v m la a e g n a P b K d s a a a t o e a le i k a t k Iz nkf rbu Ba yts rt S isa or öln ań terb ste iso a M guj rt a rux n Z Sko Nov Leó k G reș gre Stu rüc ljan Gr ury Ada rife Plo ain nb t D Lu n U abr Mi he ve rlin Ve rno Na ów nte Bur che lon a P insk ów Gliw x m u ry n ia u P M K sk u r T R ü e m e a p i K o i l n t n r K o u p e a g n ik z M K i B o z b tt k a n e i ç a i k d ia l d y n C n T n ou ir K rt a Ca ja L Vo mq loi ess rag Ge ry dam yum ost ch vac Ma les ar je S Sad Le nov Bud Za gar Ov Lo ing ast a A he sti P -Wi l Iva pro a B ine Rīg no sto Ens iały na Sam ıva iv L Gd os C Ab i Ti na os yiv c va ais m ste uk ron ay est ina uj no Cas A e ov- en Kr in Bu Za ofi O uve a G ap rag t S ied nd en elló gr ssa lze esb no pe arc U a Min ria ch sto Vig ar n N ’vi ań ag er lbu ń P kv L’v i e t i a n R N in er M ll a o v ax -l s ai ó Ba ezh t Ta i Plz Mi vac va tel nka U na- Na kó Ga cur gre a S des n L әn est oza um o P n Ha Ca gen lon ň P ad -Fra trov elo rec om sk Ka ede k B o V a S ew La sk G liar dee rg T rah a M l L z e a- la n Ca r a c D t d q w b p a l G M t n e a c i ó s ç t ә ica ıva N ut G t ce Wa llin eň ano Kr әn C ra ine on oli K ian ști Za utt a O nk ә G Bu Zie ay do ou mb tan o A ki T odg n M nki sk D a B ht V a R os ow Erf ilba inn nk ast s P en i Ça n A iran Re u a eu er az an lo r n P At y o t a v a y g r i i d v o i u t v u n l i t ә c u a o n B N l c a k g r l o gg t e ë l a i l a l e t k a P in rg C ic b r an s’k re r le s v e rt B si Pe - m va a an n s T o M ó ә a h U r sn ra a o on T a p u a R a v N v n ia i ofi orto ew e L Ka nt a C a B zaw arra dgo ins w K Gla nia ina trec ya xçı L’vi Gd da goz t Su ab n L sgo s C a G allin Pal -la H hiş ant urg ica ch Izm sde i Be nc tov a M Ka Es olo a V te upo as Gә kka a A Tor i a -I ca ub rls ep hiş ar a g ric k M yi sg Ch B h za va v L a pe a Z m rü ill w ag ó n er -N ata in e A Ti Po es i n og ia V -na uğ un kiş gn or rbu n- Le nc le gr ino ch Stu nvic stl lin ruh Gd ină i Be Wie ona a P os v L’ ow işi akı t Va n Sa n N as ńsk st B iel qa ck O e Lj Gliw liar ra A Tar mo euv y H ău ms ran rto ter r Ka Dü ra all -D la as K ehi a B one rg Tyn ide ә G Can ige t tt ta e- Ly e a u o n T o k vi r z S e n G nă Ba le le e Pa G u on yit v u l t n i i Ç C ra P e e Cl te ë -I M is ss d ad on M h r ru Val gar Po upo on Ka ńsk Clu gra Wr art rto va M v La liw u C mb nci rn wca lm en rgo a G Ta ied blja ce G an or go aris Lu ide uj-N rd Tor nvic an ers eld Ber oli u R ünc ark Fer atis h W ant Ni Leó asg erb t j n o e r d a a l o t b u a a l a u n l g o n m n ow ur i ña n S zn n M st G j-N d oc T In u s P ce lu er V S stl s va s C ó lin P a ro k ñ a P li be a m ino ta h lau or a V ya he iv ar av ar n o e e y er Aa cia um ań Tyn aas ria no ap Ber ław bili vict ğla alm Gr j-Na g B alla am e-u Lei G ag ra A n T ad Lo dn kale a A Ta ass n Ly rg poc An To Po eim ter f Ei mo alle zan n N Köl a F a B sza der ge Leu Gl ac rtu au o He a k r zn M n nd B tt S a n ire re w S n ve iw lin ch Va qa P e tr K va oc ga Y si a P M a od p an d ar po de әn lia C ar ov nd o C el Bi en llad yit rah Nij icht ato Gә a C mo ere Tek oz ün s L no oca ja olid a S n- n L cә ri Ç or rag a P on Gro an he Tb Pá n M lsin Cos ara uń ań ar Ka ho erli a V ale pol Kra nz sci a W evil Niš n L i u r T T i ló ał A o T a m M w n o c v n er rn i N gu e F a B ie la N ә t n L a y A ili tr a k e At o Pr bo ls e i s B va ir na h ei G C u V an y eó G an ñ o al L n e ur Cat sto ber lid llin Reg ege ad ce cә en erl n Z dağ ń P en den ro ose ka alle kt- ne n lasg ak a A na erm ouv ing rbu be si T a P astr i He nza hin ulo ah r M ruh n E Bia on o S ax jev ran rn n W Sib ovi n n o P N L N i B a e r r e é t a k d V n g n r K G z in a a u a S e n ły a i a ç a o k a T

statement of principles

We, the members of AEGEE,

young Europeans coming from all regions of the continent, recognise that we are the future and present of our society and that our contribution to the construction of Europe is our responsibility. We come together under a common vision of a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. We come together in AEGEE to form an open, voluntary network where we transform our ideas into actions, develop ourselves to participate actively in society, and contribute to the European debate with our independent student’s perspective.

We hereby declare these principles to be fundamental to us:

The diversity of Europe has to be valued, and we reflect it in our organisation. The richness of our continent relies on people from different cultures and backgrounds coming together and being united by common values.

Cooperation between people and communities begins with dialogue and mutual understanding. We bring together students from all regions of Europe and create friendships that break stereotypes and prejudices..

Freedom and human rights are essential elements of a European society. Through our work and behaviour, we aim to serve as an example and spread these values among the youth of our continent.

A strong Europe is built upon the foundations of respect, tolerance and solidarity. Following these values, we stand for an inclusive society where citizens enjoy equal opportunities and rights.

Progress in Europe has to be based on knowledge and unlimited access to education. By providing diverse learning opportunities and supporting a European dimension in education, we believe it gives young people better opportunities for the future.

By honoring and promoting these principles we shape a better Europe.


DEAR READER In your hands, you have the 2015-2016 edition of the Key to Europe, AEGEE-Europe’s annual review. Most importantly, you have the collection of the most remarkable events, happenings, memories, thoughts, visions and ideas that have blossomed over the course of a year in AEGEE, together with some grasps from the past and wishes for the future of the organisation. Each one of these memories is all like colourful and shimmering crystal pieces, carefully crafted by each one the members that form our Network. Therefore, the team behind the Key to Europe has been in charge of assembling each one of these pieces together, and make a masterpiece in the AEGEE museum out of this publication. It is a complex process that requires creativity, attention, consistency, eye for detail - qualities that this team of journalists, proofreaders, editors, and creative masters have brought together. All of us shared a common vision, too - the idea of making this Key to Europe not just a review, but an actual story and a compelling narrative that explains how AEGEE has been shaping Europe, and how the current developments in Europe have had an influence in AEGEE. In this sense, you will start by discovering more About AEGEE in the section that has this same name, and get to know the foundations that AEGEE is based upon. The next stop in the journey will lead you to which platforms AEGEE cooperates with in order to make a stronger impact in society. Then, we will uncover some of the Faces of the Network, and get to know some of the people that make AEGEE happen. Up next, we will put our focus In the spotlight to the most crucial developments that happened in Europe, and how our members answered to some of the biggest challenges, together with the Happenings around the Network that include many remarkable events. Then, we will review one by one all of AEGEE-Europe’s Projects and its biggest achievements. Last, but certainly not least, you will find out about what comes next for the organisation and what is there to be Looking forward to. Not the least important, we hope and look forward to inspiring the new generations of AEGEE members through these pages: this publication shows that AEGEE’s greatest asset is the diversity of its members and the strong commitment coming from them. All of the events, projects, initiatives and campaigns that are presented have been driven by volunteers. That’s it, a network of volunteers that share a vision and aim to make Europe a better place! Whereas Europe is facing times of crises, AEGEE shows what the power of volunteering and cooperation at a continental level is capable to achieve. Each one of the 13,000 precious crystal pieces that form this magazine have the power to shine and enable the key to a better Europe. We cannot be any prouder of co-signing a publication that reflects the willingness, imagination and devotion of our members - and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did crafting it. On behalf of the Key to Europe team, Svenja van der Tol (AEGEE-Nijmegen) & Anna Gumbau (AEGEE-Barcelona) Co-Editors-in-Chief of the Key to Europe 2015-2016

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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DEAR READER Many of the political, economic and societal challenges facing Europe today are affecting young people in particular. Too many young people, as many as half of them in some countries and regions, cannot find work. This makes it hard for them to stand on their own feet – just at a time when they long to take control of their lives. An estimated 27 million young people in Europe are at risk of poverty and exclusion, with immense costs for themselves and society as a whole. And divisions in society can hurt young people in particular, as the outcome of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom shows. I am fully aware that the EU and the EU’s youth policy cannot solve these problems alone. But I want to make sure that the EU is part of the solution – working closely above all with young people themselves. I want to bring the EU closer to young people, and I want to help ensure that all of them have the chance to recognise and enjoy the benefits and opportunities that being young in Europe endows. The Erasmus+ programme plays an essential role here. Each year, the youth actions of Erasmus+ allow more than 200,000 young people - about 10,000 of them young volunteers - to participate in international non-formal learning projects in Europe and beyond. The youth actions of Erasmus+ are much about learning “soft skills” in informal settings and becoming a confident and engaged European citizens. That is why Erasmus+ supports grassroots projects which are based on young people’s ideas and their direct knowledge of the challenges they face. By taking part in youth exchanges and in the European Voluntary Service, young people engage with communities abroad, experience the cultural diversity of our continent, acquire new interpersonal and intercultural skills and ultimately improve their chances to find jobs and their place in society. These actions therefore have a big role in making sure young people develop the right skills to succeed in life. They therefore complement the New Skills Agenda which the European Commission adopted in June. This is about tackling the current skills gap, but, crucially, also about preventing new mismatches from opening up in the future. Education systems in Member States will be at the heart of this, but informal and non-formal learning activities, such as the ones offered by the youth actions of Erasmus+, can contribute to the solution. They help young people acquire transversal skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and cultural awareness – skills that employers are looking for. I have started a dialogue with young people, listening to their ideas and concerns and encouraging them to participate in our societies. We already reach a vast number of young people through our Structured Dialogue, but I want to do more. #AskNavracsics and the New Narrative for Europe are initiatives that gather the views of young people on European issues that matter to them. I will look for ways to make sure that their ideas and opinions will feed into policy-making at national and European levels. Today more than ever, we need to reinforce the fundamental values of freedom, democracy and mutual respect that underpin our societies. And we need to bring people together. Europe does not happen by itself. It consists of and is built by its people sharing these values and a common vision. I count on you and your input in this continuing work - because the future of Europe lies in the hands of young people. Tibor Navracsics Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

III




DEAR READER The year 2015-2016 brought many developments that shook our continent to the core and made us question the reality Europe and its youth had found themselves in. We observed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the migration crisis, and questions piled up around the trade off between security, civil liberties and freedom of movement as a result of the recent terrorist attacks. Many young people still deeply felt the consequences of the economic crisis and faced challenges on the labour market. We were shocked with the result of the British EU membership referendum. All these challenges might pose a rather negative prospect on the future. However, I strongly believe that every challenge is an opportunity. May all the tough experiences be a wake up call to us, citizens, the European civil society, but also the decision-makers, the European Institutions and the Member States. Instead of giving up on the idea of the European project as some social moods in Europe might suggest, we need to work harder than ever, altogether, to achieve the borderless, democratic and diverse Europe we dream of, which is truly shaped by its citizens. Young people can and should play an important role in that process. AEGEE has a Network of 13 000 active young European citizens, who bring the notion of a borderless Europe into their daily lives and their local communities. I am truly proud of the capability, enthusiasm and motivation of these young people, to empower others and themselves, and to take action for change in Europe. This year we had many important debates and actions to get a step closer to our vision for a better Europe. We started off by bringing 700 young people for the Rebuilding Democracy project to Ukraine, where we discussed the role young people play in political transformation. We gathered 370 young people in Leiden to discuss the change of perspective in Europe that happened after the recent flows of refugees seeking shelter at our continent and gave voice to the refugees themselves. I am proud that many of our members were directly involved in supporting and engaging with the refugees in their communities. AEGEE members took action on the Dutch referendum about the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the ‘Think before you Vink’ campaign. They also did campaign tirelessly with the ‘Remain’ prior to the EU membership referendum in the UK. We took part in the New Narrative for Europe in, as well as kicked off a photoblog ‘Faces of Europe’ to show the story behind every European citizen. Our election observers have covered elections and referenda in multiple countries. Last but not least, since in AEGEE we believe that a basis for a healthy democracy is an educated, informed population, our organisation initiated a European Citizens’ Initiative ‘More than education’ on the importance and better coordination of citizenship education in the EU. This is an initiative we definitely count on your support and cooperation for in the near future! I would like to thank you for sharing the journey with us, and I wish us all an even more exciting year to come! Aleksandra Kluczka President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

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table of contents Statement of Principles Preface of Editors-in-Chief Preface of Tibor Navracsics Preface of Aleksandra Kluczka Table of Contents

1

about aegee What is AEGEE? Timeline Structure Map of the Network Statistics AEGEE House What does AEGEE mean to members? Action Agenda MyAEGEE Interest Groups Working Groups Projects Committees Commissions and other bodies Honorary members Patrons Visual Identity Partners and Supporters

2

2 5 7 9 13 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30 31

aegee cooperates Platforms Cooperations Erasmus+ Informal Forum of International Student Organisations EurActiv Lifelong Learning Platform Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri Advisory Council on Youth European Youth Forum European Civic Forum Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe European Movement International Structured Dialogue on Youth

3

34 35 36 37 38 39 39 40 41 42 42 43 44

faces of the network ComitĂŠ Directeur 2015 - 2016 Members of the Month Locals of the Month Alumni Foundation AEGEE Trust Fund Les Anciens

V

I II III IV V

ďťż

46 48 51 54 55 56


4

In the spotlight 58 59 60 61 63 64 65 67 69 71 72 73

Autumn Agora Kyïv 2015 European Planning Meeting Leiden 2016 Spring Agora Bergamo 2016 Statutory Events Statistics Charlemagne Youth Prize European Citizens’ Initiative AEGEE and refugees AEGEE Day Brexit as seen by the AEGEE Network Ukraine referendum Turkish locals and current happenings Borderless Europe in practice

5

happenings around the network 76 77 78 79 81 82

Leadership training New Narrative for Europe Questioning Europe’s borders Thematic events of the year Training New Trainers European Day of Languages

6

projects 84 85 87 89 90 91 93 95 97 99

The AEGEEan Europe on Track 3 ΑEGEE Election Observation Your Vision for EUrope Democracy in Practice Summer University Project GR-EAT MY-WAY EUth and OPIN Lifestyle in Mobility

7

looking forward 102 104 105 106 107 108

Comité Directeur 2016 - 2017 Ideas Factory León Autumn Agora Chisinau European Planning Meeting Zagreb 2017 Spring Agora Enschede 2017 The Art of the Possible

vii viii IX X

The Team Credits Contact Information Word of Thanks

Key to Europe 2015-2016

VI


ABOUT

1

AEGEE


what is aegee? by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona AEGEE-Europe, or the European Students’ Forum, is one of the biggest student organisations in Europe, with more than 13,000 members spread in almost 200 university cities in 40 countries, welcoming students of all disciplines. It was founded in 1985 in Paris under the name AEGEE by political science student Franck Biancheri, and since then it has spread all over Europe with a Network now spanning all over the continent, from Western Europe to the Caucasus and Russia.

The acronym AEGEE stands for Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe. It derives from the first parliament established during the French Revolution, the États Généraux, and the Aegean Sea, where democracy was born 2000 years ago. Throughout the years, the members have changed and many different activities have been developed, but AEGEE‘s vision has remained clear: creating a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe, which is socially, economically and politically integrated and values the participation of young people in its construction and development. In order to transform this vision into reality, AEGEE works as a politically independent, secular and non-profit organisation, which empowers students and young people in Europe to take an active role in society. It creates a space for dialogue and learning opportunities for students and, at the same time, acts as their representative towards decision-makers. In this way, AEGEE strengthens mutual understanding and brings Europe closer to young people. In order to achieve its aims, AEGEE uses five different means to involve and motivate its members:

Intercultural Exchange AEGEE creates a space for members of different backgrounds to meet and learn about cultural differences, in order to foster mutual understanding. AEGEE supports mobility and encourages young people to cross borders and

make new friends, to break stereotypes and to strengthen tolerance, respect and solidarity.

Personal Development and Non-Formal Education AEGEE provides learning opportunities for the development of its members through non-formal education and informal learning. By participating in training courses, workshops, and active involvement in the organisation, our members improve their competences (such as leadership, communication and team management skills) which will be useful for their future.

Thematic Projects Thematic projects, both local and international, are initiatives developed by members of AEGEE. They deal with current challenges in the European society, create awareness among young people and propose solutions from a students’ point of view.

Advocacy and Policy AEGEE gathers the opinions of European students and represents them towards stakeholders through campaigns, lobby actions, conferences and membership in bigger advocacy platforms. In addition, AEGEE informs students and young people about the impact that European policies have on their lives and the opportunities they offer.

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Forum for Discussion AEGEE provides a space for young Europeans to discuss and exchange different points of view from a European perspective, in order to find a common ground. This exchange of ideas happens in all of our activities, but a special place for them is inside our projects, conferences and statutory events (European Planning Meetings and Agorae). Nowadays, AEGEE’s network of students and young Europeans provides the ideal platform for volunteers from different nationalities to work together on cross-border activities such as international projects, conferences, seminars, exchanges, training courses, and case study trips. AEGEE operates in a unique structure, as it directly connects its local groups and the European bodies without any national level of organisation, reflecting AEGEE’s ideal of a Europe without borders. The European bodies are Project (PTs), Working Groups (WGs), Interest Groups (IGs), Commissions, Committees, and the European Board of Directors, called the Comité Directeur (CD).

Strategic Plan and Action Agenda Every three years, hundreds of AEGEEans meet to draft the new Strategic Plan. The concept of the Strategic Plan is to foresee a significant change in the organisation and in Europe in three years, and put AEGEE in a key role towards these changes. This is the reason why the Strategic Plan of AEGEE, in the current shape, is divided in two main parts, a thematic and an organisational part, the Action Agenda (AA). The Strategic Plan 2014-2017 consists of four focus areas, namely Spreading Europtimism, Youth Employment, Youth Mobility, Civic Education. Working Groups carry out the thematic goals of AEGEE-Europe described in the Strategic Plan of the organisation. Their goal is to ensure that thematic focuses of AEGEE have been fulfilled. To put the thematic focus areas of the Strategic Plan into practice within the Network, each year a new Action Agenda is developed during the European Planning Meeting . In this Action Agenda, certain goals (objectives) are given for the aims of the focus areas to be worked with the next year. To help the Network with the implementation of the Action Agenda and to track the progress with it, there is the Action Agenda Coordination Committee. Each year, a team of new members works with the most recent Action Agenda, cooperating closely with the locals and European Level bodies of the Network.

Statutory events The Agora and European Planning Meeting are AEGEE’s statutory events. The Agora is the General Assembly of the association, held twice a year, in spring and in autumn, gathering 600-1000 students for three to four days. The Agora is the place where young Europeans gather in one

3

About AEGEE

place to build the future of the organisation together. The main discussions and decisions take place during the plenary meetings. The participants of the Agora also join workshops, prytania (to discuss changes to the statutes of the organisation), progress meetings about ongoing projects, and other programmes. The European Planning Meeting gathers together around 300 experienced AEGEE members in order to draft the Action Agenda for the upcoming year. Besides working on the preparation of AEGEE’s Action Agenda, participants take part in workshops, panel discussions and round table discussions related to the general topic chosen for the event at the previous Agora.

European Schools and Training Events Non-formal education is an integral part of AEGEE. Most of AEGEE’s training events are organised by the AEGEE Academy, in cooperation with other AEGEE bodies who are experts in certain fields such as committees of project teams. These training events are called European Schools. The events focus on a certain theme or topic, for example project management, public relations or fundraising. During these events, participants get a chance to understand how non-governmental organisations operate, and at the same time develop their skills. Diverse training methods, which include lectures, workshops and case studies, create the perfect environment for fast knowledge absorption among the trainees. Along with European Schools, AEGEEans can also attend trainings and develop their skills at events such as Local Training Courses 1 and 2 (LTC), Regional Training Courses (RTC) and Network Meetings (NWM).

Achievements When looking at the history of AEGEE, the association has had several important achievements, the best-known being the effective lobbying for the creation of the Erasmus programme in the 1980s. In cooperation with the European Commission, AEGEE played a major role in convincing the European Union Member States that mobility programmes are worth investing in. We have continued on this path ever since, promoting programmes and advocating for them, such as Erasmus and Socrates, with the inclusion of more countries, such as Turkey, in the latter. AEGEE is also known for its longest running project, the Summer University project, that gathers thousands of young people each summer providing courses on a wide range of topics from language courses to seminars about political, cultural or environmental issues.


Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe

European Students’ Forum AEGEE-Europe | Rue du Noyer / Notelaarsstraat 55 | 1000 Brussels, BE | Phone secretariat: +32 2 246 0320


aegee history in a nutshell 1985

EGEE (the États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe) is founded on 16th April 1985.

1986

EGEE organises, together with Le Monde, the Nuit de l’Europe, a simultaneous event on a variety of topics in seven European cities

1987

1988

1989

5

EGEE persuades French President François Mitterrand to support funding for the Erasmus programme. After this meeting, France radically changes its position and becomes a major supporter, and as a result the programme is approved. The Summer University Project is born. The organisation’s name changes to AEGEE.

The Berlin Wall comes down and AEGEE decides to expand itself to the whole European continent. The EastWest Working Group and the Quo Vadis team are established.

1990

Les Anciens is established as our alumni organisation. AEGEE adopts its logo, the “key to Europe”, which hasn’t changed for 26 years.

1991

AEGEE becomes a pioneer in the field of non-formal education by organising its first European School in Madrid.

About AEGEE

1992

1993

1994

1996

AEGEE receives consultative status at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

AEGEE receives official NGO status at the Council of Europe (CoE).

AEGEE creates its first website, being a pioneer among other NGOs.

More than 1000 students are actively involved in the conference series of the Find Your Way project, explaining what students can do in the emerging civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. AEGEE moves its head office from Delft to Brussels.

1997

The “Europe and Euro” project raises awareness of the new European currency, five years before its introduction.

1998

AEGEE organises case study trips to Cyprus, Moldova and the Former Yugoslavia.

1999

AEGEE becomes a full Member Organisation of the European Youth Forum.


2001

2002

The AEGEE Academy is founded. AEGEE organises major projects focusing on peace and stability under the Peace Academy and Education for Democracy project.

AEGEE launches one of its biggest and most successful projects: The Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue.

2010

AEGEE organises the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Conference within the framework of the Beyond Europe project.

2011

AEGEE initiates the Eastern Partnership Project to strengthen civic society in the wider neighbourhood countries. The AEGEEan magazine is launched.

2003

2004

2006

2007

AEGEE becomes a formal member of the European Movement International (EMI).

AEGEE is one of the founding NGOs of the European Civil Society Platform for Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL). AEGEE is one of the founding NGOs and full member of the European Civic Forum (ECF).

AEGEE launches the project Take Control! - ways to democracy in Europe, and starts a campaign to include the European Citizens’ Initiative in the Lisbon Treaty.

AEGEE plays a key role in the enlargement of the Erasmus programme to Turkey.

2012

2013

2014

2008

Launch of the YOUrope Needs YOU project, to educate high school students on Europe’s impact on their daily lives.

2009

AEGEE carries out a big advocacy campaign with other youth NGOs and the European Youth Forum for the Erasmus+ program. Europe on Track wins the European Charlemagne Youth Prize.

AEGEE launches the Y Vote 2014 project and the second edition of Europe on Track, with the EP elections of 2014 in sight. AEGEE Election Observation and Democracy in Practice are also launched.

2015

AEGEE celebrates its 30th anniversary with several conferences all over Europe, including the Night of the Seven Antennae.

2016

Your Vision for EUrope Project is launched. The Night of the Seven Antennae wins the Bulgarian Charlemagne Youth Prize.

Creation of the Sustaining our Future (SuFu) project.

Launch of the YVote2009 campaign to encourage voting of young people in the European Parliament elections.

AEGEE launches the Europe on Track project.

AEGEE wins the Charlemagne Youth Prize for the YOUrope Needs YOU! project.

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structure of aegee AEGEE’s structure is based on a Network of approximately 200 local antennae, a bi-annual general assembly, a European Board of Directors working in Brussels, Commissions, Committees, Working Groups, Interest Groups and international Project Teams. Each of these bodies is reflected in the graphic below.

bodies Members: 13.000 members of AEGEE’s locals Locals: Close to 200 local branches of AEGEE’s network ► Find the full list of locals on page 11 and 12. Comité Directeur: European Board of Directors working in Brussels ► Read more about the Comité Directeur on page 46. Agora: Bi-annual general assembly of AEGEE EPM: European Planning Meeting, includes thematic content and Action Agenda drafting Chair: Chair Team, responsible for preparing and chairing statutory events Academy: AEGEE Academy provides high quality non-formal education training to our members NWMs: Network Meetings, discussions and training sessions about topics related to AEGEE’s work and topics of interest for young Europeans.

committees Committees help other bodies by providing them with services, information, infrastructure and materials needed to fulfill their tasks. ACT: Action Agenda Coordination Committee CIRC: Corporate and Institutional Relations Committee PRC: Public Relations Committee ITC: Information Technology Committee HRC: Human Resources Committee EQAC: Events Quality Assurance Committee Liaison Officers: Appointed to maintain a link between AEGEE and the international organisations they work with ► Read more about Committees on page 25.

commissions AEGEE’s commissions supervise the accomplishment of the rules which direct the functioning of AEGEE. NetCom: Network Commission, supports locals and Working Groups by informing them about important issues JC: Juridical Commission, regulates the internal functioning of the association Audit: Audit Commission, financial supervision of locals and the Comité Directeur MedCom: Mediation Commission, mediates cases between locals and other European bodies ► Read more about Commissions on page 26.

7

About AEGEE


EUROPEAN PROJECTS AEGEE-Europe’s projects deal with topics of interest for the European youth in general. These European projects are coordinated by international teams and take action in several countries. The projects are decided and implemented by the association as a whole and can call on the resources of AEGEE-Europe for support. SU: Summer University Project EoT: Europe on Track YVfEU: Your Vision for EUrope AEGEEan: AEGEE’s Online Magazine AEO: AEGEE Election Observation EaP: Eastern Partnership Project DiP: Democracy in Practice ► Read more about AEGEE’s projects from page 83 onwards.

