Taking European Night out of the Agora

By | November 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Agora, European Events | Tags:

Do you still feel hungover from European Night (EN) or has the aftermath of enjoying alcoholic beverages from all over Europe already left your body? Ready to take up the discussion about this famous AEGEE night taking place in all AEGEE events but which some believe should not have a place in a statutory event such as the Agora? Here we go!

European Night, according to AEGEE founder’s famous blue book, was created in order to have a place for a social meeting in order to carry on informal discussions about Europe. These days the only things people seem to discuss in such nights is the percentage of alcohol in the different liquids that one have the opportunity to “pour down the drain” on this cultural night. Most would agree that taking European Night out of AEGEE would be wrong, but removing it from the Agora is an idea you can find many people in AEGEE to be in favor of!

  1. 1.       “Hello, we would like to organise a party in your club, there is just one minor detail that we want to be able to bring our own alcohol”

Can you imagine the difficulty of making such a proposal to a club owner in your own city? I couldn’t! In the last two Agorae there has been a lot of discussion about the European Night, mainly because of the limited opportunity to bring alcohol from all over Europe. This seems to result in emotions such as disappointment and anger from parts of the Network who want to have the opportunity to bring 20-25 liters of Sangria, or people who want to bring homemade Pálinka, but one should consider the above mentioned question and predict the answer. It is likely to be “no” in many cases, leading one to think – why give the organisers the responsibility to use loads of energy on something that could be used on something better than granting people the opportunity to get wasted?

  1. 2.       When should the European Night take place?

In Budapest it was the last day of the Agora where people had slept 6-8 hours in total during the prior days, meaning exhaustion was spread amongst the 800 participants and it seemed that many participated in EN more due to a pressure of obligation rather than a wish to party hard. Moving the EN to another day of the Agora would increase the number of exhausted delegates and visitors who then would pay even less attention to the programme the following day.

  1. 3.       European Night without the culture

In events with fewer participants, there is a greater opportunity to present the drinks as well as food, telling the stories behind them rather than just bringing alcohol that will be gone in less than 10 minutes. The Culture Working Group has fought to make EN more cultural during the last Agorae without succeeding, which is a pity because little by little the purpose of EN has been lost, and today it is solely focused on the drinking.

  1. 4.       Ryanair – (un)official airlines of AEGEE

It seems that the majority of AEGEE members use low-cost airlines to reach events like the Agora, decreasing the opportunity to bring food/drinks from the country they depart from. This means less people bring something to the event, making it unfair for those who give and do not get anything in return.

 

European Night is a part of AEGEE, but that does not mean that it has to be part of everything we do in our organisation. Should an important general assembly such as the Agora really have a European Night? Or can people do without drinking Pálinka, Ouzo or Raki in these important statutory events? This is an interesting discussion and hopefully people will be brave enough to state their opinion on the topic!

This article only argues in favor of removing the European Night (EN) of the Agora and represents journalist Patricia Anthony’s arguments in favor of changing the concept of EN. The possiblity is there that the concept does not need to be changed, and people are entitled to their own opinion. The main purpose of this article is to open the discussion, and hear AEGEE members’ creative ideas on how to improve EN. It should also be noted that the discussion was one of the many interesting topics that members of AEGEE discussed in the post-Agora Committee/Commissions meeting, and hopefully it will continue here where you can comment below with your opinion. 

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København


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