Key to Europe

It is a hard time for AEGEE now. While we should all be excited about our General Assembly starting tomorrow in Budapest, a call changed our mood. We were informed that Franck Biancheri, founder of AEGEE-Europe, had passed away on October 29th.

The members of AEGEE have reacted instantly to the news, sharing their memories of meeting him, remembering how innovative his ideas were, how he had the ability to create debate around him, making new ideas flourish in the minds of those who had the opportunity to meet him. His belief that youth was a necessary actor in the building of Europe has inspired generations of active citizens in Europe inside and outside AEGEE, and we will miss his questioning approach to everything.

During the Autumn Agora Budapest we will dedicate a minute of silence at our opening ceremony and we will for sure have him very present. But, at the same time, we want to offer all people who has been inspired by him an open space for expressing their feelings.

Please use the comments thread on this post for sharing your last words to him. Go to the end of this post and you will find it there.

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  1. Thank you very much Franck for igniting this dream which has changed the lives of many generations of European students.
    Thank you for giving us hope and showing us that transforming individuals and contributing to the bulding of Europe is possible.
    Your vision and legacy will always lead our Network.

    Thanks Franck we will never forget you.

  2. Dear Franck,

    without your ideals, today’s Europe would be a different place. Without your believe in AEGEE many friendships around Europe wouldn’t exist. Without your ideas 100.000s of young people wouldn’t be what they are today and where they are today.

    For this we will be thankful forever, for this you will always stay in our hearts!

  3. Franck, I’m very sad cause the first time I heard about you it was yesterday, when I read that you died. And well, what can I say? Thanks for everything and for creating something that is just perfect like aegee and also to be one of the promoters of erasmus program.
    Rest in peace!

  4. R.I.P Mr. Franck Biancheri !
    Today we are passing away the person who has done extremely a lot for the promotion of the ideas of the unified Europe without borders, today we are passing away a person who has established the biggest European student NGO today working in 240 cities all over Europe, today we are simply passing away unique and big personality who has done extremely important things for all the people working in AEGEE Network ! I am very sad that I have never had a possibility to meet you personally, but with no doubt your vision of Europe and your ideology will surely continue to be the one of our driving forces in the future.
    On the behalf of AEGEE-Yerevan and on my personal behalf I would like to express our deep condolences to Mr. Biancheri’s family and friends.
    Rest in Peace !

  5. Franck, I met you in Agora Enschede and it was a pleasure to hear from you your opinion about the EU and the world. You also gave us the possibility to develop us in a further level (thanks to LEAP, GEAP…). Now we know that Europe is a vast project but it’s also weak, and everybody has to protect and fight for this idea. As one of your book title, “The Path to the World Afterwards”, I can say that the path is clear, and with your remembrance I am sure that europeans and eurolanders can still fight for Europe.

    Thank you for everything

  6. I am sure I am by far not the only to think that AEGEE was and still is an experience that changed our lives, brought us incredible moments, inspiring contexts and opened our eyes towards a wide range of opportunities in Europe and Beyond. Therefore, for his key contribution to make this real for all of us and the ones who will come in the future, and even if I never had the chance to meet him in person, I can only be thankful to him and pray for a deserved peaceful rest.

  7. THANK YOU! for friends, joy, incredible journeys, parties, agora and discussions, the motivation we share and the European future we are building!! we owe you so much..<3

  8. Dear Franck,

    you created a unique forum for students to get together, meet discuss, break stereotypes, and essentially live Europe. Your ideas influenced the lives of thousands of young Europeans, changed the direction they were following and inspired them to aim for more, be active, and take responsibility for their Europe. Personally, I am deeply thankful that you created this amazing organisation.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  9. Fortunatelly i have told him thanks many times.. our live without Aegee… boring.. so thank you Franck!

  10. R.I.P. Franck Biancheri.
    Thank you for founding our great association, resulting in many friendships all over Europe, and so much more.
    Thank you for making my first Agora unforgettable by attending it.
    You will not be forgotten!
    Merci beaucoup, Franck,

  11. Deeply saddened to hear about the premature departure of Franck Biancheri, a man who surely has changed the course of my life and the one of many fellow young Europeans.

    Founder of AEGEE back in 1985, he never stopped believing in a united, peaceful and productive Europe, markedly contributing to turn it from a utopian dream of the few to a shared vision of many. Never content with his achievements, Franck did not pull back from throwing himself in the lion’s den again and again, engaging in often controversial discussions with his disciples 25 years on.

    I was lucky enough to meet him and host him in my city twice. What struck me was the life-long allegiance of a man to his ideals, a certainly inspiring feature, and one I was deeply grateful to him about. Would AEGEE still be able to gather thousands of young Europeans today, I wondered, if its founder ended up working for a shady multinational corporation or merrily waiting tables in Curacao?

    It was thanks to Franck’s contribution that the Erasmus project was established in the first place. “They should abolish conscription to the military and make Erasmus compulsory for all”, I once heard a friend say. This reasoning makes lots of sense to me.

