In February the traditional AEGEE statutory meeting named EBM (the European Board Meeting) took place in Izmir, Turkey. According to the programme there was a panel discussion devoted to the topics of the Conflicts in the Caucasus region. Apart from this members of the AEGEE Eastern Partnership Project have successfully presented it at the AEGEE Fair.
Another quite exceptional fact is that besides their membership in the Project team members had quite a various roles during the EBM. For example, Jana Pokorna, the Coordinator of the Active Citizenship Pillar, was the EBM Content Coordinator. According to her, the new concept of EBM was way too much work for one Content Coordinator – but she really enjoyed and was happy that they managed to contact and invite plenty of external speaker who willingly and even for their own expense came and contributed to the thematic part of this event. The panel sessions were very interesting, but should be a bit longer next time. Workshops were interesting as well – all of them were attended by members who actively participated and were interested in the topics. The AEGEE Fair and the Action Meetings were also a great success. People in the back office were working hard and fully dedicated to the smooth organization of the EBM. Jana says: “I was very glad that I had the possibility to directly involve the incomes and outcomes of this great event. It was overall and interesting experience and an amazing project.”
Our IT Manager, Clemens Adler, concluded that the EBM changed a lot, subjectively there were much more time in the workshops/action meetings than in the plenary. This helped to be more efficient in getting things done. The panel discussion about the Caucasus Triangle was especially valuable for us. Arzu Geybullayeva showed us with her experience how the first steps of conflict resolution in the Azerbaijan/Armenia Conflict can be achieved. For our efforts it would be good to benefit from her experience. More info: http://imaginedialogue.com/, http://imagineneutralzone.com/, http://caucasusedition.net/. Workshop devoted to the freedom of speech in Belarus, where Pauline Gessant showed important actions to raise awareness about the “Belarussion Problem” and found ideas about new actions. An introduction in the organization JEF was given as well.
There was a discussion about freedom of speech in Hungary – participants got a very good introduction about the new media law, and why it is very dangerous.
Clemens mentioned: “During the action meetings I was in the Conflict Resolution Track and we had some interesting ideas, also the first time I met people living in that region. We had good ideas, although it was a bit unsure if they really will be implemented some day. My contribution will be a interactive map of the History of the Caucasus. I also had good memories of the AEGEE Fair. This time I really had the impression that AEGEE is not lagging behind the living causes or is only busy with itself, but really had the chance to move something :-)”