Repeating the History of (A)EGEE with the Night of the Seven Antennae

By | February 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm | European Events | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The year 2015 marks the year that AEGEE-Europe turns 30 years old, although we surely don’t look that old yet! To prepare the birthday, the Anniversary Team has been created, which organises several events throughout the year to pay tribute to the history and future of our organisation. One of these events is the Night of the Seven Antennae, which commemorates the Night of the Seven Cities of 1986 and will be taking place on the 18th of April.

Before we can take a look at the future plans for this event, it’s time to delve a bit into our past and take a look at the very first edition. During the night of March 7th, AEGEE (at that moment still called EGEE) and the newspaper Le Monde cooperated to broadcast political debates about the future of Europe between students and high level politicians from seven different cities. In 1986, these locals were located in München, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Brussels and Nice. The history is repeating itself, because once more there will be debates about the future of Europe in seven different cities. Except the cities have changed, because the locals elected to host the event are: AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Bergamo, AEGEE-Catania, AEGEE-Eskisehir, AEGEE-Kyiv, AEGEE-Leiden and AEGEE-Sofia.

AEGEE-Aachen

Why did you apply to be part of the Night of the Seven Antennae?
We organised a political debate last year for the Karlpreis, and now we have a discussion group about politics in Europe in AEGEE-Aachen. We wanted to take it to the next level!

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?
We’ll talk about the place of young people in Europe, and because there are a lot of students in Aachen, we’ll try to answer this question: is Europe a place where youth can flourish, regarding jobs, mobility, family, retirement?

What other things do you have planned for your participants?
We’ll write our wishes for how Europe should be and put them in a time capsule, protected for the next 10 years. We’ll also have a nice birthday ceremony to celebrate properly, and of course a party! Some other things too, but if you want to know, you have to come!

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?

There will be 25 places for participants from other antennae, but all workshops and debates will be open to every student in Aachen. We hope we can reach a broader audience and share points of view with people who don’t have AEGEE experience.

 

AEGEE-Bergamo

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?

The topics we have chosen are: Europe needs youth, mobility programs shaping European identity and old/new Europe. Bergamo is going through a period of strong internationalization programs, our antenna has recently launched an Erasmus Buddy Program, so we feel this topics best describe us and are interesting to examine in depth. With the topic of old/new Europe we want to give an insight in the major transformations that have happened during the last century.

What other things do you have planned for your participants?

We will have a city tour and are also working on the organisation of a live concert for the opening ceremony in the evening. The second day there will be three conferences each on the different topics and thematic discussions.

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?

We will host 50 participants. Members from other antennae will be warmly welcome, but also applicants that aren’t a member of AEGEE will be accepted in order to make this event fully open and memorable.

When does your own local have its next anniversary, and what plans do you have for it?

We have had our 25th anniversary this year. We celebrated it with members of others antennae, during a regional dinner event we organized for Christmas. However for most of all it was a surprise, because our President discovered only recently that AEGEE-Bergamo was earlier founded than we all believed and she kept it a secret. It was a really beautiful revelation and moment of celebration.

 

AEGEE-Catania

What was your first reaction when you heard your local was chosen?

Surprise and satisfaction! We knew that other Italian antennae had applied, so we were aware of how difficult it was to get the event, but I’m sure that the anniversary team understood our great motivation to host this important event, and they probably liked the “mission impossible” video! 

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?

We have chosen “Europe in me – Me in Europe”, since we are working hard on the involvement of our members in Europe, pushing them to be active and interested also beyond our borders. At the same time we also believe that being European gives us a lot of great opportunities.

What other things do you have planned for your participants?

The event will be thematically full and very interesting, but aside from the theme, we won’t forget our origins and will fill up the event with our known AEGEE-Catania spirit! Funny activities, great team-building, and an unforgettable party will distinguish our weekend.

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?  

We are able to host up to 50 participants, and of course we want this event to be open both to our members, but also to all our European new and old friends. This is an event of everyone!

 

AEGEE-Kyiv

Why did you apply to be part of the Night of the Seven Antennae?

First of all, we would like to take actively part in celebrating a really important date of our organisation. AEGEE is 30 years old this year and together we achieved a lot, so there is something to celebrate! Moreover, we would like to show our members and Ukrainian students that AEGEE-Kyiv is a serious NGO. We are well known for our Summer Universities and Local Training Courses, but our aim for this year is to change that image. Another reason is that we would like to check how the team will work for this event to be prepared for the upcoming Agora. Finally, we are really interested in the topic and would like to share our interest with others and create an event with space for communication and discussion.

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?

We chose the topics that are interesting to our audience: “Europe Needs YouTH” and “The state of Ukrainian democracy”. Young people are the ones ready to change the present, to dedicate their efforts and contribute to Ukraine’s and our future. The lack of knowledge and experience is the problem, so we would like to dedicate the event to exchange experience with other countries, not forgetting about Ukrainian realities. Of course, the role of AEGEE and Frank Biancheri will be highlighted as, striving for a European future, we have been supporting the main values and aims of AEGEE for twenty years.

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?

