What we have done in these last months
As you all know AEGEE Valletta celebrated its 17th birthday on the 7th of November! We are pleased to say that it was a successful event, despite the horrible weather that day! It was a night full of cheers, laughs and good spirit, and gave the opportunity to members to catch up, and also gave the opportunity to new members to get to know the AEGEE-Valletta board and members! During this event, the AEGEE-Valletta board presented President Emeritus Chris Frendo with a token of appreciation, thanking him for his three years spent as President.
Following last April’s successful Erasmus trip to Malta, AEGEE-Catania decided to organise another trip to Malta in collaboration with AEGEE-Valletta from 15th to 17th of November. During the event, we also gave the opportunity for University of Malta Erasmus students to meet the 40 AEGEE Catania Erasmus students, giving them the opportunity to improve their social ties and share their Maltese Erasmus experience with other Erasmus students from Catania. This event also gave the opportunity to AEGEE-Valletta members to interact with AEGEE-Catania members, strengthening the ties between the two antennae.
From 14th to 16th November, AEGEE-Valletta organised their usual Erasmus Gozo trip. Consisting of about 25 people, both Maltese and foreign, the group had a very enjoyable weekend, with amazing weather. The weekend had a perfect balance of parties, sightseeing and relaxation, making it a perfect weekend getaway for everyone (something only Gozo can offer!). Feedback was all incredibly positive, many stating that they cannot wait for our next event!
Many persons when talking about North Africa, Middle East and Europe tend to focus on the differences there exist in these countries when in actual fact many things are common between us. We share the same history and also the same concerns. Yet, the focus still tends to shift to what divides us rather than what unites us. It is also true that many times the things that are different from one country to another are the things that enrich us and make us appreciate more the Mediterranean region with its diverse cultures and traditions. The key is therefore to find common grounds while appreciating the differences and focus on dialogue. It is for this reason that AEGEE-Valletta decided to come up with a project that indeed focuses on inter-cultural dialogue and inclusion with the name of ‘Raising the Bar: Euromed A Way Forward’.
This Training Course, funded under Action 3 of the Youth in Action Programme, offered an opportunity to the partners involved to reflect on issues which are common to all countries coming from the EU/Mediterranean region. The training course thus focused mainly on three issues:
1. Inter-cultural dialogue enhanced through intercultural communication
2. Inclusion and young people in EU/Mediterranean region within a European context
3. Project Management and active participation of young people in an innovative and creative way.
This training resulted in opportunities for the youth leaders invited to actively participate; thus stimulating initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship. Therefore, the event generated an environment to support partner’s capacity building in the region on topics of inclusion and intercultural communication. It was run over 5 days and saw 30 participants coming from 10 different countries from all over the Mediterranean, namely: Malta, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco.
'Preserving the present, saving our future' was the theme of a conference organised by AEGEE Valletta in March last year. It brought some 300 young participants to learn, discuss and propose recommendations about the future of Europe. The initiative has been chosen as the national project for Malta in view of the next step, which is the award of the prize from amongst projects from all 28 EU countries. The national jury was composed of MEPs Marlene Mizzi and Roberta Metsola, together with KSU representative Yanica Sant.
The project was submitted by Andrew Bartolo on behalf of AEGEE Valletta. It revolved around two parts in which participants learned about present Europe and then discussed perspectives for the future. Different workshops addressed issued such as the impact of the economic crisis on young people and recommendations to address new challenges for the European project. Panels brought together academics and representatives of the youth civil society, with a balanced representation of men and women and geographical origins.
According to the jury, "the AEGEE project was very strong in offering practical examples of Europeans living together as one community, as well as in the involvement of young people representing several member states". The next step will see the project assessed by the European jury, consisting of three MEPs and the President of the European Parliament and four representatives of the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, which will select the winner from the 28 projects submitted by national juries.
The Department of International Relations is organising a guest lecture on "In the driving seat - An insider's view of the challenge of handling the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union" on Thursday 10th October 2013, between 1100 - 1300hrs in the Mediterranean Institute, Room 122.
Guest lecturer is Dr Peter Agius, Head, European Parliament Information Office in Malta.
For further information please contact the Department of International Relations on 2340 3083 or Ms Valentina Cassar.
Dr Peter Agius
Dr Peter Agius worked for the Council of the European Union from 2002 to 2012. His tasks at the Council included advising the rotating Presidency on the handling of negotiations in the Council, assisting in the shaping of Council compromises through COREPER and Council and advising the Presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament.
Since 2010 he has also assisted a series of Member States in the training and preparation of national officials in advance of their term in the Presidency. Dr Agius is presently the head of the European Parliament Office in Malta.
The lecture will give the participants an applied insight into the practice of the rotating Presidency as an agent for compromise within the Council and as a negotiator with MEPs in the advancement and conclusion of dossiers on the Union's legislative agenda. The lecture will be based on personal first hand experiences and will be followed by an open question and answer session.
(Any views expressed are personal and do not reflect the positions of the European Institutions.)