Back to the Roots: 30 years of AEGEE-Paris, 30 years of AEGEE-Europe

Thirty years ago, a dream was born. A dream conceived by a man who wanted to see a better Europe for its citizens: Franck Biancheri. With this aim in mind, and after a conference in Paris (EGEE 1) about overcoming Europe’s integration paralysis, the Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe (AEGEE) was created. Up to this day, it brings together more than 13000 students from all around Europe. This year, AEGEE-Paris, one of the founding antenna, wants to celebrate this fact by organising an event about it. With the cooperation of the Association des amis de Franck Biancheri, a promising event is presented. The AEGEEan asked Léa Charlet, main organiser of the event, about it.

The AEGEEan: What will the main topic of the event be?
Léa: Nowadays, the EU is going through the most serious crisis in its history, and it seems that if it fails to rebuild itself, helped by the European citizens, there is no way out of this situation. Just like Erasmus would not have been possible without AEGEE-Europe members, we believe that our democratic, influential and sustainable Europe, will not see the light of day without the Erasmus generations of which we, in AEGEE, are the representatives. Our event will therefore be an occasion to discuss the future of Europe as AEGEE, the Erasmus generation.

What can the participants expect from the event?
To discuss a lot on subjects of which we are not always talking about in AEGEE, but it doesn’t mean that as citizens we do not have an opinion. To get out of their comfort zone in terms of ideas and debate about essential subjects which might get us further in our emphasizing project. To meet a lot of people from all over Europe. And of course to celebrate the 30 years of our amazing association in the beautiful city of Paris!

Tackling the situation of the future of Europe is always a difficult point, how is it going to be presented?
The idea is to tackle the different problems by theme: Europe of jobs, Social Europe, Europe of the Media, Political Europe etc. We also want our participants to prepare their own recommendations on saturday (following the same good practice from Y Vote 2014). The recommendations will be presented to the whole assembly on Sunday during the final conference. A speaker will then give his arguments and we will have small debates. We do not pretend to redress Europe in one conference, but want to state that it’s time that politicians, journalists, european citizens, civil society and many more actors start working together.

What do you, as main organiser, expect the outcome of the event to be?
For people to enjoy the discussion and feel that they learned something during this weekend, to enjoy the whole event and Paris, and also to feel part of this big 30 year anniversary celebration!

AEGEE-Paris was one of the founding antennae of AEGEE. How do you feel to be part of this milestone, and how do you think it influences the members of AEGEE-Paris?

I personally always felt it was fun to be able to speak French during Agora(she laughs). More seriously, I don’t think it’s changing anything except that we can brag about it sometimes.

The Association des amis de Franck Biancheri is cooperating with you on organising the event. What is their role going to be?
First, in the framework of the Franck Biancheri year, we received a consequent financial help, without which this event could not happen. The help is mainly for the final conference: speakers, venues, content. They will also be present for a little while during the preliminary debate, in order to bring the ideas supported by Franck Biancheri to the debate.

Franck Biancheri was certainly a role model in most aspects regarding this AEGEE life, how is he going to be present during this event?
As I mentioned, some of the members of the association, who worked with him for twenty years, will be the representatives of his ideas saturday morning. He will also be part of the celebration retracing 30 years of AEGEE!

If you want to apply for it you still have time untill the 15th of February. For more information, check their event on Facebook!

Written by Ruben Navarro, AEGEE-Tarragona