PRAGUE -The ancient capital of the Czech Republic has formed the background of the Handover between the old and newly elected representatives of the European Students’ Union (ESU) from 23 to 26 June. During the event various trainings have been given on the political context where ESU is functioning in: the developments in the Bologna Process, the European Union’s 2020 strategy and the global tendencies in higher education. Furthermore a lot of experience and knowledge were exchanged between the outgoing and incoming hacks and the next working year was planned.
Some of the elected representatives are continuing until the end of 2011, for others this handover is the start of a new year-long mandate. As from 1 July the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) will consist of Laura Howell (Scotland), Fernando Miguel Palomares (Spain), Rahel Siegrist (Switzerland) and Magnus Malnes (Norway). The Committee for Internal Development (CID) will now be reinforced by the membership of Luis Coelho (Portugal).
Also the leadership of the European Students’ Union is changing hands, with Allan Päll (Estonia) becoming Chairperson, Karina Ufert (Lithuania) becoming Vice-Chairperson and with three new Executive Committee members being Kaloyan Kostadinov (Bulgaria), Nevena Vuksanovic (Serbia) and Rok Primozic (Slovenia).
Though it was an intense couple of days, Laura Howell showed herself satisfied: “These days were crucial for me to prepare for my elected mandate. The challenges ahead are vast and it is clear we will all have to work hard to complete the 2011 Plan of Work and the extra tasks that came up during the year." Rok Primozic added: “ESU is facing a challenging year ahead: we have our Financing the Students’ Future project (FINST), our QUEST for Quality for Students project, the upcoming EHEA Ministerial Conference in Bucharest and the looming danger of tuition fee increases and student participation rate decreases all over Europe.”
For the old Executive and Academic Affairs Committee, it was time to say goodbye to the European student movement. Andrea Blaettler (outgoing AAC-member) : “It is sad to move on, but it was satisfying to be able to share the experiences I have had in the past two years of ESU. Working at ESU is a wonderful thing, and I am happy that a very motivated new generation is ready to take over.” Rasa Cincyte (outgoing EC-member): “Of course, you never entirely leave ESU. The alumni take great part in ensuring continuity, and I will be happy to do the same. After all, the continuous knowledge sharing between generations is what makes ESU so strong.”