One of AEGEE’s trade­marks is the fact that the name of the locals con­tains the name of the city in its orginal lan­guage. That’s the rea­son why we have AEGEE-Bucureşti and not AEGEE-Bucharest and AEGEE-Roma and not AEGEE-Rome. How­ev­er, there are a few inter­est­ing devi­a­tions — some­times only on a flag (see pho­to above), but some­times in the offi­cial anten­na name.

Old Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion

Before we get to the fun part, let’s talk about the rules. Until the begin­ning of the mil­len­ni­um, the name rule was part of AEGEE’s legal frame­work, the Cor­pus Iuridicum (CIA). For exam­ple, in CIA 6, pub­lished in 1994, the text of the Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion for AEGEE Locals con­tained this para­graph:

Accep­tance of this Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion gives the right to the consigna­to­ry asso­ci­a­tion to adopt the name “AEGEE-…(the name of the town)” The name of the town should be writ­ten in the offi­cial language(s) of the town’s region.. The name “AEGEE-…” can only be obtained this way.

Start­ing from CIA 7, also pub­lished in 1994, the name rule was demot­ed to a foot­note. This was not unusu­al, since AEGEE-Europe put a lot of clar­i­fi­ca­tions in CIA foot­notes. For exam­ple, CIA 11 from 2001 has the fol­low­ing foot­note text list­ed as foot­note 17: “The name of the town should be writ­ten in the offi­cial language(s) of the town’s region.”

The rule was still bind­ing, as the pref­ace of every CIA until 2011 stat­ed: “The foot­notes are not part of the offi­cial text vot­ed upon by the Ago­ra or Pres­i­dents’ Meet­ing. But they are the offi­cial (and con­se­quent­ly bind­ing) inter­pre­ta­tion of the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion in office.” How­ev­er, when CIA 18 was pub­lished in 2007, all foot­notes were gone. Prob­a­bly one of the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sions did not find them nec­es­sary any­more and erased them.

Nev­er­the­less, until today the asso­ci­a­tion con­tin­ued to apply the name rule. With a few inter­est­ing excep­tions – and also cas­es of a very strict appli­ca­tion of the rule.

AEGEE-Abertawe: Do you know where Abertawe is? Maybe you know the city bet­ter as Swansea in Wales. When AEGEE-Abertawe signed the Con­ven­tion d’Adhèsion in 2010, they used the Welsh name of the town. They could have used both names though, but decid­ed dif­fer­ent­ly. The local was delet­ed in 2013.

AEGEE-Bakı: The city name Bakı is the cor­rect Latin tran­scrip­tion of the name of Azerbaijan’s cap­i­tal. How­ev­er, when the Con­tact was approved by the CD in Feb­ru­ary 2000, it was still called Con­tact Baku, which was the Russ­ian name – and also inter­na­tion­al­ly often used, since this area had been part of the Sovi­et Union. It kept the wrong name until 1st of Decem­ber 2004. When they signed the Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion, they changed it and called them­selves AEGEE-Bakı.

AEGEE-Brus­sel/Brux­elles: This is a nice exam­ple of a city with two local lan­guages – the anten­na has both of them in their name. How­ev­er, this local, which was found­ed and delet­ed sev­er­al times, did not always have this name. In 1985 it called itself EGEE-Brux­elles, from 1992 till 1996: AEGEE-Région Brux­el­loise, from 1997 until 2000 AEGEE-Brux­elles/Brus­sel, and after the refoun­da­tion in 2007 AEGEE-Brus­sel/Brux­elles. It is just a bit dis­turb­ing to see the Face­book URL: www.facebook.com/AegeeBrussels.

Con­tact Cardiff/Caerdydd: Oth­er than AEGEE-Abertawe, the Con­tact of AEGEE-Europe in Cardiff opt­ed for a dou­ble name. Well, not at first though. The first Con­tact in the Welsh city in 1995/96 called itself Con­tact Cardiff, but when it was refound­ed in 1997, it took on the Welsh and the Eng­lish name.

AEGEE-Dro­gob­ych: When it comes to Ukrain­ian locals, a few of them could not real­ly decide whether they should take the Russ­ian name from Sovi­et times or the Ukrain­ian one. And some­times they went mys­te­ri­ous ways. When stu­dents cre­at­ed a Con­tact in this town, they used the Ukrain­ian name Dro­hobych, but when they signed the Con­ven­tion one year lat­er, the local chose the name AEGEE-Dro­gob­ych, which is the Russ­ian way. It was delet­ed in 2002.

AEGEE-Fri­bourg: There is noth­ing wrong here, but it is an inter­est­ing exam­ple of a local that decid­ed to go for one lan­guage although they could have tak­en two. The Swiss town Fri­bourg is at the cul­tur­al bor­der between French and Ger­man Switzer­land. It even has the only offi­cial­ly bilin­gual Ger­man-French uni­ver­si­ty in the coun­try, accord­ing to Wikipedia. Nev­er­the­less, they opt­ed for the French name – maybe also to avoid con­fu­sion with AEGEE-Freiburg in Ger­many. AEGEE-Fri­bourg was found­ed three times, each time with this name. It was final­ly delet­ed in 2014.