WORKING GROUPS Working Groups carry out the thematic goals of AEGEE-Europe described in the Strategic Plan of the organisation. Their goal is to ensure that thematic focuses of AEGEE have been fulfilled. Policy Officers are responsible for the coordination of externally oriented activities and the monitoring of the topics of the Focus Areas YEWG: Youth Employment SEWG: Spreading Europtimism YMWG: Youth Mobility CEWG: Civic Education ► Read more about AEGEE’s Working on page 23.

INTEREST GROUPS An Interest Group is a group of AEGEE members who share a common interest H4Y: Health4Youth LIG: Language Interest Group CIG: Culture Interest Group LGBT+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, + Interest Group GEIR: Gender Equality Interest Group MIGR: Migration Interest Group ► Read more about AEGEE’s Interest Groups on page 22.

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MAP of the network AEGEE is present in almost 200 cities spread in 40 European countries. The westernmost AEGEE locals (AEGEE-Tenerife and AEGEE-Las Palmas) are not situated on the mainland, but on islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The southernmost local, the Cypriot antenna of AEGEE-MaÄ&#x;usa, is also located on an island. The easternmost city, where AEGEE is present, lays in the western part of Siberia and it is represented by the contact of AEGEE-Europe in Tyumen which was founded in October 2014. The northernmost point of the association is touched by the Finnish local AEGEE-Helsinki. Antenna

Contact Antenna

Contact


your keys to europe This list shows the approximately 200 cities in around 40 European countries where AEGEE is located. The antennae, contact antennae and contacts can be located on the map on the previous page with the grid coordinates listed behind them. Contact antennae are one step away from becoming a full antenna of AEGEE. Contacts are recent additions to the network which have not yet reached the status of contact antennae.

ANTENNAE A Coruña Aachen Adana Agrigento Alicante Amsterdam Ankara Athina

A7 C5 F8 D8 B7 C5 F7 E8

Bakı Bamberg Banja Luka Barcelona Bari Beograd Bergamo Berlin Białystok Bilbao Bologna Bratislava Brescia Brno Brussel-Bruxelles București Budapest Burgos

H7 C5 D6 B7 D7 E6 C6 D5 E4 B7 D6 D6 C6 D5 C5 E6 D6 B7

Cagliari Çanakkale Castelló Catania Chişinău Cluj-Napoca Cosenza Darmstadt Debrecen Delft Dnipropetrovsk Dresden Düsseldorf

C7 E7 B7 D8 F6 E6 D7

Eindhoven Enschede

C5 C5

11

About AEGEE

C5 E6 C5 F6 D5 C5

Erfurt Eskişehir

D5 F7

Ferrara Firenze Frankfurt am Main

D6 D7 C5

Gdańsk Genova Gliwice Grodno Groningen

D4 C6 D5 E4 C4

Hamburg Heidelberg Helsinki Iaşi Ioannina Istanbul Izmir

C4 C5 E3

Kaiserslautern Karlsruhe Kastoria Katowice Kharkiv Köln Kragujevac Kraków Kyiv

C5 C5 E7 D5 F5 C5 E6 D5 F5

Lviv Las Palmas Leiden León Leuven Lille Ljubljana London Lublin Lyon

E5 A7 C5 B7 C5 C5 D6 B5 E5 C6

Maastricht Madrid Mağusa Mainz-Wiesbaden Manchester

C5 B7 F8 C5 B4

E6 E7 F7 E8


Mannheim Maribor Messina Milano Minsk Moskva München

C5 D6 D8 C6 E4 G4 D6

Napoli Nijmegen Niš Novi Sad

D7 C5 E7 D6

Odessa Osnabrück Oviedo

F6 C5 B7

Palermo Paris Passau Pátra Pécs Peiraiás Pisa Ploiești Plzeň Podgorica Porto Poznań Praha

D8 B5 D5 E7 D6 E8 D7 E6 D5 D7 A7 D5 D5

Reggio Calabria Roma Rostov-na-Donu Ryazan

D8 D7 G6 G4

Salerno Samara Sankt-Peterburg Santander Siena Skopje Sofia Stuttgart Sumqayit

D7 H4 F3 B7 D7 E7 E7 C5 H7

Tallinn Tarragona Tartu Tbilisi Tekirdağ Tenerife Thessaloniki Tilburg Tiranë Torino Toruń Treviso

E3 B7 E3 G7 E7 A7 E7 C5 D7 C6 D5 D6

Udine Utrecht

D6 C5

Valencia Valladolid Valletta Verona Voronezh

B7 B7 D8 D6 F5

Warszawa Wien Wrocław

E5 D6 D5

Yerevan

G7

Zadar Zagreb Zaragoza Zielona Góra

D6 D6 B7 D5

CONTACT ANTENNAE Aberdeen Canterbury Gәncә Gaziantep Hatay Heraklio Ivano-Frankivs’k Kaunas Louvain-la-Neuve Naxçıvan Padova Rīga Sevilla Sibiu Toulouse

B4 B5 H7 F8 F8 E8 E5 E4 C5 G7 D6 E4 A8 E6 B6

CONTACTS Glasgow Lәnkәran Muğla Newcastle-upon-Tyne Tyumen Vigo Vinnytsia

F8 H7 E8 B4 H3 A7 E5

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AEGEE MEMBERS AEGEE is one of Europe’s biggest interdisciplinary student organisations, striving for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines. These statistics will show how diverse AEGEE really is!

GENDER

53%

47%

AGE 20%

15%

10%

5%

0% 20

13

About AEGEE

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29


STUdy level

51% 24%

Bachelor Master

22% 3%

PhD Other

FIELD OF STUDY 18,9%

Economy 10,2%

Languages 7,5%

Engineering

7,2%

Law

6,1%

Political and European Studies

5,4%

International Relations

4,8%

Computer Science Natural Science

4,1%

Medicine

4,0%

Psychology

3,5%

Communications

3,4%

Public Relations

2,9%

Tourism

2,7% 19,3%

Other* 0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

*Other: Pedagogy (2,4%), Sociology (2,4%), Architecture (2,2%), Literature (2,2%), History (2,1%), Design (1,8), Philosophy (1,4%), Maths (1,3%), Music (1,1%), Pharmacy (0,8%), Geography (0,6%), Agriculture (0,5%), Food Science (0,5%), Veterinary (0,3%)

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antennae overview AEGEE hasn’t always been as big as it is now. During the early years, AEGEE kept growing bigger and bigger. From a certain period on, some (contact) antennae grew inactive. Because of this, policies for downgrading and deleting locals became stricter, causing a decrease in numbers of (contact) antennae. Today, antennae still show great differences in their sizes.

antennae per country 15,7%

Italy

14,7%

Spain 10,6%

Germany

10,2%

Poland

171

7,8%

The Netherlands

7,5%

Greece

7,1%

Turkey

TOTAL ANTENNAE

4,8%

Ukraine 2,4%

Azerbaijan Russia

1,7%

17,5%

Other 0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

antennae sizes

1-20

MEMBERS

29,9%

15

About AEGEE

21-100

MEMBERS

55,5%

101-200 MEMBERS

10,4%

201-350 MEMBERS

3,0%

>351

MEMBERS

1,2%


Some call it the Head Office, we call it home! by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

Brussels is the hub of the European institutions, policy-makers, lobbies and civil society organisations and the beating heart of the European Union. Not too far from the Schuman roundabout, there is a place special to all AEGEE members: the headquarters of AEGEE-Europe! Being one of the biggest student and youth organisations in Europe, and being directly involved in several advocacy processes, one could easily guess that the headquarters of AEGEE-Europe would be in the capital of the European Union. However, it has not always been like that: AEGEE’s birthplace was Paris (1985), and for several years the headquarters of the organisation was located in Delft, in an office at the university! That was at the time when the board members of AEGEE were not yet based in the same city, but were rather scattered all over the continent, using AEGEE conferences to meet up and have their board meetings. However, it was back in the mid-nineties when the organisation needed to have a stable base in Brussels, in order not to miss any happenings or relevant meetings and, not the least important, to be in the spot where almost any other city in Europe would be relatively easy to reach. In 1996, the first Comité Directeur (CD) moved to Brussels. This meant that they were living, working, and travelling from the same exact spot, and it gave the opportunity to hold regular meetings not only among AEGEE members themselves, but with relevant stakeholders in the Brussels area as well. While for several years the headquarters were based in the outskirts of Brussels, the current AEGEE Head Office is located at Rue du Noyer 55 (in Dutch, “Notelaarsstraat”), a beau-

tiful building that has got all the best features from any 19th Century house: chandeliers, a red-velvet carpeted stairway, big windows and a bunch of Art Nouveau ornaments. The most important benefit, however, is that the house is based close to the Schuman roundabout, at a walking distance from the European institutions, our main partners, the umbrella organisations that we are part of, and close to other like-minded youth and civil society associations. This is beneficial for many reasons: not only because of the proximity with our partners or because it gives the chance to our board members to be in contact with one another on a daily basis; it is also of great importance due to the fact that the AEGEE Head Office can be easily reached by our members, and it is seen as a “second home” for the AEGEEans of the whole Network. The house usually hosts the team meetings of our different European bodies, who normally worK remotely from different parts of the Network. During the weekend they use the facilities of the house to see one another in person and work on the development of their plans. Not the least important thing that AEGEEans can find in the house is a place to stay during their journeys and short trips to Brussels, in a guest room where they are always welcome. This fact makes the Rue du Noyer 55 a real home for any AEGEE member who wants to experience the Brussels lifestyle, meet the Comité Directeur, find out more about how we work, or simply wants to get some shelter from the well-known Belgian rain.

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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tweet wall

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Damien Latacz AEGEE-Aachen #AEGEE is where I can improve myself, organise my dream event and take that first step towards something better. #Possibilities #DreamBig

Federica Soro AEGEE-Cagliari #AEGEE means personal and professional growth in a stimulating and friendly environment. Find the most suitable space for you and enjoy.

Anna Atamas AEGEE-Kyïv It’s the best way of self-development and gaining important life skills. Here you can find friends, business partners, or even fall in love!

Lubos Demovic AEGEE-Bratislava #AEGEE for me is a great experience, where I can interact with young people from countries across all #Europe and discover their culture.

Tereza Tokmajyan AEGEE-Yerevan #AEGEE is a Nutella jar, you just can’t stop enjoying it. #alldayallnight #myprecious #exploretocreate #jointheforce

Lisa Gregis AEGEE-Bergamo #AEGEE is for everyone who wants to express themselves freely and to make ideas come reality. Now it is not working at its full potential.

Oğuz Tosun AEGEE-Ankara #AEGEE is a great form of #activism which encourages young Europeans to cross “their” #border

Mareike Wegener AEGEE-Aachen #AEGEE is this network of motivated people and friends, cooperating together despite differences to achieve common goals. #NoBorders #Friends

Elena Efremova AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu #challenges. When you make many things for the first time in your life. #capabilities. When you change the world by yourself #travelling. When you have family all over Europe.

Mateusz Gierczak AEGEE-Kraków For me #AEGEE means: #universalvalues, #change, #inspiration, #dreams and outstanding #people - #adventure with the greatest impact on my life.

Raffaello Corsini AEGEE-Verona #AEGEE to me is the story of cool guys doing cool things for a cooler #Europe!

Deborah Pistori AEGEE-Cagliari #AEGEE is the #dream, the place where you are constantly challenging yourself to strive for a better you and for a better #Europe.

Marcos Lois AEGEE-Europe contact in Vigo It’s a platform to develop your ideas and projects which will give you a life-changing experience, an opportunity to grow up and learn and to break borders and stereotypes.

Kristin Moppel AEGEE-Tartu #AEGEE is my dream come true of a dream I never knew I even had! It is magical and impossible to describe. #endlesssensation #mymotivation

Stella Krokou AEGEE-Thessaloniki The absolute adventure, the sweetest challenge and the best way to discover and love yourself by connecting with others. #AEGEE #thetimeofyourlife

Humza Malak AEGEE-Canterbury Meeting new people and making a lot of good friends in the process of all of the experience I have gained in such a short time, I feel blessed.

About AEGEE


Juragis García Pérez AEGEE-Tenerife For me #AEGEE means breaking stereotypes, travelling through Europe, making new friends and discovering new cultures. #BorderlessEurope

Maartje Zaal AEGEE-Maastricht Striving for ideals, developing and innovating yourself and AEGEE, while having the best time of your life with amazing people at amazing places

Raluca Radu AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca #AEGEE means development, friends, memories and new places. It is the best way to do all of these together and have the time of your life!

Oliver Andreevski AEGEE-Skopje Every day you dream about a united world, love, smiles and beautiful minds. One day you discover AEGEE and your dream comes true. #AEGEESpirit

Artjom Altenhof AEGEE-Bruxelles/Brussels #AEGEE is this network of motivated people and friends, cooperating together despite differences to achieve common goals. #NoBorders #Friends

Julián Ródenas AEGEE-Valencia For me #AEGEE means expanding your #horizons not only socially and culturally, but also intellectually and professionally

Laura Pérez Álvarez AEGEE-León #AEGEE means meeting new people, learning new things everyday, travelling and having fun! #AEGEE #Europe #learn #travel

Carolina Alfano AEGEE-Salerno A space in which you can find everything you need! #family #love #friends #opportunities #exchanges #everythingyouneedisAEGEE

Alfredo Sellitti AEGEE-Salerno Provide the right tools, in the right moment, to grow up, #together, while building up an #open-minded, #borderless, #peaceful #Europe.

Miljana Vulevic AEGEE-Beograd How do you sum up in 140 character something that #lifechanging? AEGEE is a place to gain experience, knowledge and a really wacky family.

Ina Botnari AEGEE-Chişinău #AEGEE means #communication, #culturalexchange, #friends, #fun and #travel

Lennart van ‘t Kruis AEGEE-Nijmegen #AEGEE is #changeperspective.

Jorge Sanchez AEGEE-Dresden #AEGEE is different for everyone. For me it is a platform to develop skills you didn’t know you had while meeting amazing people.

Monika Duda AEGEE-Wroclaw #AEGEE is a perfect combination of a #learning platform and #family. It gives you both great opportunities and feeling of unity.

Marijn Scholte AEGEE-Groningen For me #AEGEE means #traveling, exploring #Europe and above all #friendship.

Erifyli Evangelou AEGEE-Athina Love, Dialogue, Multiculturalism, European Nights, Friendship without Borders, Striving for the Europe we want by getting to know each other!

Evrim Emiroğlu AEGEE-Eskişehir #AEGEE means always pushing yourself to do great things, just to do even greater things the next year. #ExpandYourHorizon

Péter Sczigel AEGEE-Budapest #AEGEE is broadening your horizon, knowing #Europe through its people, breaking perceived borders, and realising young people’s potential.

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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rebuilding europe with the action agenda by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

As AEGEE-Europe, we stand for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. To achieve this ideal of the Europe we want, it is necessary to plan our steps and define exactly what we want to achieve. That is where the Strategic Plan and Action Agenda, both made to define our focus and the future steps to take, come into play. As the basis, the Strategic Plan is created by the whole Network at a Planning Meeting that takes place every three years (read more about our next Planning Meeting on page 100). The Strategic Plan consists of a set of Focus Areas that the members want to improve during a course of three years. For 2014 - 2017, these Focus Areas are Spreading Europtimism, Youth Mobility, Youth Employment and Civic Education. Since these Focus Areas might be a bit vague by themselves, each year the new Action Agenda is drafted at the European Planning Meeting (read more about our last and next European Planning Meeting on pages 59 and 106). The Action Agenda consists of concrete goals that locals and European bodies should achieve during the course of a year, also known as their ‘homework’. To support them in achieving these goals, there are the members of the Action Agenda Coordination Committee (read more about it on page 26) and the Working Groups (read more about them on page 23).

current Strategic Plan, and therefore also the last chance to put our current Focus Areas into practice. The final evaluation of the Strategic Plan will be based on the evaluation of the three different Action Agendas, and presented at Autumn Agora 2017. This final fulfillment will depend on the work of various bodies across our Network, including our locals, and will hopefully reach a high number. Because if we ACT together, we change Europe together!

actIVE LOCALs OF THE MONTH AEGEE-Tiranë

July 2015

AEGEE-Castelló

August 2015

AEGEE-Lviv

September 2015

AEGEE-Ploiești

October 2015

AEGEE-León

November 2015

AEGEE-Canterbury

December 2015

AEGEE-Izmir

January 2016

AEGEE-Aachen

February 2016

AEGEE-Cagliari

March 2016

To measure what the Network did with the Action Agenda, the Action Agenda fulfillment is presented and submitted for approval at the Autumn Agora each year. The next Action Agenda, for 2016 - 2017, will be the last one of our

Action Agenda 2016-2017 19

About AEGEE


action agenda statistics spreading europtimisM

62 1971 EVENTS ORGANIZED

TOTAL PARTICIPANTS

HIGHLIGHT EVENTS AEGEE-Ploiești

Education on EU institutions (5 events, 300 participants) AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden Model European Union (90 participants) AEGEE-Canterbury Session on Brexit (70 participants)

YOUTH MOBILITY

16 199 3 EVENTS ORGANIZED

TOTAL PARTICIPANTS

HIGHLIGHT EVENTS AEGEE-Eskişehir

AGREEMENTS WITH MOBILITY COMPANIES

AEGEE-Budapest

Workshop on EVS (40 participants) Workshop on Erasmus+ projects (11 participants)

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

61 1174 EVENTS ORGANISED

TOTAL PARTICIPANTS

HIGHLIGHT EVENTS AEGEE-Warszawa MY-WAY Project AEGEE-Tiranë

LTC on Professional Branding (40 participants) 2 Stakeholder Meetings (68 participants) Workshop on Online Employment and Opportunities (20 participants)

civic education

96 2515 EVENTS TOTAL ORGANISED PARTICIPANTS (DISCUSSIONS AND WORKSHOPS)

HIGHLIGHT EVENTS AEGEE-Eskişehir

Training on sign language (40 participants)

Symposium on Sustainability and Food Waste (35 participants) Discussion on Recent News Following World Press Photo Exhibition AEGEE-Groningen (29 participants) Cineforum and AEGEE-Cagliari Discussion on Migration (2 events, 50 participants) AEGEE-Utrecht

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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Updating Intranet From the OMS to MyAEGEE by Pablo Hernandez, External Relations Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016 and Fabrizio Bellicano, Lead Developer of MyAEGEE

The Online Membership System (OMS) is a project that has been running in AEGEE for several years with the involvement of different members, and which has been supported by the alumni organisation Les Anciens. Thanks to these efforts, this year we got to see the first results of our new intranet. We also changed the name to MyAEGEE, which has been used in the past for the intranet and reflects the diverse usage of the new platform, which will contain all of AEGEE’s online services in one space. Before the results were visible, there was the challenge to develop the exact terms of the concept of MyAEGEE and to set a list of priorities in accordance to the current and future needs of the association. Following the priority we put together a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), that basically is the list of features that MyAEGEE must have in order to replace the current intranet, setting the MVP as the main objective for the first release. In order to properly assess the development of MyAEGEE and to make sure that the final release will match the expec-

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About AEGEE

tations and need of the organisation, we created a Steering Committee (SC), whichconsists of a group of people with high interest or knowledge in the project who check the general progress and give recommendations. This year, the SC consisted of four members: the President of AEGEE-Europe, Aleksandra Kluczka; the coordinator of MyAEGEE’s development on behalf of the Comité Directeur, Pablo Hernández; the President of Les Anciens and IT project assessment expert Jos Eikhout; and former Comité Directeur member Pavel Zbornik as Project Manager. In terms of the development, Fabrizio Bellicano, selected as main developer of MyAEGEE, continued working to make MyAEGEE a reality. Although not finished yet, the work on the project will continue in order to launch our new intranet as soon as possible.


INTEREST GROUPS by Anna Inazemtsava, AEGEE-Grodno

An Interest Group (IG) is an informal group of AEGEE members interested in one particular topic. The purpose of these groups is to create a space where members with the same interests can gather and discuss them.

The Language IG aims to raise awareness about the value of multilingualism. It encourages and helps AEGEEans to learn more foreign languages, and discusses issues related to language policies, rarely used languages and language diversity.

The Migration IG deals with the topic of migration in general, and aims to promote tolerance and respect among people and fights for refugees’ rights. The main objective is to create a platform to raise awareness about what is going on in conflict areas.

The Culture IG aims to promote cultural diversity and battle stereotypes and cultural barriers.

The Health4Youth IG aims to educate AEGEEans about health matters. Its goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle among European students and motivate them to adopt it in their own lives.

The Gender Εquality IG concerns gender equality matter. It aims to raise awareness of the topic and to battle sexism. The main belief of the group is that nowadays there is no need to fight for men’s or women’s rights only, but there is a need to fight for universal rights.

The LGBT+ IG aims to make Europe a better, more tolerant and open-minded place. It is a platform for communication, colllaboration, support and discussion of LGBT+ matters.

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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working groups by Anna Inazemtsava, AEGEE-Grodno

After a change in the structure of AEGEE, which was proposed at Spring Agora Asturias 2015, new Working Groups were established to solely work on the focus areas of the Strategic Plan (read more about this plan on page 19). These Working Groups (WGs) offer a great opportunity for every AEGEEan to enhance their knowledge on the fields they are working on, while also gaining a better understanding of the different perspectives on this topic from the local, national and European sphere. Currently, AEGEE is focusing on four areas, namely Spreading Europtimism, Youth Employment, Youth Mobility and Civic Education. Each of these areas has a Working Group under the supervision of an elected coordinator working on the topic and supporting locals with activities and materials. The Spreading Europtimism Working Group was recently established and will start their work in the upcoming year. They will be working on the fulfillment of the objectives giving for Spreading Europtimism. The Youth Employment Working Group aims to fulfill the objectives given for Youth Employment, which include to support members of AEGEE when they enter the job market and creating awareness of youth rights on the labour market. They do this by holding (online) workshops and trainings with relevant professionals, providing essential information on jobseeking, raising awareness of the youth rights on the labour market and encouraging dialogue between policy makers and young people.

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About AEGEE

The Youth Mobility Working Group is the most powerful tool of our organisation to achieve the concept of a borderless Europe. It aims to identify, reduce, and remove barriers of mobility. They achieve their aim by providing expert knowledge on practical aspects AEGEE members can face when dealing with mobility issues and raising awareness of these mobility issues among others. They also hold trainings on mobility programs like Erasmus+. The Civic Education Working Group aims to reinforce and coordinate the development of active and responsible citizens both within and outside the association. It teaches knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for citizens to be active and responsible. Doing so, they addres fields as human rights, active citizenship, intercultural communication and sustainability. The members of the Working Group developed a new policy paper on the field of civic education reflecting AEGEE’s opinion on the topic, held several workshops on the topic, provided materials to locals and they worked on the European Citizens’ Initiative, about which you can read more on page 64.


AEGEE projects by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari

The AEGEEan is the online magazine reporting on AEGEE-Europe’s activity. Founded in 2011, it contains articles on European bodies, members, events and current topics in Europe. The Press Team is reporting live on statutory events for members who can’t attend. ► Read more about The AEGEEan on page 84. Europe on Track (EoT) took place in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Each edition, selected ambassadors travelled across Europe by train, with the support of InterRail, to capture young people‘s vision on the future of Europe through photos, videos and interviews. In this years edition, twenty local events and more than one hundred interviews were conducted on the meaning of a borderless Europe.. ► Read more about Europe on Track on page 85. The AEGEE Election Observation Project (AEO), created in 2014, observes youth participation in elections in Europe and gives young people a chance to learn about democracy in practice. In two years time the members of the AEO have deployed thirteen missions to eight different countries, involving more than 350 young Europeans from at least 34 different nationalities. ► Read more about the AEGEE Election Observation Project on page 87. The Your Vision for EUrope Project was founded in Spring 2015. The aım of the project ıs to engage young Europeans from a wide variety of national, social and cultural backgrounds in an open process of collective learning, opinion and will-formation regarding the future of Europe and make sure that their voices are heard. ► Read more about the Your Vision for EUrope Project on page 89.

The Summer University Project was born in 1988, with the intention of promoting European integration and is currently the biggest project in AEGEE, which involves more than 2000 young people every year. Summer Universities are events that take place during the summer in most of the cities where AEGEE is present for a period of one to four weeks. Understanding and exploring the multicultural dimension of the European continent, tasting its diversity, removing national borders, fighting for tolerance and becoming open-minded citizens are some of the reasons why twenty to fifty young Europeans go on a Summer University ► Read more about the Summer University Project on page 91. The Democracy in Practice Project (DiP), created in 2014, aims to raise awareness among young people about the importance of human rights as the basis of a healthy democracy, in order to promote social and political participation of young people in their local, national, and European environment. In almost two years, about twenty locals have organised various activities related to human rights education and active citizenship, reaching around 500 young people. ► Read more about the Democracy in Practice Project on page 90. The Eastern Partnership Project (EaP) was launched in 2014 and aimed to promote the idea of active citizenship and youth participation in the Eastern Partnership program region, and to build mutual understanding and trust between people from the EaP countries and the rest of Europe. The project closed in Spring 2016, with remarkable conferences, such as the collaboration with the European Planning Meeting Burgos 2015 on EU-Russia relations, and the Eastern Partnership Youth Convention in Kraków.

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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committees by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

Action Agenda Coordination Committee (ACT) The Action Agenda Coordination Committee helps the locals to implement the Action Agenda in their activities, explains to them why it is important to contribute to the Action Agenda and measures its fulfillment. Each year, a team of up to eleven members works with the most recent Action Agenda, cooperating closely with both locals and other European bodies. Corporate and Institutional Relations Committee (CIRC) Corporate and Institutional Relations Committee (CIRC) The Corporate and Institutional Relations Committee helps out AEGEE-Europe with fundraising by developing corporate and institutional partnerships and preparing grant applications. They are also responsible for the fundraising strategy, and their members assist any local or body that needs help with fundraising. Events Quality Assurance Committee (EQAC) The Events Quality Assurance Committee works on maintaining the quality standards of AEGEE events by assessing event application forms, aiding local organisers in keeping the overview over quality event management and evaluating the events once they took place. Human Resources Committee (HRC) The Human Resources Committee supports the human resources of AEGEE-Europe. Among their tasks are the development of a recruiting strategy for new members, the establishment of a structure for sustainable knowledge management and the creation of manuals for members. They are also responsible for the mentor system at statutory events.

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About AEGEE

Information Technology Committee (ITC) The Information Technology Committee supports AEGEE-Europe in anything related to IT by offering support to users and maintaining the hardware. Among other tasks, they are responsible for the development of the new Online Membership System (OMS) and the maintenance of the current membership system and the mailinglists. Public Relations Committee (PRC) The Public Relations Committee supports the European projects and local PR enthusiasts in terms of communication and public relations. Their designers and PR consultants are in constant contact with the AEGEE Network aiding their needs in terms of PR materials, campaign strategies and further tools for improving the visibility of their actions. They are also responsible for the implementation of the Visual Identity.


commissions and other bodies in aegee by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

Commissions

Others

Audit Commission The Audit Commission checks the accounting of AEGEE-Europe, European bodies, AEGEE-Europe events and antennae. They present their findings at the Agorae.

