EUniWell students to attend European Student Assembly 2023

05/25/2023 | by Eszter Turopoli | European Universities Participation Students

The European Student Assembly (ESA) is a grassroots project that gathers more than 200 students from 44 European University Alliances to debate current issues, draft political recommendations for the future of Europe, and advocate them among stakeholders and decision-makers.

The poster of the European Student Assembly 2023.

At the next European Student Assembly, EUniWell will be represented by three students: Dominik Christukat (University of Cologne), Carl Christian Frederik Zeng (Nantes Université), and Andrii Kryvko (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv). 

Background of the Initiative

The European Student Assembly is one of the flagship projects of the European Universities Community (EUC). It is designed and implemented by a steering committee composed of students, academic and non-academic staff members from different higher-education institutions.

The inaugural session of the European Student Assembly gathered 275 students from 38 alliances and 29 countries in Strasbourg in March 2022. The initiative took place in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) launched jointly by the European Parliament, the European Council, and the European Commission on Europe Day 2021, in Strasbourg. The CoFoE was meant for citizens and organisations all over Europe to express recommendations on the future of the European Union. The ESA participants debated and produced 89 policy proposals that were submitted on the platform of the CoFoE and discussed with Members of the European Parliament, representatives from the European Commission, and other stakeholders. 

EUC has launched the second edition of the European Student Assembly (#ESA23), bringing together more than 200 students from 44 European University Alliances to discuss topics directly connected with the future of Europe and to design joint policy recommendations. This collaborative work is highlighted in the  deliberative assembly gathering at the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 31 May to 2 June 2023. Students representing dozens of countries will be gathered for a European-wide democratic exercise to discuss and prepare their recommendations with members of their panel.

ESA objectives

  • Voicing the opinion of European University Alliance (EUA) students from different countries, backgrounds, fields and levels of study, all recruited for their engagement and motivation.
  • Fostering the participation of students within EUAs while reinforcing collaboration between them and increasing the impact and visibility of the EUA initiative.
  • Advocating deliberative processes as a way to regenerate European democracy and to reduce the gap between citizens and decision-makers.
  • Encourage students to get involved in European politics at local, national and European level and increase their participation in European democratic processes.

The participants of the #ESA23 will produce a collection of recommendations on 10 debating topics:

  • Panel 1: Deliberative versus representative democracy? How to reduce the gap between citizens and policy-makers and create a more united Europe?
  • Panel 2: Lessons from the past? How could the French-German history of reconciliation serve as a model to overcome conflicts and build unity?
  • Panel 3: How to secure fair and sustainable access to energy in Europe at different levels?
  • Panel 4: From farm to fork. How can local food distribution channels contribute to a fairer and more sustainable European food system?
  • Panel 5: Taking better care of each other. What should be the European approach to mental health?
  • Panel 6: How to ensure a fair and sustainable digital transition in a context of exploding demand and raw material scarcity?
  • Panel 7: Is the EU in a position to develop an efficient foreign policy and an autonomous defence policy that would ensure the safety of its citizens?
  • Panel 8: Cities of the future. How could sustainable cities contribute to European autonomy and people welfare?
  • Panel 9: Excellence versus inclusion? How can European universities contribute to provide a more inclusive access to skills and knowledge?
  • Panel 10: European Year of Skills – What role can higher education institutions play in reducing the skills gap in Europe?

The preparatory phase of #ESA23 is currently in full swing, with the students of all 10 panels working hard to ensure that they make the most of this valuable opportunity. From March to May 2023, the selected students have worked remotely with other members of the 10 panels to deepen their understanding of their chosen topic. ESA students have met experts and follow online training on policy drafting and moderation. They analyse the political and legal context, identify the main challenges raised by the topic and decide the priorities they wish to deal with. Participating students are responsible for proposing concrete solutions to these challenges, to be implemented by stakeholders at various decision levels. They will present them in a plenary session and get feedback from the Assembly as well as from invited stakeholders. 


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