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As a pan-European movement, Volt is active throughout Europe. One of the many advantages of being a member of this party is that you quickly get to know a whole bunch of Europeans with the same ideals. And what could be better than working together for our European future? That's what we do once a year, during the General Assembly (GA). As you may have gathered, this year's GA is taking place in Prague. But what exactly do we do at such a GA? And why do we look forward to it for months?
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A year ago, I was sitting on the beach in Lisbon with Mart and Jules. In the sunshine, we were typing up the last sentences of our local election program and looking at the agenda for the weekend. A new European board had to be elected, there were workshops and speed dates, and we would color the city purple with a real "Volt march" with all the Volters present. So a busy weekend, but most of all we were really looking forward to getting to know everyone. We had already spoken with many of the other departments, but because of the distance and corona it remained mostly videocalls and long telephone conversations. To finally meet the people behind the many emails was a very nice feeling. Moreover, the GA also strengthened our mutual bond, making us even more attuned to each other during the past campaign period. The whole weekend we felt like we were part of something big, and that feeling only increased my motivation to commit to Volt and its ideals. In the end, we had a fantastic weekend in Lisbon, and upon returning to Maastricht we were already looking forward to the next edition.
That edition is already scheduled this coming weekend. The train tickets are booked and the purple clothes are out of the closet; on to Prague! On Thursday evening we will catch the night train in Bonn, after which we will arrive in Prague on Friday morning. On Friday we will have a program with all elected officials and their group supporters. There we will talk about how we can communicate with each other even more effectively in order to get the most out of our European cooperation. Moreover, we are going to talk about our priorities for the 2024 European elections, from a local, national and European perspective. So an important day for the development of the party.
On Saturday and Sunday, the actual GA will take place. There is again all kinds of things planned, including workshops and panel discussions on topics such as fundraising, social equality, civic participation, climate change and EU responsibilities. We can vote on our preferences for the priorities we should set as a movement and there is a Q&A with 6 of our elected officials including Laurens Dassen (Lower House) and Juliet Broersen (Amsterdam City Council). This is all in the context of preparations for the 2024 European elections. Another public action is scheduled for Saturday. We will walk through the center of Prague and call attention to the current crises and the related rise of populism and nationalism across Europe.
With the annual GA, we take a big step toward our ideals and connect Volters and their chapters. Only at an event like this does it fully dawn on you how unreal it really is that thousands of Volters, spread across the continent, are working daily to achieve the same goals. I am convinced that we are in for another fantastic weekend.
Wondering what this weekend is going to be like? Follow our Instagram page for live updates from Prague!