4EU+ students share insights from the European Student Assembly 2024

On 10-12 April, the third edition of the European Student Assembly (#ESA24) took place in Strasbourg, with the participation of ten students from all the 4EU+ member universities. ESA is a grassroots project that gathers students from European University Alliances each year, organized in the framework of the EUC Voices Erasmus Project. Participants – divided into panels addressing crucial challenges for the future of Europe – meet in an online session and then in person in Strasbourg, where they finalize their policy recommendation, voted by the whole Assembly on the event's last day.

This year, 251 students from 170 Higher Education institutions participated in ESA and voted 81 recommendations. These recommendations will now be disseminated among stakeholders and decision-makers. The 4EU+ ESA alumni are ready to do their part, and they start by sharing with us highlights of their experience. Read them below!


Policy recommendations

Download the policy recommendations handbook that is issued to summarize all the recommendations designed and voted by the participants to the European Student Assembly – ESA 2024 for each of the 11 discussion panels.

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Paolo Lini, University of Milan

Panel 1: European election year

I drafted the 7th policy proposal: "Strengthen the Parliament: Bicameral System with the Parliament and the Council." The proposal aims to reform the Treaties in order to grant the European Parliament greater powers, thereby shifting the institutional balance of the EU towards a more bicameral system. To this end, the proposal requests the convening of a convention for treaty reform, with the Council being asked to vote on Proposals of the European Parliament for the amendment of the Treaties. Other recommendations we drafted would require a Convention to amend the Treaties as well. Therefore, there is the support of the European Students for the European Parliament's proposals for the amendment, and we believe it is necessary to start a Convention for the reform of the Treaties to get a more democratic and effective EU to face the current international arena.

Mads Gjerrow Munch, University of Copenhagen

Panel 5: EU in the World

As a member of Panel 5, "EU in the World," I gained valuable insights into the role of the European Union in shaping globalisation and promoting sustainable development. Our discussions highlighted the importance of many aspects including migration, trade, and technological development. Among these, my main contribution to the debate was the consideration of spillover effects of EU trade activities on other countries, particularly in relation to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I believe that "Strengthening Sustainable Development Accountability in EU Trade Agreements: Establishing a Spillover Monitoring Framework" is the most important. This proposal addresses the need for the EU to quantify, measure, and report on the spillover effects of its trade activities, thereby fostering greater accountability and transparency in its trade agreements. By doing so, the EU can play a more responsible role in globalisation and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Amelia Kurti, Heidelberg University

Panel 6: EU Artificial Intelligence Act

ESA revitalized my passion for advocacy and dialogue, prompting me to contemplate alternative career avenues that enable scientists to actively contribute to policy-making processes.

Rayan Bou Fakhredin, University of Milan

Panel 8: Cure of the future

The recommendation that I consider the most important is recommendation 1. Personalized and preventive medicine will play a crucial role in enhancing healthcare outcomes and addressing the evolving health challenges and unmet needs within the European Union (EU) in the future. By prioritizing personalized and preventive approaches, the EU will be able to foster a more efficient and sustainable healthcare system, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

Klaudia Mrozik, University of Warsaw

Panel 11: Addressing Euroscepticism

We focused on the crucial issue - populism, fake news and misinformation when it comes to the EU in different European countries. We proposed a recommendation of a grant that would be given to NGOs who work on combating fake news.

I think that the most important recommendation was "Making scientific publications open and research data accessible for academia and beyond", because I believe that education is a human right. From participation in ESA I learned that dialogue and attentiveness is the key for solving problems. Right now, I want to focus on fighting with misinformation connected to European elections that spread among young people, especially students. Attending ESA gave me the voice and knowledge that will help me to aim this goal.