Chair Team The Chair Team is responsible for the preparation and coordination of the statutory events of AEGEE-Europe, namely Agorae and European Planning Meeting. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson preside over the meetings, the Secretary is responsible for collecting and taking the minutes of all the sessions and the IT Responsible takes care of the technology needed during the events.

Juridical Commission (JC) The Juridical Commission ensures that the internal functioning of AEGEE-Europe is according to its Statutes (CIA). They assist the bodies and antennae of AEGEE-Europe with legal matters, verify the conformity of the Statutes of each antenna, verify the signing of the Convention d’Adhésion with new antennae and integrate the modifications of the Statutes that are accepted. Mediation Commission (MedCom) The Mediation Commission acts as mediator in case a dispute occurs between members (locals, bodies). In these cases, the MedCom is responsible for taking decisions, occasionally leading to disciplinary sanctions. They can also act as advisor in case of smaller conflicts and disputes and to help foster dialogue between people. Lastly, they are the ombudsman for cases concerning data privacy.

AEGEE Academy The Academy is an official partner association of AEGEE-Europe, functioning as the organisation’s official pool of trainers. Several times a year, the Academy organises European Schools on different topics, as well as other training courses. The Academy addresses the internal education needs of the network and supports locals with trainers and training material whenever needed.

Network Commission (NetCom) The Network Commission is the body entitled to strengthen, support and help the Network. It works in close cooperation with the Network Director and all the AEGEE locals. They take measures to help threatened locals and support the new ones, while motivating the antennae to fulfill the Antenna Criteria. Besides that, they organise Network Meetings (NWM), which aim at fostering cooperation, connecting locals and European bodies, sharing best practices and giving advice or directly helping locals.

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honorary members Honorary Members are individuals who have performed outstanding service to or support for AEGEE-Europe and therefore have been awarded the highest recognition in our association. Nominations are submitted by locals or bodies of AEGEE-Europe and are subject to ratification at the Agora.

Franck Biancheri (AEGEE-Paris) (1989) Founder of AEGEE, President of AEGEE-Europe 1985-1988. Recognised for the creation of the organisation, for his contribution in launching important initiatives that influenced European policy makers and European students, such as the introduction of the Erasmus Programme. Georg von der Gablentz (AEGEE-Berlin) (1993) President of AEGEE-Europe 1990-1992, President of the East-West Working Group, President of AEGEE-Berlin. Recognised for his contribution in increasing the participation of AEGEE antennae in the decision-making process of AEGEE, as well as for his initiatives to open up AEGEE to students from Central and Eastern European countries. Vittorio Dell’Aquila (AEGEE-Milano) (1993) Coordinator of the AEGEE Summer University Project, the largest and longest-running mobility project of AEGEE-Europe, from 19901995, Vice-President of AEGEE-Europe 19901991. Recognized for his dedication to promote, develop, disseminate and supportthe Summer University Project and for his dedication to promote the use and learning of different languages. Jeroen Hoogerwerf (AEGEE-Amsterdam) (1993) Chairperson of the Agora 1990-1991, President of AEGEE-Europe 1992-1993, President of AEGEE-Amsterdam, first Chief Editor of the News Bulletin 1988-1989. Michael Merker (AEGEE-Leipzig) (1993) Member of the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe 1990-1992, Vice-President of AEGEE-Europe 1991-1992, Chairperson of the Agora 1994-1995, founder of AEGEE-Leipzig in 1990, the first AEGEE antenna behind the Iron Curtain. Recognised for his involvement in AEGEE’s expansion to the East and the foundation of new locals beyond the Iron Curtain.

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About AEGEE

Zsuzsa Kigyós (AEGEE-Budapest) (1995) Founder of AEGEE-Budapest in 1990, Organiser of the Agora in Budapest in 1991, the first Agora in Central and Eastern Europe, President of AEGEE-Europe 1993-1994. Recognised for her involvement in establishing AEGEE in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as being AEGEE-Europe’s first female president. Philipp von Klitzing (AEGEE-Aachen) (1996) Member of the Comité Directeur in 1993/1994. Editor-in-Chief of the OneEurope Magazine 1994-1998, and ongoing support for the past twenty years of AEGEE’s technical infrastructure. Recognised for his contribution of introducing the concept of long-term strategic planning and yearplan projects that helped AEGEE to streamline and focus its activities, and also for his enormous dedication to the IT infrastructure of the organisation. Stefan Recksiegel (AEGEE-Karlsruhe) (1999) One of the leading people of AEGEE’s IT Working Group in the early year’s of the internet. Administrator of the first AEGEE server, President of AEGEE-Karlsruhe. Recognised for innovations and improvements which he brought forward in the field of IT in AEGEE, and as well for his contribution in establishing AEGEE on Cyprus. Markus Schönherr (AEGEE-Passau) (2001) Founder and Speaker of the Visa Freedom Fighters (Visa Freedom Working Group), Financial Director and Network Director of AEGEE-Europe 1997-1998, first generation Network Commission member in 1997, Organiser of Case Study Trip Moldavia in 1997. Recognised for his commitment to the network development in Central and Eastern Europe and his activities to abolish visa restrictions in Europe.


Michiel Van Hees (AEGEE-Eindhoven) (2002) Member of the Coordination Team of the AEGEE-Europe Yearplan Projects “Find Your Way” in 1996 and “Europe and Euro” in 1997, creator of AEGEE.tv in 2002, creator and organiser of several Media Schools, Liaison Officer towards the European Cultural Foundation in 1996, President of AEGEE-Eindhoven, Main Organiser of the Presidents Meeting in Eindhoven 1996, founder and President of AEGEE-Arnhem in 1998. Recognised for his contribution to AEGEE-Europe projects and for introducing AEGEE.tv and Media Schools. Olivier Genkin (AEGEE-Mainz/Wiesbaden) (2005) Project Manager of Yearplan Project of AEGEE-Europe “EU & Europe” in 2003-2004, Speaker of the International Politics Working Group 2000-2004, member of the AddressBook Coordination Team, AEGEE20 Project Team Member 2004-2005. Recognised for his overall contribution to the organisation, development and planning of new AEGEE-Europe projects, establishment of new antennae, constant support to European project teams. Gunnar Erth (AEGEE-Szeged) (2006) Editor-in-Chief of five Keys to Europe, among them the 20th Anniversary Book, Organiser of five European Schools, two PRES and several other European trainings, Member of the Comité Directeur 1996, Network Commissioner 1997-1998, Members Commissioner 1999-2000, President of the Human Rights Working Group 1995-1996, Board member of the PRWG, Founding member of the AEGEE Academy, Member of the Coordination Team of the AEGEE-Europe Yearplan Project “Find Your Way”. Recognised for his contribution to AEGEE-Europe’s publications and human resources trainings. Silvia Baita (AEGEE-Cagliari) (2006) President of AEGEE-Europe 2004-2005, Network Director of AEGEE-Europe 2004, Vice-Chairperson of the Agora 2006, PRWG board member 2002-2003. Recognised for being a prime example of female leadership for many years, being a rare person in the history of AEGEE who took both the roles of the President of AEGEE and Chairperson of the Agora.

Kamala Schütze (AEGEE-Gießen, AEGEE-Termoli) (2009) Secretary-General of AEGEE-Europe 20042005, Project Manager and member of the Summer University Coordination Team 20002007, Address Book Coordination Team member 2003-2007. Recognised for her years of devotion to the Summer University Project of AEGEE-Europe, and for bringing innovation and quality to AEGEE’s biggest and most important project to this day. Burcu Becermen (AEGEE-Ankara) (2012) President of AEGEE-Europe in 2005, European Institutions Director of AEGEE-Europe 2004-2005, Project Manager of the “Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue Project” 2002-2005. Young European of the Year in 2006, awarded by the Schwarzkopf Foundation. Recognised for her contribution to peace-building, people-to-people contacts and cooperation of young people and organisations in the region by managing the large-scale Dialogue Project. David Stulik (AEGEE-Praha) (2013) Vice-President of of AEGEE-Warszawa 19911993, one of the first AEGEE members who got accepted at Central European University, speaker of the East-West WG – 1993-1994 (helping many east locals open, when we decided to open AEGEE to east), Projects Director and Vice-President of AEGEE-Europe -1995-1996, Coordination Team of Find your Way project of AEGEE-Europe, Coordinator of the Case Study trip to Ukraine in 1995 – establishment of AEGEE antennae in Ukraine, first ever Young European of the Year, awarded by Schwarzkopf Foundation in 1997 (the year this award was created). Christophe Leclerq (AEGEE-Köln) (2014) He was part of the first group of AEGEEans who shaped this organisation (involved in the famous dinner with French President Mitterand and the strong lobby towards the Erasmus programme), and after his active time in AEGEE he founded Euractiv, one of the leading online media platforms for European issues. He has provided valuable support to our European Boards in Brussels year after year, with his personal advice and through a special partnership with Euractiv.

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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patrons of aegee

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José Manuel Barroso Former President of the European Commission For: Autumn Agora Budapest (2012)

Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament For: Autumn Agora Budapest (2012), Spring Agora Rhein Neckar (2013) and

Baroness Catherine Ashton Former First Vice President of the European Commission For: Eastern Partnership Project (2012)

Androulla Vassiliou Former Commissioner for Education, Multilingualism, Culture and Youth For: European Boards’ Meeting Valletta (2013) the Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014)

Herman Van Rompuy Former President of the European Council For: Spring Agora Rhein Neckar (2013)

Viviane Reding Former Vice President of the European Commission For: European Boards’ Meeting Lublin (2014)

Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of theUnited Nations For: Autumn Agora Zaragoza (2013)

Eva Paunova Member of the European Parliament (EPP) and Co-Chair of the Youth Intergroup For: Structured Dialogue on Youth Round Table (2015)

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial Member of the European Parliament (S&D) For: Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014) and Europe on Track Project (2012)

Gabriel Mato Adrover Member of the European Parliament (EPP) For: Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014)

Juan Fernando López Aguilar Member of the European Parliament (S&D) For: Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014)

Joachim Zeller Member of the European Parliament (EPP) For: Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014)

Iratxe García Pérez Member of the European Parliament (S&D) For: Y Vote 2014 campaign (2013-2014)

Marian Harkin Member of the European Parliament (ALDE) For: Europe on Track Project (2012)

Salvador Sedó i Alabart Member of the European Parliament (EPP) For: Europe on Track Project (2012)

Katarína Neveďalová Member of the European Parliament (S&D) For: Europe on Track Project (2012)

Brando Benifei Member of the European Parliament (S&D) and Vice-Chair of the Youth Intergroup For: MY-WAY project (2016)

Dr. James Skelly Director Emeritus of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College in Pennsylvania where he had served for many years as a Senior Fellow and the Founder and Academic Director of the Centre on Critical Thinking

About AEGEE


EVOLVE OR DIE: THE STORY BEHIND the VISUAL IDENTITY MANUAL 2.0 by Mayri Tiido and Gerardo García Díaz, Public Relations Committee

When the first version of the Visual Identity Manual (VIM) of AEGEE was introduced, back in Spring Agora Rhein-Neckar 2013, concerned voices were raised among the audience: “This manual limits our creativity”, “It is too institutional”, “We have our own style in our local branch” or “These rules are too difficult to follow”. More than three years later, there has been a general improvement and an understanding of how to use the visual identity by the majority of our members; however, the introduction of the Visual Identity Manual is a relatively recent phenomenon for the organisation. Therefore, it is a process that still needs revision and we need to ensure the general understanding and assimilation by the Network as a whole. Under these circumstances, PRC has deeply researched the motivations and causes to the general misuse of the guidelines for visual communication of AEGEE. It was discovered that our manual was indeed neither explanatory nor simple enough for the average member to understand in comparison with several NGOs and companies’ brand books. It has to be kept in mind too that the vast majority of the PR responsible of different locals might have a certain proficiency in image and graphic editing, but not a university degree in graphic design or communication. Even though members could have enough skills to design, for instance, a poster for their next event, they might lack the branding and communication knowledge needed to understand how to use a common visual language alongside with other lo-

cals. Such knowledge is very beneficial for them. Provided with these facts, the goal of PRC was to develop the Visual Identity Manual further in order to make it more clear, more dynamic and easier to use. Among the innovations there can be found a less formal and more adapted language; modified and new design elements to make editing and creating of materials easier, using ready patterns; spiced up colours, which are linked better with AEGEE’s identity, and new fonts. Throughout the last year, different progress meetings, discussion groups and explanatory sessions were organised in order to clarify the necessity of these changes and to make the Visual Identity Manual look like a real brand book, avoiding the complex rules that it had until now. More than three years after its first introduction, AEGEE has reached a level where members understand the benefits and advantages of the use of the Visual Identity Manual, which is visible in the amazing creations of locals. Now it’s time to accomplish the full implementation of this important document and confirm that a common visual communication strategy makes us united in diversity. No rules can limit creativity, no regulation necessarily means institutionalism and no guide is difficult to follow if the underlying meaning is understood!

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partners and supporters EU Careers is responsible for selecting staff on behalf of the European Institutions and Agencies, including the European Commission, Parliament and Council. It provides European youth with information on the career opportunities within European institutions. Europe Language Jobs is the largest job board specialized in multilingual job vacancies around Europe. We are a meeting point between candidates looking for an opportunity abroad and companies searching for candidates with languages. ELJ operates in over 48 countries and 33 languages. Interrail.eu is the online company for European rail passes. It sells Interrail passes that lets you travel through 30 European countries by train. Traveling to the adventurous Balkans, the sunny south, or the breath-taking nature in Scandinavia; with the convenience of a rail pass a unique adventure awaits you. Interrail passes are for European travelers only. Are you from a non-EU country? Check out Eurail passes at www.eurail.com. Pricewise is the largest energy switching service in Europe. In 2013 we helped more than 500.000 European consumers switch supplier and save money. In the Netherlands we also have compare tools for telecom and insurance products. These tools help Dutch AEGEE members save money. Find more at www.pricewise.nl Uniplaces is the trusted, global brand for student accommodation. The online marketplace offers a unique service for students, by providing an easy way for students to book their accommodation entirely online. Uniplaces wants students to feel safe when booking and it understands the value of good accommodation providers. Uniplaces gives them the great service they deserve, turning an old-fashioned market on its head and changing the world.

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About AEGEE

The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. The European Youth Foundation (EYF) is a fund established in 1972 by the Council of Europe to provide financial and educational support for European youth activities. The EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for the period 2014-2020. The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, the EU’s strategic framework for education and training. EurActiv is an online media platform dedicated to EU news and policy debates, providing free in-depth information on EU affairs to more than 675.000 readers in 15 languages. EurActiv’s aim is to contribute to transparency and efficiency in EU affairs. The longterm partnership of mutual promotion and content support between EurActiv and AEGEE-Europe is based on common values. POLITICO Europe is an organisation that covers the politics, policies and personalities of the European Union. POLITICO and AEGEE-Europe’s partnership is based on mutual promotion and cooperation for the annual EU Studies Fair. E&M is an online lifestyle magazine, with the motto to “make Europe personal”.The magazine has been writing about every possible “Europe” – the Europe of young masters students, the Europe of Chernobyl survivors, the Europe of the European Commission, the Europe of immigrants and the Europe of expats. AEGEE-Europe and E&M collaborate with mutual promotion.


corporate partners

educational partners

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aegee in platforms AEGEE-Europe is actively represented in the following European civil society platforms

EUROPEAN YOUTH FORUM (YFJ) The European Youth Forum is the umbrella platform of youth organisations in Europe, bringing together 100 youth organisations. It represents the common interests of millions of young people and advocates for youth rights in international institutions. AEGEE-Europe is currently represented in the Board by Luis Alvarado Martínez and present in various networks on topics like mobility and education. EUROPEAN MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL (EMI) European Movement International is a network composed of 39 national councils and 35 international associations, whose objective is to contribute to the establishment of a united, federal Europe founded on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity, and respect for human rights. AEGEE-Europe is currently represented in the Board by Aleksandra Kluczka. CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE (CSE) Civil Society Europe consists of various European civil society umbrella organisations. The aim of the platform is to facilitate and enable horizontal and vertical dialogue between the European civil society and policymakers. AEGEE-Europe actively contributed to the establishment of the platform, and is represented in the Steering Committee by Paul L. Smits. EUROPEAN CIVIC FORUM (ECF) The European Civic Forum is a transnational network that brings together over 100 associations and non-governmental organisations across 27 countries in Europe actively working to promote civic and popular ownership of Europe. AEGEE-Europe is represented in the Steering Committee of the European Civic Forum by Aleksandra Kluczka.

ADVISORY COUNCIL ON YOUTH OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (AC) The Advisory Council consists of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks which give input for all the youth sector activities of the Council of Europe. It co-manages and co-decides on policies, programme priorities, and budget allocation. AEGEE-Europe is currently represented by Marko Grdošić as the Chair of the AC. INFORMAL FORUM OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORGANISATIONS (IFISO) IFISO is a platform of 28 international student organisations, covering around 22 million students around the globe. It aims to support and improve international student organisations through networking, cooperation, and sharing knowledge and best practices. EUROPEAN CITIZEN ACTION SERVICE European Citizen Action Service is an international umbrella organisation providing services to a network of 150 civil society organisations and citizens on EU citizens’ rights enforcement and civic participation in the EU decision-making process. EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum aims to strengthen civil society’s role in the European Neighbourhood Policy. EUROPEAN CIVIL SOCIETY PLATFORM ON MULTILINGUALISM The European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism consults the European Commission on multilingualism and promotes multilingualism as one of the key elements to foster European integration. AEGEE-Europe is represented by Nico Huurman.

LIFELONG LEARNING PLATFORM (LLL Platform) The Lifelong Learning Platform gathers 39 European networks working in the field of education and training. It is the main advocacy platform in the field of education policy towards the European institutions.

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AEGEE COOPERATIONS AEGEE closely cooperates with the following organisations and institutions

ASSOCIATION DES AMIS DE FRANCK BIANCHERI (AAFB) Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri aims to bring in and promote many actions in order to disclose Franck Biancheri’s work to the general public in Europe and the world. As Franck Biancheri was the founder of AEGEE, there was a cooperation for the 30th Anniversary of our organisation. Since 2014, AAFB each year rewards an initiative in AEGEE with the Franck Biancheri Award.

STUDENT FORUM MAASTRICHT

BOARD OF EUROPEAN STUDENTS OF TECHNOLOGY (BEST) BEST is a student NGO which provides communication, cooperation and exchange possibilities for students all over Europe. BEST and AEGEE share knowledge and best practices, work together on training opportunities and participate in each other’s events.

THINK YOUNG

EU CAREERS

EU Careers is responsible for selecting staff on behalf of the European Institutions and Agencies, including the European Commission, Parliament and Council. It provides European youth with information on the career opportunities within the European Institutions. YOUTH FOR EXCHANGE AND UNDERSTANDING (YEU) YEU is a network of young people from 30 countries working to promote peace, understanding and cooperation between the young people of the world, in a spirit of respect for human rights. YEU and AEGEE-Europe work together on various projects, such as QUAT (Quality Assurance on Training) and Joining Hands. B!NGO

Brussels Interns NGO (B!ngo) focuses on promoting quality internships, supporting interns and dialogue with stakeholders on this matter. B!ngo and AEGEE-Europe cooperate on the basis of mutual promotion, exchange of events and initiatives related to quality internships.

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Student Forum Maastricht (SFM) is an annual student conference that offers international students the possibility to discuss European Union related topics. In cooperation with the European Commission, the students draft policy proposals for relevant policy fields presenting their ideas and suggestions. AEGEE-Europe has spots reserved for its members. Think Young is a Brussels-based think tank focusing on young Europeans. It aims at mobilising young Europeans into reflecting upon their future, believing in their potential and showing the results to political, business and social actors. AEGEE-Europe and Think Young cooperate on the basis of mutual promotion, exchange of events and sharing best practices. DEBATING EUROPE

Debating Europe is a platform which connects European citizens and politicians together in an online debate. It brings questions, comments and ideas of citizens directly to the policy makers and experts that can trigger a discussion on European challenges.


A ‘plus’ to mobility opportunities in Europe by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

Mark Twain once wrote in his book ‘Innocents Abroad’ how “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness”. It was back in 1869 when he wrote about the adventures of a bunch of American travelers throughout the Mediterranean Sea, including several stops within Europe.

The majority of AEGEE members and young Europeans would certainly agree with such statement; we have experienced what it means to travel with open borders, to participate in mobility programs, to study in another country; to share our culture, traditions and even given fellow travelers a couch to stay. One of the keys that teared down the evil forces of narrow-mindedness has been the Erasmus program. AEGEE strongly advocated for its establishment at the very beginning, when the first generation of AEGEE members convinced former French President François Mitterrand of the benefits of the program. Since then, AEGEE’s involvement in the expansion of the program has continued by supporting the inclusion of Turkey in the scheme, and being actively involved in its expansion and revision. However, Erasmus is not the only youth mobility program in Europe. In 2014, we witnessed the birth of “Erasmus+”, the program that includes all mobility opportunities in Europe – not only Erasmus, but also others such as Grundtvig, the former Youth in Action program, the European Voluntary Service and more – together with a 40% increase on the budget dedicated to such initiatives. Hence, multiplying the funding opportunities for young people to discover other countries’ education systems, and carry out their own transnational projects with other youth associations.

sions for our antennae prior to the Erasmus+ deadlines, supported by our Youth Mobility Working Group, which has lead to several AEGEE locals becoming partners, organising and working on their own projects, such as youth exchanges, training courses and more. Remarkably, some of these antennae have become host organisations for European Voluntary Service projects, and several AEGEE members have volunteered abroad themselves. Many of these young Europeans who have participated in Erasmus+ long term programs have also gotten familiar with the On-line Linguistic Support, a service from the European Commission for participants in this program to ease the difficulties of adapting to the language of the host country. The program has brought plenty of benefits and opportunities for young Europeans, and so AEGEE-Europe and the Erasmus+ Unit of the European Commission have cooperated several times in raising awareness of it. In this context, the Erasmus+ program is reaching two big milestones in 2016 and 2017. This year, the European Voluntary Service has turned 20 years old, and 2017 will see the 30th anniversary of young Europeans studying abroad, with the launch of Erasmus. Long life to Erasmus+ and European integration for youth!

AEGEE members have used these opportunities in several ways: we have been organising several information ses-

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Gathering International Student Organisations since 2005 by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016 and RĂŠka Salamon, Vice-President & Projects Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

AEGEE-Europe is one of the biggest interdisciplinary student organisations in Europe. Have you ever thought about the other organisations where young people can get actively involved? And more importantly: how can the work of these organisations be similar to or completely different from our work? How do we bring young people together, and how can we improve our work?

IFISO (Informal Forum of International Student Organisations) is a space where these questions get answers, and where participating organisations get a chance to develop common ideas and work on projects together later on. During an IFISO meeting, taking place twice a year, 20 to 30 representatives of international student organisations get together for an informal gathering. Over the course of the meeting, which lasts for a weekend, the members share best practices with one another, discuss ideas and brainstorm on future cooperations. Since all of them share a target group (European youth) and often similar values, meeting at IFISO allows them to find common interests easily, and quite often this blossoms into common projects or activities. The atmosphere of the forum is not similar to an official launch at the European Parliament though, because - as the name already says - the event is rather informal. Being an IFISO participant, you can spend the whole day discussing topics like fundraising, advocacy and membership, while in the evening you find yourself strolling in a beautiful European city and having a drink with other young board members,

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using the time to make new friends and useful connections for the future of your organisation. In the last few years, AEGEE-Europe has been in the Management Team (IFISO-jargon for organising team) several times, including the team for the IFISO meetings 20152016: in ZĂźrich, hosted by the European Geography Student Association (EGEA), and in Zagreb, hosted by the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS). Besides that, AEGEE-Europe locals have been hosting IFISO earlier too, for example the Budapest meeting in Spring 2015, and will be glad to host another one in the future.

We make our work better and become stronger by learning from one another, through sharing experiences, best practices and methods. At the end of the day, it does not matter if you are a member of a geography, aerospatial engineering, law or forestry students organisation: your best years are ahead of you, full of exciting challenges, new adventures and new friends in- and outside of AEGEE-Europe!


EurActiv and AEGEE - sharing a common story and a common mission by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016 Many would agree that communicating Europe, and getting citizens familiar with the European institutions and understanding its impact on our daily lives, is no easy thing. When the idea of a united Europe is under question, we wonder: what are the narratives that Europe needs? How do we bring the project of European integration closer to the population? How do we make citizens understand the need of Europe?

For the last decades, AEGEE has had a remarkable role in bringing Europe closer to young people, and being a meeting point for European students to experience first-hand what the benefits of a stronger integration and cross-border cooperation are. Even our own Focus Area, Spreading Europtimism, stresses the need to “reconnect young citizens with the European project and create solidarity bonds among them”. However, in order to reconnect citizens with Europe, we need as many actors as possible involved, and media is one of the most crucial ones. One of our strongest partners in the game is EurActiv, the multilingual EU news and policy debate platform. AEGEE and EurActiv are both European networks, united in diversity, seeking to bring closer and trigger debate on the current issues in the continent. No wonder that two organisations that share a common vision, also share a common history: the founder of EurActiv, Christoph Leclercq, was also a part of the first generation of AEGEEans, member of the Comité Directeur in the years 1986-1987, and Honorary Member of AEGEE-Europe since 2014, and he often reminds us how EurActiv is “a child” of AEGEE.

Luca (Senior Director of EurActiv, and member of the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe from 1997 to 1999).

EurActiv has consolidated itself as the lead EU policy media network, present in 12 European capitals and its own respective languages, with an average monthly average of around 800,000 unique visitors. In spite of the competition and a rapidly-changing media landscape, the platform remains faithful to its four core values: media independence, transparency, efficiency and multilingualism. For many more years of cooperation, and bringing our common visions together, to come!

Therefore, AEGEE and EurActiv have always kept strong ties, since the foundation of the media platform in 1999. EurActiv has been a solid media partner of AEGEE-Europe, and so we are given often the opportunity to promote our events, as well as publishing op-eds, press releases and reactions, and maintaining the blog ‘Key to Europe’ on the platform BlogActiv, reachable to the EurActiv readership. Thanks to our cooperation, we have gotten a deeper understanding of public affairs in Brussels and the European institutions. Not only by EurActiv being our daily morning read with a cup of coffee, but also by being trained and educated on how the institutions and the communication in Brussels works, thanks to the help of Christophe Leclercq himself and Dan

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lifelong learning platform by Réka Salamon, Vice-President and Projects Director of AEGEE-Europe of 2015-2016

Educational policies do not have a unified strategy within the European Union. The institutions can make recommendations and launch programmes and strategies for all the 28 Member States, yet ‘education’ itself is mainly a national competence. On the one hand, this approach gives freedom to implement the very different needs of each Member State when it comes to education; but from the other hand, it fails to tackle some common educational challenges that the European countries are facing together.

One of the strongest advocates in this field is the Lifelong Learning Platform, an umbrella organisation of 41 educational organisations. AEGEE-Europe is one of the six founding members of this platform, which is actively lobbying and advocating work for the European institutions. It unifies the voices of student and youth organisations, along with adult learning and childcare organisations, as well as high-ranking officials from the expert group of the Council of Europe and Members of the European Parliament.

