Do you think it’s unfair that students from non-EU-countries (with a few exceptions, e.g. Erasmus participants or refugees) will have to pay tuition fees in Baden-Württemberg? So do we! But why should we from AEGEE, known as a European organization, care? Well, Europe isn’t only the EU. AEGEE does have antennas in countries that are affected. But much more important, in times like these, isolationist and nationalist ideologies threaten the initial spirit of the EU and thus also what makes up AEGEE – namely to strive for solidarity. And solidarity means bonding with everyone, thinking beyond borders and being open-minded. With anyone. That’s why we had a dialogue meeting with the woman who came up with the idea: Theresia Bauer. Member of the Landtag Baden-Württemberg, she proposed the controversial plan that has now been blessed by the government.
Here’s how the meeting went: Mrs. Bauer showed great interest in what we had to say and estimated our commitment, but she won’t abandon her plan. We knew beforehand that persuading her from dismissing the whole idea would be a drop in the bucket, so we decided to propose she should at least exempt the members of the Council of Europe from paying the fee. She promised to include our suggestion in further negotiations concerning the issue. If she keeps the promise and persuades the government, students from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Switzerland … – you can thank us later.
For more information see article of RNZ (German): http://www.rnz.de/nachrichten/heidelberg/campus_artikel,-Europaeische-Studentenorganisation-AEGEE-Heidelberg-diskutierte-mit-Ministerin-Theresia-Bauer-_arid,257305.html