Eastern Partnership’s 10th anniversary: AEGEE-Tbilisi

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, organizing 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-Tbilisi.

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

AEGEE-Tbilisi is located on the edge of Europe that gives it a special position. It’s hard to estimate the real number of members, but it’s approximately 50 to 60, though not all of them are active. Our activities, apart from big projects such as SU or WU, are local training courses and  workshops.

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

AEGEE-Tbilisi was founded on the 24th of April, 2004, and it was the first local in Southern Caucasus. 

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

Achievement is spreading European spirit among Georgian youth that is affirmed by their integration in European network. The biggest challenge is to keep members constantly active. Giving enough motivation to busy students is a difficult task.

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

In near future we are going to be concentrated on the most significant project for our local – SU. Afterwards, we would like to organize big international events such as an EPM, though what hinders us from taking this responsibility is lack of active human capital to rely on. In case we organize the event, it should be really huge. So, let’s see! 

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?

After the Easter Partnership Project European integration process of the local got stronger. As it gives us a new framework of the European perception in the network, it’s one of the most important initiatives for AEGEE-Tbilisi. We really felt it last year at pre-EPM. As for EU-Georgian relations, it attaches more importance to the Eastern Partnership Initiative and helps our students to directly experience the impact of the new vision. 

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

It can be said that the EaP meets its goals though more youth activities can always be better. 

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

AEGEE should definitely contribute to EaP through informal education tools. Thinking about making it a bigger project, I would consider creating a new annual international meeting which can specifically be focused on strengthening interactions between EU and non-EU members. It would give more incentives and inspiration to members of our local.