How can we make sure that European citizens receive education of the same or similar quality? How can we ensure that the educational system is upbringing a generation of active and aware citizens with an open and critical mind, who are ready to contribute to the future of Europe? Civil society organisations in Europe stand strong on the most important point when it comes to European education policies: education should be among the top priorities of all the institutions if they would like the European project to thrive and develop.

In the past years, AEGEE-Europe has sent representatives to the General Assemblies and has also been cooperating with LLLP by taking place in their Steering Committee (represented by Mayri Tiido) and in the work on the GR-EAT project (read more on page 93).

In pursuit of the vision for Europe Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri by Aleksandra Kluczka, President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri (AAFB) is an organisation devoted to keeping the memory of the work and the legacy of Franck Biancheri, the founder of AEGEE, alive. Franck was a true European, determined to work towards the democratisation of the European project, giving its ownership to citizens, and towards a wise engagement of the European Union in the global governance. AAFB is a hub linking several organisations, such as the think tank LEAP 2020, FEFAP - working on the concept of political anticipation - and GEAB (the Global Europe Association Bulletin). Some of their projects include the Euroland, Euro-BRICS cooperation, Vision Europe 2020 and popularisation of political anticipation.

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AEGEE-Europe and AAFB strengthened the ties for AEGEE’s 30th anniversary in 2015 and have remained a great cooperation after. Every year, AAFB awards an AEGEE local to organise an activity within the framework of the Franck Biancheri Award. This year, the winning local was AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, who organised together with Your Vision for Europe the conference ‘Borderless Europe: blessing or burden?’ (more information on page xx). AEGEE-Europe has also been involved in the development of the Euro-BRICS Youth Platform and in the preparations for the Agora of Euroland Citizens (more information on page xx). We are looking forward to the next steps in our cooperation and the future initiatives carried out together!


When young people are the policy makers by Marko Grdosic, Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe

In the last few years, Europe has acknowledged the potential of young people when it comes to listening to their voices and taking them into account. There are several tools – European-level institutions – which are used to ensure young people that they can support and influence decision-making processes. However, only one institution, the Council of Europe, has been given equal to the government’s role in policy making. The co-management system in the field of Youth of the Council of Europe is implemented through the Joint Council on Youth, where 30 young people join 50 governmental representatives. This Council jointly develops priorities for young people, drafts policy recommendations for member states, ensures funding for civil society organisations. This is a unique example where young people are not just listened to and consulted, but they are the ones who make decisions for the benefit of young people of Europe and all over the world. AEGEE-Europe has been a member of the Advisory Council since 2014 with Marko Grdosic, who has been elected Chair of the Council a few months ago. This is the first time a representative of AEGEE-Europe is presiding the Council, and thereafter we ensure that the core values of our organisation are embodied in the work of the Council of Europe. What does the Advisory Council work on? The work done goes in line with the three pillars of the Council of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Work is developed through three priority groups, gathering more than 30 topics and portfolios. Among the most important topics for these two years are definitely young refugees. A vulnerable

group of new members of our societies needs to be supported in its inclusion and participation. Advisory Council uses recommendations to member states as a strong tool for ensuring political support on various topics. Next to the Recommendation on young people’s access to rights, the Advisory Council is preparing a Recommendation on Youth Work. Finally, in line with the core values of the Council of Europe, the Advisory Council has been continuously supporting young people from different minorities, among them are Roma youth, LGBT youth and refugees. At the same time, a lot of work is put in mainstreaming gender equality. Being Chair of the Council and promoting the perspective of European students, AEGEE-Europe can benefit a lot from both joining the activities of the Council of Europe and from using the huge potential of products and materials Youth department has developed throughout the years. Now human rights and democracy, which have always been among core values of AEGEE-Europe, are even higher on the agenda. We should always remember that AEGEE stands for a unified borderless Europe, which goes beyond European Union membership; and this is exactly what the Council of Europe is. Follow the work that is being done, and make sure to take an active role!

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Striving for youth rights European Youth Forum by Aleksandra Kluczka, President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

As far as youth rights, participation and empowerment are concerned, the European Youth Forum (YFJ) has been their advocate since its establishment. Being a platform of 100 organisations (including national youth councils and international associations), YFJ brings together European youth and undoubtedly has a significant impact on the shaping of youth policies in Europe. The European Youth Forum strives to be ‘the voice of young people in Europe, where young people are equal citizens and are encouraged and supported to achieve their fullest potential as global citizens’. In order to put this vision into practice, the work of the platform is built around three main goals, such as stronger youth participation, stronger youth organisations, and increased youth autonomy and inclusion. The past year was definitely an interesting year for the European Youth Forum, with all the political developments in Europe that affected youth in many ways. It was a year of adopting new positions on migration, the Structured Dialogue on Youth, the Erasmus+ programme, COP21, youth policy and others. Since youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges Europe faces at the moment, employment policies took centre stage this year. YFJ focused also on the topic of youth political participation, and created the YouthUp campaign to do so. One of the highlights of the year was definitely the second edition of the European Youth Event, which gathered thousands of young people in Strasbourg to discuss the future of Europe. The recent months also brought a wide variety of crucial processes for youth organisations in Europe, such as the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU, and the review of Erasmus+ in particular. It has also been the time for discussion on the new EU Youth Strategy, the new YFJ workplan for 2017-2018 and the im-

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plementation of the new cycle of the Structured Dialogue on Youth. AEGEE-Europe has been continuously contributing to the work of the European Youth Forum. Since our current focus areas include youth mobility, youth employment and civic education, we have been intensively involved in YFJ’s work related to employment and in the advocacy processes related to the Visa directive. We were also working actively in the field of civic education, holding a thematic square during CoMeM (Council of Members) in Madrid with partner organisations, raising awareness on the importance of the topic within the platform. At the same time, for the last two years the board of the European Youth Forum has included an AEGEE member, Luis Alvarado Martínez, as Vice-President of the platforn. Representatives of AEGEE-Europe have been active in the Networks of YFJ on youth work, funding, education and mobility. We also took part in the New Narrative for Europe initiative, facilitated by YFJ, by organising a European convention in Warsaw ‘New Narrative for Europe - towards Europe of citizens’ (more information on page 77) and developed policy recommendations for the European Commission.


Towards the people’s ownership of Europe - European Civic Forum by Aleksandra Kluczka, President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

A Europe of equality, solidarity and democracy is what the European Civic Forum stands for. The European Civic Forum (ECF), founded in 2005, is a transnational network bringing together over a hundred associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across Europe and actively working on issues such as citizenship education, defence of human rights and the advocacy of democracy. The work of the platform focuses on three main goals: enhancing civic participation, developing civic space, and building civic dialogue. AEGEE-Europe is a founding member of the European Civic Forum and has been continuously present in the activities of the organisation ever since. Representatives of AEGEE-Europe have been representing us in the board of the platform for many years, and we are currently also represented in the Steering Committee. Representatives also participated in the initiatives and conferences of ECF throughout the

year, as well as in the work of its Working Group on Citizenship Education. Since civic education is one of our focus areas for the years 2014-2017 and active citizenship is at the core of our organisation’s identity, many synergies and opportunities for cooperation on these topics have emerged between both organisations, an example of which can be found in the close collaboration on our European Citizens Initiative ‘More than Education’ (more information on page 64). Besides that, AEGEE-Europe was also closely cooperating on the follow-up of establishing Civil Society Europe, in order to ensure a better coordination of European civil society to reach common goals that matter to European citizens.

Making the voice of citizens count the Conference of INGOs of the coe by Aleksandra Kluczka, President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

The Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) of the Council of Europe gathers INGOs having a participatory status at the Council of Europe. The Conference has two plenary meetings in Strasbourg every year, and its thematic work is done by three thematic committees on human rights; democracy, social cohesion and global challenges; and education and culture. The main goal of the conference is to represent the voice of the European civil society towards the Council of Europe and provide feedback to its work. The main themes are civil participation, dialogue and NGO legislation. One of the main current challenges is to strengthen NGOs and civil society and develop participatory democracy on a pan-European basis.

AEGEE-Europe received the official NGO status at the Council of Europe in 1993 and has been part of the Conference of INGOs for many years. Last year, next to attending the plenary sessions with our representatives, we took part in the Intergenerational Forum with the focus on Youth. The event served as a platform to draw more attention to youth-led organisations and was a good starting point for a better involvement of youth representatives within the conference. We also welcomed the roadmap on youth participation that was developed this year, and look forward to strengthening our engagement within the platform more in the upcoming years.

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European Movement International A movement of European citizens by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

The city of The Hague saw in 1948 the birth of the European Movement International (EMI), a movement that followed the vision of a united, federal Europe founded on the principles of peace, democracy, liberty, solidarity and respect for basic human rights. Today, it is one of the largest networks of European civil society organisations, consisting of 39 national councils and 36 international associations, including AEGEE-Europe. It has been precisely in The Hague that the Federal Assembly of EMI took place late May 2016. The date was just one month before the British EU Referendum, which became one of the dominating topics in the agenda. EMI presented the Briefing paper “The consequences of a UK exit from the European Union”, stressing the negative effects that a possible ‘Brexit’ (very hard to predict at that time) could have for the United Kingdom and for Europe as a whole, and triggered a discussion and an exchange of the different plans that each one of the organisations that are part of the EMI family would be undertaking. Migration and the refugee crisis was another ‘key’ topic, for which we discussed EMI’s position on the matter, which highlighted the importance of reforming the Dublin regulation, readjusting the Blue Card program and treating refugees with equal dignity and respect. The members of the European Movement had the chance to share some good practices and events that they organised, and AEGEE-Europe got to present the results of the European Planning Meeting in Leiden (read more about it on page 59) and the outline of its Policy Paper on Migration. Moreover, the European Movement International offers several training opportunities for the different member

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organisations to develop and upgrade their knowledge on European affairs and advocacy. These training courses include leading experts on a wide range of fields: for instance, in January 2016, a Communications Training hosted by the European Movement Germany in Berlin took place, led by the influential blogger on EU affairs Jon Worth.

AEGEE-Europe is a full member of European Movement International since 2011, as both organisations share many common values and priorities. Our involvement includes participation in EMI’s Federal Assemblies, Members Councils and work in the Political Committees related to the Priority Policy Areas. AEGEE members have the chance every year to participate in the EMI Training Academy, which is a great opportunity to receive insights on the work of the EU Institutions, and gain knowledge about European stakeholders and political processes. Since November 2014 AEGEE-Europe has a representative in the board of European Movement International, as Aleksandra Kluczka was elected to the board during the Federal Assembly in Rome.


structured dialogue and aegee’s involvement by Pablo Hernández, External Relations Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

The Structured Dialogue (SD) is a process initiated by the European Commission that is aimed at creating a link between the opinion of young people and decision-making processes on the topics that directly affect the European youth. Each Structured Dialogue cycle process has an 18-month duration, divided in three phases that last six months each. In each phase, a youth conference is organised, as a meetup for governments, national youth representatives and international non-governmental organisations in the field of youth (INGYOs). The SD is run by the European Union (EU) and leads to the adoption of recommendations towards the Council of the European Union. So far, the different cycles have covered youth employment, youth participation in democratic life in Europe, social inclusion, and youth empowerment for political participation. Now it is the turn for the topic of enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe. For AEGEE-Europe, the Structured Dialogue has been a priority since its creation. We have been directly contributing and cooperating with other INGYOs and other European stakeholders to improve the system, with two objectives: : first, making the SD truly European-wide and not only EU-limited; and second, aiming at having a real impact in the decision making.

AEGEE-Europe has been playing a leading role in the involvement and recognition of the INGYOs in the Structured Dialogue. This year, the cycle V has come to an end with some recommendations being included in the Council Resolution on encouraging political participation of young people in democratic life in Europe (November 2015). Such resolution includes to foster cross-sectorial cooperation and partnerships between educational stakeholders in order to develop integrated approaches of citizenship education programmes, and lowering the voting age for the elections of local and regional public authorities to 16 years, which is in line with AEGEE-Europe’s policy paper on Youth Participation in Democratic Processes in Europe. Now, the cycle VI has started, and we are consulting our members about their opinion on the topic of this cycle. Moreover, AEGEE-Europe will organise, together with other INGYOs, a round table in a European institution that will gather the main stakeholders in the field to negotiate what the EU should do in order to enable all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and pan-inclusive Europe.

In May 2013, The European Commission organised an evaluation process of the Structured Dialogue in which AEGEE-Europe actively participated. We have also organised the first formal meeting of INGYOs, during which 12 youth organisations gathered to draft a common position for the guiding questions of the Irish Presidency. Moreover,

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3

Faces of the network


A year-long journey: from Brussels to the AEGEE Network by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

“Getting to the head office of AEGEE-Europe as an elected member of the Comité Directeur is like taking a train to an unknown destination. Even if the journey is full of uncertainties, you know it will lead you where the magic happens. [...] And even if the path might get rough at times, you are certain to count on the help and the encouragement from your six travel companions”.

One year ago, I was writing those lines as a recently elected member of the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe, the board of directors leading and managing the organisation from our Head Office in Brussels. The engines soon started running and the train speeded up at its fullest in no time.

and volunteering to improve the situation, discussing and kicking off a bunch of initiatives and projects all over the continent. The voice of our members has been delivered in the platforms where we belong, and we have advocated strongly for a more integrated Europe on all fronts.

We spent our first weeks in the office putting the seven pieces of our puzzle together, in order to build our vision as a team. We wanted to be in the front line of the most pressing topics on the European agenda, bringing the big discussions to our members and taking collective action. AEGEE has always had a strong involvement in external processes and platforms, and we wanted to take it one step further. However, this would not have been possible without our members and the AEGEE Network playing a crucial role in it. Therefore, this was our ultimate goal: to keep involving our members and make their voice heard in the relevant advocacy processes, to focus on their training and development and, essentially, to empower and support them to make their own ideas happen.

We have been witnessing several thematic events: the financial crisis, Europe’s internal and external borders, the empowerment of young people in different parts of the continent and many more topics had a place for discussion this year. We saw three excellent statutory events organised, and celebrated the kick-off of the AEGEE Day, meant to celebrate AEGEE’s existence every 16th of April, the date our organisation was born 31 years ago.

The past twelve months have been a year full of challenges in Europe, with issues such as the refugee crisis, the UK referendum on the European Union membership, and terrorist attacks in different parts of our continent, both questioning the status quo of Europe and posing major obstacles and challenges to the idea of a democratic, diverse and borderless continent that we strive for. However, in any of these cases, we have seen a strong commitment from our Network to tackle these topics together by taking action

Another fact that deserves a special mention is the great improvements and excellent relations with our partners, and the involvement in several external projects, which brought three staff members to AEGEE-Europe and professionalised our work even more - never has our office been that full! We have stopped in several cities and places all over our Network on this long journey, but our trip has now come to an end and it is time to pass on the baton to the new Comité Directeur, who has just started its term in the office, with lots of creative ideas and big plans. It is their time to make magic happen, but we certainly cannot step down this train without thanking the Network and all our partners and supporters for being with us in this 366-day-long journey.

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Comité Directeur 2015-2016 Aleksandra Kluczka AEGEE-Kraków

President

Svenja van der Tol AEGEE-Nijmegen

Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe

Ander Guerrero Ruiz AEGEE-Zaragoza

Financial Director

Réka Salamon AEGEE-Debrecen AEGEE-Aachen

Vice-President and Projects Director

Pablo Hernández Rodríguez AEGEE-Alicante AEGEE-Thessaloniki

External Relations Director

Anna Gumbau AEGEE-Barcelona

Communications Director

Maryana Semenyak AEGEE-Lviv

aSSISTANTS

EMPLOYEES Μadalena Sousa Andrea Ferrara

Policy and Advocacy Coordinator Project Manager

Ioana Duca

Project Officer

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Network and Human Resources Director

Fabrizio Bellicano María Ballesteros Melero

Lead Developer CD Assistant

Ana Potocnik Daniel Tufeanu

Internal Education Organisational Culture


MEMBERS OF THE MONTH by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

Jana Védlová (AEGEE-Brno) Member of the Month - June 2015 I joined AEGEE in 2011 and, after my first Summer University in 2011 organised by AEGEE-Salerno, I immediately became active. I organised some SUs, two NWMs, and many local events. I was part of the former Culture Working Group, where I helped with one project called Cultural Calendar, and I participated in lots of different content and fun events, where I met great friends and inspiring people. As all the active members, I took part in many Agorae. Being active for almost five years is a long time, the time of my life, and helped me in many ways. I am truly happy that I happened to be introduced to this great youth culture.

Matthijs Dirks (AEGEE-Nijmegen) Member of the Month - Summer Edition 2015 One of the main changes in my life since I joined AEGEE is that my Facebook timeline is now overflown with posts in Russian, Spanish, German, etc. Secondly, I spend way more money than I should on trips all across Europe. The third life changing aspect of AEGEE is that my liver grew a higher acceptance for foreign homebrews. Furthermore, I now enjoy more worldly cuisine than before, I visit more exotic places – Döner Nijmegen for example. The fifth big change AEGEE brought upon me is that I now get 70 e-mails a day on average. Lastly, I have learned that every deadline is extendable, although my university tends to disagree with me on that.

Philipp Blum (AEGEE-Aachen) Member of the Month - Autumn Agora Kyïv Edition 2015 The most amazing thing of AEGEE as a community for me is how open-minded people are. It seems like there are no prejudices against you when you are at an AEGEE event - people assume you are nice and trustworthy, unless you prove them wrong. If a person and I disagree on a political issue, we can still be friends and laugh about other things. I recon many people can learn a lot from this. On a more personal view, it’s amazing how much you can grow and learn by doing in AEGEE. There’s always people around that will come to you with a smile and a helping hand, so you’re not completely left alone. Yet, no-one will do the work for you, which means that you have to work a lot. Also, seeing different people and places will become more important that the 20 hour journey there.

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Alessandro D’Ettorre (AEGEE-Leuven) Member of the Month - october 2015 Being part of AEGEE means taking a stand for a better Europe while having fun at the same time. It means embracing active participation in the democratic life of Europe, involving who is most interested in it: young people. AEGEE means being part of a big family that wants to highlight what unites us over what divides us.

Andrei Dodita (AEGEE-Chișinău) Member of the Month - november 2015 I don’t know what I would be doing now at all, if I wasn’t a part of the big AEGEE family. Therefore I can say out loud that the best choice I ever made was to join this amazing association back in February 2014 and become an active social young man both at national and international level. The only thing I regret is that I found out so late about AEGEE, only in the fourth year of faculty. AEGEE helped me a lot to discover myself and the things I can do, plus some qualities and skills I never thought I possessed. This way, I had to abandon my masters degree as I was not really interested anymore in the formal education, even though I got a scholarship. Being actively involved in AEGEE, I got to discover people, new cultures, visit new countries and make friends all over Europe. AEGEE helped me to get out of my comfort zone and that’s how I started to dream about bringing the Agora to Chișinău. I thank AEGEE for who I am now and my antenna for their daily support and trust.

Shams Mammadli (AEGEE-Bakı) Member of the Month - december 2015 As I’m going to write about the changes that AEGEE brought to my life, I think I should start from the beginning. A friend of mine told me that he was a member of a cool organisation and I should also become a member. He said that there I would meet people with the same vision I had. So I decided to meet those people. I have been in the organising team of SU, the coordinator of a working group, an active member during the previous year. And now it has been six months that I’m working as the PR responsible in AEGEE-Bakı. All this brought so much fun and friends, besides the experience, abilities and new skills. AEGEE changed my photo gallery, notebook, daily schedule, copybook, to-do list and so on. The experience and skills that I improved are obvious and I’m thankful for them. But the important changes for me are the family I gained here, memories I gathered and the self-esteem I have now.

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Oğuz Kaan Kahraman (AEGEE-Istanbul) Member of the Month - january 2016 Things are going so differently on the local level, compared with the European bodies: two separate worlds, and I like them both! I am with my friends and I enjoy working with them, that’s the point. Titles are not important in AEGEE-İstanbul, we are all working for a better world, for a better future. But what I do is dealing with external relations, IT stuff, organising events and sometimes helping the other board members.

Fabrizio Bellicano (AEGEE-Genova) Member of the Month - FEBRUARY 2016 AEGEE is a playground: you can do whatever you want. It’s your place to experiment, to grow, to fail, and to learn. On one hand you have the possibility of doing something impactful, with grandeur; on the other hand you have the safety of not being a professional organisation or the likes, and you can confidently dare. Once you start daring there is no failure, just success.

Naira N. Pérez Rodríguez (AEGEE-Tenerife) Member of the Month - MARCH 2016 AEGEE landed to my life in the best moment: in the first year of university, when young people are more willing to be active. AEGEE has given me more than I could ever return to it (although I’m working hard for it). For me, AEGEE has been a support in hard moments; a scope of incessant and multidisciplinar training and a great opportunity to purchase new skills, not just for my daily life but also for my academic background; a source of great friends all over Europe, even best friends to the infinity and beyond; the best chance to meet new cultures and countries, that I never thought I could meet; a method to participate and get involved in the improvement of society at all levels... In conclusion, a pair of glasses to perceive, interpret and feel the world in another way.

Suzan Dilara Tokaç (AEGEE-Eskişehir) Member of the Month - APRIL 2016 I became a member when I was 18 years old, a naive and inexperienced little girl, but still adventurous. My first time abroad was an AEGEE event, pre-event in Utrecht and Maastricht for Agora Aachen. Although I was alone, the only participant from Eskişehir and Turkey, I felt like home and surrounded by friends since the very first moment. AEGEE gave me all the courage and confidence to pursue my dreams, to overcome the obstacles on my way to success. I have dived into the worlds of history and sports; lived the life of many different cultures; communicated in different languages; got expertise in many subjects; led international projects and been a part of many great teams. After all these years full of activities, events, special moments, sleepless nights and devotion, I became the woman I am today.

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LOCALS OF THE MONTH by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

AEGEE-Osnabrück LOCAL of the Month - SUMMER EDITION 2015 The most inspiring thing about being a part of AEGEE is… …getting in touch every day with dynamic, enthusiastic people, whose vision is to make Europe a better place by overcoming challenges as a unified team.

AEGEE-Kyïv LOCAL of the Month - Autumn Agora Kyïv Edition 2015 From our experience we can say that, thanks to AEGEE, people in Kyïv (who are members or who were members) became more open-minded. They got many soft skills working in different teams, both in local and international events. We can say that AEGEE helped many young people to go out of their comfort zone and to try things they had never tried before. If we talk about Ukrainian youth, AEGEE indeed helped in developing non-formal education in our city. Moreover, more and more people can feel at least part of a borderless Europe as the procedure of getting a visa for AEGEEans is becoming much easier. With AEGEE, young people in Kyïv for sure know much more about the European society compared to their peers. We are more educated than many students in Ukraine about problems and the general situation in Europe.

AEGEE-Aachen LOCAL of the Month - OCTOBER 2015 What brings us together is that we all have close friends within our local and no matter which event you go to, you always find people who are fun to hang out with. Fun – definitely one of the things that AEGEE means to us. Just as much as getting to know different cultures, travelling, starting to think outside the box and finding friends all over Europe. But AEGEE is so much more! We organise events, manage a local and its members, can be part of projects and other European bodies, work in international teams, just to name a few things. It provides you with new challenges everyday if you want to. It is a big playground for self-development and full of learning possibilities. This is why AEGEE is so special to us.

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AEGEE-tartu LOCAL of the Month - November 2015 The most inspiring thing to be part of AEGEE is discovering that there are so many people in your local antenna and in Europe with whom you have so many common interests and ideas. The inspiration forms us into a family that is connected by the amazing group spirit we have. It makes you want to be a better person, friend, member and organisation. The way we manage to combine fun with knowledge and learning is what keeps us going. We are all motivated and active young people, which makes us the strongest group in our society. The fact that we could really make a difference in the world is the core of our inspiration.

AEGEE-zaragoza LOCAL of the Month - december 2015 AEGEE-Zaragoza was founded in 1996 and, since then, we haven’t stopped organising lots of important projects and activities, keeping ourselves always busy and passionate. We have always been a reference in AEGEE’s network thanks to the active participation of our members in many European activities. Zaragoza is a university city that gathers students from different backgrounds together and that gives us the chance to get in contact with students interested in European affairs. In that sense, AEGEE helps us strengthening our European spirit and giving us the motivation to organise as many events as we can. The positive results of the AEGEE events we organize with our full dedication are also an energy boost that encourages us to keep on with the good work and to get involved in more new projects.

AEGEE-peiraias LOCAL of the Month - january 2016 A borderless Europe, the best and biggest students organisation in Europe, dreams that come true, thematic projects, travelling to many many countries, meeting people from different cultures, sharing unique experiences, making international friends and strong friendships, family, discovering and developing your hidden skills, non formal education, gaining valuable experience, expanding your boundaries, Summer Universities, AEGEE spirit, memories, structuring the future of Europe, active participation, an important part of our life.

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AEGEE-LEIDEN LOCAL of the Month - FEBRUARY 2016 by Renate van Breugel, Treasurer & European Affairs Officer When I became a member of AEGEE three years ago I could not have imagined how my life would change. I had serveral international friends already but AEGEE made sure that wherever I am there’s a kind of home. Whether I am on a vacation with a friend in Gran Canaria, writing AEGEE-Las Palmas for tips and getting invited to join them if they have an event during our time there. Or when going on our AEGEE-Leiden summer trip to Georgia and meeting an old AEGEE-Tibilisi board member at our interview at the embassy. I have learned that AEGEE is everywhere and that AEGEEans are always willing to help you and be a friend to you. My social life is different because of this. My international group of friends has expanded and keeps getting bigger. Also as a person I grow more because of this and the projects AEGEE has. For example, right now I am in London for the election observation mission here, learning a lot about British elections. I really believe AEGEE makes you grow in every way. I am happy to be part of something so amazing.

AEGEE-MARIBOR LOCAL of the Month - MARCH 2016 We are all extremely motivated and inspired to work on our projects (e.g. our TSU “Shake It Up!” and this year’s 10th annual New Years event), which excite us in the best possible way! We all gained new skills and tons of knowledge, from discovering unexpected but exciting facts about various cultures, making unforgettable memories with tons of amazing people from all over Europe, and, consequently, broadening our minds and sharpening our language skills, to becoming even more open-minded and respectful of the diversity, beliefs, dreams that divide us, but simultaneously make us even more connected in the process of breaking national borders and becoming active AEGEEans!

AEGEE-VORONEZH LOCAL of the Month - APRIL 2016

AEGEE-Voronezh is a small antenna and we can’t say that our community was affected that much by the fact that AEGEE was established in our city, but we are trying to do our best to change that. For example, this April we were involved in the “Clean April” event, dedicated to recycle trash. These are small steps towards changing our community for the better and we are hoping for more.

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A laboratory for European citizenship: AEGEE as seen by its alumni by Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

We call AEGEE a network of 13,000 young Europeans spread across the continent - this is one of our most famous “pitch” lines and one of our most tangible assets. However, what is often overlooked is the number of generations that AEGEE has reached out to in its 31 years of existence. Around a hundred thousand people from all over Europe have contributed to and been impacted by the so-called ‘AEGEE spirit’!

