Eastern Partnership’s 10th anniversary: AEGEE-Bakı

The AEGEEan starts a collaboration with the AEGEE Eastern Partnership Plus project. This year, the Eastern Partnership bloc celebrates its 10th anniversary. The six member countries plus Russia have been very active during the last decade, organising and hosting a lot of events within AEGEE and raising awareness about the EU in their respective countries. In order to show what has been done so far and where our EaP+ antennas are heading to, we interviewed them on their activities and plans. Our next antennae will be AEGEE-Bakı.

Let’s get to know each other first. Can you tell us a bit about your local?

AEGEE-Bakı is located in the capital of Azerbaijan, Bakı. AEGEE-Bakı’s board consists of 7 members. 

Hilal Rahimli – President

Hasan Hasanzade – Secretary General

Aygun Khalilova – Public Relations

Jeyran Ahmadova – External Relations

Sevinj Akbarova – Project Director

Ismat Vagifzade –  Human Resources

Aydin Harunov – Fundraising and Treasurer

In total AEGEE-Bakı has 70 active members outside the board. AEGEE-Bakı organises different events every week. Most of them are being organised with the help of Working Groups because our system is based on the collaboration with working groups. Event topics are different but focus mostly on self-improvement. Also this year AEGEE-Bakı organised a Winter University in February and we’re getting ready for our amazing Summer University. Our members are very active and they participate in our events as much as they can. Also they are very interested in taking part in some events on the European Level. This year, most of our members participated in RTCs, WUs, NWMs, AGORA, and now they get ready to go and participate in Summer Universities.

Please tell us something about the history of your local. How did it develop?

AEGEE-Bakı was founded in 2004 and started to make small events with AEGEE-Europe. But in 2007 AEGEE-Bakı officially started its activities by attracting new members and organising events. Shortly after we have started to organise Summer Universities and then we went on to organise Novruz International Youth Festival.

What do you consider your biggest achievement so far? In your viewpoint, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

Unfortunately in 2017 AEGEE-Bakı faced big problems and it had a breakdown. There were disagreements within the organisation. The biggest challenge was to rebuild AEGEE-Bakı which was not so easy. The new board was selected and they immediately started to take action to improve the situation. New members were attracted, new events were created to involve more members. Their biggest aim was to rebuild the trust and create an interest in members to work on the European Level. And now everything is normal, even better than it was. AEGEE-Bakı succeeded in its goal to reborn again!

What are your plans for the future? Would you like to organise a big event? What activities do you have in mind?

Now that AEGEE-Bakı’s condition is very good. There is quite a good interest in members to take part in both local and european levels. They are very active and give creative ideas for upcoming events. Working groups work in both upcoming local and international events. But for now our plan for future is AGORA and EPM to take part in Azerbaijan. It is our biggest aim and we are working hard for it to happen. We solved all our problems and there is no problems anymore so we can focus on bringing these events to our country.

For EaP locals: This year the Eastern Partnership Project is celebrating its 10th year of existence. What did it change in your lives, personally and as an AEGEE local? What do you think about the partnership between your country and the EU in this context?

In general, the main role of EaP is to deliver the culture of different countries through social media and our members, as a member of a research team in EaP, they have always made their own contributions. Also with this EaP projects, organisers of Summer Universities could take information about other countries’ culture, infrastructure, nature and other information.

For EaP locals: How would you improve the work of the EaP? Are there any needs that haven’t been addressed by the Project?

Unfortunately, we have noticed that the EaP nowadays mostly posts about politics and those posts are not always from the reliable sources. The subjective ideas that they post could cause conflicts.

In your opinion, what should EaP+ as an AEGEE project concentrate on? How they can  help you to grow and develop? How could it interact with you?

We think that EaP should mostly concentrate on cultural exchange between the 6 EaP countries and EU countries, how they used to. It will also help our members to grow and be aware of cultural differences between the countries which is very important while creating new creative international events.