Eastern Partnership’s 10th anniversary: AEGEE-Odessa

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 antenna will be AEGEE-Odessa.

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

Out of the 4 Ukrainian antennae, we are the one situated in the south of the country next to the mesmerising Black Sea. We tend to say: “little pigeons can carry great messages”, and so is our local – not the biggest in the network, yet tries to implement great ideas in life. 

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

The headquarters was moving from city to city, we had ups and downs and sometimes it looked very daunting until we learned that it is the ordinary life cycle of any antenna and only determination, passion and time will help. So we are on the way up nowadays!

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

We were the only ones to organise 2 Summer Universities in 2018! It may sound impossible but we managed and afterwards, all core organisers became closer than ever and participants were content with the intense programs. So one of our proud achievements is to make 70 foreigners deep dive in Ukrainian culture in less than 1 month. 

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

Hmm…Autumn Agora Odessa 2020? Jokes aside, we plan to work on strengthening our team, expanding with more active members and ensuring the change of generations. 

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?

The strategic goal of our country is to become a member of the European Union and even in our Constitution, it’s written that our internal and external policies are oriented towards European integration.  We support the decision and do everything to make it happen. 

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

We would love the project to cooperate more with youth organisations and universities to inform more and more people about its aim and let people know how they can contribute. 

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

As Ukrainians, we identify ourselves as Europeans so the regular procedures and designated bodies that help to grow in AEGEE are what we are comfortable with. However, if the AEGEE project EaP+ wants to help more people learn about our homeland, we wouldn’t refuse. Never saying no to spreading awareness and great PR.