The love AEGEE-Catania put in every aspect of their Agora is something that should inspire us more than anything else.” Former Network Commissioner Gabriele Scollo is just one of many members who were completely blown away by the incredible work of AEGEE-Catania managed to do in 2017. Therefore it was not really a huge surprise that a panel of 81 hyperactive AEGEE member crowned AEGEE-Catania as AEGEE Antenna of the Year 2017 in the traditional annual survey of the Golden Times. Every person got three votes. Altogether 52 antennae were nominated, of which only 16 received more than two votes. Here are the top ten of the 2017 ranking.

1: AEGEE-Catania, 26 votes

AEGEE-Catania gathered fame for quite some years already. Four times in a row the Sicilian antenna was voted “best SU organizer” by the Summer University participants. This means something. And also their Network Meeting in 2015 was outstanding. With the Agora this group of friends, this true AEGEE family took up the ultimate challenge: organizing an Agora. The event was a showcase of professionalism and abundant hospitality – the perfect mix. But let’s hear what the voters said:

“AEGEE-Catania, for taking on the challenge of the Agora, for sacrificing so much of their own lives, for the warm hospitality they gave me when I was there for a week, and then for another week for Agora, and for reminding me of what ‘AEGEE family’ truly means.”
Réka Salamon, former President of AEGEE-Europe, Vice-Coordinator of Autumn Agora Istanbul 2018

“Of course the outstanding antenna was AEGEE-Catania for, no surprise here, a great Agora and showing us Sicily at its best! I was a helper during Agora Catania and the way that all organizers treated us was just incredible, because they truly made us a part of their family from the very first day. And they even made non-Italian speakers speak Italian!”
Ola Miklasińska, Europe on Track Project Team member, AEGEE-Kraków

“I was very impressed by AEGEE-Catania. Not only the organization of the Agora was really good, but they showed an amazing team spirit and an unbeatable friendliness. Thank you for demonstrating that also in Italy great things can happen!”
Viola Bianchetti, Equal Rights Working Group Coordinator, AEGEE-Heidelberg

“AEGEE-Catania has to be the one. My family is originally from there and I can’t possibly imagine how hard it is to organize an Agora in such a chaotic place. The love this group of people put in every aspect of this event is something that should inspire us more than anything else.”
Gabriele Scollo, former Network Commission, AEGEE-Torino

“AEGEE-Catania is the example of a team-family-power antenna”
Polina Khapaeva, Member of YDWG, President of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg

“Agora Catania was an amazing show of everything beautiful and not-so-beautiful AEGEE can offer. This magic travelling democracy circus never fails to touch me somehow, and my deep love for that particular local added to the fact it was my first Agora as a Comite’ Directeur member, which made me go full emotional for the occasion. Bravi, AEGEE-Catania’s picciotti!”
Marco Daniele, Network Director, AEGEE-Torino

“AEGEE-Catania, for hosting the Autumn Agora 2017. Their members and helpers showed such enthusiasm and dedication”
Sabine Zwaans, President AEGEE-Groningen

“AEGEE-Catania, for their spirit and their motivation, and of course, for their amazing Agora”
Lorenzo Ligas, SUCT, PRC, AEGEE-Cagliari, AEGEE-Krakow, AEGEE-Valencia


2: AEGEE-Zagreb, 20 votes

It is common that the statutory events receive the highest amount of votes in the rankings. What is interesting, however, is the fact that EPM organizer AEGEE-Zagreb received five votes more than spring Agora host AEGEE-Enschede – despite the fact that three times as many people attended the Agora. The act that there was a controversial issue such as the presidential election drama in Enschede plays for sure a role regarding the popularity of the two antennae. But also the outstanding hospitality of AEGEE-Zagreb was mentioned many times. Here are some voices of the people who nominated AEGEE-Zagreb.

“For me the most outstanding antenna was definitely AEGEE-Zagreb, I loved everything about the organization of the EPM, the food was good, the rooms were of a decent quality and the helpers and organizers were always doing everything with a big smile on their faces. If I have the chance to visit another event in Zagreb I won’t hesitate about coming there again.”
Timo Haarman, Treasurer & European Affairs, AEGEE-Enschede

“AEGEE-Zagreb’s energy and their willingness amazed me in February, and seeing them organise all those events is a huge inspiration.”
Eyrin Kyriakidi, Content Manager EPM Zagreb, President of AEGEE-Athina

“AEGEE-Zagreb was outstanding, for an awesome EPM and the team spirit that should be an inspiration for other antennae.”
Mareike Ritter, former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Heidelberg

