While most of Europe is in the firm grip of the cold winter, the 230 participants at the European Boards’ Meeting (EBM) in Izmir enjoy at least mild 10 degrees and sunshine. But not only in this respect the AEGEE delegates of the EBM are fortunately, they also enjoy the great hospitality of the local organisers plus a very interesting newly reformed EBM concept.

The EBM location in Izmir

New compared to previous EBMs are for example several panel discussions about European topics. “On Friday we had a panel discussion about the Caucasus triangle with quite a lot of good questions and discussions”, says Alma Mozgovaja, Secretary-General of AEGEE-Europe. And today there was a panel discussion about non-formal education and how it can be a solution for youth unemployment.” Among others, the panelists discussed what happens with youth unemployment and what creates it. Alma: “A very interesting topic!” Nevertheless, not all AEGEE members are used to the new inclusion of external speakers to AEGEE statutory events – not always was the language of the delegates appropriate.
Main purpose of the EBM is to draft the new Action Agenda for AEGEE-Europe. “We have an excellent thematic input both from externals and our Working Groups, project teams, workshop participants and our members in general”, adds Alma. “Getting the locals’ input in the Action Agenda is a significant step for EBM and all the planning of AEGEE.”
Also EBM Chairperson Yvonne Antonovic is very satisfied with the thematic part: “The panel discussion were great. Also the Action Agenda workshops, although we don’t always have enough time”, she said. “I’m also very happy with the great cooperation within our new chair team. Already now I can’t wait to work with them again at the Agora and to give all our best for AEGEE.”

The local organisation is excellent. The organisers are helpful and dedicated, on Saturday there were even “coffee masters” today the coffee breaks – and chocolate. Alma: “The parties are good, too. We will see what the Cultural European Night will bring. There is some special concept prepared, but it’s still a surprise.” Quite a negative surprise are the prices for alcohol though. One beer costs 8 Turkish Lira (3,50 Euro), cocktails about twice as much.
The plenary is a bit cold, though. “On stage, hands and legs will freeze”, admits Vice-Chairperson Mariella Rapa. “But oh well, cold hands and legs, warm hearts – as the saying goes.”