    Erasmus’ future is today at stake. Let us protect Franck’s legacy by signing this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/europe-do-not-gamble-with-the-future-of-erasmus-programme

  12. My condolences. Respect you who created the possibility to connect and build with each other; AEGEE is living forth. Let us stay connected with your ideals.

  13. My condolences. Respect for you who created the possibility to connect and build with each other; AEGEE is living forth. Let us stay connected with your ideals.

  14. Hello Franck (sorry for being so familiar, but I feel I have to be like this):

    In this society nowadays people admire sportmen, rock start, etc… I admire you! You changed my life, and not only my life but life of thousands of people. It’s a pity I couldn’t met you, it’s a pity that probably not even your family will read this, but you changed your beloved Europe so much we all owe you a lot.

    Thanks to your work and your ideas I’ve been in many places, met a lot of people, enjoyed every single second I’ve been an Erasmus student or an AEGEE member. In a big part, thanks to you now Europe is something else than an economic union, is a cultural union, a whole new generation which is not afraid of travelling, working, having friends or even a couple from another country. I repeat: we all owe you a lot.

    As we say in your asociation: See you somewhere in Europe

    Thank you very much Franck!

    RIP

  15. 30 October 2012, my closest friend died this morning. I am talking about Franck Biancheri. I wish here to pay humble tribute.
    Beyond a true communion of thought, I am very proud to have been able to know him, having worked with him alongside during long journeys across Europe, and shared his struggles. He allowed me to participate in numerous and useful innovative initiatives at European level – to name a few: AEGEE-Europe, TIES, Prometheus, IDE, Newropeans… Franck has always placed general and collective interest before his own interest. During these last four years of fight against his disease, he has never spared the efforts to continue to work for the construction of a democracy at the European level in parallel to the creation of an international network, bringing together Europe and emerging countries (Euro-BRICS).
    We will miss the political vision of Franck and his sense of anticipation absolutely. His enthusiasm and achievements will live on and will be the foundation of a democratic and United Europe.
    In these painful moments, my thoughts are with all his family, especially Marie-Hélène and Carla.
    Franck thanks for everything. Requiescat in Pace.

  16. So many things trying to tell you Thanks, Thanks, Thanks.

    Frank, thanks to you, i am living new experiences each day since 2005!!! I went out my city, my country and i meet thousand people like me, trying to discover experiences, traditions, cultures…

    See you somewhere in Europe. See you somewhere. Somewhere…

  17. Here is a CALL FOR IDEAS TO REMEMBER FRANCK, and extracts of a message I sent to the list ‘Les Anciens d’AEGEE Europe’:

    “Franck était une personnalité marquante de la société civile et un
    vrai penseur de l’Europe.

    J’ai fait sa connaissance en 1982, à Sciences Po, en faisant du
    théatre. Tout à son habitude de faire confiance rapidement, Franck m’a
    fait rentrer dans sa liste pour le Bureau des Eleves (student union).
    Sciences Po fut ensuite la base d’un de ses réalisation, à mes yeux la
    plus durable: AEGEE-Europe.Organisation étudiante qui inspira à son
    tour ses autres creations, Prometheus-Europe, le parti IDE qui devint plus tard Newropeans etc.

    Franck a toujours été un ami critique de l’Europe. Et un ami critique
    tout court. Comme un autre commentateur l’écrit: “Frank was
    undoubtedly a leader, and as such, it caused strong feelings among the
    people that worked with him, in one direction or in another…but
    certainly, not indifference…” Malheureusement en froid avec lui
    depuis plusieurs années, j’ai suivi de loin ses réalisations plus
    récentes, et admiré sa préscience sur plusieurs sujets avec Leap2020
    etc.

    Comment se souvenir de lui?
    Each of ‘his’ associations can have its own way. How to remember the Founder of AEGEE-Europe? I suggest: not only in a classical way.
    I recommend the CD of AEGEE, together with the Les Anciens coordinators:
    […]
    – before Christmas: triggers a little call for ideas and survey (on this list?).
    My own suggestion: ask the European Commission to create the ‘Franck
    Biancheri award for the best Erasmus project of the year’. The CD
    could appoint jury members. Bearing Franck’s name would show that this
    wonderful European programme was created FOR students and also BY
    students, and it would be a lasting tribute. I’m sure there will be other ideas, perhaps less institutionnal.

    Let’s continue to be inspired by Franck’s energy and creativity!

    Christophe”

  18. Dear Franck,
    it is a sad day that we have to say farewell to you and never again get a chance to discuss our thoughts, ideas and visions with you. I honestly can never know what my life would have been like without the AEGEE that you created. As words have little meaning now, let me just say a simple thank you, and let you know that you have touched the lives of thousands and you will never be forgotten.

  19. Thanks Franck, for everything.

    For your ideas, for your dreams of a united Europe with no boundaries, of cultural exchange and understanding.Thank you for promoting active citizenship and for trying to make us active, to make us care and fight for our future. Thank you for the ERASMUS program that is now endangered but we will never stop to protect, and thank you for AEGEE, which has been connecting so many young Europeans for so many years now. We owe you so much. Rest in peace, and know that your dreams and ideals will not be forgotten by thousands of young Eurpeans!

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