“I nominate AEGEE-Zagreb, for their team spirit and hard work that gave us this wonderful EPM.”
Zografia Lepoura, Language Interest Group, AEGEE-Athina

“What AEGEE-Zagreb did for the EPM was simply amazing! Starting from an awesome PR for their project through the atmosphere during the event and giving us a possibility to look into populism which is such an important topic nowadays. I think I have never come back so motivated from any event as from this EPM! Seeing them on the stage, not so many people but really looking like one big family, made me have a huge respect for them.”
Ola Miklasińska, Europe on Track Project Team member, AEGEE-Kraków

“AEGEE-Zagreb and the million hearts team organised a wonderful EPM, faced all challenges bravely and with a lovely smile! I hope AEGEE-Zagreb’s stronghold can be a good point for the development of the whole area.”
Réka Salamon, Former President of AEGEE-Europe and Vice-Coordinator of Autumn Agora Istanbul 2018

“Marina and her team did a fantastic job executing their EPM under the most difficult conditions. I had a great time working with this lovely local and really enjoyed our collaboration.”
Florian Hauger, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe and former President of AEGEE-Heidelberg


3: AEGEE-Enschede, 15 votes

AEGEE-Enschede could have had one vote more, but the main organizer of Agora Enschede, Tom Simons, was showing modesty and did not nominate his own antenna. Nevertheless, 15 votes is a very strong result! AEGEE-Enschede surely deserves this rank, not only because of the Agora, because the antenna is also one of the biggest and most active locals on local and European level. Definitely a shining example for the network!

“Like AEGEE-Catania, they took the hardest challenge of organizing the statutory events, which is quite hard considering our complicated needs, a system that is quite fixed and unable to adjust to locals needs. They still did an amazing work!”
Zvonimir Canjuga, Vice Chairperson of AEGEE-Europe, member of AEGEE-Zagreb and AEGEE-Passau

“AEGEE-Enschede, AEGEE-Catania and AEGEE-Zagreb did a wonderful job in organising our statutory events, I believe they deserve the title of outstanding locals.”
Federica Soro, The AEGEEan, AEGEE-Cagliari

“AEGEE-Catania, AEGEE-Enschede and AEGEE-Zagreb have been tremendous this year, I think we need always to give the biggest credit to the locals who commit time, resources and never ending energy to organize a statutory event. High five to everyone in these locals!”
Armenak Minasyants, Executive Director AEGEE-Yerevan


4: AEGEE-Paris, 7 votes

The New Year’s event of AEGEE-Paris connected the antennae stronger than before with the rest of the network.

AEGEE-Paris was the first antenna of the network, the French capital was the place where AEGEE was founded – therefore it is quite natural that the city of love has a special place in the heart of the members of the association. However, in the past years AEGEE-Paris has rather been silent. Until autumn 2017. A few months ago, AEGEE-Leuven member Lila Quaile returned to Paris to continue her studies – and had one mission: to revive AEGEE-Paris. With success. Within a few months the first antenna became the talk of AEGEE and invited the network to celebrate the New Year in the French capital.
“In June I became an AEGEE-Leuven member”, recalls Lila. “After the summer, I came back to Paris and started working on reviving AEGEE-Paris in collaboration with the Network Director, Marco Daniele, and our Netcom, Laura Pérez Alvarez. Being Présidente of AEGEE-Paris demands a lot of work, but at the same time is an incredible experience. Starting from the scratch allows us to rebuild the antenna based on our vision.” The great work so far and the promise of an even brighter future awarded the antenna the fourth place, which has special significance, because the antenna did not have the big stage of a statutory event to shine.

The organising team of the New Year’s event.

“I nominate AEGEE-Paris for the most amazing comeback I have ever seen in a local, establishing itself again in the city and organizing a promising New Year’s event. I would also like to mention Lila Quaile here as outstanding member for making it all possible.”
Laura Pérez Álvarez, AEGEE-León, Network Commissioner

“Outstanding antenna? I would say AEGEE-Paris, because this is where it all started and I am very happy to see them alive again and organise many events like this New Year’s event.”
Jani Dugonik, SUCT, ITC and Troll Team, AEGEE-Maribor

“I think everyone is pretty much excited to see AEGEE-Paris back, right? They started with full-speed, and now they are trying to grow and get stronger than ever! The members are trying their best to organize events, especially Lila Quaile, who is full of great ideas and enthusiasm, and they are open to any help coming from anyone. With this speed, I think they will become one the best locals in a short-time.”
İlknur Demir, Action Agenda Committee, Politics Interest Group, AEGEE-Ankara

