Eastern Partnership’s 10th anniversary: AEGEE-Chișinău

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 antenna will be AEGEE-Chișinău.

Tell us a bit about your local: (For example, how many members you have, what activities you do in AEGEE etc)?

We are AEGEE-Chișinău, and as you might understand from the name we’re located in Chisinau, Moldova. Moldova, not Maldive, but close enough. We are now trying to expand and are planning on doing a recruitment in autumn, ‘cause the good things have to be shared :) At the moment we concluded the TSU with AEGEE – Iași and AEGEE – Cluj Napoca “TransMoldavia” and we’re starting our preparation for the NWM this December, so keep an eye on us not to miss it out!  

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

I think we managed pretty well in the last few years, took a little break after 2016, managed a couple of projects and now we are back and ready to do more.

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

The biggest achievement? Agora 2016, for sure, but since then we had a lot of small projects that we are proud of, such as: TSU 2017 – “Make your moments live forever – Snap It”, the night marathon –  Neon Night Run, charity winter event – Dream On, workshop – Projects for Youth and of course, the Summer University of this year with AEGEE – Cluj Napoca and AEGEE – Ias;i TransMoldavia. 

The biggest challenge? Probably the lack of interested students and young people. In Moldova we felt a decrease in volunteering and in the youth projects field in the last 2-3 years, and it has affected all organisations, AEGEE included. But since this year we have started to recover little by little and youngsters are getting interested in international organisations such as AEGEE, so we are trying to get back. 

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

Nowadays there are a lot of new people in the organisation with really good ideas that  I think that we might just apply for an operating grant and start doing projects that will help us show other people how Moldova really is, and why some of us chose to stay. But, we might consider applying for an Agora in 2 to 3 years, because from what I’ve heard, people liked the 2016 Agora Chișinău “Welcome to the Casa Mare”. But until then, we have a lot to learn and to practice, we started with the SU this year with AEGEE – Iași and AEGEE – Cluj Napoca, the next one is the NWM in December (12-16 December 2019, save the date!), and after that our annual event ‘Projects For Youth’ in February/March!

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?

Well, the idea itself of the partnership is a good one, it helped build relationships between NGOs from different countries and helped make a “Borderless Europe” so to say. It made it possible for Moldova to work more closely with countries that were put in the same situation. But, AEGEE-Chișinău itself wasn’t directly involved in the EaP, but this will change soon, so keep an eye on this too. 

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

More communications between the Group and the locals under the EaP, that’s it. 

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?

I don’t want to seem too closed of, but maybe an AEGEE forum, project, meet up once a year for the locals that are under the EaP, where we can discuss the situation at the moment, the good and the bad, the way we can cooperate until the next meet up and the strategic plans for the next year. Things that will help to develop the EAP+ project at the same time as the AEGEE locals in this region.From my point of view, if you know the team personally, not just from the facebook post, then people will be more eager to cooperate with each other.