Youth Mobility Working Group: Next Steps for a Borderless Europe

On the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of January, Youth Mobility Working Group had a meeting in Brussels. They discussed their future activities and planned the next steps for the second half of their term, but most importantly, they bonded! The AEGEEan asked them what they have done so far and what they are preparing for the upcoming semester. Find out more below…

The AEGEEan: Who is in the team? What are their tasks?
Youth Mobility Working Group: The members of our team are directly connected to the objectives of our Focus Area,NataliaProfile500 so we have: Natalia Ivleva (AEGEE-Voronezh), responsible for Objective 1 – Establishing and managing a group of visa supporters; Suzan Dilara Tokac (AEGEE-Eskişehir), responsible for Objective 2 – Training members on youth mobility programs and grant opportunities; Anastasiia Dzhulai (AEGEE-Kyïv), responsible for Objective 3 – Establishing long-term discount agreements with mobility service providers; and Lia Georgieva (AEGEE-Berlin) as the Public Relations responsible of our Working Group. The team is coordinated by Antonis Triantafyllakis and our appointed CD member is Maryana Semenyak.

What is each taskforce’s aim? Are there still open positions?
SuzanProfile500There is a taskforce required in order to fulfil each of our three objectives. In brief, the taskforce members will take care of researching visa issues and locals’ Erasmus+ applications, support us in writing guidelines for visa applications and applying for funds, provide info on national and international regulations and agreements, fundraise for travel discounts and more, all of which you can see in detail in our open calls here.
And, yes, the open calls will remain open for as long as taskforce members are needed, so… APPLY!
By the way, we’re also looking for a Policy Officer! So, if any AEGEEan feel they can present the opinion of the network on youth mobility with their awesome writing skills, here is where to look.

What have you done so far?AnastasiiaProfile500
We’ve had a couple of open google hangouts on visa issues and Erasmus+, a cool workshop on Erasmus+ in NWM Kraków, an open session in NWM Berlin and very nice discussions during the workshop in Agora Kyïv. We have also started collaborating with various European bodies in AEGEE, gave the first tasks to our task force members (we need more people!) and, of course, have created a website and an active facebook page, but I think the future lies ahead of us!

What are your future plans? Any upcoming activities in the near future?
LiaProfile500Too many to mention in just a few lines, but we are planning on collaborating with embassies as well as preparing detailed and easy-to-follow guidelines and infographics for visa and Erasmus+ applications, suggestions for the upcoming Action Agenda, a training course on Erasmus+, resources for easy travelling within Europe and beyond and big plans for collaborating with both European bodies of AEGEE and active AEGEEans! Of course we need more taskforce members to support us in the process, but be prepared to see a lot more of us in the second half of our term. See you at the EPM, Spring NWMs, Agora Bergamo and, generally, see you somewhere in Europe!

You just had a meeting in Brussels. Who was there? What did you discuss?Group2
The whole team was there! That was the meeting where we basically developed a concrete, detailed plan in order to fulfil our objectives for the second half of our term, as described in the current Action Agenda, as well as our contributions to the next Action Agenda. Perhaps more importantly though, this meeting helped us get much closer to each other and develop this bond that is not only essential to keep the motivation in voluntary work such as ours, but also, as we’re developing strong international friendships, it is also a real life practice of what we aim for in AEGEE, our common vision for a borderless Europe!

Anything to add?
AntonisProfile500Many people might think that the refugee crisis, however important, is still something outside of us, where we should of course do our best to help, but it is not really affecting the inter-European relationships themselves. But take a look at borders being raised again in Europe, both physically, in the form of fences, and mentally, in the form of the Schengen zone being suspended, border controls being re-instated and visa requirements put in place of visa-free regimes, like Russia and Turkey and you may perceive that AEGEE’s vision of a borderless Europe might be at stake… Come to our workshop at the EPM and we can have a fruitful discussion about that.

Written by Lia Tuska, AEGEE-Kastoria/Sofia