Welcomed by the Hungarian President, Pál Schmitt, 500 delegates of 370 sections of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) gathered at the National Parliament in Budapest for the opening ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the organisation.
From the 31st of March to the 4th of April 2011, the delegates of the leading European student organisation promoting international mobility met in order to enhance the development of ESN's international projects, promote student exchange programmes and elect the next International Board.
The Annual General Meeting
The AGM is the main decision making body of ESN International. Every year, the ESN delegates attend the AGM hosted in a member country. This year, the event took place in Budapest, in Hungary, the country that holds the European Presidency this semester. Representatives of the local sections met in order to share experiences, develop international projects and elect this year’s International Board members. The opening ceremony was held at the National Parliament in Budapest, coupled with the traditional ESN parade which promotes the values of ESN: unity in diversity, diversity in unity.
The newly elected International Board which will take office in Brussels for one year from the 15th July 2011 is composed of:
Tania Berman (ESN France), President
Katja Krohn (ESN Germany), Vice-President
Damien Lamy-Preto (ESN France), Treasurer
Josefin Svensson (ESN Sweden), Communication Manager
Fabian Bircher (ESN Switzerland), Web Project Administrator
ESN, Leading European student organisation promoting international mobility was founded in 1989 through the joint initiative of the first returning Erasmus Students and the European Institutions. ESN is one of the biggest interdisciplinary non-profit international students’ organisations in Europe. It aims at fostering and promoting student exchanges.
With a network of 370 sections located in 35 countries, ESN represents 150 000 international students and nearly 12 000 volunteers. ESN is based in Brussels and receives the support of the European Commission.
Local sections provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of Students Helping Students: local students helping and informing exchange students.
ESN - a main actor in the promotion of student exchange programmes
ESN supports the student mobility programmes and places a high priority on increasing the number of students benefiting from them, emphasising that high quality study conditions for exchange students are guaranteed. Therefore, ESN publishes every year the ESN Survey which highlights challenges related to international mobility. In May 2011, ESN will unveil the results of PRIME, a study that addresses the main issues of recognition of studies abroad in Europe (prime.esn.org).
ESN is involved in various projects which are aimed at involving students in a more active citizen role; projects such as ExchangeAbility, which aim at increasing participation of exchange students with disabilities and Social Erasmus which enhances the active collaboration of international students in social projects within the community.