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European Students' Forum
Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l'Europe

Logo of AEGEE-Europe
Motto See you somewhere in Europe
Formation 1985
Type Network for European students
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Location  Europe
Membership 15,000
Official languages English, French
President Agata Patecka
Key people Olga Basova, Nico Huurman, Anita Kalmane, Agnes Leyrer, Denis Maksimov, Manos Valasis
Affiliations European Youth Forum
Staff 6 (in the European board)
Website http://www.aegee.eu

AEGEE, or Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l'Europe, known as European Students' Forum in English, is one of Europe's largest cross-faculty student organisations.

Established in 1985, AEGEE currently has around 15,000 members across 241 local groups (antennae) in university cities across Europe, including Russia, Turkey and the Caucasus, with a European board in Brussels. It promotes an equal, democratic and unified Europe, open to all across national borders. Several hundred conferences, training and cultural events are organised across the network every year, and AEGEE also campaigns and lobbies for the interests of European students, in particular the reduction of visa barriers between European countries.

The short name "AEGEE" derives from the Aegean sea, one of the birthplaces of democracy, and the full name from the first parliament established during the French Revolution, the États Généraux.[1]

Contents

Structure

AEGEE has an elected European board, the Comité Directeur[2] with a residential office in Brussels, and a number of European-level working groups[3] as well as its autonomous local antennae. Active members meet twice a year at the end of April and October in a general assembly called an Agora, hosted by a different antenna each time. Most candidates for positions at the European level are elected at the Agora, which also ratifies the creation or deletion of antennae, working groups and projects. There is also a smaller annual European Boards' Meeting, intended to develop projects and campaigns and usually held in late winter.

The association has no national level, and, at least in theory, it does not recognise the current national borders within Europe. In practice, however, many antennae maintain close contact with their national governments, and get financial and political support for their initiatives.

Antennae are supported by the Network Commission, a group of experienced members appointed by the Agora to help the network grow and develop. They provide advice, training and practical help, especially with local human resources and event organisation. Network Commissioners each have responsibility for a number of locals across several national borders, which can be reshuffled at each Agora to stop any fixed national or regional divisions from forming.

Each city antenna is a separate legal person under its own local law, not under the direct control of the Comité Directeur. However, to become a part of the AEGEE network, prospective antennae must include the principles of AEGEE's statute within their own, and have them approved by the Comité Directeur and Juridical Commission. This allows AEGEE to have an antenna wound up in case of inactivity or serious misconduct.

Membership of an antenna is normally open to anyone younger than 30 living in the local area, on payment of a membership fee set by the local board. Many antennae concentrate their promotional activities on students at their home university, and are not very visible to outsiders.

The majority of AEGEE events are open to non-members, however this tends to be poorly promoted except to local students. It is quite common for all participants to be from the host city or other AEGEE antennae. Some activities, most notably the statutory Agorae and EBMs and the Summer University project, are explicitly restricted to AEGEE members who must be approved by their home antenna's board.

AEGEE was founded in France and still uses a number of French terms, but the main working language at European level is now English. Most antennae use their own local language, however local board members generally need a working knowledge of English.

Activities

AEGEE is a full member of the European Youth Forum, collaborating with other youth NGOs to deal with issues such as visa barriers and funding for activities. It also has direct contact with the Council of Europe and European Union, working closely with both these bodies on issues of importance to young people.

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Fields of Action

AEGEE organises a wide range of projects, most of which relate to one of four main fields of action: Active Citizenship, Higher Education, Peace & Stability, and Cultural Exchange.

Active citizenship

AEGEE is an independent non-party political organisation, working closely with governments, institutions and other NGOs to realise its goals for Europe. AEGEE aims to provide a political voice for its members at every level, organising conferences on a range of topics and using the results to lobby European institutions.

Higher education

AEGEE represents students who care about the European dimension of higher education. As well as encouraging student mobility, AEGEE supports language learning, promotes international cooperation in the academic world, and campaigns for the further development of European education programmes.

Peace and stability

By encouraging democratic ideals, tolerance and mutual understanding between young adults from communities in conflict, AEGEE contributes to conflict resolution in the Balkans, the Caucasus, on Cyprus, and in Greece and Turkey. AEGEE also organises conferences and seminars on international political issues.

Cultural exchange

Building respect and appreciation between people of different cultures is core to all of AEGEE's work. AEGEE sees this field of action as the core of European integration, believing that integration can never be a top-down process, but must be based on friendship among the peoples of Europe. AEGEE groups organise a substantial number of cultural exchange events every year.