Marie-Laure Lulé discovered AEGEE in 1987, soon after AEGEE-Berlin was born. She tells us: “As part of the Cold War and Chernobyl generation, I couldn’t stop listening Nena’s song 99 Luftballons on repeat. I followed with attention the development of the East-West Working Group just set up in Berlin, where 120 students from both Eastern and Western States met. By the end of 1989, the so-called Iron Curtain disappeared! All of a sudden, a new geopolitical context and a new time full of hope began”. Soon afterwards, Marie-Laure founded AEGEE-Rennes and became a member of the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe in 1993. “With our little resources – remember: no internet, no smartphones, over-expensive flights, so many currencies and no euro… with just our imagination, our hands and feet, we built this concrete Europe of students we are living in”. The will and motivation of committed young Europeans, adding a spark of creativity and anticipation to it, “contributed to the good of Europe”. AEGEE has been a playground where young Europeans have been exposed to other like-minded individuals, cooperating, and making great things happen. “AEGEE was an organisation formed by a group of people who I shared values with and where I had a lot of good friends”, Michal Trochimczuk, founder of AEGEE-Warszawa in the early 90s, says; a vision that many of us still share today. Tena Prelec, former member of AEGEE-Trieste and member of the Comité Directeur 2008-2009, remembers her time in AEGEE as “being part of an exciting club of like-minded people that knew no borders. Together we would build stuff to address causes we believed in while learning from each other and exploring all the corners of Europe”.

very friendly to those coming from the other side of the newly (re)established borders was still looked at with suspicion”. But, how do you overcome those borders? “Put them in a supranational context, and those same people become each other’s closest friends. This is when I saw Europe work in practice for what I believed - and still believe - to be a very noble cause”, Tena adds. In short, she says, AEGEE has been drawing bridges: “AEGEE opens hearts and minds towards ‘the other’, and its members are therefore ideally equipped for spearheading the vision of a future in which harnessing diversity is always preferred to entrenching ourselves behind fear and prejudice”. In the words of Marie-Laure Lulé: “AEGEE was, and still is, a laboratory for European identity, a school for European responsible citizenship, and a playground for future European builders, whether in the public or private sector”. Looking at the future, “AEGEE should stay strong on a personal level, bridging gaps across Europe, should have an opinion on what is happening in Europe and should remain a nonpolitical association”, Michal says. Marie-Laure goes a step further: “On our European ship, two options are offered to us: leave the boat or keep the direction. Fly or fight. (...) For my part, I will remain faithful to my motto: only experience will make the European idea concrete. I still hold in my hand my big red balloon.”

Friendship knows no borders, and neither does AEGEE. Tena shared an anecdote about when she travelled to Agora Eskişehir 2007: “The most vivid experience was when I ran into the Balkan crowd - all playing the guitar and singing (and being characteristically loud while at it) together. As a child of a Croatian mother and a Serbian father, the scene had quite an impact on me, as the scars of the recent conflicts were still fresh in my countries of origin, where being

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EXPERIENCE THAT MATTERS by the Foundation AEGEE Trust Fund

“Payback” is the keyword. It is an advantage received from something, which in AEGEE’s care are all the experiences acquired in many years of volunteering for AEGEE. The Foundation AEGEE Trust Fund, commonly known as FATF, is about giving back to AEGEEans all the knowledge that more experienced members gained by organising events and running international projects.

The foundation started in 2003 to assist the successful start of projects and events organised in the AEGEE Network, and works through mentorship, project management support and liquidity support. It provides a box of experience that every AEGEE member willing to organise a project or event can get assistance from. All of the above (rarely a correct answer when taking a test in the university) are positive effects of years of activities in our antennae and in European bodies, working on projects, making mistakes, and asking for support. This is where the FATF comes in play: one of the biggest possibilities it offers for AEGEE antennae is the liquidity support, which they can ask for when they got an institutional or private grant accepted, but need to receive the funds before the event or project starts.

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The internal pool of experts of the foundation consists of members highly skilled in topics such as event management, project coordination, financial management and reporting. These tasks are learned by doing, one of the most effective learning methods. Every AEGEE member with relevant experience and willingness to share it could potentially join the team of experts, and work together to keep the sustainability of the organisation. Members joined AEGEE when it was already up and running as a successful organisation with many local committees and lots of events, Summer Universities and other international projects. Joining an association that already has events in the calendar, active members and ideas that will one day become events will make you realise, at the beginning, that the people who are organising all those activities have something new members do not have yet: know-how. This is developed by taking part in events and projects, by learning from others, by making mistakes, but mostly by organising them yourself. Doing so, new members gain experience and within a few months, those who were new members will be empowered to continue with new projects and events. Looking at the process of knowledge transfer, given the nature of the events and projects organised in AEGEE, it is not always possible to cascade it to newer generations because sometimes (and it is perfectly natural) the type of event will be different and it is possible that some technical knowledge, gained with experience, is lost. This is why the work of the foundation is important for AEGEE. Not only for AEGEE-Europe, but for every member who realizes how much he or she does not know.


There is life after AEGEE by Theijs van Welij, Coordinator of Les Anciens d’AEGEE

Imagine yourself a few years away from now: you work in tourism, diplomacy, a bank or any other sector. At some point something is missing: the fun of meeting up with people from all over Europe. Then it is time to rediscover the AEGEE spirit…

When AEGEE was becoming mature, some first generation members were embarking with their careers, leaving their student lives behind and feeling the need to create a life after AEGEE, but still being connected with the good old times, still living the AEGEE vibe. So, Les Anciens was born.

removing barriers to make the “career” step from being an active AEGEE member to becoming an alumni as smooth as possible. While your antenna might reunite local alumni too, Les Anciens is the official alumni organisation of AEGEE-Europe. Becoming a member is easy according to our Secretary General, Julia de Cuveland: “If you want to become a member of Les Anciens you just need to go to our website, www. anciens.org, and fill in the contact form under the button ‘join Les Anciens’. Going forward, Les Anciens will be more vibrant, more thematic in its approach and with diversified activities to enable the coexistence of all different age-groups and interests under one umbrella as the AEGEE alumni organisation. So join us to continue the AEGEEan lifestyle! Will we meet you at our Anciens meeting in Budapest in spring 2017?

Since then, Les Anciens has grown from having just one annual event to the current approximately six events per year. All a bit more tranquil than in the old days, but with the same vibe nevertheless! Now, 25 years later, we marked the occasion by not only looking back and celebrating what we have achieved, growing from a handful of people to a 600 members alumni organisation. We also looked ahead to see where Les Anciens can still grow stronger, tightening the bond with present day AEGEE. More emphasis on supporting AEGEEans and

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in the

4

SPOTLIGHT


Autumn Agora Kyïv 2015 SUCCESS REGARDLESS OF ANY OBSTACLES by Anna Pykhtina, Main Organiser of Autumn Agora Kyiv 2015

In October, the biggest biannual event of AEGEE - the Agora - was organised in Kyïv, Ukraine. Despite the political and economic obstacles that Ukraine was and still is facing, the event gathered more than 600 participants and organisers.

The idea to organise a big international event in Kyïv came to my mind after the Euromaidan had started. Within half a year, Ukraine was all over the news and there were a lot of rumours about what was happening in the country. AEGEEans from Ukrainian locals were trying their best to share the real stories but everyone saw how powerful the propaganda was. As a result, not many people took part in the Summer Universities in Ukraine that year. In the summer of 2014, I was planning to become the President of my antenna. I wanted to organise a big event because it was a way to promote not only my local but also my country; and so the Agora was our personal challenge and the reason to unite. It was a time when Ukraine was divided and we all needed something powerful and inspiring to believe in. I asked Ukrainian locals if they would help us and when AEGEE-Kyïv was announced to the stage by the Comité Directeur, it was a victory not just for Kyïv, but for all of us. We encountered a lot of difficulties while organising our Agora, although difficulties while organising events are part of every organiser’s life. For example, half a year before the event, we lost the university support. We were sad but we found a way to work with another one. After a successful collaboration with the University of Taras Shevchenko during the Night of the Seven Antennae, we got even better conditions from them. We were afraid of the cold weather and there was no heating in the gym, but the days were sunny. An accident happened two days before the event when we realised that bracelets were not made very well and the ink was gone after one shower. It was stressful, but these things create professionalism in us. Looking back, I can only say that I was amazed by the way the team solved them. It was (and still is) the biggest project I have organised. Despite the fact that I was working full-time, the Agora was one of the first things on my mind. But to be honest, most of the tasks were done one month before the event. It’s just a

part of mentality to think about things when they are about to come as nobody is sure what will happen in half a year. The human resources structure was very well organised as it was generated after talking to wise organisers of two previous statutory events. We divided all tasks into different teams: meals, IT, logistics, PR, Social, Gym, Security, External Relations, Fundraising and each team had a leader. I also asked my friends who I worked with in different teams and projects from different locals to join us. Out of more than one hundred organisers, thirty percent were foreigners. Ninety percent of all communication was online and in English, as we had Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, French people among Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians in the organising team. Regarding fundraising, it is difficult in Ukraine. Nevertheless, we got support from some international companies and a lot of informational support from the media as we not only organised the statutory event but also a thematic conference “Young Ukraine: Defending, Investing, Acting”. The moment I remember as the most delightful one could be represented by each night we had a meeting with the team. It was held on the ground floor in a small gym where everybody came together after a long and tiring day, and everybody knew they would not go home after the meeting - almost all of them still had work to do. But the level of inspiration and the atmosphere that existed at that time at that place were inexpressible - we were discussing the day and preparing for a new one, joking, laughing and it was the best moment for me: being with the team who were my friends and enjoying the work we did. I feel satisfied with my work even if many things could have been done better. But, to be honest, I am really proud of the result and it was my nightmare, my dream and now, the best memory.

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European Planning Meeting Leiden 2016 Dutch dream came true by Casper Renting, Vice Organiser EPM Leiden 2015

AEGEE-Leiden had already organised an Agora twice (in 1987 and in 2010), but organising a European Planning Meeting (EPM) was still on our to-do list and the last Agora was far enough in the past for a new generation of motivated AEGEEans to emerge. We hosted two Network Meetings and a Night of the Seven Antennae in the recent past, and after that we decided we wanted to go one step further and organise another statutory event.

Originally, we wanted to organise the EPM of 2015. Therefore, the first preparations, like getting in touch with the university and municipality to get support, started at the end of 2013. After we lost our bid to organise the EPM against Burgos, we cried for a long time, but later on a team was formed to start working on a better bid. When we applied the year after, the core team, gym and congress locations were pretty much taken care of, and we had a rough idea what we wanted to do with food and social programme, but we really picked up steam after the summer. Before our bid, there was a research team of five people who worked to find out the feasibility for AEGEE-Leiden to organise the EPM. When we applied, some of them continued in a newly-formed core team, who took care of the preparations. A bit after the summer, we recruited our socalled subcommissioners, who were responsible for concrete parts of the programme, like the parties or breakfasts. Soon after that, we were happy to receive the support of about sixty helpers, even from other antennae, who did most of the work. Lastly, we should mention our supervisory board consisting of former board members and organisers of Agora Leiden 2010 and Agora Enschede 2012, who made sure we stuck to the rules and followed our budget, but mostly shared their experiences with the core team.

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As for the design of our materials, we owe a lot to our antenna’s Photoshop expert, Jelte, who has been designing most of our materials since 2013. He developed the logo and with help of the Public Relations Committee of AEGEE-Europe we made it visual identity-proof. When we had the logo, we made sure our website, Facebook page, letters, powerpoints, etc. were all in line with our visual identity, in order to maximise visibilty in both AEGEE and Leiden. At Autumn Agora Kyïv, Migration was selected as the topic of the EPM by AEGEEans, so it became the focus of the conference part of the EPM. We really liked the topic and were proud that ‘our’ event would facilitate discussions about this important issue. During the event, we could see that participants were having a good time, and when they weren’t, we did what we could. We received a lot of compliments from our participants, which was awesome, because it was them we were doing it all for! It’s hard to imagine, but almost all organisers were full-time studying while organising the EPM. Even on Monday 29th, many people were attending classes a few hours after the EPM had finished. After a few good nights of sleep we started working on the boring stuff: finalising the budget and sending it to our funds and evaluation. What kept us going were the happy faces of the participants and their gratitude. For us, it was an honour to organise an EPM and to receive hundreds of AEGEEans into our city. Bedankt!


Spring Agora Bergamo 2016 the Agora of the 1000 by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

From the 18th until the 22nd of May, AEGEE-Bergamo hosted the Spring Agora 2016, also known as the ‘Agora of the 1000’. It was not an easy ride for the northern Italian local to get the Agora, since they had already applied to host the Autum Agora 2015, which was assigned to AEGEE-Kyïv in the end. However, AEGEE-Bergamo did not lose its spirit and was chosen to host the Spring Agora in 2016.

The Agora took place in the City Fair of Bergamo, which had the plenaries, prytania, sleeping hall and canteen in the same facility. On the first day, the participants had the opportunity to attend an open-air fair on the square of the Old Town (in which also Bergamo citizens participated), followed by the opening plenary and the opening ceremony in the historical Teatro Donizetti. The opening ceremony was particularly appreciated not only for its unique location, but also for its content: speeches by local authorities, such as the Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, and the President of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016, Aleksandra Kluczka, were accompanied by some very enjoyable performances of dancers and musicians. In a very tight schedule, during the following three days, attendees got the chance to elect new members of commissions (Juridical Commission, Audit Commission, Network Commission), but, most of all, the new board of directors as follows: Réka Salamon as President of AEGEE-Europe, Zvonimir Canjuga as Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe and Joanna Pankowska, Maarten de Groot, Lia Tuska and Tekla Hajdu as members of the Comité Directeur. AEGEE members could see the progress of the association, check reports of AEGEE bodies and follow the happenings thanks to the press team.

jects. Those are only some of the numbers involved at the Agora. An Agora that was unforgettable not only for the participants, but also for the organisers. Mauro Cattaneo, vice-main organiser of the Agora, said: “We are very satisfied with the result. Of course, we had some other small surprises that we were not able to show to the participants because of the lack of time”, but, he continued “the nearly two years of preparation, the weekly meetings and the several simulations that we did before the real event bore their fruits and everything went smoothly, despite all of the unexpected things that happened - that probably most participants did not notice”. Organising an Agora had been a dream for AEGEE-Bergamo since the local was refounded in late 2000. According to the organisers, what they will miss the most is the energy of the people involved in the organisation of the event, but also “the energy of the thousand participants of the event, that are the future of our continent”. The Agora was not, of course, the last bit of the Italian local. For the “oldies” it is time for some vacation far from AEGEE, but Mauro Cattaneo is sure that there is a “great younger generation who is going to rule our antenna and Network very well”.

950 participants, 100 organisers, 12,000 meals served, 20,000 photos, 10 hours of movie clips and 79 lost ob-

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60


STATUTORY EVENTS STATISTicS NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS

1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Autumn Agora Kyïv

EPM Leiden

Spring Agora Bergamo

participant type

617 125 10 1233 65

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Delegates Envoys Observers Visitors Others


number of agorae visited 10+ 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0

500

1000

1500

participant diet

2057 308 42 109

Meat-Eater Vegetarian Vegan Diet, Allergies

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AEGEE AND THE CHARLEMAGNE YOUTH PRIZE MET AGAIN by Ivaylo Bogomilov, AEGEE-Sofia, Main Organizer of the Night of the Seven Antennae in Sofia

Every year, the European Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded by the Charlemagne Prize Foundation in cooperation with the European Parliament. The prize does not honor individuals, but projects run by a group of people between the ages of 16 and 30 which contribute to international cooperation, promote ‘the development of a shared sense of European identity’ and provide a model for how Europeans can live together as a community. This year, the Charlemagne youth prize was even more special. Not only because the awarding ceremony was held in the city hall of Aachen, in the crown hall of Charlemagne (where the Charlemagne prize is given, with this year’s winner being Pope Francis), not only because the patron of the event was Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, but most of all because it is a really special year for Europe and the European Union. It will be no surprise that the main focus of the award ceremony and Martin Schulz’ speech was the refugees crisis, the UK referendum and the situation in Greece. As an event that is not only related to youth policies and youth events, the European Charlemagne Youth Prize was a great example of an initiative that focused on the problems in Europe and the European Union. This result was achieved by both politicians and the 28 young people representing the national winners of each Member State. One of these national winners was AEGEE’s Night of the Seven Antennae (N7A), which was selected by the Bulgarian jury. After a great effort of seven AEGEE locals in April 2015, as a part of the celebration of 30th Anniversary of AEGEE-Europe, seven different cities were connected for three days to talk about “Europe in me, me in Europe”, to

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discuss different pressing issues and to make a real change in Europe. These locals were Aachen, Bergamo, Catania, Eskisehir, Leiden, Kyïv and Sofia. The amazing livestream on the 18th of April was the highlight that shows that today it is more important than ever to be connected because of our diversity, instead of being divided because of our ignorance. This is maybe one of the reasons why the N7A was the national winner in Bulgaria and for sure was one of the best projects in this year selection of European Charlemagne Youth Prize. As main organiser of N7A in Sofia and representative of AEGEE-Sofia in the event I can say that the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2016 is an event that shows how easily a solution to problems can be found if you just see how young people can change not only the future, but also how they try to change the present. It shows that young people can really change Europe in a better way. Тhe Night of the Seven Antennae being a great example of a solution that Europe needs - more inclusiveness, more diversity and the creation of one connected society like the one the event created, even if it was just for a night! P.S. I should mention the great help that all of the volunteers from AEGEE-Aachen do every year to contribute for the execution of the the Charlemagne Youth Prize and also the great support of all other locals taking part in the Night of the Seven Antennae and the Comité Directeur to earn this award !


European Citizens’ Initiative “More than Education” by Εsther Hillmer, with support of the Civic Education Working Group

The idea to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative was included in our Action Agenda during the European Planning Meeting in Burgos in February 2015. Starting an ECI is one of the objectives that support the aim of setting civic education, one of AEGEE’s focus areas, on the political agenda at all levels. In autumn 2015, the Civic Education Working Group launched an open call to find motivated members for the ECI task force. One live meeting and innumerable online meetings were needed before the proposal for the European Citizens’ Initiative called “More than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens”, that aims at improving Civic Education in Europe, was submitted to the European Commission. Even though the European Commission has approved the legal admissibility of that ECI in June 2016, the task force decided to withdraw the proposal because they did not have enough time to finish the set-up of the system for online signature collection. The team realised that many human and financial resources are necessary in order to deal with the challenges of the collection process. Therefore, a crowdfunding campaign was initialised. As soon as adequate funding is secured and technical requirements are met, the initiative will be submitted again. Despite the difficulties of a complicated registration process, the task force members have never lost their passion for improving Civic Education in Europe. Together with an active team of national coordinators and ambassadors in many different EU member states they want to collect one million signatures in order to invite the European Commis-

sion to propose legislative action that will improve Civic Education at schools. It is crucial to have more intensive measures to support Member States in their responsibility of providing the basic civilising tools needed to become a functioning member of a democratic, diverse and open society. In order to promote cohesion, the educational efforts should be coordinated throughout the European Union by setting a long-term agenda, creating benchmarks, undertaking periodic evaluations and sharing best practice among member states and educators.

Together with a network of supporters, the ECI Task Force will continue its hard work until the European Citizens’ Initiative is registered again, during the one-year period of collecting signatures and of course until Civic Education has attracted more awareness among public and policy-makers. To learn more about the subject matter or how to support the ECI, please visit www.morethaneducation.eu/.

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AEGEEans engaging in a dialogue with refugees & taking action together by Αnna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-16

The uncoordinated and lacking European response to the refugee crisis has created evidence on how the European Union is disunited and national interests have prevailed. A lack of solidarity among countries has led to the closure of some of our borders, harming the free movement of people in Europe. Fear towards ‘the other’ has fuelled intolerance and hate speech. Because of that, AEGEE has taken a strong stance and responded to such challenges.

Since the refugee crisis erupted, at least 50% of our AEGEE antennae have discussed the issue of migration. Many of them have taken immediate action: by volunteering in refugee camps, by drafting and ratifying their position papers, by organising roundtables and structured discussions, living libraries or activities aiming to integrate refugees into their local communities. AEGEE’s action and stance on the matter has been of a grassroots approach, and the mobilisation from the Network was overwhelming. Several initiatives have been carried out by both locals and European bodies, and the need to react has inevitably become a priority in the eyes of our members.

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The European Planning Meeting (EPM) in Leiden, which took place in February, was a big milestone. Two of the days were focused on the refugee crisis, which was tackled from different angles: the perspective of European citizens, and what the inclusion of ‘the other’ means for European identity; the perspective of activists and volunteers, and the need of a bottom-up approach to aid and integrate refugees; but also the perspective of Syrian refugees, who participated in the living library, the panel discussions and the workshops. Not many conferences about the refugee crisis have included refugees in the discussion, and it brought the quality of the discussion to a next level, by giving participants the chance


to talk to them directly. The EPM was also an opportunity to brainstorm on possible ideas, actions and tools that can be implemented to take action as a Network, and that have been released in the form of a results booklet. Not least, one of the highlights of the Spring Agora 2016 in Bergamo was the approval of AEGEE-Europe’s official position on Migration, written by Luca Bisighini, our Policy Officer on Migration. The paper presented AEGEE’s stance and recommendations, which put a strong emphasis on the need for inclusion and facilitation of education, training and employability of refugees, and the promotion of tolerance and respect to counter racism and hate speech. The mobility and humanitarian dimensions cannot be overlooked – AEGEE stands strongly for a clear European coordination of our external borders, as well as for the strengthening of legal humanitarian channels for refugees to reach safety. These are the first steps, but they are certainly crucial on a level on which each one of us share the responsibility. With the newly born MIGR (Migration Interest GRoup), we can only expect that such initiatives will be blossoming throughout the AEGEE Network. Let’s take action together!

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breaking borders in europe one aegee day at a time by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016 in cooperation with the AEGEE Day Core Team

Since the very first day, AEGEE has been putting into practice the vision of a borderless Europe without stereotypes about each other, by breaking the borders in Europe in many different ways. Reflecting on this, AEGEE locals gathered once again to break the borders in Europe while celebrating the very first edition of the AEGEE Day.

After the 30th anniversary celebrations of last year, the members of the Comité Directeur wanted to find a way to celebrate the principles of our organisation on a more regular basis than a special anniversary every five years. After consulting our members at different events, the idea of AEGEE Day was born, with the founding date of AEGEE, 16th of April, as its symbolic date, and ‘breaking borders’ as the selected theme for its first edition.

ty borders, language borders, cultural borders, inequality borders and participation borders. For each type of border, four or five example activities were suggested, which were ranked from ‘easy’ to ‘a challenge’ so locals could pick what they wanted to do based on their time and resources available.

To make it more than just a symbolic date, a Core Team was created, consisting of Pablo Hernández (External Relations Director), Svenja van der Tol (Secretary General), Federica Soro (AEGEE-Cagliari) and Suzan Dilara Tokaç (AEGEE-Eskisehir), and the preparations started. First of all, promotional materials were created and the Facebook page was started in order to make the Network aware of what was going to happen, and ambassadors were assigned to give an extra push to locals to organise an activity to break the borders.

On the first AEGEE Day, 800 organisers of 77 locals and European bodies in our Network joined forces and organised 136 border breaking activities, varying from seminars on entrepreneurship and gender equality to youth exchanges and from cinema talks to living libraries. Besides that, many locals took the opportunity to promote AEGEE in their city and show other young people how the organisation has been breaking borders for thirty years. Many members posted pictures and videos of their activities to celebrate a real borderless AEGEE Day and the Language Interest Group made a video with members all over the Network saying ‘Happy AEGEE Day’ in their own language.

The activities weren’t only aimed at breaking the physical borders between countries, but also those existing between people with different cultures and backgrounds, or the societal borders, like employment and inequality borders. In the AEGEE Day guidelines, six types of borders that the locals could tackle were specified: employment borders, mobili-

A great success, but not a one-time-only story. Together with the Core Team, the Comité Directeur is working on guidelines to make the AEGEE Day happen again next year, and many more years in the future. Even if they are just small activities, together they have an impact and we can break the borders in Europe one AEGEE Day at a time.

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NUMBER OF network ANTENNAE 77 100

Participating Not Participating

number of activities per subfocus 5 27 14 27

Employment Mobility Language Cultural

NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES:

8 8 18 29

Inequality Participation Education & Sport Extra

136

77 22 6200 CITIES

COUNTRIES

ESTIMATED OUTREACH

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The AEGEE locals in the UK facing the ‘Brexit’ challenge by Erik Redli, AEGEE-Bratislava

The referendum on Brexit on June 23rd, 2016 ended with the victory of the Leave vote, which means that most of the people expressed themselves in favour of the UK abandoning the European Union (EU) after 43 years. The partition of Britain from the European Union has had a strong impact on many young people, including AEGEEans in the UK. Currently, AEGEE exists in London, Manchester, Canterbury and Aberdeen, and has two contacts in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Glasgow. Changing people’s minds over Brexit “Brexit isn’t generally favoured among young people in the UK, because they are the generation that benefits the most from staying in the EU,” said Emily Zerling, the founder of AEGEE-Canterbury. “Despite the fact that a lot of young people would rather stay in the EU, very few of them might go and vote on the day of the referendum”, she confirmed. AEGEE-Canterbury is a young contact antenna, based around the University of Kent, one of the most multicultural places of higher learning in the UK. Their situation is interesting, as they are a small representative of an international organisation in a country that was thinking of leaving the EU. Its members organised a campaign with the main aim to have the young people registered and educate them on the pros and cons of Brexit, which included workshops on how a potential Brexit can affect their situation.

69

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Emily pointed out that young people are generally more tolerant and would not close the borders. “Brexit could threaten European-level projects and make it more difficult for UK students to participate in such projects”. Call for European-minded people Polls show that the people over 55 years old are twice more likely to vote for leave than the people below 34. According to Pablo Palazón, the founder of AEGEE-Manchester, it indicates that the young people in Britain are in favour of further integration with the rest of the old continent and EU. “Probably, the youth is more aware of the possibilities of the European Union and more used to having colleagues from outside of Britain”, he said. The future will depend on how well the British can renegotiate the trade agreements and also on the connections with other parts of the world. Experts think that British economy will decline. Connections are also important for the millions of immigrants, whose families still live in the EU. “AEGEEans are in general ‘European-minded people’. I can clearly say that their opinions are in favour of the UK staying in the European Union”, says Pablo. The UK is the preferred destination for many foreign students and young workers, therefore the British antennae are mixtures of people from all over Europe. “Although we can understand some of the


points of the leave campaign, we profoundly disagree with this solution”.

ately with negotiations that should strengthen the cohesion of the remaining members and prevent further splintering of the Union.

Pablo with his team including Katharina Lawall from AEGEE-London and Miguel Gallardo (Honorary member of AEGEE-Alicante and former Comité Directeur member) wrote a policy paper about Brexit for Spring Agora Bergamo 2016. It states that Brexit would be devastating for the European project and could significantly affect youth mobility and freedom of movement. Moreover, it would be a step back for European political integration.