We are planning to host around 70-100 participants. 30 places are open for participants from other antennae, the other places are for AEGEE-Kyiv members and students from Kyiv universities.

When does your own local have its next anniversary, and what plans do you have for it?

AEGEE-Kyiv turns 20 on February 17th! The Ukrainian way of celebrating is always surprising for Europeans. We invite everyone to our house, prepare lots of food and drinks and go out until the morning and all the guests feel like it’s their birthday. We prepared something huge for our friends: an event from the 13th to 15th, with a huge party, city tours, games, interesting content and of course Ukrainian AEGEE spirit!

 

AEGEE-Leiden

Why did you apply to be part of the Night of the Seven Antennae?

AEGEE-Leiden has always been active on the European level and in the last few years the interest of our new members regarding AEGEE-Europe has grown significantly. By organising this event, we hope to show all of our members and the rest of AEGEE how awesome this European Network of ours is and what we all can achieve if we work together, thus creating even more awareness of AEGEE-Europe among our members. Also AEGEE-Leiden is one of the founding locals of our beautiful association, so who can give a better history lesson about AEGEE than us? We think it’s a nice way to show the Network how much we like AEGEE and that we are here to stay for another thirty years.

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?

We’d like to use the topic ‘Old Europe, New Europe’, because we, as an antenna, have a lot of history inside AEGEE, so we have a lot of topics to put into perspective. Of course it’s not all about AEGEE, but also about Europe itself. We have good connections with a few European Parliament members and with the head of the Dutch Information Desk of the European Union. We are going to contact them soon, so hopefully we can present the participants some experts on the ‘New Europe’.

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?

At the moment, we want to host a maximum of 40 participants from all over Europe, but we cannot confirm this number yet.

When does your own local have its next anniversary, and what plans do you have for it?

AEGEE-Leiden was one of the founding locals, so our own 30th anniversary also takes place this year. Our birthday is on the 31th of October and because of that we are going to organise a whole lot of awesome activities till November. Organising this event is one of our bigger activities and it fits really well into our own anniversary year.

 

AEGEE-Sofia

Why did you apply to be part of the Night of the Seven Antennae?

We strongly believe that Europe’s future mostly depends on the actions and ideas of the youth, so we would be honored to host an event on the topic “Europe needs youth!” Almost thirty years ago, the Night of the Seven Antennae wasn’t just a big historical event, but the moment when Europe understood, in practice, that young people have the power to change the present and build the future. The foundations were laid, so we should not only discuss, but show that “Europe needs youth!”

What other things do you have planned for your participants?

First of all, we think that Europe needs healthy, open-minded and active youngsters, so we are planning some sport activities in order to promote the great importance of health and an active lifestyle. We have also planned other outdoor activities like a flash mob in the center of Sofia, to promote the importance of youth in Europe and the Night of the Seven Antennae as an event. Our participants will have the opportunity to show the power of young people to bring change by helping other people. Separated in groups they will make people exercise on the street, talk with them about human rights or help people with disabilities. One more of our intentions is to gather the participants in the non-formal atmosphere of a concert of a Bulgarian youth band during one of the evenings.

How many participants will you receive, and are you open to participants from other antennae too?

We are expecting to have around 50 participants. This includes members of our partner youth organisations, students from universities in Sofia and, of course, participants from our own network who will bring the AEGEE spirit from all over Europe.

When does your own local have its next anniversary, and what plans do you have for it?

Next year AEGEE-Sofia turns 25. At the last couple of awesome Balkan events our members visited (Shtafeta Novi Sad and Network Meeting Skopje), we learned that most of the antennae in the Balkan network were founded in the same year and we are one of them. So, this sounds like a nice opportunity to celebrate our 25th anniversary together!

 

AEGEE-Eskişehir 

Why did you apply to be part of the Night of the Seven Antennae?

Firstly, we want to take part in one of the most important night for AEGEE. Secondly, in 30 years period this is just the second time of  live streaming, that means that our hearts will palpitate at the same time with seven different antennae. And finally, with the topics chosen, we would like to make our participants more informed about both, an angle from Europe and different perspective from East by inviting important people from politic and academic life.

What will be the topic of your part of the event? Why did you pick this topic?

Our Main topics are ‘The State of Turkish Democracy’ and ‘Europe Needs Youth’. We believe that we should show our differences as a big organization, AEGEE. First of all, in Turkey, İt is really difficult to organize and manage kinds of discussions. Secondly, this is hard to deny the fact that democracy is not working properly in our geography. But there are so many examples for this situation all over the world. Thanks to panels and discussions we are planning to show process of democracy for young active individuals with blending experiences of politicians and academicians. Besides, as AEGEEans , to be respectful for all and to understand their ideas and feelings, with the target of representing one of the biggest aim of AEGEE, Europtimism, our event will be opened for all sections.

What other things do you have planned for your participants?

In the light of Democracy and Europe we have panels, discussions etc. but this is just beginning because we are organizing the event as a youth fest. Kind of games and entertainment and of course party!!! With the spirit of AEGEE in Eskisehir you will see a perfect birthday ceremony in company with a huge fest.

 

Written by Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen

 


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