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European Students' Union
ESU logo.jpg
Established 1982
Institution see member list
Location Brussels, Belgium
Members 47 (36 Countries)
Affiliated to see member list
Chairperson Ligia Deca (Romania) (July 2008)

European Students' Union (ESU) formerly known as ESIB - The National Unions of Students in Europe - is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 36 countries and through these members represent over 10 million students. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at a European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Council of Europe and UNESCO. ESU is a full member of the European Youth Forum (YFJ), the ESU nominee for 2006 was elected the president of the YFJ



On the 17th October 1982, seven National Unions of Students (NUSes) from Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Iceland, France, Denmark and Austria gathered in Stockholm to create WESIB, the Western European Students Information Bureau. In February 1990, WESIB dropped the “W” to become the European Student Information Bureau following the political upheaval in Europe at the time. The in 1992 the name changed to ESIB – the National Unions of Students in Europe in recognition of the changing mission of ESIB to change from just an information sharing organisation to becoming a political organisation that represented the views of students to European institutions. In May 2007 the name changed to European Students' Union (ESU).

Over the years the office of ESU has moved around Europe being hosted by the member NUSes. Following the establishment of WESIB in Stockholm the office was based in the SFS Office in Sweden from 1982 until 1985 funded by a grant by the Swedish Government. By 1985 the grant was running low and so NUS UK offered to host WESIB in their London headquarters. In 1988 the office moved to the ÖH offices in Vienna and remained there until 2000, when it was decided that for reasons of being near the European institutions the office should move to Brussels and was hosted by VVS.


The highest structure of ESU is the Board Meeting, bringing together representatives from all the National Unions of Students it represents. The Board Meeting sets the policy direction of the organisation, and elects members to see to run the organisation. There are currently 22 elected members, formed into an executive committee and three content committees:


Executive Committee

Responsible for the political direction, day-to-day running and overall responsibility for the organisation, the Executive Committee is composed of a chair, and customarily 6 members. It works according to a workplan (as with all other structures) which is set by the board meeting, and is accountable to the Board Meeting for its implementation.

Bologna Process Committee

Set up in the wake of the Prague Ministerial Meeting of Education Ministers in 2001, the Bologna Process Committee (then known as the COP - Committee on Prague), deals with ESIB's involvement in the Bologna Process, including actively participating within the working groups of the process and authoring publications, most notably the biannual 'Bologna with Student Eyes'.

Committee on the Commodification of Education

Originally set up to deal with the effect of GATS on education and the effects of private transnational education providers on Higher Education, this committee has expanded its scope to cover all issues related to Higher Education and the economy. Thus, its work includes effects of the European Union's Lisbon Agenda, research issues such as Intellectual Property as well as monitoring of various developments such as the Bolkestein Directive, the European Institute of Technology and GATS.

Gender Equality Committee

Elected for the first time in 2006, the Committee deals mainly with the concept of gender mainstreaming, ensuring that gender issues are integrated within the daily policies of the organisation as well as looking at gender aspects to European Higher Education policy in general.

Full members

Candidate Members

  • Ukrainian Student Council (USC)
  • National Union of Israeli Students(NUIS)

See also

External links


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