Erasmus Student Network has an opportunity to meet only once a year. Only 3 letters, standing for 641 people, 4 days and the most important event of ESN in general. It is AGM or Annual General Meeting, which was organized already for the 25th time in the history of the organization. This year it took over the city of Milan, Italy from the 3rd to 7th of April.
This time ESN Lithuania in the event was presented by 15 members of the network, representing 10 sections and National Board of Lithuania.
While most of the participants were just packing, National Representatives and special guests were already present in the pre-CNR, which this time has resulted into the growth of network since the 37th country was accepted. From now on ESN Russia is a part of the family.
While pre-CNR was closed and NRs were counting their first days and nights without sleep, cars, busses and plains were bringing hundreds of ESNers from the various corners of Europe to Milan, which at least for 4 days has become European capital of youth.
Thursday, 3rd of April
The first official day of AGM Milano 2014 was opened by Italian minister of Education Stefania Giannini, president of ESN Italy Carlo Bitetto, head of the AGM OC Lorenzo Campini and our dear president of ESN International Stefan Jahnke with wishes to “stay hungry. Stay foolish” and reach for more international experience. After ceremony at Arena Civica was closed and wishes for the fruitful meeting was shared, streets of the city were flooded by ESN Flag Parade, where each country presented their country by dressing up in the colors of their flag. Nonetheless, marching in the streets of Milan was not the purpose, this time ESNers have set a goal for themselves, which was to hug the Duomo di Milano. Symbolizing Europe unifying at the very heart of Milan the goal was successfully achieved. Rest of the day offered a chance to better get to know each other or revive old friendships before plenaries of the AGM have started.
Friday, 4th of April
Schedule of AGM from the beginning promised tough days – waking up at 7 am and having plenaries started at 8:30 am already. Day one has started with the presentations of ESN partners. Italo trains, Generator hostels and FIAT took the stage for few hours. Afterwards the real fun began with the activity reports of the International Board, which were followed by presentation of the recent changes in Erasmus+ program given by representatives of European Commission Runa Vigdis Gudmarsdottir and Daphne Scherer.
After the lunch Flagship project for the year 2014 was presented. New initiative Mov’in Europe will promote mobility as a lifestyle, through the engagement of ambassadors in local, national and international activities. Afterwards the time came to listen to the presentations of candidates to the new IB. Stefan Jahnke and Jesús Escrivà Munyoz as the candidates for the President and Dominique Montagnese, Evagelos Tsoumas as for the Vice-President. Plenaries were closed at 8 pm and participants were invited to enjoy each other’s company and cultures at the Eurodinner in the “Karma” club.
Saturday, 5th of April
Starting from the morning presentations of the candidates to the IB continued with Jonathan Jelves for the position of Treasurer, Robert Klimacki and Cristina Gavrila for the position of Communication Manager and Adam Farnik for the position of Web Project Administrator. Afterwards Ankara and Thessaloniki presented their candidacies for organizing the upcoming AGM as well as Vilnius, Plodiv and Barcelona applying to organize the upcoming Council of National Delegates.
Second half of the day was dedicated to the infomarket with the Higher Education Institutions from 37 countries of Europe represented by ESNers themselves. Event gave a perfect chance for ESNers as well as local students to better get to know the opportunities of continuing studies in the country abroad. Workshops were organized at the same time offering the possibility to better get to know the organization and projects or initiatives related to it. As well as how to use other opportunities offered by European Union.
Saturday was coming to an end and this time ESNers had an exclusive opportunity to finish the day while relaxing in the Aquaworld together with local Erasmus students.
Sunday, 6th of April
The last day of AGM has started with the presentations of 5 international committees of ESN and numerous other projects ESN lives with these days. 5 min dedicated to the Alumni Report and 12 min for our commercial partners, followed by election of the OCs with the amazing results following, that this December ESN international will gather in our capital Vilnius, because ESN VGTU with Indrė Kasiliauskaitė in front got a chance to organize CND Vilnius 2014! While Lithuania is already preparing to host around 120 ESNers this December, Ankara is preparing to welcome more than 700 ESNers next spring while organizing AGM Ankara 2015.
After getting to know places for the future events the most exciting part of the event started with the election of the new International Board. After minutes of waiting and tension in the room huge applauses were dedicated to the new IB of Erasmus Student Network for 2014-2015:
President – Stefan Jahnke, ESN Sweden
Vice-President – Dominique Montagnese, ESN France
Treasurer – Jonathan Jelves, ESN Sweden
Communication Manager – Robert Klimacki, ESN Poland
WPA – Adam Farnik, ESN Slovakia
Official part was already over, but day still had a lot to offer with Gala dinner waiting. This time organized in the Bocconi University, dinner has offered not only 3 course Italian dinner, but also STARawards of the very best ones of the network, including ESN KTU, which were noticed for having 3rd best logo in the entire network.
After all these days, awarding the best ones and making final photos the time came to close the event. AGM Milano 2014 was over, but it will definitely stay forever in the hearts of nearly 700 hundred ESNers, who left home with passion in their eyes and huge motivation to work for the beautiful tomorrow of the organization.
by Sandra Baltkojytė, ESN LT Communication Manager