“AEGEE-Paris had an amazing comeback, and I am very proud that I even had just a small role in it!”
Marco Daniele, Network Director, AEGEE-Torino

“AEGEE-Paris is back with renewed and unstoppable energy. I hope they keep growing in 2018 and that their enthusiasm extends in the area for more locals to come.”
María Ballesteros Melero, Comité Directeur

“AEGEE-Paris is the phoenix of this year, it’s really inspiring!”
Francesca Zorcolo, Network Commission, AEGEE-Cagliari

“The rebirth of AEGEE-Paris was impressive: they became the new breath of fresh air in the region and have already so many plans! They became real leaders in the region, motivating members all over France to revive themselves as well.”
Marlène Rene, Content Manager EPM Yerevan


4: AEGEE-Torino, 7 votes

AEGEE-Paris shared the fourth place with AEGEE-Torino, the second Italian local in the Top Five. Like the French local they did not have the Agora or EPM stage to shine, but nevertheless received seven votes. A big role played for sure the fact that AEGEE-Torino organized the best Summer University in 2017. But also on local level the antenna is a model for many: their “Aperitivo Linguistico” events for foreign students are the biggest events in the entire network.

“AEGEE-Torino has caught my attention. Other than being a very strong and successful antenna that has achieved to establish specific branded activities, known around the Network such as the Aperitivo Linguistico, this year they have managed to organise an outstanding and exceptional Network Meeting last spring, became local of the month in May and reached the first place in the Summer University project 2017. Personally, I think they are the perfect example of a local that challenges itself to organise a variety of activities and is rewarded with deserved success!”
Vasiliki Andrioti, SUCT, The AEGEEan, AEGEE-Ioannina and AEGEE-Cagliari

“There are no doubts. It’s AEGEE-Torino. as local of the month, active local of the month, organizer of a Network Meeting, the best SU of 2017 and a lot of local events.”
Frosso Chavli, Events Quality Assurance Committee, AEGEE-Ioannina

“Props to AEGEE-Torino, you made it to my list! After getting in touch with some AEGEEans from Torino earlier this year, having visited Torino myself later on, having some of them over in Aachen; after they organized the best SU of 2017, I do feel like they deserve spot number one.”
Tim Mollenhauer, President of AEGEE-Aachen

“I will also mention my lovely AEGEE-Torino because this year they made a lot of big steps and I honestly think they are one of the locals with most potential in our network… Stay tuned for W.I.N.E. 2018!”
Gabriele Scollo, former Network Commission, AEGEE-Torino

“AEGEE-Torino organized a Network Meeting, was Local of the Month, Active Local of the Month, organized the Best SU plus an indefinite number of super successful local events in five months, more or less.”
Marco Daniele, Network Director, AEGEE-Torino


6: AEGEE-Bamberg, 6 votes

A screenshot of an AEGEE-Bamberg video, with the antenna singing Jingle Bells. Check it out:

When it comes to antennae in Germany, many people usually praise AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Heidelberg or AEGEE-Passau – for very good reasons, since all of them are both very active locally and on European level. Our panel of voters however put one other German local ahead of them: AEGEE-Bamberg. And not only, because they organized a great Network Meeting in 2017.

“AEGEE-Bamberg grabbed my attention. They are very active and do a great job with local events, but also their spring Network Meeting – and they show a lot of ambition with PR.”
Dominic Dimian, Network Commission, AEGEE-Passau

“As I am not living there anymore I guess we can let it count: my home local AEGEE-Bamberg is doing really well, we’ve got many new members and a lot of amazing events and activities going on. Proud of you, Bambis!”
Katharina Jiménez Weese, Language Interest Group, AEGEE-Bamberg

“I nominate the team of Bambies from AEGEE-Bamberg for doing a great job during the Network Meeting in April.”
Júlia Hanesz, Policy Officer of the Civic Education Working Group, AEGEE-Debrecen

“We had an incoming exchange and an outgoing exchange from and to AEGEE-Bamberg. Both were exchanges with quite big groups, and it is nice that the antenna could host such a big group of our members and organize such an awesome exchange and also motivate their members to visit us with a lot of members. They have been quite a presence within the network, and definitely deserve kudos for that.”
Jur Remeijn, President of AEGEE-Nijmegen


7: AEGEE-Budapest, 5 votes

The seventh place in the antenna ranking exists three times. One of these locals that received five votes was AEGEE-Budapest. One of the reasons was the fact that they organized the opening event of the Europe on Track project in 2017, which was also awarded with the money of the Biancheri Award.

