From 6th to 8th of March around 70 AEGEEans and alumni gathered in Paris for the “Back to the roots” event. The event commemorated the 30 years of AEGEE and has coincided with the Meeting of the Friends of Franck Biancheri Association (AAFB) Network and the 15th anniversary of Newropeans. AEGEE-Paris, the AAFB and the Newropeans network were the organisers.
Under the title “Europe in crisis, Erasmus generation towards a democratic alliance” the central conference was held in the Salon de l’Aveyron, in Paris Bercy, on Sunday. This is the second Franck Biancheri event in AEGEE. The first one was held by AEGEE-Delft in December 2014, and the idea is to organise an event every year. For that, the AAFB gives support, both economically and logistically, to one antenna each year.
On Friday the members of AEGEE and Les Anciens coming from all around Europe enjoyed a city tour around Montmartre, the neighbourhood where they were hosted in a hostel, and a suggestive European night in the centre of Paris.
On Saturday the participants were divided into groups and had workshops which helped them to prepare for the presentation of their ideas in the Sunday conference. The seven themes were: Europe of Energy, Europe of Defense, Fiscal Europe, Europe of the Euro, Social Europe, Europe of the Media, and Political Europe. The main findings are being assembled in a document.
The event counted with the presence of the President of the AAFB, Marie-Helène Caillol, Alexandra Kluczka (vice-president of AEGEE Europe) and other CD members, the Italian MEP Brando Benifei, the State Secretary to European Affairs of Portugal Bruno Maçaes, politicians, journalists, more people from the Franck Biancheri Networks, the President of AEGEE-Paris Hana Hudak and Léa Charlet (AEGEE-Paris) as the main organiser. Debates were held with participation from approximately 150 people from the audience. The participants had fun and the opportunity to visit Paris, but most of all, they returned home full of ideas and motivation for future projects.
Frank Biancheri was the main founder of AEGEE. He was only 24 back in 1985, when the first EGEE conference took place in Paris. He was one of the persons who lobbied most for the creation of the Erasmus Programme and also founder of the first transnational European Party, Newropeans, in 2000. There are more events coming up this year commemorating the 30 years of AEGEE, with the “revival” of the Night of the Seven Antennae in April in Aachen, Bergamo, Catania, Eskisehir, Kyiv, Leiden, and Sofia and the main conference in Brussels in May as the central ones.
Written by Ferran Arruebo, AEGEE-Barcelona
Pictures by Márton Demeter, Ferran Arruebo and Philippe Portalier