|Minutes from the 27th Board meeting,|
09-10 October, 2004
Mollina, Malaga, Spain
Present at the Board Meeting:
Conchi Gallego, Emma Yeoman, Erik Jentges, Eva Valvo, John Petersen, Linda Jakobsone and Mjellma Mehmeti
1. Opening of the Board meeting
John opens the 27th Board meeting by welcoming the Board members and congratulating everyone on the ODN “outstanding global work award” received a couple of days ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
2. Approving of the minutes of the previous Board meeting
The Board approves the minutes of the Previous Board meeting.
3. Approving of the Agenda of the 27th
John presents to the Board the Agenda for this Board meeting. He thanks Conchi for compiling it. The Board approves the Agenda.
4. Past and future activities.
i. Summer activities
Rites Tautskola: Since the last Board meeting the ACC Latvia has been contacted by the Dutch partners. The previous cooperation has left both sides with a very good impression and on the initiative of the Dutch party has insured the team that there will be another exchange the coming summer in The Netherlands.
Challenges of Enlargement Community College (CECC): The event was a very big success. There were many new members joining in from this event. We also managed to organize the GA after this event.
And some of the participants stayed after. The evaluation of this event shows that the group organizing it did a very good job. The event had its own up’s and down’s the participants and the organizers had a very good time and productive course. This is an event that had two venues in two countries: one in Trieste, Italy and another one in Pliskovica, Slovenia. It also brought together many organizations in the Good Will Committee. We are looking forward for the ACCENT that will come out as a result of the work on this project, and of course, the Board, congratulates the organizers on this wonderful course and encourages them to repeat/follow-up on this event next year.
Europe of Rights Community Colleges (ERCC): The event went very well and the report is on its way. Compared to last year, this ERCC II went much better, smoother because: the Prep Com was larger in number compared to last year, half of the Prep Com members were previous ERCC participants (familiar with the environment at Casa Cares and the ideas behind the ERCC). As far as the participants are concerned, this year they were much more devoted to the programme and much more together. This is maybe due to the very detailed application for offered by the organizers, which allowed a broader picture of each applicant. Eva mentioned that one more time there was a problem with the last minute sign-off´s.
One of the ways to solve this problem is to invite more people in the first place, but last minute sign-off´s prevent inviting new people just because everything happens a couple of days before the event. John at this point suggests that maybe ACC should start practicing pre payment of the participation fee, or a part of it, for the applicants that have been selected to take part on the event.
Another upcoming issue is the fact that the same people are more and more circulating through our events. This can be easily prevented by not selecting always the same names, but the experience shows that having some people who have had the experience most of time represent a good facilitating factor in the new group when transmitting the CC idea is concerned.
As far as the new participants is concerned Linda suggested that maybe in the next ACCENT already we can mention that while encouraging our members to take part on events themselves they can at the same time approach organizers of events with their own suggestions for new people their friends, their colleagues from their work or NGO, or in general people that have something to offer to the event.
One more time among board members was raised the issue that in the organizing committees there should be people who are close to the ACC idea and methods used on our events.
Cornwall Community College (CoCC): the Board encourages Emma and Rishiart to find and take onboard the project some more active people.
Baaring Hoejskole: John reported on the very good cooperation we have had with this school, and among other things the favorable impact it has had on our accounts for the co-financing.
ii. Media activities:
During the CECC there was coverage from both Italian and Slovene media. John and Dasa were interviewed along side the press release that the Good Will Committee sent to many media, local and national in both countries the project was implemented in.
Regional Latvian papers covered the Latvian- Dutch project.
ERCC was presented on the religious organization´s websites and the newsletters.
Santiago Conference- the organizers Bundeszentrale made a documentary and John was interviewed. This documentary will be uploaded at the Bundeszentrale´s website.
TCC 2003 video unfortunately did not make it on the Danish media, even if they have a reserved time on their programme for “common people’s” TV productions. The reasoning behind their decision not to broadcast it was that there were too many talking heads and too many topics squeezed in one place and there was a very, maybe too serious atmosphere. The media are much more interested in smiling and happy young peoples´ faces. Maybe this can teach us a lesson for further TV and video productions in future. John suggested that maybe in future we should try to focus more on the “living and learning together” aspect of our events and not so much on the eventual topic of the event. This kind of documentaries can be used by the project for future fundraising or for raising awareness on the issue, but it can also be used as a PR material for the organization in promoting the concept of the CCs.