History

April 1985 
The association, originally called EGEE, held its first event: an assembly in Paris of students from Paris, Leiden, London, Madrid, Milan and Munich, organised by founding president Franck Biancheri.
October 1986 
Three EGEE working groups were formed: Sponsoring, Traineeships and Language Study.
A conference on cross-border developments in Nijmegen.
By the start of the academic year, EGEE has 26 branches and 6,000 members.
November 1986 
In Heidelberg, a conference on relations between the Far East and Europe.
In Toulouse, the first European Space Weekend.
December 1986 
In Paris, a conference on the pharmaceutical industry in Europe.
In Munich, a conference on the European Monetary System.
1987 
EGEE persuades French president François Mitterrand to support funding for the Erasmus programme, a student exchange program financed by the European Commission.[4]
1988 
The association changes its name from EGEE to AEGEE following a trademark dispute.[5]
1989 
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Agora in Salerno opens up AEGEE to local antennae outside the European Community, making it one of the first European organisations to expand beyond the old Iron Curtain.
May 1990 
Les Anciens d'AEGEE-Europe is founded during the EGEE VI meeting in Paris.[6]
A new AEGEE logo is released, representing "Your Key to Europe".
1995 
Head office of the organisation moves to Brussels.
Ankara and later several other Turkish antennae join the network.
1996 
More than 1000 students are actively involved in the conference series "Find Your Way..." explaining what students can do in the emerging civil society in Central and Eastern Europe.
1997 
AEGEE organises its first visit to Cyprus. Following this, in 2001 an antenna is created in Mağusa.
April 1999 
Foundation of the AEGEE-Academy for training and human resources at Agora-Barcelona, prompted by preparations for the European School in Gießen.
2000 
"Education for Democracy", a new scholarship programme helping students from war-shattered Kosovo to study at universities abroad.
During the autumn, AEGEE-Beograd members took part in the public assembly that learns of Milosevic's defeat.
2001-2002 
AEGEE organises several major projects focusing on peace and stability in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region.
2002 
Launch of AEGEE-Television by AEGEE-Eindhoven.[7]
2003 
AEGEE's first study trip to the Caucasus.[8]
AEGEE organises the first international student conference in the buffer zone on Cyprus.[9]
2004 
2005 
2006 
2007 
AEGEE organised the simulation 'Model European Union' in the presmisses of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Due to the impact of the Bologna Process on students' life, the mandate cycle of the Comtité Direceur has been changed from Spring-Autumn and Autumn-Spring to a full academic year from 1 September - 31 August with a transition period in August, starting from August 2008.
2008 
AEGEE-Eindhoven starts AEGEE-travelwiki. [10]
AEGEE launches Y Vote 2009 - European Youth Choice to encourage voting for young people

Presidents of AEGEE so far

Name Antenna Period in office
Franck Biancheri Paris April 1985 - April 1988
Vieri Bracco Milan April 1988 - November 1988
Frédéric Pélard Toulouse November 1988 - November 1989
Adolfo Dominguez Madrid November 1989 - May 1990
Achim Boers Delft May 1990 - November 1990
Georg von der Gablentz Berlin November 1990 - April 1992
Jeroen Hoogerwerf Amsterdam April 1992 - April 1993
Pavel Miladinovic Prague April 1993 - November 1993
Zsuzsa Kigyós Budapest November 1993 - April 1994
Dorian Selz Geneve April 1994 - November 1994
Christina Thorsson Lund November 1994 - April 1995
Egens van Iterson Scholten Enschede April 1995 - November 1995
Christoph Strohm Cologne November 1995 - April 1996
Jordi Capdevila Barcelona April 1996 - November 1996
Gerhard Kress Mainz November 1996 - April 1997
Peter Ginser Karlsruhe April 1997 - November 1997
Sergio Caredda Gorizia November 1997 - April 1998
Hélène Berard Aix-en-Provence April 1998 - October 1998
Stefan Seidel Augsburg October 1998 - April 1999
László Fésüs Szeged April 1999 - November 1999
Faní Zarifopoúlou Athens November 1999 - May 2000
Oana Mailatescu Cluj-Napoca May 2000 - November 2000
Karina Häuslmeier Passau November 2000 - November 2001
Pedro Panizo Valladolid November 2001 – May 2002
Tomek Helbin Warsaw May 2002 – November 2002
Mark de Beer Enschede November 2002 – May 2003
Diana Filip Cluj-Napoca May 2003 – October 2003
Adrian Pintilie Bucharest October 2003 – April 2004
Nicola Rega Torino April 2004 – November 2004
Silvia Baita Cagliari November 2004 - May 2005
Burcu Becermen Ankara May 2005 - November 2005
Leon Bakraceski Skopje November 2005 - May 2006
Alistair De Gaetano Valletta May 2006 - November 2006
Theijs van Welij Utrecht November 2006 - December 2007
Laure Onidi Cologne December 2007 - September 2008
Dragan Stojanovski Niš September 2008 - August 2009
Agata Patecka Poznań September 2009 - Present

See also

External links

References


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