What a hot issue: The relations between Russia and the EU will be in the focus of the upcoming European Planning Meeting, which will take place between 18th and 21st of February 2015. The application period started this week, until 4th of January you have the chance to apply. But not only if you are interested in AEGEE’s Action Agenda and Russia the EPM is your place to be. “If you are interested in Spanish language, history, legends, culture and having fun during the night life of the city, Burgos is your place”, says AEGEE-Burgos President Ruben Puras. The main organiser also told the Golden Times about the great logistics and the fantastic EPM pre-events, organised by AEGEE-Leon, AEGEE-Tenerife and AEGEE-Barcelona.

Ruben Puras
Ruben Puras

GT: How are the EPM preparations going?
Ruben Puras: Really good! We are working hard to do a great event. University and public institutions are supporting and helping us in everything we need. In addition, we will continue working on fundraising, because we think that the difference between an amazing EPM and a normal one is in the little details!

GT: Where is Burgos and how can you reach it?
Ruben: Burgos is a nice city in the Centre of Northern Spain, and it’s really easy to arrive, it is only two hours away from cities such as Madrid, Bilbao, Santander or Zaragoza, and, it has a direct connection by bus or train from Barcelona. You can check how to arrive to Burgos on our event website where we explain everything about how to reach Burgos, so… You have no excuses! See you in Burgos!

GT: Your antenna developed well in the last couple of years. What can you tell us about it?
Ruben: You are right, AEGEE-Burgos has grown a lot in the last years. Two years ago it only had 35 members and very few of them were active, nowadays we are almost 60 and nearly a third of them are really active. This year we also organized an SU, an LTC to motivate our new members and a lot of activities with exchange students.

GT: The Agora will be only five weeks after the EPM and is also in Spain. What do you think about that? Will it have negative consequences for the number of applicants?
Ruben: It is evident that it would be better if there would have been more time between these two big events. Unfortunately AEGEE-Oviedo and AEGEE-Burgos are depending on the availability of spaces and the preferences of public institutions, therefore we cannot change the dates. In spite of everything, the people who come to both events won’t regret it!

EPM Burgos
AEGEE-Burgos on the stage of Agora Cagliari.

GT: How many applicants are you accepting?
Ruben: We are able to host 450 participants, but for us a good number of participant could be 300… 300 Spartans in Castilian Lands! Apply, apply, apply!

GT: What do you think about the EPM topic “Europe and Russia: Today’s challenges from youth perspective”? Is it a good choice?
Ruben: I think it is an interesting topic. In my opinion young Europeans have to get involved and express their opinions about the main issues in Europe, and this conflict is really important for us, we are neighbours on the same continent!

GT: What can AEGEE do about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?
Ruben: AEGEE can help in this situation improving the relationship between Russia and Ukrainian students. Talking and sharing their opinions could avoid considering each other as enemies.

GT: How big is your organizing team?
Ruben: We are nearly 25 organizers from AEGEE-Burgos and we are now in process to choose 15 more people, who will collaborate in the organization as helpers.

GT: What can you tell us about the accommodation? Is the accommodation far away from the plenary and workshop building?
Ruben: The accommodation will be in the University gym, there are 28 showers, inside it is really comfortable, with good temperature, Wi-Fi connection, and the floor will be covered by carpets. About the distance from the plenaries, the gym is so close, no more than five minutes walking. Everything will be on the same campus!

GT: What expects us at the opening?
Ruben: We want to keep it as a secret, but I can promise it will be in an amazing place, from the Middle Ages, with an incredible atmosphere… shhhh… I have to keep something in secret!

GT: How will the parties be? Can you tell us the themes?
Ruben: We will have big parties during the event, with good DJs, thematic and funny nights, where it will be impossible to feel bored. We are working on it, and we will let you know more during this month.

GT: Should the participants bring more time to visit Burgos?
Ruben: They must! If you are interested in Spanish culture, if you want to know more about our history, Burgos is your place! So, listen! Burgos is the capital of the legendary kingdom of Castile, where you can enjoy an incredible cultural experience as well as its gastronomy, recognized worldwide. Furthermore, you can travel in time, from the first European citizen, found in the wonderful Atapuerca archeological sites, to the middle ages when Burgos was a key point in the Spanish reconquest. Our cultural heritage is very huge, proof of this is the wonderful Gothic legacy, culminated with the cathedral, one of the most beautiful gothic jewel of the world.

SU Burgos
Come to Burgos, just like these happy SU participants!

GT: Sounds awesome!
Ruben: There is more! Burgos is the home and origin of the legendary Castilian knight during the reconquest, “El Cid”, who was the protagonist of the first major work written in Spanish. Also in Burgos the first book in Spanish was printed, so you can imagine why Burgos is the birthplace of the Spanish language. In summary, if you are interested in Spanish language, history, legends, culture and have fun during the night life of the city, Burgos is your place!

GT: Do you already know some pre events or post events that you can tell us about?
Ruben: Absolutely! AEGEE-Leon, AEGEE-Tenerife and AEGEE-Barcelona have confirmed the organization of pre-events. In Leon, you could admire the city’s great cathedral and enjoy the “Barrio Humedo”, where you will taste the best typical tapas in Northern Spain. Tenerife, in the paradise of Canary Islands, with its famous Carnival, which is only comparable to the Brazilian one. And, what about Barcelona? Sagrada Familia, Gaudi, Parc Güell… and all these wonders you’ve ever dreamt to visit! Apply now!

EPM Pre-event Barcelona
Advertisement of the EPM Pre-event in Barcelona

GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Ruben: We are waiting for you in February! Visit Burgos and enjoy the EPM!

More info:
Application website: https://www.zeus.aegee.org/statutory/epm1502/apply_front.php
EPM on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EPM-Burgos/502716219870415
EPM Pre-event in Barcelona: https://www.facebook.com/events/232392113598017