Research suggests that British economy will decline by 4.6 percent in the following year, which will affect employment and spending. Britain will have to renegotiate the trade agreements with the rest of Europe and it might happen that some of them will be replaced by overseas contractors. Geopolitical analysts point out that after losing one of its strongest member, the European Union will be weakened in tackling the issues of terrorism and conflicts in Ukraine and most recently Turkey.

Free mobility has always been one of the core values of AEGEE. “We claim that the new settlement of the United Kingdom (agreed by David Cameron) is not compatible with the ideal of AEGEE-Europe’s vision of democratic, diverse and borderless Europe”, said Pablo. Although AEGEE is not partisan, it is a lobby and should defend the opinion of the youth on topics like these. “It is neither a personal nor a local opinion, but rather an opinion of the Network as a whole”, stressed Pablo.

AEGEE-Europe released a statement in which they expressed disappointment over the results. It has been proved that the European integration can also regress, which, apart from the above mentioned global consequences, can also affect the free movement of citizens, including young people for studies and also AEGEEans. Therefore, the Comité Directeur praised the work of the antennae in the UK and urged them towards further activity and dialogue.

Momentum for populism Pablo appreciates the diversity of thoughts within the political parties, which proves that “the referendum is dividing citizens, not only the parties”. “The society here (in the UK) is divided but it is also quite remarkable that there are a lot of people who are not 100 percent sure of their vote”, said Pablo. “British people understand that even if they have a clear opinion, there are rational arguments on both sides and the answer is not easy to find”. According to experts and political leaders, the decision of the British people opened several new chapters for Europe, Britain and also Scotland. EU authorities reacted immedi-

percentage by age group 18-34 53

29

18

1

Remain a member of the EU Leave the EU

35-54 38

42

Don’t know

20

Prefer not to say

55+ 30

54

15

1

Source: Observer/Opinium

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Think before you Vink: raising awareness on the UkranE-Eu referendum by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

On the 6th of April, the Netherlands held a referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This referendum was organised according to a law that was passed in July 2015, which enables citizens to call for an advisory referendum on one of the many bills that the Parliament proposes, as long as they collect the right amount of signatures (i.e. 10,000 and 300,000 in two rounds). In order to promote active citizenship and raise awareness on European topics, a group of Dutch AEGEE members gathered, creating the ‘Think before you Vink’ campaign. The name of the campaign comes from the word “vink”, which means “to tick a box” in Dutch. The main aim of the campaign was to inform young Dutch people about the complex topic of the Association Agreement, involve them actively in the discussion of the topic and encourage them to cast their votes, making a well-informed decision. Core team member Maarten de Groot, from AEGEE-Amsterdam, said “Whether young Dutch people decided to vote or not, and, if so, to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’, was up to them, but we wanted them to take this decision only after careful deliberation”. The idea was first initiated by Loes Rutten, Network Commissioner, eventually leading to a group of fifteen AEGEEans from six Dutch-speaking locals (AEGEE-Delft, AEGEE-Nijmegen, AEGEE-Groningen, AEGEE-Leiden, AEGEE-Utrecht and AEGEE-Amsterdam) divided in a Core Team and three subteams (Content Team, PR Team, Video Team). A great contribution was made by AEGEE-Europe’s Network and Human Resources Director, Maryana Semenyak, who shared valuable information and contacts for lectures. The kick-off of the campaign was held at the fair of EPM Leiden, followed by a lecture night in Delft exploring the context of the Association Agreement with Ukrainian consultants and Dutch journalists. The main event, called the “Big Referendum Afternoon”, was held on the 3rd of March in Amsterdam. The programme was opened with a lecture

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lead by EU referendum experts, followed by debates between six presidents of Dutch political youth organisations, and a debate between a member of the Green Left Party and a Member of the Socialist Party of the European Parliament. Closing the day, there was a living library with seven young Ukranians. The Netherlands eventually expressed a negative vote upon the referendum. Only 32% of eligible voters cast their votes and, out of them, 61% expressed a clear vote against the Association Agreement. Such a low number of voters was interpreted as a sign of general distrust towards national and European politics. According to Maarten it is clear “that politicians can no longer count on the tacit consent of the people when it comes to the project of European integration. Moreover, I believe it underscores the need for more open, high-level societal debate on European issues.” He continues “Within AEGEE there are many people with great ideas, but turning ideas into action is a whole different story, as it requires pragmatism and perseverance. I hope our campaign will also inspire other AEGEEans to turn their ideas into actions more often, as we have the network to help us make great things happen”.

involvement of aegee antennae

15 2500 60 80

Team Members Involved Flyers Spread

Opening Lecture Participants Big Referendum Afternoon Participants


turkish locals and current happenings by Firdevs Çazım, AEGEE-Hatay

Turkey is one of the most complex countries on Earth. It is unpredictable, and nothing is really what appears to be on the surface. Over the last two years, the situation got even more complicated. Several terrorist attacks happened in Ankara and Istanbul, in which a lot of people died. A majority of citizens of the country felt frightened to move around, and tourists started to refrain from visiting Turkey. As a peak, on the 15th of July, a violent coup attempt happened. The country is still reeling from it, since at least 270 people were killed during the attack. The government has blamed the failed coup on the supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen and has embarked on a sweeping crackdown on his followers. A state of emergency was established for three months. Moreover, Ankara has recently started to carry out a fullscale ground operation in Syria, and Syria’s conflict has escalated into a dangerous new territory. All of these issues are pictured very differently in the media coverage, which is affecting opinions and perceptions in the country and in the society of Europe and the world. And, of course, it affects the activity of Turkish locals. Being active citizens and people who try to create a connection between Turkey and Europe, they are really challenged nowadays. “Terrorists attacks and deaths decrease the members’ motivation towards the educational, social and also local work. Therefore, for example, working groups and project teams become inactive and events are cancelled”, said Hasan Arda Özkuşaksız from AEGEE-Ankara. “It is obvious that people are hesitating to come to Turkey, which is very understandable. We can easily see that in the number of applications for the SU for example”, said Dermansah Yalin from AEGEE-Istanbul. The military coup happened just when SU “Istanbul is SUn’derful” had started. Participants were expecting to go to a club when organisers took them back to the gym. Only after coming back, they explained the reasons. The next day, the program was changed to be held only in the gym, but all planned activities were executed. “When they said it to us, they immediately gave us access to Wi-Fi to contact our families and friends. In the beginning we were shocked and scared, but then we calmed down and no one went back to their homes - all participants stayed until the last

day”, said Karina Kho from AEGEE-Moskva, participant of the Summer University in Istanbul. At the end of SU, it was suggested to nominate AEGEE-Istanbul as Local of the Month and all participants endorsed this idea. That is a great example of AEGEE-support - even though the country is struggling, there are people who are wiling to stay there in such difficult times, trying to understand and help. Is it possible for the AEGEE Network to help the Turkish locals somehow? “Yes, they helped us before and they can help again. They were curious about how we were, how things took place and whether they could have helped us”, said Hasan Arda Özkuşaksız. “At such moments we should stick together more and more and create awareness”. Dermansah Yalin agrees with him: “Yes, the AEGEE Network can help us. At this point, the key word is solidarity, because it’s always good to see support and good wishes for the future from friends from all around Europe. It’s good if there is somebody who’s thinking, worrying and caring about you. So all we want from them, is showing their support and let us know that we are not alone and together with them. Because we are stronger when we are together”. There are currently sixteen antennae in Turkey - the oldest one is AEGEE-Istanbul (founded in 1992) and the youngest one is the AEGEE contact in Mugla, that joined just this year. Being a part of AEGEE, Turkish locals have organised some successful projects, for example the great project Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue between 2002 and 2005. In 2004, Turkey joined the Erasmus programme thanks to advocacy of AEGEE-Istanbul and AEGEE-Ankara. In addition, some locals, members and active locals of the month were selected from Turkish members, for instance, Oğuz Kaan Kahraman from AEGEE-Istanbul in January 2016, Suzan Dilara Tokac from AEGEE-Eskişehir in July 2016. In May 2013, the title “Local of the Month” was awarded to AEGEE-Istanbul. Turkish locals and their members have always had a very active contribution to the life and activities of AEGEE-Europe - let’s hope that nothing will prevent them from being such a part of AEGEE world.

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borderless europe in practice Open up Your Heart and Act by Daria Lovkova and Tatiana Rodina, AEGEE-Moskva

In AEGEE, we have friends in different cities, different countries, and sometimes even different continents. Thanks to that, we learn to be tolerant and respect each other’s opinions. However, being citizens of different countries, we face obstacles in reaching out to each other - politics, visas or simply far distances are many of the borders that our members often face.

people. And politics? It doesn’t matter when you talk about friendship.”

For AEGEE, its key concept and goal lays on the idea of a ‘borderless Europe’ - by being actively involved and cooperating with like-minded Europeans, all members are working on the disappearance of all kinds of borders. But are all borders the same? It seems that some cities, regions and countries face more obstacles than others, but it doesn’t stop them to keep fighting. If not us - then who?

“AEGEE-Berlin just recently twinned with AEGEE-Istanbul and we are gradually intensifying our relations. Already at the beginning of this adventure we felt the difficulty of the situation. When conducting our first exchange, many of our members were worried due to the political situation and recent attacks, yet most of them joined this wonderful journey. We, as AEGEEans, feel the need to state our friendship and solidarity with our twins, especially in light of the current events. We love and cherish them despite of the politics and we encourage everyone to join this message.”

There is a number of antennae whose twin cooperation serves as implementation of the concept, as, for example, AEGEE-Izmir and AEGEE-Moskva, or AEGEE-Berlin and AEGEE-Istanbul. Despite the political situation and conflicts between their countries, the members of these antennae work together and cooperate on projects.

AEGEE-Izmir & AEGEE-Moskva “As an AEGEE antenna that loves its twin we think the political situation between Turkey and Russia is just a bump on the road to hug each other stronger. Yet some of the political and diplomatic barricades made it harder to see and visit each other. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our Summer University in Izmir this year but our great twin antenna gave us a chance to send helpers to their Transsiberian Dream SU. So for this, we are both very happy and proud that we worked through our political obstacles and managed to realise great plans together!”

— Can Akistanbullu, External Relations Responsible in AEGEE-Izmir

“While politicians are trying to build more borders, our minds become more open. Luckily, we live at the time of globalisation and internet, so more creative ways for learning about each other and developing common online projects are possible. The borders exist only in people’s minds and I can guarantee that during eighteen months of common life with AEGEE-Izmir we started to understand each other better, forgot about stereotypes and began to sincerely admire our countries and the

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— Maria Kochkina, External Relations Responsible in AEGEE-Moskva

AEGEE-Berlin & AEGEE-Istanbul

— Filipp Trigub, President of AEGEE-Berlin

“AEGEE-Berlin was in İstanbul for the first time after the explosion happened and the political situation was a bit tense, but personal relations are always stronger than any kind of political situation! Unfortunately, Turkish people need a visa to enter Germany, and this could be a big obstacle for a borderless Europe. Luckily, AEGEE-Berlin was extremely helpful with the documents, which helped a lot to limit the costs and make the process of getting the visa shorter and easier. In the end, I can easily say that as long as people mutually believe more in personal feelings than in any kind of political or economic issue, there is nothing to worry about.”

— Dermanşah Yalın, President of AEGEE-Istanbul

While some antennae twin up to fight prejudice and overcome political and economic obstacles, others take action by collaborating on single events. These members prove that whatever is on the mind of governments, we, AEGEEans, stay non-partisan and true to our principles, and value people more than anything else. For example, the friendship between AEGEE-Moskva and AEGEE-Kyïv has gone beyond all political prejudice - they collaborated on a Winter University for the second time. This event is a one-of-a-kind example of cooperation between Russian and Ukrainian youth in AEGEE.


AEGEE-Moskva & AEGEE-Kyïv “It was the second time for us working on this event with AEGEE-Kyïv. When the first edition was launched, many people were surprised and even we were not sure the event would work out ourselves. The unbelievable support we received from the whole network provided us with motivation to take courage and plunge into it for the second time. Members from AEGEE-Moskva have many friends from AEGEE-Kyïv and they could simply not deal with the political obstacles, but wanted to prove that together, you can do everything.”

— Daria Lovkova, President of AEGEE-Moskva

“It was an amazing event, as most of the AEGEE events of course. The reason why we organised this event again was to break stereotypes and to show that friendship can do this. All of these borders, conflicts and prejudices... This event just showed how strange and not normal these things are and how important and wonderful communication, cultural exchange and understanding each other is.”

— Polina Litevchuk, Kyïv Coordinator of NYE Capital Cities #2

AEGEE-Skopje & AEGEE-Thessaloniki Well-known tensions between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece, started in 1991, influencing citizens of both countries making anger and hate grow. The case, which is similar in its sense to the Russia-Ukraine issue, also inspired AEGEEans to act to save peace and friendship, at least in AEGEE. In spring 2016, AEGEE-Thessaloniki and AEGEE-Skopje organised an exchange project together. “The aim of this exchange was to break the stereotypes that these two countries maintain since 1990 and to show everyone that in AEGEE there aren’t any nationalism, politics or stereotypes. We had a really amazing exchange and we connected with each other. During this exchange, we visited a lot of places and we had a really awesome programme.”

— Ivan Janevski, President of AEGEE-Skopje

“During our exchange in both cities, AEGEE members were very respectful. We didn’t have a discussion about the conflict between our countries but we had city tours and so on. We really respected each other, although we have heard and learned opposite things in our families and education.”

ly amazing event - a cultural festival which gathered about 3000 participants from both countries. In total, more than 5000 people participated in this project. It received support from the European Comission Representation in Turkey, the Greek Embassy in Turkey, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, the EOT - Hellenic National Tourism Association Minicipalities of Sakarya, the Middle East Technical University and many other organisations. “It made us all aware of how powerful we are with all our talents to create art for peace and democracy. It proved us how much influence and magic young people can create if we dream and act together. It made us learn and feel that we are not Turks or Greeks, but we are human beings with all kinds of unique feelings and needs.”

— Burcu Becerman, Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue Project Manager (for the booket “Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue Project”)

And with all that said, there are also geographical borders are they the easiest or the hardest to overcome? Although most of the AEGEE-antennae are located more or less close to each other, there are some distant stars - for example AEGEE-Las Palmas or Contact of AEGEE-Europe Tyumen, and their location has its influence on their activity in AEGEE matters. “Living far away, it is complicated even to participate in other events in Spain, despite us having a 50% discount on national flights. In the past two years just three members (me being one of them) participated in European level events like NWM, Agora and EPM. The problem is not only the distance, but the time to come or leave and the prices.” — Javier Ramirez, AEGEE Las-Palmas “Contact of AEGEE-Europe Tyumen is an Eastern contact of AEGEE-Europe. Tyumen is the heart of Siberia. The obstacle of our location is reflected by the fact that members are spending a lot of money in order to participate in European events. But that does not stop us because you can only get to know the world by travelling. We can confidently say that our remoteness only increases the interest in intercultural communication. Our city is a part of the project Transsiberian Dream and we are proud of it!” — Yuliya Aga-Kulieva, President of Contact of AEGEE-Europe in Tyumen

— Stella Krokou, AEGEE-Thessaloniki

Sometimes, AEGEEans are ready for really serious actions and total devotion to their project. The event worth mentioning is the Turkish-Greek Civic Dialogue Project. Although it happened a long time ago, it still is a great example of how far the actions of people can go. Starting in 2001 and organised by AEGEE-Ankara, AEGEE-Athina, AEGEE-Rodos and AEGEE-Sakarya, it consisted of four remarkable events: two conferences, a symposium and - the most global and tru-

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HAPPENINGS AROUND the network


leadership training in brussels by Laura Pérez, AEGEE-León

What do you think would be the ideal event to gather a few of the most motivated and passionate AEGEEans to run for a European position? The Leadership Training organized by the Comité Directeur in March 2016 was indeed!

This year, the Comité Directeur decided that they wanted to preserve an old tradition from previous years, by organising a week dedicated to the most committed AEGEE members who would be willing to run for a European position at the next Agora or wanted to develop their leadership skills. A previous edition of this training was organised back in 2013, although this year’s edition was different: not only did we get to know Brussels, AEGEE and ourselves better, but also our fellow AEGEEans in the house. The training started on 23rd March, and eleven members were chosen to spend five days in our Head Office in Brussels for a training they would never forget. Sadly, the beginning was a bit tricky. The terrorist attacks in the city made all of us cautious when travelling but luckily it didn’t prevent most of us from attending in the event. Every morning we woke up to the sound of music and with our breakfast on the table. In a few minutes, we were ready to begin with the sessions The training had different stages: “get to know Brussels”, “get to know AEGEE” and finally, “get to know yourself”. On the first day we had a very good session about other institutions and organisations in Brussels, where we learned about their structure. It was followed by a visit to the European Youth Forum’s office. In the following four days we had AEGEE history sessions, quizzes and Q&As with former Comité Directeur members (such as Miguel Gallardo, Lucille Rieux and Luis Alvarado) who told us about their years in

the CD and gave us some tips and advice. The last stage was the part about self-exploring and self-development, which indeed was my favorite. We first got to know our personality types by answering a few questions and taking a test. I remember this session as one of the best ones that I have ever attended so far. All of the participants were so into it and so motivated that we decided to extend the session even after the dinner. In the last couple of days, the sessions got more personal and intense, now having to define ourselves at all times, trying to figure out who we are and what we want, what we expect both from ourselves and from AEGEE, how we want to contribute, and what we want to achieve. It definitely was a challenging experience. Days went fast and soon we got to the last (and surprising) session. After the dinner we were called one by one to the basement, and while in the darkness, guided by our CD mentors. We had to define ourselves again and also take a look at the others in the room, creating a very intimate atmosphere. It was the perfect ending. Certainly this training was a success. For me it surpassed all expectations; it was definitely an amazing experience that helped many of us to become better leaders, and more skilled and motivated people. I will never forget the awesome week we had, I totally recomend to attend the future editions of the training if you have the opportunity!

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new narratives for europe where do we stand? by Daria Lovkova, AEGEE-Moskva

Some people just follow the course, others are changing it. Being AEGEEans, we represent opinions of European youth, and so the attitude of the Network to political and economical questions became the main focus of the conference “New Narative for Europe: towards Europe of citizens”.

The prototype of the event was launched in 2013 by the European Commission under the same name with an aim to give a voice to European citizens in shaping the future of Europe. This year, AEGEEans felt the need to act in formation of the European narrative and organise a parallel conference to find out where we, AEGEEans, stand in this discussion. The conference was hosted by AEGEE-Warszawa in April 2016 and about 30 AEGEEans attended. The core team consisted of three very active AEGEE members: Mateusz Muszalski – President of the Audit Commission, Joanna Pankowska - member of Civic Education Working Group and President of AEGEE-Europe Aleksandra Kluczka. It was also supported by the European Commission and was honoured to be attended by Marcin Święcicki, Member of Polish Parliament and President of European Movement Poland.

The event aimed to initiate a discussion on how to bring Europe back to its citizens and how to involve them in its development. The participants were taking part in discussions on topics like “Europe of our dreams”, “Shaping active citizens and European Identity”, “Innovations in democracy and the role of citizens in shaping Europe”. While discussing these topics, participants were reflecting on the current social, political and economic challenges in Europe, as well as designing the ideal model of Europe they would like to live in. Their ideas were subject to the debates with experts, who were assessing the quality, necessity, innovation and feasibility of the ideas. Close attention was also paid to the

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role of citizens in democracy. The conference was also an occasion to take a closer look at the current societal moods in Poland, whose political situation was and is still challenging. As the strengths of the European project the following areas were defined: peace; freedom of movement; opportunities for development and innovation; common values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, shared among the different countries and their citizens, and others. To counterpose them the following challenges were discovered: measurement of the progress of the member states based more on “numbers” and less on “humans”, putting more focus on indicators such as the GDP and less on the physical and emotional well-being of the citizens; low level of inclusion of the citizens in the administrative procedures and decision-making processes of the European Union. The outcome of the conference and the final report were formed into the Manifesto that was addressed to European decision-makers.


questioning europe’s internal and external borders by Tatiana Rodina, AEGEE-Moskva

From the 6th until the 9th of May, in the cozy city of Cluj-Napoca, one of the most remarkable events of the year took place: the thematic conference “Borderless Europe: Blessing or Burden?”. It was organised by AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca in active cooperation with Your Vision for EUrope project and Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri (AAFB).

The event gathered around sixty young people from all over Europe, as well as senior experts, speakers and trainеrs. The aim of the conference was to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of a borderless Europe and to enhance mutual understanding between young Europeans. The conference would not have been possible without the award and participation of AAFB. In November 2015, the open call for applications was launched and the jury consisting of members both from AEGEE and AAFB had to choose a winner. “All of the applications, in total five of them, had a very high quality and a lot of effort put into it, so it was really hard to decide! In the end, we chose Cluj-Napoca as it put a strong emphasis on the content and experience organising high-quality events, and we also got to celebrate their 25th anniversary on the Day of Europe”, said Anna Gumbau, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe, who was involved in the selection process. The topic of the conference was chosen by the organisers from AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca together with the Your Vision for EUrope team and some members of AAFB. The aim was to discuss social, political and economic issues. After discussing several ideas, the partners agreed to focus on European borders, under the title “Borderless Europe: Blessing or Burden?”. “We saw it as an adequate issue, so that everyone could express their opinions and compare them with other points of view”, said the main organiser of the event, Bia Sabau. Most of the content was prepared by Your Vision for EUrope project of AEGEE-Europe. They were responsible for the promotion of the conference, selection of participants and for the content development - from designing the program to finding speakers and external workshops leaders, developing workshops and managing the whole implementation of the program during the event.

During the first day, socio-cultural borders (stereotypes, multiculturalism, xenophobia) were discussed, as well as socio-economic borders (the barriers that may prevent young people from having access to a better life) within Europe. The second day was devoted to Europe’s external borders, with a strong focus on the impact and significance of the influx of refugees on the European Union, and the importance of the Schengen Agreement for the future of the European project. Antonis Triantafyllakis, one of the participants says: “I think there is a great need for thematic events in AEGEE. We managed to “call Europe home” as we say in our motto, but how much do we express our opinion about that home and even take actions to improve it? This event was one of the few that deal only with that aspect and the fact that it was so engaging proved that we need more events like that!”. Maarten de Groot, the representative of Your Vision for Europe project, speaks about the results: “Although we cannot yet tell whether our participants will follow up on their ideas in their post-conference life, our impact measurement has shown that the conference has enhanced participants’ ability to share their vision on Europe, to participate in discussions, and to influence European decision-making. These are all aims that are at the core of our project, so we are very happy that we have managed to contribute to these aims with our first conference”. Such discussions are very needed for finding solutions to all challenges which Europe is facing now. The event showed that young citizens of Europe strongly care about its future and created a hope that more people are willing to act and more initiatives will come further.

The conference lasted for two full days and had a very interesting content distribution: the topic of “Borderless Europe” was approached from a variety of angles, differentiating between Europe’s internal borders and external borders.

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thematic events of the year by Anastasiia Koval, AEGEE-Moskva

Events in AEGEE don’t only pay attention to our Focus Areas, but also address other important topics, like human rights protection, gender equality, sustainability, the refugee crisis et cetera. Generally, the format of such events varies from different workshops and lectures to more specific activities, namely donation-based crowdfunding and art performances. Over the last year, some AEGEE-locals have organised several exceptional projects of this kind. As an example we may consider the work of the members of AEGEE-Peiraias. The members of this antenna spent the beginning of 2016 in an extremely efficient way by organising the event “EU debt & Refugee Crisis: How successfully does the EU manage it? Will the EU survive?”. The participants of this meeting discussed the urgent issues of the development of the EU, exchanging their ideas on how to get away with these problems. The event included watching the documentary “Debtocracy”, which traced the causes of the debt of Greece. Another essential part of the current agenda was covered during the workshop “The stories they confess” dedicated to the struggles faced by refugees and migrants who travelled across the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe in order to find asylum in the EU. Another example of a successful event-management comes from Italy. On a Valentine’s day lovers usually share their love with each other by giving cute gifts and presents. However, this year AEGEE-Bologna decided to upgrade the traditional holiday and realise a socially important project about blood donation. From February 14th to February 16th local people from Bologna had an opportunity to become donors. The volunteers were offered to do the preliminary medical

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consultations and find out whether they were suitable for donation or not. This initiative was enthusiastically supported by the members of AEGEE-Messina, AEGEE-Catania and AEGEE-Niš and involved more than 130 potential donors. All in all, blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. With the advent of spring, the debates about the prospects of the European Union heated up. In order to address current European issues, such as unemployment, the refugee crisis, the humanitarian challenges and the current environmental threats, the team of AEGEE-Athina organised the international meeting “European Problems, Humanitarian Solutions”, which took place in the middle of April. The participants set an ambitious goal of preparing potential solutions to these problems by the end of each session. To clarify the concept of the event, AEGEEans made a prioritised to-do list based on the following aims: understanding and spreading awareness about current social problems in European societies, encouraging young citizens to take active roles and reach for solutions, promoting the ideas of voluntarism and social entrepreneurship, informing about human rights and the ways they can resolve certain aspects of today’s global problems. Also, in April 2016 AEGEE-Paris organised the event “Facing French Clichés” which was aimed at unveiling the stereotypes made up by the media after the recent terrorist attacks in the city of love. The participants of this three-day meeting were introduced to the places that certainly could not be found in habitual guidebooks for tourists. An emphasis was given to the visit of the Place de la République,


where “Nuit Debout” protests were held. Another key point is that visitors from other countries had an opportunity to interview a few demonstrators and clarify their demands and motifs. The second part of the year was marked by highly efficient projects as well. In July the capital of Spain became the venue of hot summer debates on the issue of democracy in the EU. During thematic discussions, members of AEGEE-Madrid and participants in the event “Democracy, where are you going?” were trying to find out whether a genuine democracy is possible nowadays, taking into consideration the new challenges of the 21st century: new political parties, fighting for voters’ support, modern transformations of the EU, new elections, the so-called “governments of change”. Representatives of AEGEE-Academy also took active part in this educational event.

Utrecht celebrates sexual and gender diversity. Besides this, the participants even got acquainted with students of the Utrecht Gay Student Association “Anteros”, visited the LGBT capital of Europe, Amsterdam, and took a boat trip on the canals of Utrecht. It is pretty natural that even a hardly important meeting in with drastically serious agenda is unimaginable without intercultural exchange, friendly atmosphere and memorable aftertaste of youth. As we can see, there are a lot of options within our organisation to acquire soft skills and work on solutions for crucial issues of our lives. Just stay aware and do not miss your chance!

The participants of the summer “LGBT event: colors without borders”, which started in Utrecht at the end of June, had the chance to take a closer look at the life of LGBTQ+ society in the Netherlands and discuss the future of the movement of “Rainbow Community” in Europe. The lectures and workshops, where the members of AEGEE-Utrecht shared their own views on LGBT and related questions, took place during the 20th edition of “Midzomergracht festival”, when

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Live, learn, evolve TRAINING NEW TRAINERS 2016 by Tatiana Rodina, AEGEE-Moskva

One of the key focuses of AEGEE is education, with several events focusing on non-formal learning and practices that transfer knowledge to members, enrich their skills and unleash their potential. For example, let’s take a look at one of the most notable events of the past year - the Training New Trainers. This year, the event took place in the Slovenian city of Maribor and gathered about 25 participants and organisers willing to teach and learn more about what is it like to be a trainer.

