Alfredo Sellitti – President
As for flowers, blooming in the sun after a cold winter, some interesting updates arrived in our external relations.
A partnership agreement was signed with ThinkYoung, a Brussels based youth Think Tank that develops youth policies in the Eurocrat environment. The agreement will allow AEGEE and ThinkYoung to develop together ideas and projects, combining a high human resources potential of AEGEE with the political connections of ThinkYoung.
In the same field consultations were ongoing with JEF and ESN, but so far nothing concrete had been decided. Moreover our already existing partnership with BEST had been re-evaluated and will be resigned.
In the field of Education, on Monday 19th I was interviewed by “Debating Europe” a European discussion platform, about our policies and our ideas on the current regulation and on the recent policy developments in Europe.
In this regard, I attended two meetings organised by EUCIS-LLL and I had the possibility to attend the first meeting of CULT (Education and Culture Committee) regarding Erasmus for All. The situation is at the moment extremely complicated, considering the general unhappiness with the current programme, a new draft presented by the Danish Presidency to the European Council, including a separate chapter for youth, and the willingness of Doris Pack, to propose a new programme and keep a separate programme for youth.
This month also experienced two very important moments: together with Guillermo, Claudia and Luis I was in Delft for the General Mailing and on the 24th the annual reception of Les Anciens was hosted in the head office.
March ended with my first trip after EBM, to the Network Meeting in Kragujevac.
Alma Mozgovaja – Secretary General
Finally spring! What else you can wish to make days brighter!? Thinking about Summer University and choosing the one for this summer can do it. Thus while waiting for the shipment of SU materials from Izmir to us, I made last preparation for the General Mailing. I hope you already received all booklets and posters and you know where you will spend two unforgettable weeks of this summer!
As it happens, from time to time you need to recharge your batteries, so I spent one week in a bed with a fewer. But right on time I got well and I was ready to leave for the Chair meeting in Cagliari. It was two fruitful days and nights of checking all proposals, selecting workshops and drafting the agenda of the Agora together with Mariella, Sygrit and Ermanno. I can assure that this Agora will be different. Not only because it will have some interesting motions, a lot of proposals, motivated candidates and also the fact that it is a prolonged Agora, but also because of new Electronic Public voting, what should make all our lives better and leave more space for discussions and questions during the Agora. We also participated in the Local Training Course of AEGEE-Cagliari who kindly hosted the Chair meeting. Thank you, guys!
Second part of the month just speed up – selection of the hosting local of the EBM, preparation of the reception for Les Anciens, evaluation meeting, a couple of Open Calls, Activity report and Evaluation of the Activity Plan, wrapping up the month with small things as usually, and finally writing this telegram.
Elena Antova – Financial Director
Warm weather, flowers in the garden, you can notice that something is happening. And here came March, with the first signs of spring. The month started normally. I was assisting the external auditor for “Beyond Europe”s audit with everything needed. After that I continue with my daily work, checking reimbursements, making payments, finding cheap tickets, bookkeeping, preparing the Financial Report of FATF.
In the middle of March, I took part in the Network Meeting Hamburg. In the last months my contact with AEGEE was only work related, which changed in some extend my perception for the organisation in general. This was the reason I decided to spend some time as a normal participant and to enjoy the AEGEE I fell in love with three years ago. The event was really nice and I spent really great time there.
After it, I came back to the office continuing with the regular tasks, starting to prepare for our internal audit, happening at the end of the month. For the first time, together with the Audit Commission three job shadowers are going to be present at the Audit Meeting. This will provide a great possibility for them to learn the things by doing, preparing them for the next step – joining the Audit Commission.
At the fourth Saturday of the month we organised the annual Back to Brussels event for our friends from Les Anciens. Even though it was smaller than the last year, the event was really nice, giving the opportunity to meet with the people who were working for the creation of AEGEE and to share with them common plans and ideas.
Marko Grdošić – Vice President and External Relations Director
From March I finally got an assistant that would help me with fundraising, so that all my tasks can be properly covered. Since Luis moved in, my focus also went to fundraising. From the first day we started drafting a new partnership offer, examining what already exists, what should be improved, what should be introduced for the first time. And finally we can say that a good document has been created, that will also be included in the website, so that possible partners get easier attracted to AEGEE. After this was done, Luis took over communication with possible companies and universities implementing new offers.
The Public Relations Committee visited our house in the second weekend of March for a meeting. During three very productive days we tackled many topics starting with Visual Identity. It had been said many times that it is something we really have to work on and this team decided to put energy into it. First progress meeting about the Visual Identity will happen at the Spring Agora Enschede. Second important result was the restructuring of the aegee.org website, which should be launched in the next couple of months.
There is of course the deadline for European Youth Foundation. I am very happy that this time we have two great proposals submitted: a conference by the European Days of Languages and the final booklet of Where Does Europe End.
In this spring time I have also had a chance to attend two Network Meetings in Amsterdam and London, which were inspiring in many ways.
Jüri Kirpu – Internal Relations Director
William Shakesperae once wrote: “Beware the ideas of March!”, which can be related to the first month of spring. The month started with a CD Chat, that has slowly developed into a nice tradition. For the first time the chat went on without any technical problems, due to the fact that it was decided to have the chat in Skype. This nice event was followed by an attendance of the panel debate about social innovation, hosted by EUCIS-LLL. Many topics were tackled there, among which was also educational reform. Apparently there are ways of making our educational systems work better, but the change is seldom reluctant to come because of conservative points of view upon which educational policies are made.
