The first Council Meeting of the working year was held in Zagreb, Croatia from 17th to 21st of November. It was a great success that the entire EDS Council attending the EPP Congress where EDS had a first hand opportunity to connect with respected members of our mother organisation.
Hrvatska akademska zajednica and EDS organised this large scale event under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, with support of 6 government establishments and with the help of six sponsors and the EPP group. The main theme of the Council meeting addressed two prevalent challenges of modern Europe which informed the title of the event ”Demography and Energy: Sustainable future of the EU”.
On Sunday, 17th November, we kicked off with a speech from HAZ Alumni President, Ante Barišić, about the EDS and HAZ relationship history. As a former EDS delegate he greeted us at the welcoming dinner. EDS Chairman Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta expressed his gratitude to HAZ for organising this event and welcomed all gathered delegates. In the end, Karlo Kolesar, Deputy Chairman of HAZ, wished a warm welcome and a pleasant stay in Zagreb to all participants!
On Monday, 18th November, the opening ceremony was highlighted with a speech delivered by Gentiana Fana, Councilor in the President’s Youth Council, on behalf of the President of Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. The assembly was also addressed by Ivica Bošnjak, State Secretary of Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy. The opening ceremony and the first half of the programme was held in the Technical Museum of Nikola Tesla honouring this great scientist.
The European delegates tributed a moment of silence for the fallen victims of Vukovar during the Memorial Day on this historical event. After delivered speeches and a moment of silence, plenary session commenced and Hrvoje Pandžić, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Zagreb held an interactive lecture “Sustainable Power Systems”.
Second part of the day was marked with a workshop by the President of Croatian Employers Association in Education, Mislav Balković, PhD, on the topic about ”Boosting International Attractiveness of European Higher Education Institutions as a way to reduce effects of negative demographic trends”.
The working day finished with a discussion on the conference resolution and debates on motions of Permanent Working Groups respectively. Alongside the working groups the Bureau held its meeting.
After the whole day, EDS Bureau went to lit candles on Vukovarska Street in Zagreb, what has been a tradition in Croatia for many years. European Democrat Students President, Carlo Giacomo Angrisano Girauta, concluded: “May the victims continue to be remembered as a symbol of peace and solidarity”.
On Tuesday, 19th of November, We had our Council meeting opened by Josip Alardović, Minister of Labour and Pension System in Croatia, who spoke about the importance of this event and highlighted prominent topics of the present day in Croatia and the European Union as a whole.
EDS received a big support from two Croatian Members of the European Parliament, Karlo Ressler and Tomislav Sokol, who both addressed the Council and spoke about the position of youth within the European Union and modern challenges they are facing.
The Council Meeting was specially honoured by a speech from Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, EPP Secretary General and MEP who indulged in a fruitful discussion with EDS members, followed by Averof Neofytou, President of the Democratic Rally (DISY) who also addressed the present representatives.
On Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st November, more than 60 young European Democrat Students as young leaders and activists were a part of the biggest EPP event of the working year, EPP Congress 2019 in Arena Zagreb! We held our own side event on the topic of best EU practices of sustainable water systems.
”Water is an essential part of us, our families, everyday life and the future of our children. I think, the biggest challenge of 21st Century is to think about energy in a rational way. But I see great possibilities with EDS delegates as future European leaders”, said Mrs. Dragana Pnjak, Director of Miholjački Vodovod, one of the sponsors of the EDS Council Meeting”.
EDS also held private conversations with EPP candidates for Vice presidents.
We are very proud that we successfully held the first Council meeting of the working year and were also a part of the EPP Congress 2019 with our EDS family.