“AEGEE-Budapest – so many great projects this year!”
Joanna Pankowska, AEGEE-Warszawa, Civic Education Working Group Coordinator

“A lot of locals did a very good job and amazing things, but if I have to talk about one, I would talk about AEGEE-Budapest. They hosted the conference ‘More than education’, they also organised a Summer University and, even if it will take place in 2018, they applied this year to host one of the Summer University Project Schools and they were chosen! In addition, they are having a New Year’s event! I think they are a really cool antenna and I admire them a lot!”
Laura García, Summer University Coordination Team, AEGEE-A Coruña

“I would like to mention AEGEE-Budapest, which organised the outstanding conference ‘Education for the present, democracy for the future’. Truly, in my opinion, they did a great job, the conference was at the highest level, and along with everything they brilliantly took care of the participants with a friendly attitude and smile on their faces.”
Karolina Lapczyk, Coordinator of the Spring Agora Kraków 2018

“AEGEE-Budapest is an antenna that worked as an example for me this year, keeping not only the European but also the local activities on a high level!”
Stella Krokou, President of AEGEE-Thessaloniki

“I would say of course AEGEE-Budapest for all the support they gave for organizing the two events and meanwhile continuing the usual daily routine and SU, and writing and completing several Erasmus+ projects.”
Petra Buruzs, former Mediation Commissioner, AEGEE-Budapest


7: AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg, 5 votes

The Network Meeting of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg was an outstanding event.

Another top antenna in 2017 was definitely AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg. Their Network Meeting in November was outstanding, and also aside from that they are one of the most professional locas of the network.

“I proudly present you AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg! The local that hosted my first European event, the SU in 2013 has been the inspirational moment that motivated me enough to remain active in AEGEE for so long and eventually hold my current position. The local has been growing strong for many years and I personally had the honour to be invited to one of its LTCs this April. I witnessed the excellent management of the local and now I am observing many valuable members becoming active in the European bodies. The only AEGEE local and port that I like more than Peiraias.”
Adonis Meggos, Communications Director, AEGEE-Peiraias

“I applause to AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg. They did a great SU and Network Meeting, they improved their organizing skills and came up with interesting ideas.”
Maria Kochkina, AEGEE-Moskva, Events Quality Assurance Committee (EQAC)

“I also proudly highlight my neighbours from AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg, who organized a perfect NWM with a perfect timeline, great atmosphere, awesome trainers, delicious food and city tours that showed the gem of the Russian crown to our friends from all over the network.”
Natalia Klimenko, European Citizenship Working Group, AEGEE-Moskva

“AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg is ambitious, they organize amazing events and inspire the participants to be always more active.”
Marlène Rene, Content Manager EPM Yerevan


7: AEGEE-Tyumen, 5 votes

In spring 2017 Contact Tyumen became AEGEE-Tyumen.

One of the most outstanding antennae of 2017 wasn’t even an antenna yet when the year started. AEGEE-Tyumen signed the Convention d’Adhesion at the spring Agora in Enschede. After being a Contact for three years, the first AEGEE local from the Asian part of Russia swept the network off their feet in 2017, including its latest highlight, its New Year’s event, which is taking place right now. Their development has really been outstanding and thanks to their true European spirit they show that distances don’t matter if you feel European in your heart!

“AEGEE-Tyumen deserves the spotlight. Not only because they are geographically outstanding, but also because they managed to grow to a sustainable local, and are now organizing an amazing New Year’s event. Given their geographical location, I am impressed by how well they are connected with the rest of the network.”
Loes Rutten, President of AEGEE-Europe, AEGEE-Utrecht

“AEGEE-Tyumen is a small power that is getting stronger and stronger.”
Polina Khapaeva, Member of YDWG, President of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg

“I nominate AEGEE-Tyumen for just being and growing so incredibly.”
Petra Buruzs, former Mediation Commissioner


10: AEGEE-Aachen, 4 votes

Four locals split the 10th place. They received four votes, which doesn’t seem much, but due to their achievements no one can deny that they really do a lot of outstanding work. The first one of the four is AEGEE-Aachen, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in great style just a few weeks ago. Not many locals have contributed so much to AEGEE like this very special one in the city of Charlemagne: they gave several CD members to the association, they organised three statutory events, including one Agora in 2008, and their members constantly challenge the way of thinking in AEGEE, giving great ideas to move the association forward. They also do outstanding Erasmus work, too.

