In 1985 Leiden was among the founding locals of AEGEE, and ever after it has never stopped to exist or amaze the Network. Last May they didn’t only organize a very successful Week of Europe to gain attention for the European Elections, but next to that they also managed to organise a NWM in April. Reason enough to name them the Local of the Month for May. The AEGEEan talked to the Dutch local to find out more about their local, activities and of course the main reason for the nomination: the Week of Europe, visited by the prime-minister of the Netherlands!
The week started with the official opening ceremony, including an interactive debate between Eurosceptics and Europhiles about controversial subjects. The day after activities based on the theme “The Europe of Yesterday” were organized, namely a lecture about the history of democracy, a carsh course about basic rules and institutions, musical presentation, documentary, literature evening and the European Party. The day after, the theme changed to “The Europe of Today” and there were several presentations, a Green Office workshop and a debate with members of the European Parliament organised. The last day carried the theme ‘The Future of Europe’, and consisted of a lecture, a debate and the final speech and Q & A by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
All in all, the week was a great success, with the activities being visited by about 870 people, although within this number some people are counted double since they visited multiple activities. “When our team looks back on the Week of Europe, we do so with a lot of happiness”, Sandrine says. “Organising this event took us a lot of time and it was great to see all the things you wrote down happening in real life! We handled everything really well and had a great crew consisting of a lot of AEGEE-Leiden members but also people from outside our association.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the local would love to organize another Week of Europe in five years, although the local would also love to organize the EPM. “We applied for the EPM 2015”, Sandrine says, “but unfortunately we didn’t get it. Organising an EPM is still on our wish list though!” Next to this, the local still has many other plans, like a Travel Summer University with AEGEE-Delft and AEGEE-Utrecht and another introduction period in August to attract new members. “In September we will have a new board, and it will be their turn to make new awesome plans for the upcoming year”, Sandrine concludes.