11 April 2022

Anna Klein: Report of participation in the European Student Assembly in Strasbourg

"A truly inspirational event with students from all over Europe"

Anna Klein, Heidelberg University student representing 4EU+ at the European Student Assembly 275 students from 28 European countries, 139 universities and 38 European university alliances gathered for the inaugural session of the European Student Assembly in Strasbourg on 3 and 4 March 2022. From over 800 applicants, 5 participants from three 4eu+ universities were selected.

The European university alliances, such as 4 EU+, play a major role in the organization of the European student body. The participants were therefore representatives of 38 university alliances. They are no strangers to working with students from other countries and international discourse. One of the purposes of the meeting was therefore strengthening cooperation and exchange between alliances.

But more importantly, we have also been given a novel possibility to discuss and voice the student’s opinion towards the latest problematics of the European Union grouped in 10 interesting Panels. By that, the European Student Assembly responded to the aim of increasing the participation of youth in the European democratic process. The achievement was in addition to the unforgettable European experience a collection of 90 concrete recommendations drafted in preparational meetings throughout February and finished, presented, and voted on in Strasbourg.

I was participating in Panel 8 regarding the external relations of the EU towards USA, China, Russia, and the eastern neighbourhood states. One can imagine that we had hot discussions until the very end regarding our proposals after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine just a few days before the inaugural session. All the participants had different backgrounds and brought diverse perspectives into the talks so that we were even prouder to have found an outcome we could all agree on.

The recommendations were as part of the ongoing conference on the future of Europe submitted to the European institutions.

I will be happy if there will be a second edition as the student’s opinions are of great value and must be heard in Europe. The formation of the kind as the student assembly is a first step into concrete political participation of students with European orientated mind.