Blog post - Mikael Männistö

Visiting what now you ask? CND, or the Council of National Delegates, is the second most important meeting in the ESN calendar. This edition took part in December, from December 8 to December 12, 2016 and was attended by our official delegates Toni, Miia and Pablo from the ESN Finland National Board and me, Mikael, as a guest in the event.

So, what happens in CND? We went through the standard things as always: Updates from the committees and the International Board, ESN International Budget updates, and of course had many new topics to cover as well. Most interesting discussions, at least for me, were related to the new ideas for an Erasmus Account, the issues regarding Brexit and the Internal Review that was conducted through the help of old ESNers. We had workshops on new ideas like the Code of Conduct and the legal and political issues we now face due to changes in the political landscape of Europe as well as old matters like flagship projects and financial support of smaller countries.

Though, as with all ESN events, while the discussions are a very interesting part of the event, the best part is always the people. The people you meet through ESN are the thing that you remember and the thing that stays with you after you finish your mandate. This event was attended by people from all over Europe and many countries sent two or even three delegates reaching a total of around 140 participants. Many of these people work tirelessly on the Local, National, or International level to improve the life of all exchange students within Europe. We had so many interesting discussions throughout the event, and a lot of very interesting ideas came out of the chats with people… I am sure you will hear a lot more about some of them in the months to come.

Though no event is perfect and there are always small things, this CND was a phenomenally well-arranged one. The breaks were plentiful on coffee, energy drinks and snacks and the evening program had a great deal of variety. Therefore, as someone who has organized an event or two in my ESN career (and still might organize one damn big one...), I must hand it to the OC, they did an amazing job and deserve all the thanks they got at the plenaries and more.

These events are what keep you motivated through the year. Even if the NB life is a damn demanding one, I can only recommend it to everyone! I remember back in the days when I was in the NB, I would wait for every event like Christmas, because it meant you would get to talk with all the other super motivated people all around Europe and meet all your friends you have not seen for months. ESN is all about experiences, leaving your mark on something and hopefully making things better for the future. I hope that in developing events and joining the National Board, I have managed to make something better in this network while having the best experiences of my life! =)