RUN-EU Students Influence Europe’s Future at the 3rd European Student Assembly

18 April 2024

Five RUN-EU students represented the Alliance at the 3rd European Student Assembly at the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 10 to 12 April.

The event brought together over 250 students from 41 European university alliances for an exchange of ideas and collaboration on the future of Europe.

During the Assembly, students took part in panel discussions and interactive sessions, debated important issues that Europe is facing,

11 student panels met to discuss and develop proposals, and worked together to draft and vote on 79 policy recommendations, demonstrating their passion and forward-thinking approach to the following key issues:

Panel 1 – European election year
How to tackle the lack of (and dis-)information and encourage citizens’ engagement in the upcoming elections?

Panel 2 – Greener is better
How can the EU establish responsible growth in the context of climate change?

Panel 3 – Cohesion through budget policies
How can the EU budget policy take part in strengthening cohesion amongst its Member States?

Panel 4 – Seeking a better future in the EU
What strategy should the EU adopt to guarantee treatment with dignity of migrants from outside of the Union?

Panel 5 – EU in the World
How can the EU be a more responsible actor in globalisation through its leadership?

Panel 6 – EU Artificial Intelligence Act
What strategies could be implemented to maximise the benefits of AI while addressing its challenges?

Panel 7 – European heritage
How can the EU effectively coordinate with institutions for the promotion of its heritage and ensure access to culture for all?

Panel 8 – Cure of the future
What approach should the EU adopt regarding health and more particularly the advancements of biomedicine?

Panel 9 – A place for everyone
How can higher education institutions be a place of opportunities for all?

Panel 10 – EU of tomorrow
How can the EU secure a safe and well-guided enlargement in the upcoming years?

Panel 11 – Addressing Euro-scepticism
How to build a stronger, more united EU in the face of the rise of Euro-scepticism?

By responding to the challenges and opportunities that Europe is facing, these recommendations are intended to pave the way for a better and inspiring future.

Alina Martjanova
Häme University of Applied Sciences 

‘The European Student Assembly brings together policymakers, professors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students from across Europe. Participants and coordinators work together on drafting policies, learning from each other and conducting research. Together, we form a group of people who aim to improve every aspect of our lives, starting from higher education and healthcare, and extending to the voting process in the EU. During our three days in Parliament, we explored different angles on topics such as AI, European heritage, budget policy, etc., broadening our perspectives. The experience was valuable, from finalizing draft policy recommendations to voting for them. It was an honor to see how things work inside the European Parliament, amplifying our voices and being heard. From this three-month journey, I take with me amazing people who are dedicated students and professionals in their fields, the knowledge I’ve gained, and hope for a bright future and career.’

Denis Hardi
Technological University of the Shannon

‘For four months, as a coordinator for Panel 10 at the European Student Assembly’s third edition, I led a team of 25 people working online to create eight policy recommendations. The whole thing was well organized, and people seemed really happy with how it turned out. This was my first time being involved, and I’ve heard how much better they get at managing projects like this each time. Huge thanks to my university alliance, RUN-EU, for giving me the chance to be part of it. We had 251 students from 59 different countries, which was a pretty rich experience. And having support from 41 European University Alliances, including RUN-EU, made it even better. Beyond the tangible outcomes of the assembly, what truly resonated with me were the invaluable networking opportunities it provided. Engaging with brilliant minds from various corners of the globe, including international students studying in Europe, not only broadened my horizons but also sparked meaningful conversations about the future of education and collaboration. This firsthand exposure to different cultures and alliances has undoubtedly enriched my academic journey, instilling in me a deeper appreciation for the global community within the European Union. It was a privilege to work on policy recommendations that will be presented to European Parliament officials. Knowing that our work will be taken seriously and will provide structure for future generations working on similar policy recommendations is incredibly rewarding. Despite the conflicts that arose internally due to the diverse approaches to work among the international team members, we received excellent guidance from the supervisors and steering committee. Their support helped us resolve any issues efficiently, ensuring the smooth progress of our project.’

Victoria Apajalahti
Polytechnic University of Leiria

‘ESA24 is an experience I will never forget, what an honour to have been able to attend. It was inspiring to be among students from all over Europe and beyond, to hear their stories and learn from their expertise. I am happy to say that I made great connections that will last. The panel I was part of discussed better immigration policies in the EU, so it really gave me a sense of working on something important and having an impact. We had the chance to take part in inter-panel debates, which I found such a fun and educational experience to learn about the work and recommendations of other panels and help them succeed. This experience taught me a lot about how the European Union works, how broad and important issues are discussed there, teamwork at an institutional level, as well as policy drafting and writing. This event is definitely one of the highlights for me as a RUN-EU student!’

ESA is one of the main activities of the European Universities Community, a project started by students from European University alliances who want to give all European students a voice at the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The impact of the 2024 European Student Assembly goes beyond the event itself. It will create a ripple effect, inspiring conversations and driving meaningful change.

The Assembly will be followed by a series of dissemination events, bringing together stakeholders and decision-makers, where students will advocate and disseminate their recommendations to different actors, such as municipalities, businesses and NGOs, active at different levels of European political life.

As the RUN-EU alliance continues to empower students and amplify their voices, it eagerly awaits the development and implementation of these recommendations, to shape a better and more inclusive Europe for generations to come.

All photos by ©Banu Bekirova


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