In the summer of 2010 the European Student Think Tank (EST) was officially founded. After months of brainstorming, gathering advice and conceptualizing the original idea was finally worked out: the idea that the European Union and its young citizens should be brought closer together. As the EU has gained a lot of influence on its member-states over the past decades, we feel the public debate should not only enroll at a national, but also at an international level. Despite past initiatives, it is still easier for students to engage in national rather than European politics. The Think Tank aims for active participation of the young citizens of the EU. Furthermore, we see a lack of possibilities for students to use their academic knowledge in the practice of international politics. EST will try to fill this gap, by serving as a platform via which interested students can develop and share their ideas. Inspired by successful student think tanks in the U.S., a group of motivated students started working to create a counterpart in Europe.
The European Student Think Tank will serve as a platform for students to involve them in the process of policy-making within the European Union. Through this website, motivated students can get in contact with each other, read and comment on policy-ideas, react on European news and discuss issues with experts in the field. The best policy-ideas written by students will be published in journals. Furthermore, EST will host events where students, policy-makers and other experts can discuss European issues directly.
\We hope for EST to be an interdisciplinary and open organisation in which the most heterogeneous group of students can work together. All university students in Europe are invited to contribute to the Think Tank in the form of written blogs, policy-ideas and visions. Furthermore, we promote the use of “new media”: we motivate students to transform their ideas not only into text, but also in other forms, such as movie clips, schemes and drawings. Details on the different ways to contribute to EST can be found in the ‘Join!’ section of our website.
A young organisation
As we are a very young organisation we are setting up more and more aspects of the Think Tank in due time. We’re planning to organise conferences where international students and experts are invited to present their view on a EU-related theme. Futhermore, we’ll set up different so-called ‘strategy groups’, consisting of a group of students, that will thoroughly analyse a European policy theme. Their conclusions will be sent to the Commission and presented at different conferences. Last but not least, we eventually wish to set up EST-chapters all over Europe. To achieve these ambitious goals, naturally your help is vital. We need you to provide us with the necessary fresh ideas to really become a blooming Think Tank. If you’re interested to contribute, please react on one of the vacancies. However, if you know of any other way to aid us that is not mentioned in the vacancies, do not hesitate to contact us via email@example.com. We would be happy to welcome you in the EST-community!
Charlemagne Youth Prize – European Youth Prize
In 2011 the European Student Think Tank was awarded with the Charlemagne youth prize in the Netherlands and nominated for the European Charlemagne prize.
Jerzy Buzek (President of the European Parliament) with Eline Bötger (president 2011-2012 of the EST) during the Prize ceremony in Aachen.