European Planning Meeting EPM Zagreb 2017

In the last week, I attended European Planning Meeting. It is one of the most important events organized by student organization AEGEE. I became a member of this organization during my university studies and despite I have already finished both of my Master’s Degrees, I am still maintaining my membership.

European Planning Meeting took place to Zagreb (capital city of Croatia) this year. Maybe it will be a surprise for you, but I have never been in Croatia there. I saw this event as a chance to finally visit this country. I was also interested in its topic: “Europe under Siege: Populism and Anti-European Agitation.” I must add that my opinions on this topic may be quite different from mainstream opinions of both European youth or AEGEE member. But I was really looking forward to hearing arguments of people with different opinions. After all, listening to people that I fully agree with can be pretty boring.

I would like to offer you my personal report from this event. I will focus on aspects which differ EPM from other AEGEE events and projects (like Summer University project). I hope that everybody knows that there are amazing parties on every AEGEE event and that you can always meet plenty of wonderful people there. But let’s look at additional values of EPM. I want to highlit the most interesting facts and argument from speeches and discussions.

Frustration is not a Crime

Sometimes I read or hear an opinion, that voting should be compulsory. Last time I saw it in Waleed Aly article. It is interesting that Mr. Aly lives in Australia where voting really is compulsory. If Australian does not go to an election, he or she will have to pay a fine for this “crime”. In my country, we de facto used to have an obligation to vote too. During the communist era, citizens we force to go to the election despite they had no choice but to vote for the communist party. The elections could not change anything, but still, people had to go there. If they did not go, the could be fired or worse.

Because of this experience (which people still remember), I believe it would be extremely unpopular to force people to go to elections again. Czech people value their freedom and the possibility not to go to the election is part of it. So some politicians talk about it from time to time (and like we know, the politicians like to talk), but no one tries to make it real.