AEGEE celebrating 32 years of building bridges
On the 16th of April AEGEE-European Students’ Forum will celebrate 32 years since the foundation of the NGO in 1985 in Paris. When founded the aim was to cross borders and build bridges between young people in Europe. After 32 years it seems that even though we crossed many borders in Europe, there are still a lot of bridges to be built. This is why the whole AEGEE network celebrates the birthday of AEGEE by organising activities related to the topic of “Building Bridges”.
Why? Because we live in challenging times.The rudimentary European idea that it is cooperation, not competition and war between nations, that can bring the continent forward, is under severe pressure, and so are the values that this Europe of cooperation is built upon: democracy, equality, solidarity and respect for diversity. The European Union, Europe’s flagship project, was guided by the – until recently – unshakable belief in an ‘ever-closer Union among the peoples of Europe’. However, the Brexit referendum has shown that the European integration process is not an irreversible historical development – it is a manmade project that can only be sustained by the will and the efforts of the peoples of Europe.
In times of newly emerging walls and borders, rising nationalism, xenophobia and discrimination, AEGEE aims at Building Bridges, bridges between people from different countries, cultures and religions, from different ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds, between the old and the young, between those living within Europe, between the higher educated and the lower educated, between the Europtimists and the Eurosceptics, between the politically engaged and those who feel excluded.
Last year in the whole network 77 cities in 22 countries around Europe celebrated AEGEE Day by organising 136 different or similar activities at the same time.
Let’s see how many bridges will our members build this year!