First question to European Student Council candidates

Article published on Dec. 23, 2002
community published
Article published on Dec. 23, 2002

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

The candidates were asked: In your opinion, what role will the European Student Council will play in the EU decision-making machinery?

1) Sergej Muravjov, Lithuanian, top of « Students For Europe » list.

As a new undertaking, the European Student Council (ESC) will firstly have to establish itself within the EU decision-making framework. It is one thing to simply exist on a sheet of paper, but it is another to actively participate in matters concerning students, with your voice not only heard but also listened to. We believe that the first couple of years will be crucial to the role that the ESC will assume in the EU. Our team realises this perfectly well. What we – as students – need at this very moment is a kind of interest group, with the primary objective of making the VOICE OF EUROPEAN STUDENTS HEARD.

That is why our name is ‘STUDENTS FOR EUROPE’, or simply the SFE. The reason we came up with this name is quite simple. We have noticed that there is a missing link between students and the European Union, the missing link that we are prepared to become.

Right now, the students of our Europe need a representative influential student-run organisation that will be able not only to represent student interests but also to effectively influence the EU decision-making process in favour of students. Our SFE Team is aware of the fact that there is very little organised independent student participation on the EU level. Quite simply, WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT. We think that in the initial stages of the European Student Council we should focus on establishing the ESC place within the framework, with our main goal being an effective student representation.

We strongly believe that right now is not the right time to bicker about the differences or the preferences we have. Our political ideas – be they liberal, federalist, anti-prohibitionist or theological - should be only of secondary importance. First we have to build the house. Then – and only then – should we think about the furniture.

2) Raphael DEWULF, Belgian, top of « EuroFederalist » list.

We, of course, hope that the European Student Council plays a major role in the decision-making mechanisms of the EU. It will have to defeat many obstacles in order to be able to represent to the best of its ability young people in Europe. This first European Council will be the emblem of a dynamic and forward-looking Europe. The level of participation will be paramount. This is why the EuroFederalists are organising an awareness campaign across the whole of Europe in order to sensitise students, to present the issues and to involve them in the future of Europe.

3) Florent SEBBAN, French, top of Communicating Europe list.

A democratically elected council is the only way of obtaining the legitimacy so important to students in relation to European institutions. Such an organisation would allow students to speak with a single voice to propose projects, even reforms to the commission, but also to participate legitimately in the debate on the future of Europe. A Europe creating itself is destined to become reality in the near future thanks to the young people of our generation. This is why students, through the European Council, must participate in this work.

4) Gudrun LANG, Austrian, top of « Europa Rediviva » list.

The ESC plays a twofold role in the EU institutions: On the one hand, ESC will

establish the very needed representation of European concerns of students.

Studies and academia are not - and never have been - restricted by national

borders. In these times, in a continent growing further and deeper together,

the challenges and interests of students become more similar and need to be

tackled by a regional body. The ESC will be crucial in promoting the best

results for the many students in Europe. On the other hand, I also think that

the ESC offers an important platform for the training of future EU officials. Our

generation must prepare itself well for a great task of steering the artistic,

cultural and political life of a great continent. I believe that the ESC will

contribute greatly to this task.

5) Malena Zingoni, Spanish, top of “Antiprohibitioniste” list.

The European Student Council will be able to play a consulting role in the decision-making procedure as it will be consulted by the European Institutions in certain areas such as teaching, research, and universities, notably on issues concerning the movement and mobility of students and the recognition of degrees.

This consulting participation of the European Student Council will help to defuse a common democratic culture among the students of the EU.