Alf Christensen: has interviewed Mjellma for his research that will end in a thesis. His idea is to find a way to merge the ACC/FECC with a Folk High School in Denmark.
iii. Attendance to various conferences
“Networking European Citizenship Education” Conference, Santiago 26th-28th September 2004
Dasa, Conchi and John participated on this conference. John was invited as a presenter in the working group of Non-public initiatives at the conference. On this conference were present people from all over Europe working in many different ways with the concept European Citizenship. Unfortunately the general opinion of our board members present at the conference was that many of the conference participants understood the topic of the conference to be Citizenship education in Europe and not European Citizenship Education. For the ACC this conference was one more proof that our work and the concepts we enhance through our work are of a high interest to the creation of the European public sphere. This was also the impression expressed by the conference organizers and the participants.
The Organizational Development Network ODN Conference in San Juan Puerto Rico 01st –07th October 2004
John was invited to take part on the conference of the ODN in Puerto Rico, to receive the award for Outstanding Global Work that this global network has awarded the ACC. More…
i. Contents/agenda and list of participants BCC II
The Board members on this meeting dedicated some time to plan and prepare the Bridging Community College II. It will be held in Latvia, at Rite school probably in May 2005. At this point a list of potential participants and issues that need to be raised at this event.
ii. FECC- project “Seminars, Network, Publication”- ACC leaflet
On the 25th of October this project starts at the website. John presented the new FTP server that enables posting and downloading of the tools, methods, experiences and examples of positive practices in European citizenship education and similar to it. Through this server ACC as easy as never before, will offer and open its resources not only for its members but also for the ones invited and interested to take part on this project.
This represents a very good opportunity for NGOs, groups and individuals working in this field to exchange good practices electronically and make use of each other’s experiences on-line, by posting them and going into a discussion with interested people all around Europe.
John presented the concept of the ACC FECC leaflet. Board members cheered John on this since long time needed initiative and the help he is receiving for this from Lise Mark. At this point the Board thanks Lise for her efforts.
Conchi and Emma agreed to take a closer look at the leaflet and criticize it and add the needed additional text to it. Board members read and approved the letter compiled by John dedicated to promote the FECC seminars project. This letter will be sent to think-tank organizations, individuals and organizations that are on the database of the ACC.
iii. Project Varna: EU standards and Good Practices in the Actions of Municipal Administration
John informed that that not long ago Natalya has asked if the ACC can be partner in a project “EU standards and Good Practices in the Actions of Municipal Administration”. The board accepted this request.
iv. Naomi’s proposal, Poland
Naomi has informed the office that Monica Oels needed applications or this year. Mjellma agreed to contact Dasa and find out where has the process stopped.
Poland future project
One of our members from Poland, Daniel Zuchowski is working in revitalizing a fortification, the Boyen Stronghold in Gyzicko. He came up with the idea that the ACC should be involved in this process from the beginning. The board authorized John to follow up this issue and inform on this in one of the next meetings of the board.
v. Berlin future project
The Board decided to approve the ACC Berlin Committee with Erik, Anna, Dirk, Emma and Marcia as committee members.
The Representation CC proposal for a project that is planned to take place in Berlin next year has been sent to the CoE. The venue has been visited and everything is prepared up to the point where the Committee members and the ACC board are waiting for an answer from the first funding opportunity. As Erik informed the Committee is also planning to apply for additional funds and more local private foundations.
vi. ACCENT issues
Elizabeth and Erik have handed in an application for a new ACCENT issue. The application was submitted and this ACCENT will be about the ERCC II. There are already several articles ready for this ACCENT.
The upcoming ACCENT “European love and other challenges of enlargement” has been delivered to Alan Xiao Ming and he is doing the layout of the magazine. This ACCENT is coming out as a result of this year’s event Challenges of Enlargement Community College held in Trieste, Italy and Pliskovica, Slovenia.
vii. Paris award Nominations
The ACC has been nominated for an award for its trans-national work and work on the public sphere. ACC is in the same category with the AEGEE and the YEF and this is considered already a very big success.
John is going to represent the ACC on this event and be present at the announcement of the receivers of the awards.
viii. Dutch- Danish- Latvian exchange and other ACC Latvia activities
As Linda informed, in October there is a plan to meet with the students, 23 of them and the topic of the meeting will be European Parliament. Linda also gave a brief update on the legal situation of the Rite school. She stated one more time, that there are many possibilities lying with this institution, but there are just not enough people to work on and the ownership status also blocks many potential initiatives, funding possibilities and activities.
ix. The website and Aarhus Business School
John informed that Lise Mark will help with her students at the Aarhus business school refresh the ACC and Rite website. Since the programme they are working in does not suite the programme the ACC website operates in, then in the beginning this group of people will be working on the Rite website.
5. Reconstruction of the Board
Linda is withdrawing from the Board and Emma will be taking her place as a board member. We thank Linda for her co-operation so far and we are looking forward to work with her in future as an ordinary member of the association.
