After a long period of respite during the holidays, the University of St Andrews branch of the Young European Movement has approached the new term with revitalised enthusiasm. A clear indication of the progress that this branch has made was apparent at the celebration marking 1 year since the Branch was conceived, with dozens of faces, old and new, gathering for an evening in the pub. Furthermore, the successful expansion of the mailing list during the university’s Refreshers’ Fayre, notably including individuals hailing from far-flung places outside the European Union such as Argentina, demonstrated that there was still potential for future expansion and that that potential could be feasibly realised.
In terms of events planned for this forthcoming term, the committee shows no signs of exhausting their imagination and industry as nearly every member sets to work organisation their own date for the diary. As with last term, these events covering a broad range of forms and topics. There are academic lectures discussing the notion of Germany as the ‘Power House of Europe’ (especially in the light of recent developments in Greece), European Law and the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Additionally, on our social calendar, a pot-luck dinner to include dishes from all 28 member states of the European Union is being arranged, hoping to approach our continent’s diversity in a more cultural and practical manner. This May, the General Election looks to be EU-orientated to an unprecedented degree as the Conservative Party promises an “In-Out” referendum by 2017 and the United Kingdom Independence look set to secure more seats in the House. Accordingly, the term shall be rounded off with a debate between the Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for the Fife North East that will mainly focus on their parties’ European policy. Even at this relatively early stage, one PPC and a speaker have been secured.
Excitingly, the University of St Andrews branch is currently forging a partnership with the Bordeaux branch of the Young European Federalists (JEF), hoping that their experience as a well-established group will enable us to secure future success here in Scotland. We have already been in frequent contact, and are currently arranging Skype sessions and planning a potential trip out there to more firmly solidify our relationship. This partnership also brings the prospect of further contact with other branches, given Bordeaux branch’s link with our peers in Torino.
In conclusion, whether it be on the scale of this tiny fishing town in Scotland, or of the Western half of the European Union itself, the University of St Andrews branch of the Young European Movement looks optimistically towards the coming months, confident of future expansion and future progress.
By YEM St Andrews