Although the event can seem new for the Network, it was already existing, even if earlier it was called “Training for Trainers”. However, there could have been some misunderstanding among potential participants, who might have wondered, do we need to be trainers in order to participate? Therefore, in order to clarify the name was changed to “TrainigNewTrainers”. The main coordinator of the event was Lyda Michopoulou, the trainer and the former speaker of the Academy, AEGEE-Europe’s official pool of trainers. She has a strong passion for designing full learning experiences, so she decided to take full responsibility to make the event happen. The preparation of the event took about three months. Among all of the locals who applied to host the training, the Academy chose AEGEE-Maribor. “We wanted to take our antenna to a new level. We thought about organising serious, educational events. It was a perfect opportunity to do something new and we went for it”, said Petra Zula, the main coordinator from AEGEE-Maribor. Therefore, 21 participants were gathered at the 16th of March, when the event started. During the next days, three trainers worked to deliver workshops and sessions. They got participants to know about different topics relevant for any trainer, from learning styles and definition of leadership to facilitation and working styles. “Trainers Andreja Kogelnik, Syrine Rekhis and Luca Bergamini were perfect for this event. From the first day, they created a positive and working atmosphere, which kept us waking up in the morning. I think it was a lot of work for only three trainers, but they have done an excellent job passing on knowledge and experience and motivating us to push our limits”, said participant Ana Postek. Participants were working in small groups and went through the complete process of holding a training, from choosing a topic, designing the outline, preparations, actually delivering the training and getting feedback. The week consist-

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ed of learning theory, practice and interactive workshops, wrapped up by a big presentation of sessions made by fresh trainers, who worked in pairs to create their own session. “One of the most important things of this event was the safe space that was created among us, it was like being in a bubble!”, said María Ballesteros Melero, participant from AEGEE-Brussel/Bruxelles. “Participants had a crucial role for the good outcome of this event: their unyielding motivation and their sincere openness granted the possibility of having dynamic sessions with smart input directly from their side. The high quality of this event could not be reached without such an awesome team of participants!”, said the trainer Luca. A remarkable thing is that the event was open not only for AEGEE-members, but also for the people of other youth NGOs such as BEST, YOUTH IN ACTION and others. “I am a member of the International Association of Agricultural Students. I have never heard about AEGEE, but after spending one week with such inspirational, fun and friendly young people I instantly decided that I have to be part of AEGEE soon”, said Ana Postek. For hosting this event, AEGEE-Maribor got awarded as Local of the Month (read more about all Locals of the Month on page 51). “If awesome places where you can experiment and test yourself such as this one were given a try by everyone, I do believe that we could be all feel stronger and happier, and why not, learn how to take life a bit more easily”, said Luca. It looks like we will soon see more results from the new trainers!


european day of languages by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari, and Erifyli Evangelou, Language Interest Group

AEGEE bodies and committees can not cover all interests and desires of AEGEEans, that’s why Interest Groups form a space to gather members with the same interest and discuss certain topics. In the Language Interest Group (LIG), this discussion is held on the topic of language, with its members often speaking several languages.

The Language Interest Group was founded at Autumn Agora Budapest in 2012 as the Language Working Group, and was changed into an Interest Group just after Agora Asturias in 2015. The goal of the Language Interest Group is to raise awareness within AEGEE on the value of multilingualism, encourage and help AEGEEans to learn more foreign languages and discuss issues related to language policies, minority languages and language diversity. By organising different projects and supporting locals in organising language related events, the LIG members are breaking language barriers and promoting the multilingual heritage of Europe and the benefits of language learning.

Currently, the group consists of around twenty active and very motivated members, including the moderator team: Katharina Jiménez Weese - Speaker, Elena Panagopoulou - Secretary and HR-Responsible and Erifyli Evangelou PR-Responsible. They can proudly say that the past months have been very fruitful: in particular, they were present at all statutory events’ fairs; the moderator team held a workshop during EPM Leiden about refugees’ language barriers and Luca Ciucci presented, on behalf of the Interest Group, the workshop “The amazing history of the Italian language” during Agora Bergamo. The European Day of Languages. One of the core activities organised by LIG is the European Day of Languages (EDL). The idea of involving AEGEE in the celebration of the European Day of Languages was born in the beginning of 2001. Since then, AEGEE follows the example of the Council of Europe with many AEGEE locals all over Europe celebrating language diversity during the EDL. In 2015, around thirty locals participated in the Action Day, organising an activity related to languages. As the EDL leaves a lot of room for creativity, the participating locals organise a great variety of language events. Activities over the network are for example seminars about why foreign languages are indispensable for your employability nowadays, language courses, quizzes, language tandems, Karaoke nights and many more.

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the aegeean - AEGEE’s online magazine by Willem Laurentzen, Editor-in-Chief of The AEGEEan & Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

The AEGEEan, AEGEE’s official magazine, strives to facilitate communication within our network by reporting on its members, projects, events and policies. Moreover, it keeps the Network up-to-date on the exciting human interest stories, travel guides and opinions of the members of AEGEE. The magazine is fair and critical, highlighting the many beautiful aspects of the association, while still being able to point out some of its more blemished spots too. The AEGEEan consists of seven major categories: Network, which generally includes the Local and ACTive Local of the Month; People, which mostly covers members of AEGEE who run for an elected position, the Member of the Month and other remarkable stories from our members; European Bodies, about the various projects, committees, orking groups etcetera; European Events, which generally includes any major event in AEGEE; Comité Directeur, all coverage by and about our CD; Beyond AEGEE, which includes both European news outside of AEGEE, as well as our lighter, funnier articles, and travel guides; and, lastly, History, which brings you all the news of the past. The project is overseen by CD responsible(s), Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016, and Joanna Pankowska, Projects and Communications Director 2016-2017, who serve as a direct line of communication with the Comité Directeur. The editorial staff is composed of the Chief-of-Proofreaders, Maria Zwartkruis (AEGEE-Utrecht), who ensures the quality control, and the Editor-in-Chief, Willem Laurentzen (AEGEE-Nijmegen), who is in charge of the general administration of the magazine. Nevertheless, our greatest thanks go out to our greatest asset: our amazing team of our journalists, editors, proofreaders, and of course to all of our readers for reading all of our content. In order to create high quality and appealing content almost daily, there has been a great team assembled consisting of journalists, who create the content; editors, who check the content and keep it up to standard, and our proofreaders who decide if it has been really brought up to standard. The AEGEEan was founded in 2011 during a meeting of the Public Relations Committee (PRC) when it was ascertained that AEGEE was missing a place where members could access relevant news about the organisation. The magazine started operating on the 30th of September 2012, and, to this date, has had five Editors-in-Chief: Stephanie Müller (AEGEE-Heidelberg), Patricia Juhl Anthony (AEGEE-København/ AEGEE-Zaragoza), Anna Gumbau Martínez (AEGEE-Barcelona), Erika Bettin (AEGEE-Verona), and, currently, Willem Laurentzen (AEGEE-Nijmegen).

Despite being conceived in the framework of PRC, The AEGEEan has always functioned autonomously. However, at Spring Agora Bergamo 2016, the magazine was presented to become an official, independent project, which was approved. Since Spring Agora Patra 2014, The AEGEEan has also created a ‘Press Team’ to report the most important happenings during the Agora. Thanks to that team, those in attendance and those back home were able to follow the news feed, and to comment and discuss. We wish all of you much reading pleasure for the coming year. You can check us out at zeus.aegee.org/magazine or at facebook.com/aegeean.

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Europe on Track: Tracking Europe by María Ballesteros Melero, Europe on Track Project Team

Europe on Track is a youth-led project where six ambassadors travel across Europe for one month by train, with the support of InterRail, capturing young people’s vision about the future through photos, videos and interviews. In its third edition, that took place from the 20th of April until the 17th of May, 20 local events were held and more than 100 interviews were conducted to find out what borderless Europe actually means. The project aims at informing young people about the evolution of the European project and at facilitating critical reflection on its present state; bringing new understanding to the diversity of Europe and beyond; exploring what young people want for the future and comparing this vision with the political agenda. It also aims at promoting unity and solidarity among young people;advocates for the engagement in decision-making processes in order to train the aware and innovative youth of tomorrow. The idea of Europe on Track came up in 2012, when AEGEE-Europe and InterRail formed a partnership after brainstorming for an idea. The first edition of the project was a huge success, and it resulted in winning the prestigious Charlemagne Youth Prize. Two years later, in 2014 (the year of European Parliament elections), the second edition was launched: it highlighted not only the importance of youth participation in the European elections but also the strategic focus of AEGEE. It took place with the support of Open Society Foundations, that emphasised the main message of the project with values of an open and egalitarian society. This year, the third edition of Europe on Track was announced with the theme “Borderless Europe”, chosen due to pressing European and Global challenges. 20 local events were organised, from Manchester to Eskişehir, from Warsaw to Naples, and hundreds of interviews were collected in the streets of each city. Within this broad topic, we

can say that the main concerns of young Europeans are the protection of the Schengen area, the refugee crisis, youth mobility and European values. Among the activities, ambassadors had the opportunity to: • • • • •

Take part in Paris and Lyon in Nuit Debout, the French social movement that strives for more democracy, transparency and citizens’ participation in politics; Visit a refugee center and get to know some personal experiences of refugees in Heidelberg and Maastricht; Make a mock referendum at the University in Manchester; Hold debates about EU-Turkey relationships in Eskişehir and Izmir; Interview the Greek cartoonist Vangelis Pavlidis about his critical exposition on the refugee crisis in Athens, which aims to draw the attention of the European Parliament to the issue; Ask young people, all around the continent, which are their wishes for Europe.

And how is it to be an ambassador? Every two-three days, the ambassadors hop on a train which will bring them to the next AEGEE destination. While walking the streets they might interview people who are shy at first, but later are proud to be part of the project. Ambassadors are discovering not only new, places but also new thoughts and points of view, you are breaking stereotypes, you are making a change. Europe on Track shows that young people around the world can change things for the better. Young people believe that Europe should be open, not only through eloquent words, but also through real action. The Project Team behind Europe on Track currently consists of eight people with Nicola Guida as Project Manager. After the ratification at Agora Bergamo, it became an official AEGEE-Europe Project. We have big plans for the upcoming year! More info at www.aegee.org/europeontrack.

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AEGEE Election Observation an Answer to Voter Apathy Ben Jones, AEGEE-London, Marije Arentze, AEGEE-Leiden and Thomas Leszke, AEGEE-Köln, for AEGEE Election Observation

International election observation aims to provide independent and impartial information about the integrity of a given electoral process - which is by far not limited to “voting and counting”.

AEGEE Election Observation thinks that election observation requires a youth perspective. Such a conclusion is based on the fact that certain issues in the democratic process mostly concern young people. One of the topical issues at present is voter apathy. Throughout Europe, young people are still an underrepresented minority in the electoral process. A youth perspective is needed to understand why - and this is exactly what we provide. As part of our response, AEGEE Election Observation has trained and mobilised over 350 young Europeans to observe elections from a youth perspective. While millions of young people are opting out of electoral politics across Europe, it is evident that apathy and disillusionment are not ready safeguards of democracy. Consequently, numerous questions arise. As young people who care about shared European democratic values, what can we do to establish politics that work for all young people? How can we make sure that the voice of the youth is taken into account in European political arenas? Does the act of voting set the limit to the political representation of youth? AEGEE Election Observation is an answer to such questions. With our missions, we engage young people in active democracy and provide professional experience to young election observers. By publicising the findings of their missions, AEGEE Election Observation highlights youth issues on electoral participation and democratic engagement. Next to detailed reports, other innovative ways are being developed now to showcase the youth perspective they provide. AEGEE Election Observation Missions in a Nutshell AEGEE missions are officially accredited by the electoral authorities. 24 AEGEE observers stay in the country for seven days; on the election day they are deployed to different locations. As an election observer on an AEGEE mission, you typically

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perform the following tasks: • • • •

Visit polling stations on election day and observe voting and counting of votes according to international standards; Attend meetings with the electoral authorities, young politicians, international institutions, NGOs dealing with democracy, and youth activists; Brief your fellow observers one day after the elections and formulate joint conclusions. Contribute to writing the mission report and other publications.

Every mission is supported by local youth organisations, both from the AEGEE Network and others. The mission is provided with logistics and, if necessary, interpretation on election day. This ensures, en passant, that the mission is a true exchange on eye level. Achievements and Plans Up to today, AEGEE Election Observation has organised 13 missions to countries all over Europe. Next to their missions, the AEGEE Election Observation Project has also begun to organise professional and comprehensive trainings for young observers. The first training took place in October 2015 in Köln and was an immense success. Next editions are scheduled to take place in Eskişehir, Napoli and Valencia towards the end of 2016. And of course the team also has two more missions coming up in 2016, taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in October, and in Romania in December - with many more to come in 2017! Find out more: aegee.org/eop facebook.com/aegee.eo


aeo statistics

SPAIN Catalonia Parliamentary Elections September 2015

italy Agora Observation Mission Autumn Agora Cagliari 2014

General Elections December 2015

Agora Observation Mission Spring Agora Bergamo 2015

Agora Observation Mission Spring AgorAsturias 2015

Bosnia AND Herzegovina General Elections October 2014

ukraine Presidential Elections May 2014 Regional Elections October 2014 Local Elections October 2015 Agora Observation Mission Autumn Agora KyĂŻv 2015 estonia Parliamentary Elections March 2015 FINLAND Parliamentary Elections April 2015

United Kingdom Scottish Independence Referendum September 2014 Parliamentary Elections May 2015

MACEDONIA Monitoring mission October 2014

European Union Membership Referendum June 2016

MOLDOVA Presidential Elections November 2014

young people involved 17 23 256 6 20 25

GREECE Agora Observation Mission Spring Agora Patra 2014

Team Members Mission Coordinators Observers Trainers Training Participants Local Coordinators

347 13 805 42

PEOPLE INVOLVED OBSERVATION MISSIONS POLLING STATIONS EUROPEAN CITIES

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Your Vision for EUrope by Elinne Mertens, AEGEE-Leuven and Your Vision for EUrope Project

Your Vision for EUrope is one of the newest AEGEE-Europe projects, aiming to facilitate the debate on European topics and to make the voices of young people heard by the European policy-makers and stakeholders. Young people deserve to have the possibility to express their opinion about the future of Europe and European politics that affect them. Through the activities being performed, the project tries to trigger the interest of young people in European politics and to foster high-quality discussions on topical European questions. Moreover, the project wants to reach out to European decision-makers to make sure that young people`s `Vision for Europe` is shared with those who can make a difference. Faces of Europe Your Vision for EUrope wants to reach out to young people from very diverse national, social and cultural backgrounds. Inspired by the famous Humans of New York, the project has launched a photoblog called Faces of Europe that aims at exploring the human diversity of our continent while highlighting common European dimension. Young reporters from all over the Europe share the stories of fellow Europeans. All of them are published in a photoblog on Facebook. Workshops In order to involve as many young people as possible, the project has developed a considerable number of workshops that have already been held during AEGEE events, both at the European and local level. Moreover, the project provides locals with the opportunity to deliver their own workshops by means of a toolkit for locals. Thematic conferences Besides the aforementioned activities, Your Vision for EUrope aims at gathering young Europeans over several three-day thematic conferences during which they study a predetermined topic that affects young people in Europe

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in-depth and develop activities or policy recommendations in response. The first conference was held in May in cooperation with the “Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri” and AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca. The conference had the topic “Borderless Europe: Blessing or Burden”, and led to the exchange of ideas regarding the current state of the Schengen agreement, the idea of a borderless Europe and how it can be transferred in social and institutional terms. Lastly, we thought about what we, as young people, can do to break borders and stereotypes. Read more about the conference on page 78. A second thematic conference will take place in the upcoming year in cooperation with AEGEE-Nijmegen. For more info please visit www.yourvisionforeurope.com.

facebook campaignS statistics Your Vision For Europe Page

1130 341 435

TARGET GROUP LIKES TOTAL POSTS REACH OF POSTS

faces of europe

1899 91 2375

TARGET GROUP LIKES TOTAL PHOTOBLOGS REACH OF POSTS


Make Room for Peace Campaign Democracy in Practice Project by Democracy in Practice Project Team

Democracy in Practice is an AEGEE-Europe project born in Autumn 2014, with the aim to raise awareness among young people about the importance of human rights as the basis of a healthy democracy and to promote social and political participation of young people in their local, national and European environment. The team envisioned this goal to be achieved through the way of training and educating young people on human rights related aspects, and by shedding a light to the main challenges and human rights violations Europe is facing at the moment. One of the highlights of the project this year has been the Human Rights Day on 10th December 2015, which was celebrated all around the AEGEE network with various activities and discussions. This year, more than twenty antennae organised various activities, such as forums, lectures and other kinds of events in an attempt to promote and raise awareness about human rights. In total, the Human Rights Day Activities addressed around 300 people, both AEGEEans and non-AEGEEans. Based on the Guidelines for Human Rights Activities, which were published by the project team, the antennae could select from a wide range of workshops and activities. These events gave them a platform for learning and discussing the human rights-related issues that are relevant to their daily lives. The types of activities organized by the locals varied widely, from mini-human libraries to film-forums; from role-plays to informative lectures. Organised by AEGEE antennae in collaboration with Democracy in Practice project team, these events opened new windows for the participants to look at human rights issues. Not only did the participants learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which marks the base of the Human Rights Day, but in some events, they also examined the question of refugees which has been on the front burner in Europe for a long time now and a hot topic in AEGEE, being selected as the theme of the European Planning Meeting Leiden (read more about it on page xx).

and contributing to terror-free societies. During the campaign, which lasted for two months, the Democracy in Practice team organised different types of events, which mainly included workshops and informational sessions at AEGEE-led conferences. The team launched a video, which gives ideas on how to encourage peaceful creativity, and thus encouraged the Network to take part in online activities. The most liked of all was the “Light a candle” photo series that truly showed the sympathy of our Network.

The thematic workshops were designed to motivate people to express their opinion, thoughts and concerns regarding terrorism. Through teamwork and role play games, the participants were able to identify with many challenges of life and in the end, to promote peace among each other. As the slogans go: “Our weapons are the words, actions, mind and love”; “We don’t need arms, our arms are for hugging the world!”.

Moreover, the AEGEE Network was deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks that have been occurring for one and half years in Europe. This was the time when the Democracy in Practice Project decided to contribute to the fight against terrorism and launched a campaign called “Make Room for Peace”. The main aim of the campaign was to encourage AEGEEans to keep on striving for mutual understanding

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SUMMER UNIVERSITY - AEGEE SUPERPROJECT by Yevgeniya Gagarkina, Summer University Coordination Team

The Summer University project was created in 1988 in order to promote European integration and give young people a chance to learn more about the culture, language, traditions and cuisine of their friends in other countries. Although during 28 years of history of the project it became much more both for participants and organisers. It became the #SUmmerOfYourLife.

Why such a SUccess? “I came back from the trip as a different person because of the people I met there and the things we went through,” is what one of the thousands participants said about his Summer Univerisity, the oldest project of AEGEE-Europe. Every year, more than 5000 people around Europe take part in the project and we believe that the reason for this high number is well explained in the quote above. Summer Universities are organised by young people for young people. Therefore, it is not unusual to treat each other like best friends, even if most of the group (around 50 people with organisers) sees each other for the first time. Participant in Summer Universities are not satisfied with typical touristic itinerary and are always hungry for some original sights, places, activities and parties. What is more, Summer University is not just a touristic vacation - the “University” part is very meaningful. That is why it contains also a lot of activities, operating in terms of non-formal education, powerful means of AEGEE - workshops, presentations, discussions, even projects, lead by young professionals from the organisation or other partner institutions, often locally-based. This is how a Summer University becomes a place where you can find yourself and people like yourself - bright, active, open-minded, with a good sense of humour and an interest in self-development and what is going in the world. Summer University Project School We understand that every year Summer Universities cannot and should not be organised by the same people. Following the goals of the project and of AEGEE itself, every year we therefore try to organise the Summer University Project School (SUPS), with the aim to train people and improve their skills for SU organisation specifically. The last SUPS took place in Catania, Italy, between the 7th and 13th of 91

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March 2016. An interesting fact about this, is that the organising team of AEGEE-Catania won the award for “Best Summer University” in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, which was a very attractive point for the participants that wanted to know the “secret” of the SUccess. The “secret” though was delivered to them by the team of trainers, which consisted of experienced members of SUCT, the Comité Directeur, Audit Commission and AEGEE-Catania. The program was full of a lot of case studies, project management and time-management workshops, team spirit and games activities, fundraising and financial management, evaluation processes and much more. Participants were glad to get so many useful and practical information in combination with great local organisation. Perspectives of development The world is changing fast, as well as the main ideas and needs of people. Cheap traveling is not enough anymore to attract thousands and thousands of participants, due to the fact it is getting easier to travel on your own, with your group of friends, with different duration and to different parts of the world. This doesn’t mean though that the Summer University Project is going to end. We have a number of options for further development. Just imagine - opening new destinations within or beyond geographical Europe, getting new partnerships in order to deliver even better content to participants, creating a network of AEGEE-hostels, giving an opportunity for participation to partner organisations members, making more and more projects, contributing to our European society… AEGEE has always been flexible, but sure in its goals. We do not want to stop, but we are ready to try more things for more people, making the world a better place. Find out more at www.aegee.org/su.


SUMMER UNIVERSITY statistics 2016 This year we focused on content, therefore we are glad to see the increase of some important factors - number of SUs, number of cooperations, number of Summer Courses and Summer Courses+ in comparison to last year statistics. So far we are glad that we have 3150 applications (including Open Calls).

75 101 2181 3174 SUMMER UNIVERSITIES

ORGANIZING LOCALS

AVAILABLE PLACES

UNIQUE APPLICANTS

summer universities by type

38 34 3

Travelling Summer University (TSU) Summer Course (SC) Summer Course+ (SC+)

summer universities by cooperation

38 9 5

Local NGOs Civic Education Working Group Health4Youth

2 2 2

Democracy in Practice Language Interest Group AEGEE-Academy

summer universities by category

33

History and Local Culture

13

Sports

11

Art, Creativity and Culture

7

Civic Education

4 3 2 1 1

Green SU Language Training Volunteering Leisure

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Α GR-EAT Way to Get the Skills You Learn in AEGEE Recognised! by Réka Salamon, Vice-President & Projects Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

We are all volunteers in AEGEE. We all experience the amazing, mind-blowing and eye-opening impact AEGEE has on us, the experiences we gain, the friendships we make and everything we learn during our time in the organisation. Have you ever thought about how many different skills you learn in AEGEE?

non-formal educational practices, to obtain bigger credibility when it comes to our work, and to develop a system that gives higher accuracy to the kind of learning we provide.

Why is it so hard then to explain the volunteer experience and the value of all the things you have learnt to your professor or your future employer? How can you get your volunteering skills recognised so they count equal to your university degree?

The GR-EAT project is managed by AEGEE-Europe together with a project partnership of five other organisations - World Organisation of the Scout Movement, Lifelong Learning Platform, Youth for Exchange & Understanding, La Ligue de l’Enseignement and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The project partners represent various fields of educational practices, from training events, to volunteer projects; from lectures given by university professors, to European-level policy consultations in the field of education. The collective aim of all partners is to create a system for youth-led organisations that can truly improve their volunteering practices, and help to develop the personal volunteering skills of their members.

The GR-EAT project (Guidelines for Recognition: European Advanced Tool) can give you an answer: it builds guidelines for youth organisations, so they can implement their own internal recognition system. How? Firstly the project measured the expectations from the universities’ and the employers’ side, and compared dozens of already existing European tools (like Europass) to find the best practices when recognising competences and skills. That is how the GR-EAT guidelines were born, ready to be used by AEGEE and other organisations in the field of youth as well!

Learning should be an inherent need - you learn more because you want to do it, and not because you “have to” do it. The human capacity for lifelong learning and developing skills throughout our lives are fundamental principles not only for personal development, but also for the recognition of acquired skills externally. AEGEE has made a great step forward in the field of recognition by managing this project and creating the guidelines that will help youth organisations to make their volunteers’ lives a little easier and their learning experience better!

The guidelines explain why it is important to rethink education in the modern era. The research of the GR-EAT project has revealed that some key elements are really easy to follow, both for volunteers themselves, and for trainers in youth organisations: we need to aim at quality in our

Find out more on www.gr-eat.eu.

Organising events and projects, managing public relations of your local and learning how to create budgets - all of these will definitely shape your personality, give you relevant experience and improve your skills.

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Guidelines for Recognition: European Advanced Tool

MAKE YOUR VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE COUNT! The aim of the GR-EAT project is to create guidelines for youthled organisations who want to start their internal recognition process of the skills and competences of their long-term volunteers. By following the guidelines, organisations can start building their own internal tool, whereby outcomes can be used by other actors such as employers and educational institutions. PROJECT PARTNERS

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Paving the way for a better web entrepreneurship ecOSYSTEM by Pablo Hernández, External Relations Director of AEGEE-Europe 2015-2016

MY-WAY project is one of the projects that AEGEE-Europe is involved. It is a two-year long joint project that received funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. From the 1st of January 2015 onwards, this project has been working to enhance and improve the collaboration and efforts of web entrepreneurship initiatives, web/business experts, educational actors with young adults as the final beneficiaries. The project partners aim to increase the visibility and impact of the web entrepreneurship initiatives and services by actively engaging student networks and support centres and connecting them with business networks within the web entrepreneurship ecosystem. A perfect match with our Focus Area Youth Employment, about which you can read more on page 19. AEGEE plays a crucial role in the project as the representative of students and young people, which the project aims to target. As project partner, we have contributed in different ways, including a research on the needs of young entrepreneurs, and the organisation of two stakeholder meetings in Brussels with the aim to bring the key players of the European web entrepreneurship ecosystem together to improve the services that student support centres provide. In the upcoming year, AEGEE will develop one of the four action plans that will have to be piloted in four key cities to improve their web entrepreneurship ecosystem. The MY-WAY consortium is composed of ten partners, from seven different countries, representing the main actors of the web entrepreneurship ecosystem. The project is coordinated by Europa Media Non-profit Ltd. The project partners are: London Association of Enterprise Agencies Ltd. - Capital Enterprise, H-Farm Italia, AEGEE / European Students’ Network, NACUE - National Association of College

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and University Entrepreneurs, Bar-Ilan University , Sabanci University , EUCLID Network, YES - European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs and Menlo Media. Read more about the project on www.mywaystartup.eu.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644367.


