In most of the booklets, documents and presentations we are proudly saying that AEGEE has a participatory status at the Council of Europe. Have you ever wondered what it actually means?
The Council of Europe is an institution that has for sure marked AEGEE the most on our road. The Council of Europe strives for human rights, democracy and participation and gathers 47 countries.
After almost 10 years, the last week of June I have spent in Strasbourg at the meeting of the Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs). This is the body inside the structure of the Council of Europe which gathers around 400 non-governmental organisations that meet twice a year and prepare recommendations for Councils work from the civil societies point of view.
The Conference is structured into 3 committees working on human rights, education, democracy and social dimension. After this meeting, AEGEE will get involved in the work of all the Committees, giving our, youth and student, opinion and input on all the topics the Council of Europe puts on the agenda and all the topics we find important to get on.
This time we have discussed such topics as education system in the 21st century, conflict resolution inside and between the countries under the scope of the Council of Europe. There has also been a presentation of the newly written Dialogue Toolkit, prepared by the members of the Conference. We have also discussed about the happenings in the South Mediterranian connected with women rights. All of these topics are important also for young people, and on all of these topics we as the AEGEEans should have a say. The Council of Europe is the one that will for sure give our opinion, a lot of visibility and will help us to achieve our main goals.
What does it mean for AEGEE? In the following weeks the current and future Commite Directeur will discuss the best suitable way to increase thematic input inside and outside of AEGEE including the work we will be doing with the Council of Europe. Soon we will be looking for members with experience and knowledge on certain topics, and together create, structure and give our input to the Network and to Europe. If we really wish to achieve something, make Europe a better place, strengthen civil society and increase student rights and possibilities, we have to wake up, change the way we work and all together make a difference.
Written by Marko Grdosic, Comité Directeur & AEGEE-Zagreb