AEGEE stands for “Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe”. AEGEE is one of Europe’s biggest interdisciplinary student organisations, striving for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines. Founded in 1985 in Paris, today AEGEE has grown to a Network of 13 000 AEGEEans, present in 161 cities in 40 countries all over Europe! Through its activities, it empowers students and young people in Europe to take an active role in society. It creates a space for dialogue and learning opportunities as well as acts as their representative towards decision-makers. AEGEE strengthens mutual understanding among young Europeans and brings Europe closer to young people.
The means that AEGEE uses to achieve the above are:
- Intercultural Exchange
- Personal Development and Non-Formal Education
- Thematic Projects
- Policy and Advocacy
- Forum For Discussion
AEGEE promotes solidarity, communication, social inclusion and participation of young people in Europe. The main mission of the organization, is to promote the idea of a unified Europe without prejudices and the development of a European identity. AEGEE’s Extended Network is the ideal medium for thousands of young volunteers from 40 European countries to work together in a broad spectrum of actions; from conferences and seminars to cultural exchanges, Summer Universities, Case Studies and Working Group meetings.
With an emphasis on youth mobility, teamwork and joint projects, AEGEE seeks to bridge national, cultural and social differences, to strengthen mutual respect and understanding and to create a progressive Europe for its young citizens. One of the key features of AEGEE, which makes it unique and ensures its purely European character, is the absence of any national level in its organizational structure. AEGEE is based on the organization and operation of local branches (antennae, such as AEGEE-Athina) located in various cities across Europe. The antennae in turn answer to the central Board of Directors of AEGEE (Comité Directeur), which is based in Brussels and is responsible for the external image of the organization and the coordination of the actions of the network.
The main goals of the organization are:
- Promoting a unified Europe without prejudice
- Creating a more open and tolerant society of today and tomorrow
- Strengthening democracy, human rights, tolerance, cross-border cooperation, mobility and the European perspective on education
One of AEGEE’s greatest successes was supporting the Erasmus exchange program in its very beginning in the 1980s towards decision-makers, thanks to the effective lobbying of its founder, Franck Biancheri, who rebuffed the objections of the categorically opposite French President François Mitterrand!
The most famous project of AEGEE, the Summer Universities, are also a great example of a european project of the organization, bringing together thousands of young volunteers every summer for the last 30 years!
AEGEE has a participatory role in the Council of Europe, an advisory role in the United Nations Council, a functional position in the UNESCO Council and is also a member of the European Youth Forum. It works closely with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
You just got an idea of how our organization is structured on a European level. If you want to be informed about AEGEE-Athina specifically visit this page!