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Willy Brandt

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1971.

Willy Brandt was born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm on 18 December 1913 in Lübeck (northern Germany) where he became a socialist during his teenage years due to his family background. In 1933, he changed his name and fled to Norway to avoid arrest by the Nazis and worked as a left-wing journalist. After the German occupation of Norway in 1940, he escaped to Sweden where he lived until 1945. Brandt returned to Germany after World War Two. In 1948, he started his political career within the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and becoming a member of the German parliament.

Brandt was originally considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD and earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin which he held from 1957 until 1966. This was a particularly tense time for the city with the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. He served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor and became chancellor in 1969. As chancellor, he maintained West Germany’s close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in Western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe. For this work, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1971.

Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, and on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, and right-wing authoritarian regimes. In April 1974, one of Brandt’s personal assistants was arrested for being an East German spy. Brandt took responsibility and resigned the following month. Even before Brandt was dogged by scandals about serial adultery, and reportedly also struggled with alcohol and depression and so some may say that the espionage scandal was just the straw to break the camel’s back.

Brandt remained head of the SPD until 1987 and was honorary chairman until his death. He was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1983. In 1977, he was appointed chair of an international commission that produced the Brandt Report, calling for drastic changes in the international community’s attitude to development in the Third World. In late 1989, Brandt was one of the first leaders on the left in German politics to publicly favor reunification of the two halves of Germany.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Julius Sax, a volunteer from Germany with interest in basketball, tennis, scouts, playing guitar, read and meet friends.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.