European Students’ Union

ESU – The European Students’ Union (ESU) is an umbrella organization of European student bodies with 45 member associations from 38 countries and represents more than this over 11 million students at European level. The main aim of ESU is to safeguard the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students and their representation at European and international institutions such as the Euro Council , theEuropean Union or the UNESCO .

In addition to representing the interests, ESU provides an information and networking platform for its members and regularly organizes seminars and workshops as training for student representatives.


Originally the organization was on 17 October 1982 in Stockholm “European Student Information Bureau Western” (WESIB) founded by student bodies from Norway, Great Britain, Sweden, Iceland, France and Austria under the name. The aim was initially to exchange information among the members and to ensure the flow of information from European and other international bodies to the members.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union itself WESIB opened for members from Eastern Europe and notified in February 1990 in “European Student Information Bureau” ( ESIB ) in order.

However, with the increase in the educational policy importance of the European level, the member organizations decided in 1993 to use ESIB not only as an information platform, but as a roof organization and political representation of interests. The well-known abbreviation ESIB was retained, but with the addition “The national unions of students”.

In May 2007 further consequences were drawn from the changed tasks and the importance, and the organization got its present name with “ESU – The European Students’ Union”.

In memory of the Czech medical students in January Opletal (1915-1939), the ESU award the January Opletal Prize . [1]


The ESU currently comprises 45 associations from 38 countries, including the Austrian Students’ Association (ÖH), which free association of student unions (FZS) and the Association of Swiss Student Bodies (VSS UNES-USU). The prerequisite for full membership that the national associations are in principle open to all students in the country and work according to democratic principles (see links ).

At the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the FZ in Würzburg in 2015, it was decided to resign from ESU if the latter did not issue “effective and coherent measures to respect and protect human rights”. Background was an ESU Board Meeting (see. General Assembly) in Baku, Azerbaijan [2] .

In addition, ESU has several associate members, including professionally-oriented organizations such as the European pharmaceutical and dentistry students, as well as religious associations such as the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS).