From April 20th to 24th ESN Sweden was in Berlin to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Erasmus. The event was ESN International’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and it is the largest and most important meeting of the network.

The AGM is organised every year by the network as a three day conference with hundreds of student volunteers present. This year carried a special significance with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme. To this prestigious event, ESN Sweden sent 26 representatives including almost the entire National Board.

The largest part of these days was spent inside a plenary room, filled with inspiring presentations and updates from around the network, along with candidacies and proposals for the new year. Motivation was raised even higher when it was time for the participants to attend one or two of no less than 48 different workshops. This unique opportunity for non-formal learning is part of the vast knowledge and skill sharing that makes the network constantly grow, improve and move forward.

ESN Sweden got to celebrate a very proud achievement from one of its members: the current National Representative, Jeroen van Lent, was elected Web Project Administrator in the International Board of 2017-2018. The entire Swedish network stood behind him with support – and T-shirts.

Photo by Stefan Jahnke

Another central feature of the AGM was the Mobility Fair, where all representatives, along with European Commission and companies such as Deutsche Börse presented themselves to show job, internship and study opportunities abroad.

“Finally some Swedish weather”, said the Swedish delegation when it was time to meet the cold and the pouring rain to take part in the yearly flag parade – a peaceful demonstration for a united Europe.  The rest of the countries were maybe not as happy about the wind that seemed to blow almost sideways into everyone’s jackets, but this showed even more the fantastic spirit and dedication of the volunteers present. 900 youth volunteers out in the streets, facing the all but encouraging weather, sent a powerful message: We are one.

"With our flags as superhero capes we go and face the big boulevards. We start in small groups, in the assorted colours of our countries. [...] We are united in diversity, we are those who will make a change and be an inspiration for future generations." [Sabina Achim]

Photo by Markus Lutter

Text written by Louise Issal