AEGEE-Gəncə: Between 2004 and 2009 the Con­tact in this city in Azer­bai­jan was called Con­tact Gan­ja. Only when it was refound­ed and signed the Con­ven­tion in 2013. It chose the cor­rect name AEGEE-Gəncə. It was delet­ed in 2017.

Con­tact Gothen­burg: AEGEE tried four times to found a local in this Swedish city: in 1994, 1996, 2002 and 2018 four Con­tacts were estab­lished there. The first three times under the name Con­tact Göte­borg, but in 2018 as AEGEE-Europe Con­tact in Gothen­burg. Let’s see whether the name will be changed to AEGEE-Göte­borg when they man­age to sign the Con­ven­tion.

AEGEE-Køben­havn: This name is cor­rect and it has always been used in AEGEE since it was a Con­tact in 1991. How­ev­er, when it first signed the Con­ven­tion in the same year, the con­tract con­tained a sub­stan­tial mis­take: in the Con­ven­tion the local was called AEGEE-Copen­hagen. Despite of this, the local was referred to as AEGEE-Køben­havn.

AEGEE-Lux­em­bourg: This local – one of the old­est in the net­work — always had the French name, also when it was refound­ed in 2007. It could have also had the local name: AEGEE-Lëtze­buerg. Or the Ger­man name.After all, all three lan­guages are offi­cial lan­guages of the con­try. It is a mere curi­ousi­ty that the anten­na used exclu­sive­ly this Lux­em­bour­gish name when they pre­sent­ed their new board on AEGEE-L in March 2009. It was the last board of the local before it was delet­ed, by the way.

AEGEE-Lefkosia: When AEGEE reached Cyprus, AEGEE-Mağusa chose the Turk­ish name and of course not the Eng­lish name AEGEE-Fam­a­gus­ta. In a sim­i­lar fash­ion, the founders of the Con­tact in Nicosia chose the name Con­tact Lefkosia in 1999, which is the Greek name of the cap­i­tal. They signed the Con­ven­tion in 2002. AEGEE-Lefkosia was delet­ed five years lat­er. In 2012 and in 2017 two new Con­tacts were found­ed there – but this time as Con­tact Nicosia…

AEGEE-Odessa: When you vis­it this beau­ti­ful Ukrain­ian city, you will notice that the city used the name Ode­sa with one S – which is the cor­rect Ukrain­ian name. The ver­sion with two S is the Russ­ian spelling. The first Con­tact in this city, which exist­ed from 1998 to 2002, was actu­al­ly called Con­tact Ode­sa. When oth­er peo­ple found­ed it again one year lat­er, the used the Russ­ian spelling, which sticked also when it signed the Con­ven­tion in 2003.

AEGEE-Ros­tov-na-Donu: Found­ed in 2012, this Russ­ian local uses the cor­rect name in local lan­guage. This was dif­fer­ent when it was found­ed for the first time, back in 2004. The Con­tact called itself Con­tact Ros­tov-on-Don – and stayed like this until 2006, when the Con­tact was delet­ed.

AEGEE-Tener­ife: You prob­a­bly know AEGEE-Las Pal­mas, based on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The neigh­bour­ing island is Tener­ife. Also there is a uni­ver­si­ty, in La Lagu­na. And: there actu­al­ly was an AEGEE-La Lagu­na, found­ed in 1989 and delet­ed in 1994. How­ev­er, when AEGEE was found­ed again on the island, it did not choose the name of the uni­ver­si­ty city, but instead called itself AEGEE-Tener­ife, which is actu­al­ly not accord­ing to the name rule – because the island name is not a city name. After all, we do not call AEGEE-Las Pal­mas AEGEE-Gran Canaria or AEGEE-Val­let­ta AEGEE-Mal­ta.

AEGEE-Turku/Åbo: This is a pos­i­tive exam­ple about inclu­sion. The old­est Finnish city Turku is called Åbo in Swedish. And despite the fact that Swedish is a minor­i­ty lan­guage in Fin­land, the founders of AEGEE-Turku/Åbo opt­ed for the dou­ble name in 1990, respect­ing the minor­i­ty in their coun­try.

AEGEE-Kadıköy: Let’s con­clude this overview with a very spe­cial case, which is actu­al­ly not a lan­guage issue. Kadıköy is not an own city, but part of the Istan­bul munic­i­pal­i­ty. It is the cen­tre of the Asian side of the city. Since AEGEE locals always have to have the name of a city in its name, this local should not have exist­ed. So what hap­pened? Some­thing very com­mon: when AEGEE mem­bers are not hap­py with their anten­na lead­er­ship, they some­times cre­at­ed an own local. AEGEE-Kadıköy was basi­cal­ly a group of AEGEE-Istan­bul mem­bers, who man­aged to sign the Con­ven­tion in 1997. In 1999 it was delet­ed again, when the mem­bers stopped being active. It’s not the only case: the most promi­nent exam­ple is prob­a­bly AEGEE-Budapest in the 1990s. Some unhap­py mem­bers took over the pre­ex­ist­ing AEGEE-Eger, which did not have local mem­bers any­more, oth­ers took over AEGEE-Szekesfe­hérvár. And stu­dents of the Cen­tral Uni­ver­si­ty in Budapest decid­ed to cre­ate their own local in the town Gödöl­lö, where the CEU dor­mi­to­ry was locat­ed.