Anna Gots – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:38:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.12 Looking into 2014: a crucial year for the future of Europe /looking-into-2014-a-crucial-year-for-the-future-of-europe/ Mon, 06 Jan 2014 16:36:52 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=857 2013 was a year where things have started to change in Europe. Economic recuperation has been officially announced, but still has not been felt by the citizens who have to fight against unemployment and cuts in salaries or social benefits in their countries. Angela Merkel got elected again, becoming the first leader among the big democracies in Europe to resist the effects of the crisis on a national election; however, she needed a big coalition to form her government.

While the European Union is being questioned more than ever among its members, thousands of Ukrainian citizens faced cold winter winds and brutal attacks from police just to defend their European dream, first, and to claim democratic reforms in their country, later, making a lot of people think again of the positive facts of the still-in-construction European project. On the other side, we saw PM Cameron launching his proposal of referendum about an exit of the UK from EU, and we feel an increase of nationalistic and anti-EU messages in national media almost in every EU country. On the other hand, the EU welcomed Croatia in a new step towards reunification, especially relevant in a sensible area such as the Balkans. Two steps forward, one backward; this seems to be the rhythm of a new European dance.

But what can we expect from 2014?

The year will be marked by the elections to the European Parliament in May, where the European citizens will have the opportunity to speak through their votes. Will we see an increase of the presence of nationalist and anti-EU parties in the EP? It is quite likely they will increase notably their seats in the Parliament, but presumably they won’t pose a threat to the pro-European policies. And if, instead of sterile complaints and media-ready statements, they decide to have a constructive critical discourse, their contribution will for sure improve the decisions taken in the Parliament. In any case, the most likely scenario is a new decrease in participation in the electoral process, caused by the disaffection of many Europeans to the politicians that govern them and the gap between the EU institutions and the citizens. How the EU will fight the abstention in these elections, is one of the pressing questions this year that will be answered soon.

Apart from the elections, there are several other focus areas to follow in Europe this year. Will the new EU budget have a swift impact on the Member States daily life? Will the evolution of the civic protests in neighbouring countries, such as Turkey and Ukraine, lead to improvements in the democracy in those countries? Will the situation of human rights in Russia worsen, now that terrorism has come back into the scene, or will  the international pressure suceed in changing the Kremlin’s policies towards minorities and civil rights?

The referendum for the independence of Scotland (and the one in Catalonia, if it takes place), and especially the questions related to how to deal with their outcomes, will pose new challenges to the EU. The effects of the full access of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU deserve attention too, and hopefully the apocalyptic messages in UK tabloids will be silenced by facts that prove that the end of this unfair situation will just bring benefits to all of us. And we will still have to deal on a daily basis with the causes and effects of the economic and financial crisis, the solution to the unbearable unemployment rates, and the “austerity vs stimulation” dilemma.

For the young people… what will be the priorities? They will keep an eye on what affects them most: education and grants, and how budget cuts impact them. But… will the European young citizens feel how much their participation in the European Parliament is sought? Will their needs be taken into account by the decision-makers?

Obviously, there will be unexpected highlights in these 12 months of 2014, because Europe will always be an amazing place to live, which never ceases to surprise us.

Anna, Bea, Kathrin, Lucille, Luis, Miguel and Pavel
Comité Directeur 2013-14

Photos: courtesy of AEGEE-Ogre, European Parliament EP elections video and KyivPost

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In Memoriam: Franck Biancheri /in-memoriam-frank-biancheri-2/ /in-memoriam-frank-biancheri-2/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:44:21 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=283 It is a hard time for AEGEE now. While we should all be excited about our General Assembly starting tomorrow in Budapest, a call changed our mood. We were informed that Franck Biancheri, founder of AEGEE-Europe, had passed away on October 29th.

The members of AEGEE have reacted instantly to the news, sharing their memories of meeting him, remembering how innovative his ideas were, how he had the ability to create debate around him, making new ideas flourish in the minds of those who had the opportunity to meet him. His belief that youth was a necessary actor in the building of Europe has inspired generations of active citizens in Europe inside and outside AEGEE, and we will miss his questioning approach to everything.

During the Autumn Agora Budapest we will dedicate a minute of silence at our opening ceremony and we will for sure have him very present. But, at the same time, we want to offer all people who has been inspired by him an open space for expressing their feelings.

Please use the comments thread on this post for sharing your last words to him. Go to the end of this post and you will find it there.

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Daring to Change: AEGEE-Europe’s Board of Directors for 2012/2013 /daring-to-change-aegee-europes-board-of-directors-for-20122013-2/ Sat, 22 Sep 2012 14:10:57 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=15 AEGEE-Europe’s new board of directors, the Comité Directeur 2012/2013, is determined to give a new direction to Europe’s biggest interdisciplinary students’ forum.

AEGEE’s new board of directors started their one year term on September 1st. The Comité Directeur 2012/2013 have taken over their positions last week with enthusiasm and a strong will to continue to guide and support AEGEE’s work towards a united Europe, free of borders and barriers, building on the strong results of the previous board. The seven young leaders of six different nationalities have big ambitions for the next year. Among their goals are the following: a significant increase in thematic and political work, stronger involvement in the EU’s Structured Dialogue for Youth, and improving the association’s external visibility. As a full volunteer board, as every year, it has not been easy to resolve Visa problems for board members. This is why the board became complete at the head office in Brussels only on the 5th of September.

The members of AEGEE-Europe’s Comité Directeur are:

Luis Alvarado Martínez from AEGEE-Las Palmas, as President. Luis will represent AEGEE externally and will lead the new team through the year.

Lucille Rieux from AEGEE-Toulouse, as Secretary General. Lucille will be responsible for managing the AEGEE-Europe head office and will also be heavily involved in the thematic work of AEGEE.

Anna Gots from AEGEE-Kyiv, as the Financial Director. She will be taking care of the financial state of the Network.

Kathrin Renner from AEGEE-Passau, as Vice President & External Relations Director. She will manage AEGE-Europe’s partnerships, as well as the relations that AEGEE-Europe has with its partner youth and students NGOs.

Miguel Gallardo from AEGEE-Alicante, as the Projects Director. Miguel will coordinate the Working Groups and projects of AEGEE-Europe and the organisation’s main thematic conference, the European Boards’ Meeting 2013, in Valetta.

Beáta Matuszka from AEGEE-Budapest as Network and Human Resources Director. Beata will be responsible for the development of the Network, both in terms of regional development and management of Human Resources.

Pavel Zborník from AEGEE-Praha, as European Institutions and Communications Director. Pavel will maintain the communication with the European Institutions, and continue to improve the communication strategy of AEGEE-Europe.

One more year, seven idealistic Europeans have taken the challenge to dare for a better Europe, through the forum that AEGEE-Europe provides to them. With the current European economic and identity crisis, the participation and involvement of students and young people is vital to shape the Europe we want for our future.” – says Luis Alvarado Martínez, President of AEGEE-Europe.

The new board will have to prove themselves and their determination to fullfil their goals at AEGEE’s general assembly, the Agora in Budapest, where 700 students will come together to discuss current European topics and the future of the association.

 

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