I think we can all agree that the alarm clock rang too early on Friday morning. You had just closed your eyes and the next moment it was already time to get up and get ready for an intense and fun weekend. Old friends to be seen, new ones to be made. All the delegates of the sections who had the right to vote had to queue up in the lobby of Novotel to pick up their pricey voting devices (“if you lose it, you have to pay 250 EUR” is what we’re constantly reminded of by the Chairing Team) and then go for a quick breakfast.
A moment later it was already time to go and grab the best seat at the plenary room, where most of the AGM takes place. In ESN, the cool people sit in the front, so those seats were long gone by the time most people arrived - they had to settle for the second best spots a bit further away from the stage. There were photographers and videographers running around documenting the whole meeting, not only to make sure that everyone will have memories of these few days together, but also so that people at home will not feel left out.
After the President of ESN International, Safi Sabuni, officially opened the plenaries, ESN Spain invited us for a minute of silence to commemorate the Erasmus students who were tragically killed in the accident that took place in Spain a few weeks ago.
Next we were honoured with a video message from Mr. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Sport, who concluded his message with the following words:
The fact that the European Commission addressed us in such a way (and has been for quite some years during the AGMs) really put into context how crucial the work we do is for Erasmus students’ experience during their exchange.
During the day, the International Board reported on the work they have done over the past 9 months and the secretariat introduced themselves. Additionally, the Flagship Project proposals (ExchangeAbility vs Buddy System) were made and discussed, the candidate organising committee of the next AGM - the country of Germany - presented themselves, and last but not least, we got to hear the International Board candidates’ presentations.
This year is an unprecedented one, because the whole current board is running for a second term. They clearly have a great team spirit,enjoy working together and feel like they have more to give to the network. Fortunately, the candidates all made solid points for why they should be re-elected. The participants also asked lots of questions to make sure the candidates are keeping the best interest of the network in mind and are willing to cooperate with the network to achieve what’s important for all of us. We are definitely keeping our fingers crossed for all of them, but still hope for some exciting moments on Sunday when the elections will take place.
The day concluded with a traditional Eurodinner where all the countries got to represent the best of their cuisine. It was such a pleasure to see the joy and sincere interest of the participants at this huge celebration of different cultures.
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