Aliénor Pirlet for Civic Education Working Group Coordinator: “AEGEE Needs Civic Education As a Focus Area”

By | May 9, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Candidatures, People | Tags: , , ,

Aliénor from AEGEE-Bruxelles/Brussels is part of the ECI task force and CEWG (Civic Education Working Group) and has been in her local board as a secretary, even after she moved to Groningen in the Netherlands. Obviously able to juggle various positions on local and European level, she is now running for the position of CEWG Coordinator. Despite being not that experienced, she is highly motivated to take this next step. Let’s meet this multi-tasker!

 The AEGEEan: Hi Aliénor, tell us something about youprofile (1)

Aliénor: As a scout, I have been ‘qualified’ under the following sentence: Pump it up – Think, Live, Love. In other words: a bit of idealism, a lot of craziness and amazement, but mostly love and dedication are what guide my daily life. I’m a 22-year-old Belgian student in Political Science who loves to travel, is always eager to make new discoveries and cherishes her family and friends. It is no secret, I can also be incredibly clumsy and daredevil – but that’s part of the charm, right? I’m always on board for new wild adventures and enjoy entertaining kids, as I regularly did as a scout leader or with my nieces and nephew. I’m usually a peaceful person, but I might be a bit competitive on the football field or get a little bit away when debating on societal issues! As much as I like to think I’m a good listener, I can also be a real chatterbox so unless you want to keep me talking all night long, avoid starting a discussion with me about Friends, How I Met Your Mother, John Oliver, Ethics, Ecology, Europe, Belgian’s political system or Civic Education.

Why did you decide to run for the position of Civic Education Working Group Coordinator?

To me, AEGEE has always been more than a way of travelling cheaply and partying. Not only do we have crazy fun, but we also accomplish a lot, both at local and European level. Our network has great potential and success in shaping active, caring, tolerant and powerful young Europeans. It didn’t take long for me to get hooked to AEGEE and know I would want to get active on its European level as well. Nevertheless, I remember thinking in Kyiv “Oh man, I wouldn’t want to be on the stage like all those poor people defending what they’ve been doing for the past six months and having to answer all those harsh questions!”. But in Leiden I got so interested in the ambitious CEWG that, despite what I had thought earlier, I’ve joined it a month later. Deciding to run for the position of coordinator was quite a challenging but logical step for me. Indeed, had there been an experienced candidate for the position during the first call, I wouldn’t have had the need to consider running for the position. But once I heard no one had applied, I knew it was not a question of experimentation anymore, but more of motivation. Being deeply convinced AEGEE needs civic education as a focus area, I would not want to see our network lose it, and most of all miss the opportunity to bring it even further. Running for coordinator is for me the best way to make sure we keep up with what has been achieved so far, and don’t stop there.

What are your views on what a perfect ‘educated citizen’ actually is?

On Croatian adventureA citizen, by definition, enjoys civic and political rights of a state. An educated citizen should be aware that those rights are directly linked to civic and political responsibilities necessary for a sustainable ‘community life’, and should therefore meet those.  To my mind, there is no perfect ‘educated citizen’; one can always improve his knowledge and behaviour. But what is certain is that in order to progress towards perfection, an educated citizen should keep up with playing an active role within her/his community, understanding how the world works, taking part in discussions about it, making informed decisions, standing up for what s/he believes in and being aware, responsible, respectful and tolerant.

What are your plans for the following year of the Civic Education Working Group?  

I will build the best team ever (or at least as ambitious and dedicated as the current one)! Then everything will depend on the new Action Agenda. But one thing I can already assure is that the CEWG and the ECI task force will continue to do their best to make sure our ECI reaches the one million signatures and ends up accepted by the Commission! For the rest, as usual, the working group will maintain close and sustainable collaborations with the network to help AEGEEans becoming even more educated citizens!

On a practical side, do you think you will have enough time to do everything?

It is undeniably a great challenge, but I believe that after having gathered together a team of dedicated persons, I will be able to delegate the majority of our tasks and responsibilities to each member of the working group. When things are organised, it’s always easier to get them down quickly and efficiently. Moreover, being already a member of the CEWG, I have a pretty good idea of the amount of time it will necessiate, so yes I know I will have enough time. Plus, I’m not one to fail to honour one’s commitments.

What experience or skills do you have that make you the right one for this job? 

As already explained in my application, my years as a scout leader and my time abroad have taught me a lot. In my opinion, the most important skills the coordinator of a workingSpring NWM Groningen 2016 group must have are organisational and communication ones, which I believe I have gained over the years. I know how to be pragmatic, resourceful, social and good at organising or improvising activities. I might not always be the fastest, but I’m always assiduous at what I do and never miss a deadline.

Which activities of the current CEWG do you want to continue and develop next year? 

All of them, they’re genius! As I said, our activities will of course depend on the new objectives for next year. However, I don’t see why we would not want to continue with the ambitious ECI project, the awesome educated SUs project and all the useful toolkits and amazing workshops! I’m sure the next working group will continue to motivate SUs’ organisers to use their events as opportunities to increase the civic competencies of AEGEEans. We will also deliver interesting workshops on the matter during NWM, statutory or other events and develop more materials on civic education for all AEGEEans.

WG’s have been struggling to find members, how will you avoid this in the upcoming year?

No worry about that, the current CEWG has already shown how cool it is to be one of its members, and we even have an awesome mascot, who can say no to that?! More seriously, I don’t expect it to be a problem because some current members will probably apply to continue to be part of it and for the rest, I’m sure our network overflows with motivated members eager to bring such a major contribution to our association! We’ll make sure during Bergamo that many participants already hear about this great opportunity.

You can read her full candidature here


Written by Mireille Voorendt, AEGEE-Utrecht

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