The verdict is in: Heiko Kirchner, President of the Juridical Commission, is the Member of the Year 2020! As in every year, the GT asked a panel of very active members to tell about AEGEE’s outstanding members, antennae, projects or thematic groups. The votes are then added and the person, local or group with most votes gets the title. This time 33 members casted their vote. Below you can find the results.

Member of the Year 2020: Heiko Kirchner

No, the member of the year 2020 is not a project manager, CD member or working group coordinator. He is one of the many people who are usually working in the background, except for the Agoras: then the Juridical Commission has the task to explain the law of AEGEE to hundreds of people, to be able to make the right interpretation when the tension is high. This is not always a task that attracts many candidates: at the spring Agora Heiko Kirchner from AEGEE-Köln was the only person who wanted to run for the term 2020/21. He became President of the Juridical Commission with 98 percent of the votes. But let’s hear from some of the people who nominated him for member of the year:

  • “Heiko Kirchner was the hero we needed – though perhaps not the one we deserved – during the online Agorae. He was able to bring order and clarity in the chaos, and my favourite moment is Heiko showing a table of outcomes for voting on two related motions.” (Julian van Loo, Speaker of the Sustainability Committee, Content Manager of EPM 2021, AEGEE-Delft)
  • “I will have to give my credits to Heiko Kirchner. I feel that he has been the rock that we all needed. Especially during Agorae. For me he is also a very valuable member of the Mediation Commission. Thank you Heiko!” (Marlijn Mulder, Mediation Commission Member, AEGEE-Delft)
  • “Heiko Kirchner is doing a great job in representing the Juriducal Commission and always manages to keep track of difficult juridical situations even while under the pressure from the whole Agora.” (Timo Haarman, IT Responsible of the Chair Team, Project Manager of WDEE 2.0, AEGEE-Enschede)
  • “Heiko Kirchner is the VIP of the Online Agorae” (Roberto Meneghetti, Former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Torino”

On a shared second place are Rik Smale, who headed the Task Force that brought order to AEGEE-Europe’s finances, Veronika Chmelárová for her dedicated work in the Chair Team and the CD, as well as Timo Haarman, who was not only IT Responsible of the Chair Team, but also became Manager of the new project “Where Does Europe End 2.0”.


Antenna of the Year 2020: AEGEE-Moskva and AEGEE-Yerevan

It is quite usual that the Agora organisers are becoming antenna of the year, simply because organising an Agora is such a huge task and hundreds of people experience the hard work, dedication and hospitality of the Agora hosts. But 2020 is no year like any other; AEGEE-Moskva and AEGEE-Yerevan could not host the Agora due to the Corona pandemic. Despite the huge disappointment that they had to cancel the events, they both successfully applied to host an Agora in 2021. So it came to no surprise that the panel of voters made them antenna of the year – with the exact same number of votes! Here is what some of them said:

  • “It has to be AEGEE-Moskva and AEGEE-Yerevan for not giving up on the Agorae organisation, even if they couldn’t happen this year and their decision to do so in 2021.” (Michalina Górka, Speaker of the Strategy Committee, Finance Officer, AEGEE-Kraków)
  • “AEGEE-Yerevan and AEGEE-Moskva. I think the reasons are obvious, to keep the enthusiasm, take the responsibility and have the courage to prepare to organize huge offline activities for the network in these complicated times. It is just amazing for me. I wish them luck and hopefully, we will see each other soon!” (Teodora Panuș, Interim Commissioner of the Juridical Commission, WDEE 2.0, AEGEE-Chișinău)
  • “AEGEE-Yerevan and AEGEE-Moskva earn acknowledgement. Both locals were working hard for months to ensure we will have a great time during the Spring and the Autumn Agorae, sadly at the end both general assemblies had to be cancelled because of the pandemic development and it was a very difficult decision for the core teams of Agora Yerevan and Agora Moscow to give up on this dream. At the same time, I think everyone appreciates that those locals took the challenge to organize the Agorae in 2021. I hope we all can meet in Yerevan in the spring and then in Moscow in the autumn.” (Monika Mojak, Vice-Chairperson of the Agora, Safe Person Committee, AEGEE-Warszawa)

On third place is AEGEE-Tartu, which was supposed to organise the European Planning Meeting this spring. They are followed by AEGEE-Barcelona, which hosted this year’s EPM, the last big physical event before the virus came, and AEGEE-Nijmegen, an antenna that received a lot of praise for its many activities and its cooperation with working groups and European projects.


Project of the Year 2020: Europe on Track

The travelling ambassadors of Europe on Track were just about ready to start their trips across Europe when the virus came. Since this made the physical journeys impossible, they adapted quickly to the circumstances and made lots of online activities. It is only consequent that they were voted Project of the Year 2020.

  • “I was quite impressed how quickly Europe on Track adapted to the new situation at the beginning of the Corona crisis and managed to convert their workshops to an online version in a very short time, so I think they definitely deserve to be mentioned here.” (Natascha Jürgens, Mediation Commission Member, AEGEE-Passau)
  • “Europe on Track 7 had a strong year despite all the hardships and were one of the first ones to shift to online tools for workshops. When the world made a halt, Europe on Track was a brilliant example of how important it is to stay flexible and not give up” (Evita Ločmele, Vice-speaker of Strategy Committee, Secretary of Autumn and Extraordinary Agora 2020, AEGEE-Heidelberg)
  • “Europe on Track has always been one of my favourite projects, so I would like to mention their endurance and spirit also during these times. Wishing them a nice edition during this spring!” (Roberto Meneghetti, Former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Torino)
  • “In such a short time EoT Project Manager Elitsa Hadzhieva managed to pull off a digitalization revolution in AEGEE.” (Wouter Boerjan, Project Manager of SUCT, Speaker team of HRC, AEGEE-Eindhoven)

The Summer University Project finished on a strong second place – the arguments were similar as for Europe on Track. On third place there is a project that is currently making its baby steps: “Where does Europe End 2.0” continues there where the original Where Does Europe End project left off ten years ago, examining the state of Europe. With its approach to examine European identity at the fringes of Europe it’s a great addition to other European projects which have several editions, like Y Vote, Europe on Track and Eastern Partnership Project. Let’s wish them success and hope there will be more editions of Where Does Europe End in the future.


Working Group/Interest Group of the Year 2020: CEWG

In this category working groups and interest groups are joined together, since they are both thematic bodies, but wider in time and scope than a project. Here the voting result was very close, in the end the CEWG (Climate Emergency Working Group, not to confuse with the former occupant of these letters, the Civic Education Working Group) got one vote more than the MHWG (Mental Health Working Group) and the LGBT+ Interest Group. Let’s check out why:

  • “I have really enjoyed working together with the Climate Emergency Working Group this year! When we were organising a thematic month for our local, they offered to help us out in several workshops and activities and I have seen them do the same for others as well.” (Ilse Driessen, President of AEGEE-Nijmegen, Culture IG Moderator and PR of WDEE 2.0)
  • “I am astonished by how much energy the new Working Groups have. They have amazing members who are working hard to get the most out of the Focus Areas. Especially the Mental Health WG and the Climate Emergency WG have done so much already. Keep up the good work!” (Julian van Loo)
  • “The LGBT+ Interest Group for their AEGEE’s Online Pride week in June. In addition, LGBT+ IG has a lovely Telegram group for people part of the community and allies, where everyone is welcome. And it certainly is one of the few AEGEE internal groups where all discussions are based on mutual respect and genuine interest – and common love for glitter.” (Evita Ločmele)