EUth – Tools & Tips for mobile & digital Youth Participation in & across Europe by Andrea Ferrara, Project Manager of EUth

AEGEE is partner of EUth, an innovation project aimed to get more young people involved in political decision-making and increase their trust in European political institutions. The project is a response to the worries about the decline of citizens’ participations confirmed with the latest elections for the European Parliament, which saw the lowest voter turnout on record. Distrust towards formal politics is particularly strong among young people: while young citizens used to be the age category most favorable to the EU, distrust towards EU and its institutions has considerably risen in the aftermath of the post-2008 crisis. EUth aims to modernize communication and decision making processes by promoting online participation. This is an effective way to involve young people since it can help to overcome barriers of traditional ways of participation. ICT is a powerful tool for enhancing citizen engagement in public policy making, to promote idea sharing and influence decisions. AEGEE will run one of the pilots to test the platform OPIN and to give feedbacks for improvements to the developers. OPIN is an all-in-one digital and mobile participation toolbox, easily embedded on web sites, the digital home of participation projects. The pilot intends to get members more involved in the European organization of AEGEE by making consultation process more inclusive, improving the active participation of our members at local and European level of the organization and training members on participation skills and competences. The platform and the projects’ plan were presented during the EPM in Leiden and the Spring Network Meetings. A first version of the platform OPIN was released

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on 1st March 2016, tested by AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Bergamo and AEGEE-León and in a workshop during the Spring Agora Bergamo 2016. The platform will be improved for the version 1.5, make available in September 2016. Partners are NEXUS Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research, Liquid Democracy, Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia (HS), European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA), Alfstore (ALF), Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems, International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB), Liquid Democracy e.V., Missions Publiques, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and The Danish Board of Technology Foundation (DBT). More information are available on the project’s website www.euthproject.eu and on OPIN website www.opin.me. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649594.


eParticipation - Interactive decision-making in action. Every vivid democratic society needs active citizens. When people share a strong sense of ownership, decision-making improves and the decisions made are better accepted. Digital and mobile participation enables more efficient decision-making with two main benefits: • •

Participation is independent of time and place Big quantities of data can be easily collected and processed

Project EUth - Tools and Tips for Mobile and Digital Youth Participation in and across Europe” The aim of EUth is to get more young people involved in political decision-making and increase their trust in European political institutions. For this we need youth-friendly digital and mobile participation tools to set up attractive participation projects.

OPIN.me - European toolbox for youth eParticipation projects OPIN, an all-in-one digital and mobile participation toolbox, easily embedded in the web presence of youth organizations or administrations. OPIN provides participation projects with a digital home. All stages of the project are transparent and supported by OPIN’s software. AEGEE-Europe and four more pilot programmes are currently testing OPIN and will give feedback for improvements.

Open call for eParticipation ideas and deployment In 2016, EUth will support 10 eParticipation ideas with a sum of 10.000 €, in order to initiate digital and mobile participation projects with OPIN. Follow us and stay informed! Don’t hesitate to ask us for support and consultation on your successful eParticipation process. More information: info@euth.net www.euth.net www.facebook.com/euth.net Twitter @euthnet


Lifestyle in Mobility: the Effects of Studying Abroad on Health behaviour by Svenja van der Tol, Secretary General, Giovanni Aresi, Catholic University of Milan & Simon Moore, Cardiff University

Although studying abroad has become more and more popular for the last years, little is known regarding students’ lifestyle during their study experience abroad. Lifestyle in Mobility is a research project that aims at investigating health behaviours (diet, physical exercise, safe sex, and alcohol and illicit drugs use) among European students abroad. The project is a collaborative research of the Catholic University of Milan (Italy), AEGEE-Europe as a student and youth organisation, and Cardiff University (UK). During the academic year 2015-2016, 950 students completed surveys before departure, during their stay and after their return. Besides the surveys, 20 students were interviewed to integrate the survey results and offer insights into its interpretation. The preliminary results showed changes in most of the health behaviours of the over 500 students that were surveyed, when compared to their behaviour for departure. Students tended to have a less healthy diet (e.g., reduction in the consumption of fruit and vegetables) and being less physically active. The amount of times that they went out at night increased substantially. This was also related to an overall increase in both frequency and amount of alcohol that they drink. Unfortunately, students also tended to display potentially harmful drinking patterns (e.g., being severely drunk) more frequently and, consistently, they experienced a greater number of alcohol-related negative consequences, such as missing classes the next day. Little changes, however, have occurred on other health-related behaviours such as illicit drug use and unprotected casual sex, which remained fairly stable across the transition to the foreign environment.

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The interviews to students offered some indications that these changes may be related to students’ desire to make the most out this temporary experience abroad. This leads to a very active life that involves going out a lot and, in many cases, more drinking, as well as expectations to socialise a lot while abroad, while experiencing less ‘social control’ (for example from parents) and university obligations.

However, not all students increased their drinking habits during their experience studying abroad, and the next steps of the Lifestyle in Mobility project will be to test the impact of different factors related to less healthy behaviours, and to identify protective factors for students. Among others, we will test the hypothesis that the students’ engagement to the host country’s culture (e.g., having meaningful interaction with local people) may serve as a factor that reshapes the overall studying experience abroad, and positively impacts on drinking and other health behaviours.


FACE CHALLENGE FACEAABIGGER BIGGER CHALLENGE “What I really love about my job is that I’m working right at the heart of international politics “What I really love about my job is that I’m working right at the heart of international politics andand at the toptop of of the news belive livetweeting tweetingfrom from a European Council at the the newsagenda. agenda.One Oneday day II might might be a European Council summit or the G7, and the next working on the Council’s long-term social media strategy summit or the G7, and the next working on the Council’s long-term social media strategy or or advising upcoming Council socialmedia mediaactivities. activities. advising upcoming Councilpresidencies presidencies on on their their social

to build my career through new skills and experiences.”

Alexandra coordinates social media for the Council of the European Union.

eu-careers.eu


LOOKING

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FORWARD


WINDS OF CHANGE by Réka Salamon, President of AEGEE-Europe 2016-2017

Have you ever fought passionately for something you believe in? And have you experienced downfalls and trials just to experience the greatest achievements that will make you proud for the rest of your life? The life of the Comite Directeur of AEGEE-Europe is not full of challenges like that. It is the challenge for any AEGEEan to face, be let down by or triumph over. We dedicate a year of our lives to challenge AEGEE, to challenge each other and no matter the outcome, to spend the most memorable time of our lives together. “What do we do in Brussels?” - is probably the most frequently asked question the hard-working people of the AEGEE-Europe Head Office get. We answer your emails, we coordinate your team meetings, we bring 31 years of knowledge to the Network Meetings, we expand your horizons and introduce the so-called ‘European talks’. We laugh, we cry, we travel to see you and we definitely don’t do enough sports. With the Comite Directeur 2016-2017, we have been preparing for the year since August 1, 2016, trying to put a clear focus on the most important role of the Head Office of AEGEE-Europe: supporting the AEGEE Network. We want to show you the world of AEGEE by showing you the strength of one single individual who is passionate enough to work for a better society and a better Europe. AEGEE is your school of life and it is really only you who can make a change!

We want to show you the world of AEGEE that provides you with a learning experience: because self-discovery and training activities have been in the heart of the greatest AEGEE projects and the most amazing personal development stories. We want to discover together with all of you the hidden strength of our network: AEGEE is empowering a network of cities that make the idea of a united Europe happen. Every time you are going on an exchange, come up with a project idea together with friends from all over Europe, or by all those late night talks at AEGEE events - you keep discovering endless surprises and a new understanding of our colourful diversity. We are looking forward to our year and working together with all of you! AEGEE will continue bringing all of us together as friends and at the same time connect us as Europeans who realise their future is in their own hands. AEGEE means something different to every single one of us, but some things remain the same: the life-changing experience filled with memories of travels, friends and belonging.

We want to show you the world of AEGEE from the perspective of active and aware citizens, who question the status quo of Europe and bear a progressive mind and a critical thinking capacity to find a new path for the European continent to work closer together.

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Comité Directeur 2016-2017 Réka Salamon AEGEE-Debrecen AEGEE-Aachen

Katarzyna Sokołowska AEGEE-Kraków

Zvonimir Canjuga AEGEE-Zagreb

Maarten de Groot AEGEE-Amsterdam

Joanna Pankowska AEGEE-Warszawa

Evangelia Touska AEGEE-Kastoria AEGEE-Sofia

tekla hajdu AEGEE-Budapest

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President

Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe

Financial Director

Vice-President and External Relations Director

Projects and Communication Director

Human Resources Director

Network Director


upgrading aegee with the ideas factory by Laura Pérez, AEGEE-León

AEGEE will never be the same after the Ideas Factory, where experienced members will gather in the city of León to draft the new Strategic Plan that will determine our focus for the next three years. We need to have long-term goals in order to achieve our goals in society and make a positive change in Europe. Therefore, we have a Strategic Plan that defines our aims for a period of three years, using different focus areas (currently Spreading Europtimism, Youth Employment, Youth Mobility, and Civic Education) as the main challenges in Europe that the organisation wants to tackle. Each one of these focus areas has a few more concrete, specific and measurable objectives that we change every year, which are defined in the Action Agenda (more information on page 19). This is where two important events play a role, namely, the European Planning Meeting (read more about the last one on page 59) where we explore a concrete thematic issue of relevance for young people in Europe, and at the same time draft the new Action Agenda for the next year. The other important event, which is only organised once every three years, is the Planning Meeting, also known as Ideas Factory. The newest edition will take place from the 7th until the 11th of September in the city of León. Located in the north of Spain, the organising antenna, AEGEE-León, was founded thirteen years ago at the University of León as a way to get Europe closer to the local youth and help the university with the organisation of activities for the Erasmus and international students. Even though the local has been very active, organising events like the SUPS, Network Meeting and many more big events, the Ideas Factory will be the first event of such scale and importance.

Álvaro Nieto and Sergio Nistal are the main coordinators of the event who, along with a team of fifteen members from six different antennae, made the event a reality. As Sergio says: “Our antenna is strong, and we have strong resources and motivation. We believed it was a good moment to organise a big event. When we saw the open call for locals, we decided to go for it and add León to the history of AEGEE! After we found out we were selected, we gathered an awesome team. Coordinating is always hard and requires time and patience but it is also very rewarding when you see your work finished! So, in the end, it is really worth it.” Álvaro adds to that: “We are really excited for this event, not only are we reshaping our organisation but also showing our city and our antenna to many young and motivated Europeans. I think once the event is over I will feel extremely happy and proud that our city hosted it.” The results of the planning will be presented at the upcoming Autumn Agora Chisinau and after this it will be up to all members to continue the work by drafting the new objectives at European Planning Meeting Zagreb. Which focus areas we will be doing that for is still a mystery for now. Will Spreading Europtimism become stronger after the Brexit referendum results? Or will one of our many Interest Groups take one step further and create a new focus area? We will have the answers in October!

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Autumn Agora Chişinău 2016 If you can dream it, you can do it! by Nadejda Hadjivu, board member of AEGEE-Chişinău

John Lennon said: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality”. In the beginning it was one person’s dream, but his determination and enthusiasm made us dream with him. That’s why AEGEE-Chişinău dreamed together to organise the Autumn Agora 2016, and it will come true because this beautiful city, Chişinău, well-known as “the white stone flower”, will host the most important meeting of AEGEE in October. Although AEGEE-Chişinău has a small team, it has a strong will. Therefore, this event represents a big challenge for the antenna. Despite the fact that the final decision was spontaneous, this thought was present subconsciously in everyone from AEGEE-Chişinău for a while now. Our neighbours from Ukraine, who organised the last Autumn Agora in Kyïv, were a big inspiration and a successful example. It was an amazing event, despite their political situation, and they accomplished their mission: to unite locals all over Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We must emphasise that the event will be held in the capital of the Republic of Moldova, Chişinău, which next year will celebrate its 580th anniversary. Therefore, the city is ready to share many traditions and architectural monuments that have been preserved for centuries. Our local is planning to host more than 800 students, partake with them in our beautiful customs, with support from both the local and national authorities. It will be a great opportunity to prove how beautiful, hospitable and generous our country is.

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Now is the time to show the world that we can still compete at the same level as many other antennae. We can bring as an example an adventurous team and its memorable projects, showing that we put passion and soul into everything we do. AEGEE-Chişinău will prove that it has one of the best teams, lead by Andrei Dodița, who is our biggest motivator. The power is in the hands of the youth, and we are capable of hosting people from all over the world, despite all sociopolitical aspects. Moldova has often been named as the “success story” in the path towards European integration among the Eastern Partnership countries. We believe that this event will emphasise the close relationship between the young people from Europe and Moldova. It capitalises on the European feeling of the young Europeans that desire active involvement in the international organisations and enhances their manifestation as actors in civil society. Surely we will sacrifice many nights, but these are small details in accomplishing the great dream - Autumn Agora 2016 in Chişinău!


european planning meeting Zagreb 2017 Untangle the Mystery of a mil. Hearts! by Marina Klanjčić, Main Coordinator of EPM Zagreb

“People, we got it!!!” - that was the message that Zvonimir Canjuga, our former Main Coordinator, sent us when he received the confirmation e-mail from the Comité Directeur. We were speechless, totally dumbstruck and incredibly happy! Emojis almost crushed our inbox on Facebook. And then the adrenaline rush started, and it felt like we were not aware of what just happened! It came to our mind the next day and the feeling was even better! “We got the EPM people, we really got it!”

And this desire was what led us through the entire process of application. We will not talk much about the programme, because you will have to experience it yourselves. If you haven’t visited Zagreb yet, this will be your best opportunity! The EPM will host around 250-300 AEGEEans in the wonderful city of Zagreb, and organisers will take care of you incredibly well - could anything be better? What is expecting you in the “city of a million hearts”, apart from regular EPM things, will be a mystery until the 23rd of February 2017! So, save the dates and brace yourselves - EPM in Zagreb is coming!

After organising our Network Meeting last spring, we knew the time had come for something bigger. We had a great team of motivated and hard-working people, we were surrounded by amazing new members, and we couldn’t wait any longer to organise another event. So, we decided - the European Planning Meeting (EPM) 2017 will be in Zagreb!

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Agora Enschede 2017 The First for the Fourth time by Wietske Jousma, AEGEE-Enschede

Organising an Agora is not something an AEGEE local does every year. It takes dedication, hard work and sacrifice. In Spring 2012, AEGEE-Enschede celebrated its 25th anniversary with many activities, including the Spring Agora 2012. Because next year AEGEE-Enschede turns 30, we decided after a lot of thought, sleepless nights and a lot of preparation to apply to host the Spring Agora in 2017. Our 30th anniversary, or so-called, sixth lustrum, means that it will be a year full of activities and parties. Our Lustrum Committee is working hard by preparing an amazing program full of fun for all our members. Think of a great gala ball, a lustrum-weekend and many more activities. And as icing on the cake: the Spring Agora 2017 will be in Enschede! We are going to celebrate our 30th anniversary with the whole Network! The first Agora AEGEE-Enschede organised was the spring one in 1997. The speed mathematicians among the readers will notice that in 2017 it will be twenty years since AEGEE-Enschede organised its first Agora. The second Agora in Enschede was in 2005, and the Agora many of you might still remember was the Agora in 2012. The Core Team of Agora 2017 is in contact with the former Core Team of the Agora Enschede 2012, and they will do their very best to make the Spring Agora 2017 even better than the one in 2012. Do you want to know how? We have some amazing plans and we have very good contact with the University of Twente. This ensures the quality of facilities, but we are also preparing a very interesting thematic programme and our own pub Asterion is included in the social program. 107

Looking Forward

You might all be curious who the members of this amazing Core Team are. Well, it is time to introduce ourselves! Tom Simons, you all may know him as Chair of the Agora and EPM, will be our Main Organiser and he is responsible for the design, together with the Treasurer of the event, Wietske Jousma, currently President and European Affairs Responsible of AEGEE-Enschede. Derk Sneijders is currently Quaestor of the board of our pub Asterion, but in the Core Team he is the Secretary, Incoming, Outgoing and Visa Responsible, and he is the one in charge of our website and all IT related stuff. Luuk Geurts and Anne-Fleur Karssing, two very active members of AEGEE-Enschede, are responsible for External Affairs and Communication. Ralph Gerlings and Roel Smulders, also two very active members of AEGEE-Enschede, are responsible for Logistics. And last but not least, Renske Hortensius, who will be President of AEGEE-Enschede next year, will be from the 12th of September the Board Responsible. The title of this article refers to AEGEE-Enschede being the first antenna to ever organise four Agorae within the AEGEE Network. We will make this amazing fact something no one will forget!


lights, camera, action! aegee gOES TO THE MOVIES by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona

Several online magazines, several print publications, a radio station, countless YouTube channels, once a TV channel, a book written by our founder and a lot of theses with AEGEE as a topic. Our association is well represented in literature and multimedia, but so far, there has not been a film talking about us, about our association. The Art of the Possible is there to fill this gap.

The Art of the Possible is a 50-minute long documentary that will tell the stories of some members of our association, taking viewers on a journey through the experiences of seven AEGEEans who differ a lot from one another. Jorge Sánchez from AEGEE-Dresden, Anna Pykhtina from AEGEE-Kyïv, Philipp Blum and Lucia Gavulová from the Summer University Coordination Team, Benoît Guiche from AEGEE-Toulouse and many others will share what AEGEE is for them without filters, without any prearranged script, but genuinely speaking their minds. The film will also document the trip undertaken by the creators to reach various destinations and members. The brain behind the documentary is Luca Giazzi from AEGEE-Bergamo. Born in 1994, he is a student of Communication Studies and joined AEGEE in April 2015. He is definitely not new in this field, having done mostly music and wedding videos. Cameras and films are running in his blood, because his grandfather was a production manager at RAI, the Ital-

ian national television station. He did not embark on this project alone: with him there are Raquel Corbalán Fernández from AEGEE-Alicante, screenwriter, who worked on all the structure of the dialogues in the film; Giacomo Corpino, audio engineer and composer; Marianna Lipinska from AEGEE-Kraków, fundraising manager; and Victor González Llistó from AEGEE-Madrid, who helped with the shootings and locations in Spain. “It is always very hard to explain to our non-AEGEE friends what AEGEE is. Words are not enough,” says Luca. But also the format he chose - the documentary - might not be the most accessible one. “Being a documentarist is not that easy: most of the time you have got good stories, but no one who will listen to them. The audience is simply surrounded by too many video contents,” he continues. “When I first thought about The Art of the Possible, it was clear that there could be some members interested in watching it, even without knowing me”. The reaction so far has been overwhelming. After the trailer was shown to the Agora Bergamo participants and released for the fundraising campaign, the video climbed to 10.000 views in very few days. Luca and his team spent the entire summer finishing shooting and in September the editing will start. The plan is to screen the documentary in indie-movie festivals around the world. Once it is released, The Art of the Possible will be available in free streaming, allowing viewers to enjoy it without limits. “Moreover, I would love to launch it at the next AEGEE Day in 2017,” concludes Luca.

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THE TEAM

VII

Svenja van der Tol Co-Editor-in-Chief AEGEE-Nijmegen

Anna Gumbau Co-Editor-in-Chief AEGEE-Barcelona

Angelos Pappas Creative Director AEGEE-Athina

Anna Inazemtsava Editor AEGEE-Grodno

Daria Lovkova Editor AEGEE-Moskva

Tatiana Rodina Editor AEGEE-Moskva

Laura Pérez Álvarez Journalist AEGEE-León

Erika Bettin Journalist AEGEE-Verona

Firdevs Çazem Journalist AEGEE-Hatay

Matteo Lai Journalist AEGEE-Cagliari

Erik Redli Journalist/Proofreader AEGEE-Bratislava

Sabina Guja Proofreader AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca

Federica Soro Proofreader AEGEE-Cagliari

Mireille Voorendt Proofreader AEGEE-Utrecht

Elena Agulló Cantos Photo Database Manager AEGEE-Alicante

Maria Zwartkruis Research & Statistics Manager/Proofreader AEGEE-Utrecht

Looking Forward


authors Aleksandra Kluczka Anastasiia Koval Andrea Ferrara Anna Gumbau Anna Inazemtsava Anna Pykthina Ben Jones Casper Renting Daria Lovkova Elinne Mertens Erifyli Evangelou Erik Redli Erika Bettin

Michele Turati Nadejda Hadjivu Pablo Hernández Réka Salamon Simon Moore Svenja van der Tol Tatiana Rodina Theijs van Welij Thomas Leszke Wietske Jousma Willem Laurentzen Yevginiya Gagarkina

Esther Hillmer Fabrizio Bellicano Firdevs Çazim Gerardo Garcia Díaz Giovanni Aresi Ivaylo Bogomilov Laura Pérez María Ballesteros Melero Marije Arentze Marina Klanjcic Marko Grdosic Matteo Lai Mayri Tiido

photographers All the pictures present in this publication were sent by the author or the interviewed person. The pictures, as well as the publication, are solely for promotional and internal purposes and not for commercial ones.

II: IV: 2: 4: 16, 58:

Pablo Hernández Kristina Semenyak Christoph Reinicke Konstantinos Pappas Anna Gumbau

21: 30, 93: 30: 46: 60, 64:

Fabrizio Bellicano Gerardo García Díaz Mayri Tiido Ioana Duca Paolo Simonetti

84, 104, 107: 89: 90: 91: 108:

Gunnar Erth Margherita Pellegrini Lia Tuska Philipp Blum Luca Giazzi ...and many more!

9: Map of the Network, orig. created by Philipp Blum & Vincent Baas, modified for this version by Angelos Pappas

disclaimer The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Key to Europe 2015-2016

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contact information CD / HEADOFFICE Rue du Noyer / Notelaarsstraat 55 1000 Brussels, Belgium headoffice@aegee.org www.aegee.org Phone secretariat: +32 2 246 0320 Mobile secretariat: +32 483 675 625 (BASE) Fax: +32 2 246 0329

PROJECTS

OTHER BODIES

AEGEE Election Observation eop@aegee.org www.projects.aegee.org/eop

LES ANCIENS www.anciens.org

SUMMER UNIVERSITY PROJECT suct@aegee.org www.aegee.org/su europe on track europeontrack@aegee.org www.aegee.org/europeontrack Your Vision for EUrope yourvisionforeurope@aegee.org www.yourvisionforeurope.com GR-EAT projects@aegee.org www.gr-eat.eu MY-WAY coordinator@mywaystartup.eu www.mywaystartup.eu EUth info@euth.net www.euth.net OPIN mail@nexusinstitut.de www.opin.me.

IX

Looking Forward

AEGEE ACADEMY board@aegee-academy.org www.aegee-academy.org THE AEGEEAN aegeean@aegee.org www.aegee.org/magazine KEY TO EUROPE www.aegee.org/press/publications/key-to-europe/


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t t Z Th o N ’ u P B U a n rid Ka w G adt ok ara es Cal Na ven bur sta elon tta rb n N Lәn ice an hen rtu Pa in-la Ha ste rde ird éc Maa g H uj-N Am Tir gor bad l Iv Dni ar tre Ro insk a K ed ok go ra S ew iv L sk glia rde rg ra va M v at e Bi Vi a c a G ri e T ha sa ab xç L g d a V ur i s c l N M u p m t c T B e e a i a a l s r c m e g e k s D ó a e M A l h u G b n r š s n n ğ l n P t s p t ir il is N n iw iš o E lb n n a a n H t e ә o l a r e g o br No ağu as ice ebr bao za oni ria ıvan әnk ata De Bar ro Sa No ran rod bu ber ilisi Pa eu bu Ca Ad Te eir rich ink oc erd ë T Po M o-F pe lon t Va Ro osk wic rfu ao ny kt- stl Pa no Çan Ad an Re rg ta a ne ai t i H a a o r a ra tr a ts P e- lm va a a ë gg r v d ia v sa Kh G ec B Zi ki Rīg N әr y br i B na nt vi e r s T l v n s y B e e t m t n r L á ia e u e e s n n k n T t a C i o B M o Ta Rīg Sa Ma ark ro en olo elo Tilb a R ew an He ece eo Vig and Sad ille G Cas en kir au Lu Hat ia a A rife s P ad era os A ino o-In che nkiv vs ari ncia 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id r

word of thanks

A few months ago, we launched the open call for a team to work on the Key to Europe, and anxiously waited to see if anyone would even still be interested. To our delight, there were, and soon we had a team of people to make the magic happen and create our annual report. However, one key position was missing - the one of Editor-in-Chief. After approaching a few people (sorry, Erika), in the end we decided it would be better for the development of the magazine to kickstart the work already, divided the tasks among the two of us and prepared ourselves to be co-Editors-in-Chief for the first (Anna) or second time (Svenja).

The surprisingly sunny weather that day might have affected our ability to make that choice properly, because working intensively on the Key to Europe while also being in the Comité Directeur is not an ideal position and comes with a lot of extra work, but if it did, we are glad, because it has been an incredibly rewarding task, making the missed nights of sleep and busy weeks worth it.

From day one, it has been a great pleasure to see the Key to Europe grow in front of our eyes, from a chaotic list of articles, a spreadsheet that never seemed to turn all green to a final publication that we consider our very beautiful and, of course, blue AEGEE baby.

However, this baby wouldn’t have been born without the great support of a bunch of people, who we don’t want to forget. First of all, the new responsible of the Comité Directeur, Joanna Pankowska. Although only joining later in the process, we have always felt supported by her and she has helped us out a lot gathering all the information we needed from the side of the CD. Of course, we also owe a thank you to all other Comité Directeur members, both former and current, who have written a big bunch of the articles for us and where always there to give feedback whenever asked (or not asked).

Without our Editors, we would still be at the phase of a chaotic list of articles. Thanks to their endless enthusiasm, motivation and input, we reached over a hundred pages of great articles, carefully edited by them. Thank you, Anna, Dasha and Tanya! You have done an amazing job and can be proud of yourselves.

There would be no editing without content though, so let’s put our journalists Erik, Firdevs, Erika, Matteo and Laura in the spotlight. Thank you for providing us with great articles to describe the work and achievements of AEGEE and your neverending motivation to gather all the information you needed to share with the world.

And, of course, for the finalisation of the articles, making sure that every ‘z’ was replaced with a ‘s’ (#britishenglish) and there were no mistakes to be found at all, our very precise proofreaders with a great eye for language and for detail Erik, Maria, Sabina, Mireille and Federica. Without you, we would have a magazine to make fun of, but with you, we have a perfectly-written magazine.

No magazine is complete without the visuals though, for which we owe a thank you to Maria and Elena P., who created the statistics and showed you the AEGEE in numbers; Elena A., for looking everywhere to find the appropiate pictures; and of course, to our fairy Angelos, who worked an endless amount of time to create something that wasn’t only a nice read, but also something fantastic to look at, while having to deal with the newbie feedback from one of the Editor-in-Chiefs (we won’t say names, but it starts with a S). Thanks to this fantastic four, the baby was born in its final version.

And last but not least, Svenja would like to say a huge fluffpuff thank you to Anna for joining in the crazy idea and making the work on this Key to Europe a fun ride rather than a ride to burn-out hell; Anna gives a big, glittery thanks back to Svenja, for everything that she has been learning from her throughout this, indeed, fun ride; and a collective thank-you goes to Erika, who was always there to give support and advice, being amazing enough to be Editor-in-Chief of the last two editions herself.

See you somewhere in Europe, hopefully while reading this Key to Europe!

Anna & Svenja


AEGEE-EUROPE EUROPEAN STUDENTS’ FORUM KEY TO EUROPE ANNUAL REVIEW 2015 / 2016 Rue du Noyer / Notelaarsstraat 55 1000 Brussels, Belgium +32 2 246 0320 headoffice@aegee.org

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union


Key to Europe 2015 - 2016