AEGEE: 25 Years of active citizenship, intercultural dialogue and borderless Europe

Today, on 16th of April AEGEE celebrates its 25th Birthday!

On April 16th AEGEE (European Students’ Forum), the largest interdisciplinary youth association in Europe, will turn 25 years old. A quarter-century ago AEGEE was established by young inspired Europeans, striving for the development of European integration and the creation of a true European nation. At a time of Euro-sclerosis students from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain found the basis for the youth platform, which now unites more than 15 000 active young people from 42 European countries.

During its historical path AEGEE initiated successful European-wide initiatives like the Erasmus student exchanges, which empowered the further development of the European Idea. AEGEE has been constantly giving practical input to the implementation of the priorities of European Communities institutions, giving them support from the side of future leaders and

AEGEE is proud of its strategic role in process of the recognition of non-formal education. In close cooperation with the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and other student organizations AEGEE is pursuing this aim on a long-term basis.

Meanwhile, we are happy to realize that many of AEGEE`s aims have been successfully achieved since its establishment. The European Union enlarged drastically, visa problems are becoming less challenging for youth mobility, higher education is on the way of strategic internationalization. But still, there are many problems for youth to tackle. The future development of the Bologna process, academic mobility, youth representation in political institutions on local, national and supranational level, are among the topics of today’s youth concern, which AEGEE is engaged in.

Moreover, AEGEE is going beyond the internal European concerns with the establishment of the “Beyond Europe – Perspectives for Tomorrow’s World” flagship project for 2010-2011. In the framework of the project active young Europeans will research and understand the capacity of European influence on world affairs and intercontinental political, social and cultural agendas.

Challenges, which Europe faces hand in hand with other continents, will be faced by the future generation and AEGEE is directly contributing with the creation of a youth group being capable for dealing with them. Today AEGEE is about the continuous efforts and hard voluntary work for enforcing and the development of European integration. We create the generation of a European future – a nation of young Europeans, culturally different, but united in their values.

Some call it Europe – we call it home!