6. Contract with committees- registering in Trieste, Italy
The Board created working groups to be working on these issues. Mjellma and Eva will be drafting the Contract with the Committees. They agreed to present a draft version of the document to the board members who are still in Mollina on Monday the 11th of October.
The issue of registering a mirror office of the ACC in Trieste, Italy was long discussed on this Board meeting. Since none of the members of board present on this meeting knew what may be the consequences of double registration of the organization the decision was to consult this issue with some of the people present at the event in Mollina. After the consultation the reply was that there is no other example like that but the closest to format that we need will be the is the functioning of the AEEGE. Then the next step is to investigate how are the AEEGE offices around Europe organized and registered.
At this point and after a long discussion the Board also decides to talk to Dasa one more time and follow up on the AEEGE format.
7. Tools for members’ involvement
Involvement of our members is something that has been discussed also at the GA this year and there is no doubt that it is one of the crucial points that the Board should discuss and come up with concrete suggestions for. Another very important issue connected with our embers is the feeling of ownership. How much our members can identify with the ACC and how many of the feel like introducing themselves as members of the ACC on official occasions, except from the times when they take part on different events as representatives of the ACC.
The Board members still think that a large scale annual event with a couple of hundreds of members present is a good idea for forming and maintaining the feeling of belonging to the frame and the organization. John also mentioned that the understanding of the status of the member is something that varies from place to place and in some environments in Europe being a member of a certain frame means doing something concrete and in other being a member of a certain frame simply means supporting the idea and not necessarily being active or involving yourself in concrete activities.
Mjellma explained that the format of the ACC and the level it is working on does not allow very much activities where our members can simply be engaged in doing something local. As the ACC belongs to the intermediate level of organizations whose aim is to connect the grass-root voices with the institutions, in our case with the European institutions and bodies of the EU, the ACC can not provide members with activities that can engage them locally. When our members ask for engagement/involvement they probably identify the ACC with the local NGO’s they are already active in and where the working dynamics allows a lot of local initiatives and tasks they can easily be involved in. The working dynamics of the grass-root organizations is very different from the one of the intermediate ones.
The Board decided that ACC being an intermediate organization has to make it clear to the members what it can/ and not offer to take as initiative on behalf of its members. The ACC is open to any suggestions coming from the members that can help us meet each other’s expectations.
8. Fundraising and PR-Committees
John presented that on the initiative of Tanja the Fundraising Committee should be formed. Except from Tanja, Lucie and Linda should also join this committee. Be in contact vie e-mail and catch up with whatever has been said so far. The aim of this committee will be to come up with a fundraising strategy for the ACC. This Committee should meet at the BCC II.
PR-Committee. Linda and J-C has not done a lot and gone any further on this committee work. Thore has also mentioned that the website needs some work in order to be a little more attractive for the visitors. The Board approves Thore’s efforts to improve the website and welcomes any suggestions for further analysis.
9. Filling up the tools/methods folder of the FTP- server. Materials for the web-seminars
The board members confirmed that they should be one of the first contributors with tools, case studies, examples of good practices to upload on the website when the web-seminars start.
10. Letter to Wallström
Peoples University in Terezin Czech Republic
As we could see from the common e-mail forwarded to us by Linda there is an institution called People’s University in Europe that is very much like our Community College Courses. This place is situated in Terezin, the Czech Republic.
Since this initiative and the institution in general has been supported by the future Commissioner Wallström, the Board authorizes Linda and John to write a letter to her in order to establish contacts with the University and introduce the ACC to her.
The Board also authorizes Conchi to translate the same letter in Spanish and send it to Mr. Borrell.
The Board also authorizes Mjellma to write a letter to Agneta Derrien with a request for an invitation for participation at the Education for Democratic Citizenship Launching Conference in Sofia this December organized by the Council of Europe.
Linda informs that the situation with this school is very critical. The ownership of the building seams to be the key issue why no one does not take over the total responsibility of both the activity part and the internal maintenance of the school. This issue at the same time restrains locals and the ACC Latvia members to take over, invest in the building or manage it.
It is important to mention that since 2-3 years in row now almost the only activities organized in Rite are those of the ACC Latvia.
- Each of the Board members should send to Helle 5-10 lines with a very short summary of their CV and what are they doing at the moment. This short text should stand alongside with the photo on the ACC website.
- Conchi informed that there is a very attractive venue place in Zamora, Spain. This may be an important point for the ACC to investigate further as there are already some connections established through Conchi.
- Erik informed that he has talked to YFU Latvia and told them about the Rite school and our connections to it. So maybe there will be some more things going on at Rite in Future. Linda should be involved in this eventual communication in future.