Xavier Bettel – 44 – Luxembourg
Higher Education – Thessaloniki (Greece) - 1997
‘I think that Erasmus is the best way to educate people about what Europe is all about - that’s what happened to me. I used to think I know Europe, but my Erasmus made me discover more about what Europe has to offer for everyday life.’
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister is no stranger to getting involved in his community - Xavier has been active in politics for almost three decades.
Joining the Democratic Party when he was 15, by the time Xavier went on his Erasmus programme he was president of the youth association. When he was 38 years old, Xavier became the youngest mayor ever of a European capital city.
Moving to a country that shares borders with non-EU countries during his Erasmus exchange opened his eyes to life without freedom of movement. Xavier believes that this ‘extraordinary’ experience should be available to anyone regardless of financial standing or geography.
He says his Erasmus experience in Greece taught him the importance of breaking down barriers and this theme has influenced his policy making. ‘It made me become more open in every way and it is one thing that I can only recommend to everyone.’