“AEGEE-Aachen is outstanding because of their overall activity. When you spend with them some time, you can feel the engagement in many aspects of AEGEE. It is amazing that many experienced members are still involved in the life of the local and create their own projects, for example, Europe at Eye Level.”
Karolina Lapczyk, Coordinator of the Spring Agora Kraków 2018

“AEGEE-Aachen, which celebrated its 30th birthday this year, is one of the most active German antennae.”
Teresa Puchinger, Equal Rights Working Group, Board Member of AEGEE-Heidelberg

“I am impressed by AEGEE-Aachen, because of the quality and the amount of work they do for their members.”
Marcell Buzás, former President of AEGEE-Pécs


10: AEGEE-Heidelberg, 4 votes

Also AEGEE-Heidelberg ranked tenth! Known for its outstanding Erasmus work and their famous ball events in their castle, the antenna also stormed the European stage this year stronger than ever before. They have a CD member, two working group speaker and many other active members that increase the fame of the antenna.

“Our neighbours from AEGEE-Heidelberg did an amazing job this year. Not only that they have various members in different positions active in AEGEE and they manage to recruit always new and motivated members, they also organized a Youth exchange with AEGEE-Kyïv focusing on the picture of the EU from within and from the outside.”
Laura Margolin, Mediation Commission, AEGEE-Mannheim

“AEGEE-Heidelberg is definitely one of the outstanding antennae. One Netcom member, one CD member, two WG coordinators, and several members in Working Groups, commissions and the Academy. It is possible that my opinion may be biased though…”
Álvaro González Pérez, European Citizenship Working Group Coordinator, AEGEE-Heidelberg

“AEGEE-Heidelberg organised a lovely Network Meeting in April. I learned a lot about AEGEE there and met some of the outstanding members who I am thinking of.”
Ian Clotworthy, PR Responsible of AEGEE-Berlin, AEGEE Analytics Team

“The team of 2017 was simply too cool to hide it. I’m really proud of you and would like to thank all of you for your outstanding performance this year! Everybody else: Don’t forget to apply for our AEGEE-Heidelberg Gala ball event in spring. The date:  31st of May to 3rd of June!”
Florian Hauger, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe and former President of AEGEE-Heidelberg


10: AEGEE-Istanbul, 4 votes

AEGEE-Istanbul celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2017!

Hardly any AEGEE event of 2018 is so much anticipated like the autumn Agora 2018. AEGEE-Istanbul applied for organizing is after no local wanted to do it within the normal deadline. Also the crazy spirit of the local secured them a lot of popularity in AEGEE.

“I would like to honour AEGEE-Berlin’s twin antenna, AEGEE-Istanbul, for their enthusiasm, care of their members and variety of ideas for both European and local activities. I think that given the changes we have seen in Turkey and Europe in general in 2017, that an Agora there is just the right thing to do.”
Ian Clotworthy, PR Responsible of AEGEE-Berlin, AEGEE Analytics Team

“AEGEE-Istanbul, applied to host the next autumn Agora – and got it because it’s wonderful.”
Veronika Chmelárová, Juridical Commission, AEGEE-Berlin

“Autumn Agora Istanbul as it brings a lot of potential but also controversy. If we work together and do a great job we can have an impact with that event like none other in my opinion.”
Dominic Dimian, Network Commission, AEGEE-Passau


10: AEGEE-Passau, 4 votes

AEGEE-Passau organised a successful Network Meeting in 2017.

AEGEE-Passau had a huge impact on the network in the past and still surprises the network every year with the quality work they do in their city and the events they organize for the network. Therefore they surely deserve to be in the Top Ten of 2017 as well!

“AEGEE-Passau organised a – rather fantastic, I have to say, especially the food and the trainers – Human Resources Training School, for which I was a trainer together with Andrea Schmelz.”
Svenja van der Tol, Youth Development Working Group Coordinator, AEGEE-Nijmegen

“I nominate AEGEE-Passau for the great cooperation before and during my Network Meetings.”
Mareike Ritter, former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Heidelberg

“NWM Passau was a very good example of an AEGEE event on sustainability, meaning not only including workshops in the programme, but also giving particular attention to sustainable practices in the organization of the event itself. This is an extremely relevant topic and I would like to see it more and more present in AEGEE!”
Viola Bianchetti, Equal Rights Working Group Coordinator, AEGEE-Heidelberg

“The Network Meeting in Passau was incredibly inspiring and motivating.”
Zografia Lepoura, Language Interest Group, AEGEE-Athina