South West European Platform

From October 12th to October 15th, the annual South West European Platform (SWEP) of Erasmus Student Network took place in Milan, Italy.
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The opening ceremony was hosted by Università Cattolica and revolved around celebrations forboth 60 years of the Rome Treaties and 30 years of the Erasmus Programme. Next to heartfeltgreetings by representatives of the hosting universities, Università Cattolica and Politecnico diMilano, and of Milan’s vice-major, participants had the privilege to witness a lively debate on thefuture of the European Union. Together with moderator Vittorio Gattari, Head of the SWEPOrganising Committee, representatives of institutions of the European Union and of Milan’s cityadministration took the stage to analyse past successes and future opportunities anddevelopments for Europe and for the Erasmus Programme in particular. All guests expressedtangible support to the initiative, proving its efficacy not only in its ideals but in its scope.

Following the opening ceremony, a flag parade through the streets of Milan’s city centre wasorganised. Beyond cementing the strong ties between the participating states’ representatives,the flag parade allowed for a demonstration of unity of all European countries, thanks to theoverwhelming presence of Erasmus students from all Europe who are currently studying in Milan.

The Platform itself took place from Friday to Sunday, and was judged a success by all theparticipants and the Network as a whole. Participants were especially satisfied with the highquality of the workshops, where they had the chance to strengthen their soft skills and acquiregreater confidence in working in a complex environment such as Erasmus Student Network.Another aim of the workshops was to raise awareness and prepare participants to enter theEuropean Job Market, providing them with tools such as teamwork, public speaking and ability to collaborate.

Overall, the success of the SWEP stretches beyond its importance as an environment where manyinternational members of ESN could exchange knowledge and best practices to bring home totheir sections. It was also a great opportunity for all participants to grow as individuals, asmembers of ESN and as European Citizens.

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