Finally our first thematic conference!

The Franck Biancheri Award Conference “Borderless Europe: Blessing or Burden?”  was held in Cluj-Napoca, in the heart of Transylvania (Romania), between 6th and 9th of May, gathering together around 60 youngsters from all over Europe and beyond. The event was a collaboration between AEGEE-Cluj- Napoca,l’Association des Amis des Franck Biancheri  (AAFB) and AEGEE-Europe’s Your Vision for EUrope project. The conference was highly “international”, including participants and speakers from Romania, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, Poland, France and the Netherlands.

In these three days of workshops, panel discussions, the screening of the “Great European Disaster Movie” and so much fun, we discussed the current state of the European integration process, its political and moral crises and how EU is dealing with the current migration phenomenon. The major topic of the conference was “borders in Europe”, whether these be  physical, socio-economic, cultural or political. This, in turn, led to the exchange of ideas regarding the current state of the Schengen agreement, the idea of a borderless Europe and how it can be transferred in social and institutional terms. Lastly, we thought about what we, as young people, can do to break borders and stereotypes.

As the Franck Biancheri Award 2016 was awarded to AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, the conference was also an occasion to commemorate and discuss the life and cultural legacy of Franck Biancheri, founder of AEGEE-Europe and already during the 1980s a promoter of a transnational democratic Europe. Marie-Hélène Caillol, Marianne Ranke-Cormier and Georgeta Grama Moldovan, representatives of the “Association des amis de Franck Biancheri” (AAFB) gave first-hand accounts of Franck’s life and ideas, and the birth of AEGEE in 1985 in particular.

The event was made possible thanks to AAFB itself, which provided financial support and AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, which hosted the event and organized in detail not only every logistical aspect but also an amazing social programme.

We, the Team of Your Vision for EUrope, would like to say many thanks to AAFB, to AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, to AEGEE-Europe and to all the participants, who showed an incredible degree of passion and involvement. We feel that the conference has been a successful one. A great opportunity to exchange ideas in a real safe environment, where everybody could breathe a true international atmosphere and have their say about the current and future state of Europe. During the conference, everyone agreed that “We, as young Europeans, are not responsible for the present worrisome state of the European project, but we are responsible for its future, and that is why we cannot sit idle”.

And now we look forward to organise our second conference, stay tuned!unnamed

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