Like probably all the years before, 2018 was a special year for Eyes on Europe. Not only were we part of the organisation of two day-long conferences but we also created a new team within the association. We almost became regular guests at the European Parliament. We published two magazines and organized several events. Let us discover some of this year’s highlights together !
2018 began with an extremely successful event: “EU for youth” at the ULB which we organised in association with several partner organisations. Youngsters had the opportunity to participate to workshops and to find out what the EU has to offer to them: traineeships, Erasmus, subventions etc. The workshops were followed by a debate on missing political youth engagement with speakers such as Jimmy Jamar from the Commission’s representation office in Belgium.
A few weeks later – the second academic semester was already in full swing – we participated at the event “Let’s dare more Europe”, a citizen gathering at Place Luxembourg where we aimed at encouraging citizens to raise their voice.
In April, while Puigdemont kept the German-Spanish relations on tenterhooks, we co-organised a conference on the rise of regionalism within the EU. In the meantime we had started a radio show together with JEF and Bxfm 104.3 approaching topics such as “How does the European Commission work?” or “What is the European year of cultural heritage?”. Meanwhile we have even set up our own media team producing video interviews and radio shows.
And suddenly it was already June: the academic year was over, Italy finally appointed a new government and our team experienced a new line-up. Instead of one president and one vice-president, we opted for two co-presidents, we inaugurated the media section and elected a new board.
During summer, some of us travelled across Europe while others stayed at home watching Donald Trump becoming best friends with Kim Jong-un or France’s football team making its way through the world cup. After the holidays, we were ready to welcome the new students at ULB’s JANE. Not only were we present there for the first time but we also received our first award during the great session celebrating the beginning of the academic year at the European Parliament: the medal of the ULB for our contribution to its internationalization!
In September, the first edition of the Jubel Festival took place and Eyes on Europe was a part in it. We organised a European Quiz on the main stage and entertained the rainswept audience. We are happy to be partners with Jubel and look forward to next year’s edition.
In October our efforts to raise attention to the upcoming elections next year finally yield fruit. Together with SAIES and JEF Brussels, we hosted the first edition of the Youth Conference on Political Campaigning at the Institute for European Studies which welcomed around 50 participants. After a series of different workshops, we assisted a heated panel discussion with Ryan Heath, Alvaro Oleart, Dominik F. Kirchdorfer and Rolf Falter.
This year was also marked by innovation and surprises. Nigel Farage welcomed the idea of a second referendum and Merkel resigned from her position as chairwoman after 18 years. Innovation and surprises were also present for Eyes on Europe: YVote asked our editor-in-chief Niklas Franke to do a live interview with MEP Terry Reintke at the European Parliament and our fundraiser Elise Blaizot was invited there to a conference panel on higher education hosted by MEP Lieve Wiernick.
Last but not least, we released our magazine in December which approached Europe ten years after the crisis. Our editors who are for the most part new members of the Eyes on Europe team did some really hard work.
We would like to thank the whole team for their work and efforts during the whole year, the former team as well as the new one. We are more than proud of what we have achieved as a students’ organisation and we know that it is not always easy to add Eyes on Europe to our duties including university and private life. We would also like to thank all our partner organisations for the fruitful cooperation of the last months especially the EPP Group, FEPS and the Institute for European Studies for all the support. We are looking forward to the next six months – some exciting projects lie ahead of us!
Your Eyes on Europe team