AEGEE-Zaragoza on entering the Spanish Youth Council and development of their antenna

AEGEE-Zaragoza is going strong. Last time when The AEGEEan focused on this Spanish antenna was just a few months ago, when they were nominated for the best merchandise and the best flag-stealer. Since then the Network saw at the Agora Enschede that AEGEE-Zaragoza won both awards, and Pablo Ruiz, AEGEE-Zaragoza’s Public Relations (PR) Responsible entered earlier this year the board of the Youth Council of their region on behalf of the antenna. Furthermore, AEGEE-Zaragoza has been working on not one, but two new T-Shirts, and they got a new mascot.

The AEGEEan talked with Pablo Ruiz, AEGEE-Zaragoza’s PR Responsible, about what they have been working on during the last months.

The AEGEEan: For how long have you tried to enter the board of the Consejo de la Juventud de España of Aragón (Spanish Youth Council of Aragon)?

Pablo: Actually, it was something which came to us surprisingly. The Consejo de la Juventud de España (CJA) in our region, Aragon (Consejo de la Juventud de Aragon) has been suffering the consequences of this brutal crisis in Spain in the shape of budget cuts, no sponsors, and no incomes etc. with the result of several boards followed each other at dizzy pace.

Trying to save the CJA from disappearance, a few members agreed to create an “emergency board” without political tendencies to be accepted by all the associations. That is the moment when they thought about AEGEE, because we have those ideas in our basis, so we were the right ones.

How long did it take? Did you face any difficulties? 

As I said before, it was not a problem to become a part of it; the difficulties started after our inclusion. After several years learning how everything works in AEGEE, a new universe of terms, words, acronyms and abbreviations was in front of us: a new “Sect”. We are again newbies here, real rookies, but this is a great chance to make more contacts with other youth associations to create new synergies and to be in touch with the regional government.

For people who do not know that much about CJE and how it works in Spain can you then explain a bit what is it and what does it mean now that AEGEE-Zaragoza has the vice-presidency?

The CJE means exactly Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España). This is a platform (you can consider it as a lobby) where all the youth associations, as AEGEE, for example, have a space for them. Its aim and objectives are the promotion of active participation of the young people in the economic, social and cultural development of the country, quite related to our purpose in AEGEE, isn’t it?

I am, on behalf of AEGEE-Zaragoza, in the role of vice-president in the CJE in Aragón, our region. So this is a great chance for our antenna to be more in touch with the administration and other associations, having the choice to create some synergies through this position.

Are there any other exciting projects that AEGEE-Zaragoza is working on these days?

Right now, we have just finished the incredibly hard task of reaching a satisfactory ending for our Summer University, a project I am sure most of the participants will mark as a “10” event, but that is the past already. For the future, we have started to think about a Local Training Course (LTC) for the new rookies, a Welcome Week for the Erasmus students and, above all, a quite important event about the structured dialogue in the European Union (EU), a meeting where youth is the main topic treated from the point of view of the European institutions.

Last time we published an article about your antenna it was about the “I Jamon” t-shirt, since then you won The AEGEEan award for the most popular merchandise, what does this mean to you?

One of the biggest honours an antenna could have! We are tremendously proud of this award. It is so exciting when you have seen this t-shirt travelling to the Niagara Falls or to the Mongolian Steppe, and these examples are real!

Long live the Jamón t-shirt! The time for the new design has come!

And you specifically won the best flag-stealer award, however not many people know what you did to deserve it together with Sergio Cristobal. What did you do?

I think the point of this award lies in the simplicity, elegance and beauty of the theft: my partner in crime, Sergio Cristobal, and me… we just asked for the flag of AEGEE-Ogre to its owner (and she cannot put forward that she is not an experienced member) to contemplate it. Of course, after that she did not see it anymore…

The last but not the least, we’ve heard that you are working on a new “motto” for AEGEE-Zaragoza. Can you reveal any new details on it? What will be it, how will it look, when will you “release” the next AEGEE-Zaragoza merchandise?

I am not allowed to reveal ALL the details of the new campaign. I can tell you that we have already a new t-shirt released for the whole “audience” in July, where the motto is “Zárágózá, the longest city name in the world” (And sorry, but you will need an inhabitant of our city to explain you why in – person).

However, if you know just a little bit about our antenna, for sure you would also know that we could not stop in such a “polite” motto. At this moment, we are working on a second one, only for real AEGEEans, connected with our “new” traditions. Furthermore, I can add that our new-born mascot will be related with this topic as well. If we are lucky, both of them (our mascot and the second t-shirt design) will be presented at the Autumn Agora Budapest.


Could that theme be related with the Anti-Cobra “movement” that AEGEE-Zaragoza started? A theme that has grown in popularity already, especially in Spain, but as Pablo Ruiz says it is a theme quite difficult to explain if you have not seen it. Hopefully, the Network will be greeted with more exciting news like this from AEGEE-Zaragoza as well as other antennae in Budapest.

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København