During the week of 16-21 May, the annual Spring Agora 2023 took place in the charming city of Enschede, the Netherlands.
For those of you who don’t know what an Agora is, it is AEGEE’s most important event, which brings together members from all its antennas, as representatives of them, to discuss and vote on the most important decisions about the future of the organisation.
Two Agorae are held each year, the Spring Agora and the Autumn Agora, and it can be said that it is an event that resembles a debate: delegates from all the antennas exchanging views on various important issues with a view to a final vote.
Two members of AEGEE-Burgos represented the Antenna in the voting. Their trip began visitng the city of Cologne, where they not only went sightseeing, but also met other members and participants of the Agora of various nationalities, with whom they travelled to Enschede. Thus, this event is not only an opportunity for its participants to be part of the most important decisions for the future of the Association, but also a great opportunity to meet other AEGEE members from all over Europe (we were about 350 people!!!).
The arrival at the Enschede University Campus, where the voting sessions and workshops took place, as well as the accommodation and meals, was very exciting: the nerves of a new experience, the reunions with old friends from other Antennae, discovering the facilities where we would live for a week, etc.
The Agora began with a very moving opening ceremony, where we listened to a performance by a choir of members, several speeches and a lot of laughter, after which the first party took place. That night it was time to dress up and enjoy the Aegean atmosphere that we love so much, meeting new people, speaking a lot of English and dancing until we could not stand it any longer.
The next morning it all began. At 9 o’clock the auditorium was already full with all the representatives ready to carry out their mission. After the Roll Call (a very important moment in the opening of the Agora where all the Antennas are called one by one and the representatives have to sing a shout or hymn that represents them), the sessions began.
During the five days of the Spring Agora we were able to enjoy a large number of workshops (on sustainability, the future of electric cars, climate justice, non-formal education, how to avoid sexual harassment, how to improve fundraising in your Antenna or various political issues and current importance in Europe) in which we had the opportunity to learn and exchange ideas on various topics. Although the main sessions that make up the Agorae are the Plenary (there is one at the beginning of the morning, where the agenda of the day is set, and another one at the end of the afternoon, where the most important votes on the topics discussed throughout the day take place) and the Prytanium (sessions in which the most important topics are presented and where delegates from each Antenna are given a voice to reach a consensus that will be voted on in the Plenary at the end of the day).
Among the main issues that were voted, we highlight that the new Working Groups were elected, the financial rules were unified, the reimbursement system of AEGEE-Europe was reorganised, the Agenda for 2023/2024 was agreed, the new members of several bodies that make up the association were voted, such as Comité Directeur, the General Secretary, the Financial Director, the Juridical Commission, the Audit Commission, the Network Commission, the Mediation Commission, or the Board itself at European level, among others, and several projects were approved that aim to bring Europe closer to its members and locals.
And, after a day full of talks, votes and workshops, every evening we were able to enjoy a themed party that allowed us to socialise with our neighbours from all over Europe and clear our heads: party of the elements, glow party, alphabet party and the much-desired European night.
It has been a great experience for the two AEGEE-Burgos members who attended as representatives: getting to know a new country and its culture, discovering AEGEE from the inside and connecting with dozens of wonderful people from all over Europe in a formal and party atmosphere. We encourage you to participate in the next Agora!!!