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Erasmus Student Network (ESN), the most known organisation among students who went on a mobility, is celebrating its 30th birthday.
Invited by the then Erasmus Bureau, a technical assistance office managing the implementation of the Erasmus Programme for the EU Commission, 32 former Erasmus students met in Gent, Belgium for an evaluation meeting in 1989. On hindsight, this meeting sparked off the creation of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). Still that year, the first local section of ESN was founded in Utrecht. In 1990, the founding meeting of ESN International was held in Copenhagen. By 1994, ESN had already 60 local sections in 14 countries. In 2005 the ESN headquarters were established in Brussels and since 2009 Brussels has also been housing the ESN Secretariat. Today, ESN brings together 15,000 young people from 41 countries. Despite massive growth, ESN has remained faithful to the vision of its foundation years: students helping students.
Today, ESN is not only a grass-root organisation where local students help international ones. It has also developed a strong dimension of analysis and research and it is successfully lobbying for its own policies. ESN today is also a political actor and a strong partner of the EU Commission and the other EU institutions.
“Erasmus, from a mobility programme became one of the largest youth movements in Europe, creating the Erasmus Generation. ESN is proud of being an important contributor to this movement and for many years to come, we will continue fulfilling our mission in providing self-development opportunities and empowering young people not only in Europe but also beyond." - Kostis Giannidis, President of the Erasmus Student Network, pointed out.
ACA wishes to congratulate ESN on its anniversary and its many achievements. The record of the student and alumni organisation is remarkable. It is almost unbelievable under the conditions ESN operates, which naturally generate a high turnover in the Secretariat and the governing bodies. Chapeau!