The 2017 Franck Biancheri Award Goes to AEGEE-Budapest

By | February 3, 2017 at 8:00 am | European Events | Tags: , , ,

After several successful events, including a Network Meeting (NWM) two years ago and three Agoras (in 2012, 1995 and 1991), AEGEE-Budapest is organising with a very experienced core team and the collaboration of the Civic Education Working Group, the Franck Biancheri Award, which will also serve as the opening event of the Europe on Track project. In this article the Board of AEGEE-Budapest gives us some information about this event which will be held at the end of April 2017.

The AEGEEan: Please, present your local!

AEGEE-Budapest: Our history started in the Nineties, when AEGEE-Budapest was founded like a pioneer as the first local of AEGEE-Europe on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain. Since its formation, it hosted prestigious events, like the Agora in 1991, which was a conference with 600 participants. This was repeated four years later, and for the third time in 2012, when AEGEE-Budapest organised one of the biggest Agoras since the foundation of AEGEE.

AEGEE-Budapest is one of the most popular students’ associations in the capital. It provides exchanges, thematic trainings, conferences, summer universities and countless different types of events for its members. imm3Nowadays, we have around 200 members, 50 of them actively contributing to the work of the local. They come from different fields of study like economics, engineering, computer science, sociology and some of them are even already graduated students.

To highlight some events our local hosted, in 2014 AEGEE-Budapest organised a Network Meeting with 42 participants where the main topic was Spreading Europtimism. One year later, in 2015, we hosted the IFISO (Informal Forum for International Student Organisations), where students’ organisations from all over Europe were represented. In 2016, AEGEE-Budapest launched a new project called Get Involved! which aimed at discussing some of the current happenings in Europe. For now all the conferences organised within this project explored the topic of migration towards Europe, including the Hungarian perspective and the role of Turkey in Europe after the military coup and the governmental answer to it.

To activate its members, AEGEE-Budapest has now three working groups, namely: Human Resources (HR), Public Relations (PR) and Fundraising (FR). These WGs help a lot to improve the quality of the events we organise.

Why did you decide to apply for the Franck Biancheri Award?

Since Autumn Agora Budapest 2012, we had the dream to organise a prestigious and professional event where the content was aimed at addressing the current situation in Europe, cooperating with several AEGEE Bodies to highlight its values. We were thinking about applying last year, but we had some doubts whether we could apply for the award with an outstanding application or not. In fact, our motto would be a quote from Star Wars: imm1“Do or do not, there is no try”.

When Europe on Track (EoT) and Civic Education Working Group (CEWG) approached us in 2016 with the basic idea of a conference which would be reflecting on the past, debating on the present, envisioning a different future, we understood that we could be able to win the award with this application.

Who is in the core team?

In the core team there are those members who already contributed to fill in the application. After the positive result from the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri, we involved more people with different backgrounds and experiences to achieve the highest possible level of cooperation among us. The core team members from AEGEE-Budaperst are: Petra Buruzs, Bernadett Mészáros, Ákos Glaub and Bálint Caesar. As for the cooperation with the AEGEE Bodies, we have Nicola Guida and María Ballesteros Melero from Europe on Track, Bálint Toronyai from Civic Education Working Group and Maria-Daniela Maris from More than Education.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what you are preparing?

A three-day conference will be held in Budapest at the end of April. During the conference we will discuss the role of Civic Education, analyse the real meaning of democracy and how we can face the raising of populism in Europe. All these topics are highly associated with the ideas of  Franck’s legacy and his work. This is also reflected by the title of the conference, which is ‘Education for the present, Democracy for the future’. The event will be also the opening of the fourth edition of the Europe on Track project, and their ambassadors will commence their journey from Budapest this time.


Furthermore, AEGEE-Budapest has an own middle-term, local project called Get Involved!. The project was launched in 2016, and aims at focusing on the current happenings and issues in Europe. We are organising more forums and discussions in the near future covering three main relevant topics. Among others, we will examine the relevance of a common currency (a.k.a. Euro), analise the threat of the populism in Europe and finally how did Hungary benefit on different levels from the EU membership.




What were you doing when the CD delivered the news and how did you feel about it?

After submitting the application, we were really excited. All of us were waiting for the final result with fingers crossed – we really felt pain keeping our fingers crossed for so long. We were checking and refreshing our e-mails quite often, until finally we received the highly anticipated e-mail from the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri announcing that we won the award. All of us were really happy and ‘celebrating’ it in the Facebook chat group with a lot of champagne stickers and smileys.

A few days later, we had a skype meetig with the core team, when we discussed the most important steps ahead of us. Some weeks later, we also had a skype meeting with the members of AAFB and Comité Directeur. They are really supporting us with everything!

Did you already collaborate with Civic Education Working Group and Europe on Track project?imm6

Last year, Budapest was one of the stops of the third edition of Europe on Track. We organised an event where we screened a Hungarian movie and the ambassadors of EoT also held a workshop for the members of AEGEE-Budapest. One of our members, Bálint Toronyai, is also part of the Civic Education Working Group and this definitely proved to be a huge help during the application process. While preparing the application, we had weekly skype meetings, hangouts, rapid commenting at the shared documents, where we discussed our ideas and made it real together.

How can we reach Budapest? What has Budapest to offer?

Well, it is easy to reach Budapest. Our capital is located in the middle of Europe and it has several connections with other European cities. Liszt Ferenc International Airport is one of the biggest in the region with more than 10 million passengers per year, it has connections with almost 100 destinations and 120 flights per day. International trains connect Budapest with several German cities and with every neighbouring countries. Express trains operate every two hours from Wien, Munich, Bratislava, Prague, etc. International bus companies operate several cheap lines from different cities all over Europe. When the application period will be open, we will publish a document explaining how members can get to Budapest from all over Europe.

And why is it worth visiting Budapest? The capital of Hungary is divided into the hilly Buda on the western bank of the Danube, with its narrow streets and greener environment, and the more residential and flat Pest on the opposite side.

imm5Budapest is famous for its historical sites, like the almost 800 years-old Buda Castle District, where you can visit Buda Castle, Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. An astonishing view from the hilly Buda is guaranteed! On the opposite side you can see the Hungarian parliament, which is the third biggest parliamentary building in the world, St. Stephen’s Basilica, which is the largest church in Budapest, and the Main Synagogue, the second largest synagogue in the world. At the end of the Andrássy Avenue, Heroes Square closes the Unesco World Heritage area.

Hungary, and also Budapest, is famous for its spas, like Széchenyi, Gellért or Turkish. Nowadays Budapest is also leading the nightlife in Europe. Several tourist, in fact, come to Budapest to discover the pubs, bars, clubs, festivals and concerts scattered all around the city.

If you want to stay updated about the event, visit the website.

Written by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari

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