Aleksandra Kluczka, President of AEGEE-Europe / European Students’ Forum in the years of 2015-2016
I met Franck only once, at AEGEE’s Agora Enschede in 2012. I remember the buzz of the news that our founder will come to address us at the event. I was curious, yet I expected another typical alumni speech. How surprising the encounter turned out to be! Franck’s speech was extremely powerful, yet far from flattering. He shook us up, made us question the direction we are taking with AEGEE and whether we are truly striving for this transnational, democratic Europe that he dreamt of. He left us with many questions, but also with a new energy for AEGEE’s future.
Franck was definitely a visionary and a wholehearted European. The list of his accomplishments is impressive: founding the first transnational European political party at the end of the 1980s, working on political anticipation, leading massive projects such as Vision Europe 2020, working on global issues, to mention a few. Yet his most special contribution to me will always be founding AEGEE and lobbying for Erasmus. Those two initiatives have been continuously shaping the lives and views of millions of young Europeans. And only through direct experiencing of Europe by our fellow Europeans, we can build a truly democratic and inclusive European project that many of us are dreaming of. Franck’s death was deeply saddening and untimely, but one thing we know for sure: he managed to have a lasting impact.