The middle of the month was crowned by my first hitchhiking experience to Enschede. Although the trip took 12 hours to the pre-Agora celebration and back, it was without a doubt one of the most adventurous trips of my life.
March contained of course like many other months lots of office work, where the preparations for the Agora, mainly collecting members lists from all Locals, took the better part of my time. This was also followed by preparing the documents and communication with Contacts which will become members of AEGEE-Europe during the Agora.
Last but not the least, the drafting of the Communication Guidelines was finalised during the PRC meeting here in Brussels. Please keep an eye out for them, because the Guidelines will be soon sent to Announce-L for final comments from the Network.
Gizem Karslı - Projects Director
And here comes the spring! Brussels can indeed be a nice city when the sun shines above it. March was the month of follow-up for me. Neither EBM nor ES2 was over yet. We may have done a good job but unless we follow it up properly, what is left behind will be nothing more than a couple of nice photos. Therefore, we have kept our communication with ES2 participants as they are developing their ideas into projects. Very soon, AEGEE’s thematic family will have fresh members, and the Projects Director will be even happier! When it comes to the EBM, together with my CD colleagues, we tried to write down a brief and useful evaluation to be given to our successors. Taking these result as a base; I will start working on EBM Valletta.
While I was busy with the evaluation and reporting part, seeing the results of the EBM İzmir spreading around, was simply priceless. Especially there is one result that made quite some change in my future plans. Martina Zanero from AEGEE-Torino, published an article about the workshop ‘Freedom of Speech: Activists or Terrorists?’ where I shared an unpleasant experience of mine upon the request of the workshop leaders. Once I read the sentence from her article ‘’Together with the workshop leaders, she opened my eyes about the fact that the police do not hesitate to attack and arrest people,’’. I realised how much we can achieve with AEGEE and I discovered that I still have the motivation and passion to take more responsibility. I think that here you know the rest of the story – I am one of the candidates for presidency!
Guillermo García Tabarés - Human Resources Director
The month started by having a chat with all coordinators of the HRC subcommittees. After the first months of work we were lacking a common identity and knowledge about other teams, apart from the recommendations that the Speaker team shared among the subcommittees from time to time. We will start working with a monthly activity plan and activity report system that will serve not just to keep track of the work and establish some deadlines and goals, but to inform the network about the last updates. Apart from that, we drafted a Speaker Team Manual as the required tasks were appearing during the development of the Committee.
The functioning of Working Groups is now running smoothly, with an established and functioning task division. The main breakthrough has been the creation of WG-BOARD-L where there is a possibility for boards to debate about issues that concern all of the Working Groups and which allows them to work in a more coordinated way about the following issues: mailing list naming, involvement in Summer Universities, effective and common PR campaign, etc.
During the last week I prepared my attendance as a trainer at the upcoming HRES by developing the casework. Besides this I was dealing with training related cooperation AEGEE could establish with ESTIEM.
Last but not the least. The CD house is not only a place for coordinating actions for opening Europe, but also for opening doors. The reason for this, is that I managed to arrange the reparation for the balcony door. Perfect for spring!
Luis Alvarado Martínez - Corporate Relations Officer
During this month, I have been trying to continue what was done with fundraising during previous years while trying to create the basis for a new structure, bringing a bigger focus to fundraising in AEGEE. I am also coordinating the Study and Career Fair with Agora Enschede organisers. For this edition, we want to focus on our members needs: postgraduate studies, internships, jobs and grants.
I updated the data base that already existed from previous Fairs, with contacts of universities. With Marko I developed a new fundraising concept, which we will present at the Agora.
During March I also worked on developing new partnerships with big organisations (like Interrail), I started to develop a new fundraising concept for the AEGEEan, I continued the development of official merchandising for AEGEE-Europe, I started drafting the concept for the Fund Raising Committee and the development of the fundraising strategy for the Summer University Project.
This month I had the opportunity to attend the EU Youth Conference in Denmark as a Youth Delegate and an AEGEE member, as well as the EUCIS-LLL meeting, Public Hearing on “Erasmus for all” in the European Parliament and meeting with EEE-YFU, JEF and EYP on the New Media Summer School we have in common.
I helped with the General Mailing in Delft, attended NWM Amsterdam and helped with the reception of Les Anciens.
Living in this house has made me aware of all the work that still has to be done and how much potential we have as organisation, recharging batteries again and inspiring me for my next step – presidential elections.
Claudia Fiorentino – Intern
March has been special for me because I have started this new experience of internship in the Comité Directeur of AEGEE -EUROPE in Brussels. Firstly I had to study the organization and the structure and understand all mechanisms. Secondly I started to give my support for fundraising activities, to the Corporate Relations Officer, Luis Alvarado Martinez. My task has been to invite some companies and Universities to participate in the Study Fair, during the Agora, in Enschede.
Additionally I have been researching for Student Festivals. I tried to find some interesting Student Festivals compatible with the aims of AEGEE. I sent information to the Project Director, Gizem Karslı. These Student Festivals had to plan workshops, debates, meetings, about interesting topics related to youth, social inclusion, higher education, active citizenship and cultural exchanges.
Concerning the ongoing work about the new visual identity of AEGEE, I had to contacted European Universities of Design, to find students studying design, who could help us to develop a new aspect of the image of AEGEE.
Last but not least, I gave my support to the President Alfredo Sellitti, to find contacts of national governments and Ministries of Education of UE Members States to inform them about our position regarding the Programme of the European Commission “Erasmus for all”.