On Thursday, 13th of December, the deadline expires to apply for one of the best events in 2013: the European Boards’ Meeting (EBM) of AEGEE-Europe in Malta. “The EBM will give greater possibilities of shaping our agenda and give a platform for highly important topics”, says Bernice Saliba, member of the organising team. Not only thematically it will be outstanding. AEGEE-Valletta is working hard to create a fantastic atmosphere – and since the antenna is one of the best in Europe and Malta a spectacular place, it will be an event to be remembered for many years.

Bernice Saliba
Bernice Saliba, one of the 25 organisers of the EBM

Golden Times: Bernice, from 28th February till 3rd of March all AEGEE eyes will turn towards Valletta. How is the atmosphere in AEGEE-Valletta?
Bernice Saliba: There is a certain kind of excitement, in the sense that people already started working, and there are all the preparations going on. Every day we realise that we are one step closer and when obstacles come in the way we realise that we have to work extra hard.

Golden Times: Tell me the three main reasons why no one should miss going to this EBM.
Bernice: It is the opportunity to visit our island, it will truly be an experience one will not forget. We also believe that AEGEE-Valletta has been founded on a historical island where many European cultures come to meet,  and that as the EBM will be discussing the future of Europe, we believe that we are going to offer a great environment to do that.

Golden Times: Last year the EBM in Izmir had a new content-focused concept, which was a huge success. Will the EBM Valletta be similar?
Bernice: EBM Izmir marked the start of this new concept and indeed it means that it will be continued in EBM Valletta. Though this is essentially being worked upon by the Content Team, we as organisers fully support the whole idea, as it gives greater possibilities of shaping our agenda, implementing it realistically, and give a platform for highly important topics that surround us and our association.

EBM Valletta Cover
The cover of the EBM Facebook page

Golden Times: The motto of your EBM is “Preserving the Present, Saving Our Future” – so what’s the thematic focus about?
Bernice: The main theme will be the Future of Europe. It is essentially us who should be the architects of our future. Through several discussions on youth participation, European identity, youth unemployment, youth mobility, the environment and European integration, we will be able to reach – hopefully – a common opinion on how we can build a stronger Europe, and the role AEGEE should take in this.

Golden Times: Will there be external speakers like in Izmir 2012?
Bernice: For the first time in our history, this EBM will be held under the auspices of the President of the Republic H.E. Dr George Abela. It is very significant for us to have this youth activity being recognised by the Head of our State. Definitely he will be supporting our event from start to finish and we expect him to be present. Apart from that, we are planning to have a slot to discuss Malta’s role in Europe. We cannot confirm the final speakers yet, however. The information will be released as soon as we have final confirmations.

AEGEE-Valletta is one of the biggest and best antennae

Golden Times: AEGEE-Valletta is one of the strongest and most-experienced locals in the network. Can you say a few words about your antenna?
Bernice (smiles): Thanks! We appreciate that our hard work is recognised as such. AEGEE-Valletta turned 15 years exactly last month. 2012 was very significant for us. AEGEE-Valletta was judged as the second best organisation on the University of Malta Campus, after organising a whole year of events. The highlight for us was of course to win the Best Travelling Summer University in 2012 which we organised in collaboration with AEGEE-Catania. Our priority remains in targeting new people to join this fantastic AEGEE world. Right now, we are the biggest local in our Region – the Rainbow Region – with around 300 members. With the organisation of the EBM, a good number of young people from our University were highly motivated to join our antenna and contribute in several different areas – ranging from photography to social events to logistics, marketing, and other areas.

Golden Times: What characterises the spirit of the antenna best?
Bernice: Definitely when we won best TSU and going up to Agora Budapest as a big group. It was a good moment to be a good active number, getting all excited ourselves to organize the EBM. One might say our spirit is seen in our determination and hard-work to always have a successful event!

Golden Times: How many people are organising the EBM?
Bernice: We are a team of around 25 people.

EBM Valletta Black Logo
Apply now!

Golden Times: On your website www.ebmvalletta.eu you show a lot of beautiful photos of Malta. Will people have the chance to see it actually? Or do you offer a pre- or post-event?
Bernice: We are not doing a pre- or post-event, but I’m sure that people will find time to visit some of the places, since it is quick and easy to get to places on the island.

Golden Times: If there will be sightseeing, what will be the highlights that people will see?
Bernice: Our capital city and one of the oldest cities in Malta for sure, Valletta and Mdina. But all this is still in the process.

Golden Times: What about the opening ceremony and the parties? What do you plan for that?
Bernice: We are planning on hosting it in a very historical place in Malta, definitely a place one won’t forget.

Golden Times: Will accommodation be in a gym?
Bernice: No, accommodation will not be in gym, but in a hostel/hotel.

Golden Times: How is the air and water temperature at the beach in the end of February?
Bernice (smiles): By that time Spring will be drawing closer so the weather will not be that cold, but hopefully people will attend the meetings as well and not go to the beach.

Golden Times: How and until when can people apply?
Bernice: People can apply till the 13th of December, by going on the link below. The participants will be chosen by the 19th of December.