The EFIL Board of Directors held its third and last meeting of the year on 24-26 October in the EFIL office in Brussels. It was the first in-person meeting of the newly elected Board (Extra-Ordinary General Assembly in Malaga, June 2014). The Chair welcomed the new Board members Jatta Erlund, Andrea Franzoi and Ragnar Thorvardarson. In line with the EFIL statutes, the Board appointed a Chair, Deputy-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary (see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife).
The Board discussed actual trends and key issues in the global AFS network and commended AFS International for the initiative to provide partial scholarships to maximize participation in the AFS World Congress in Paris (3-7 November), this way allowing the majority of EFIL Member Organisations to be present.
An overview was given by the Secretary-General on the personnel situation in the office. Three new interns started their terms with EFIL as of 1 September. Fundraising has been particularly successful so far in 2014 including a number of funding successes under the new European Erasmus+ programme. The Board took note of the updated activity calendar 2014-2015, and discussed the positive developments in the European Citizenship Trimester Programme (ECTP), the special efforts taken to boost Intercultural Dialogue Day, and the 5th edition of the Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchange that took place in Vienna in October (see previous edition of EFILife). Special attention was given to the evaluation of the 2014 EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Secretary-General informed the Board of the main outcomes of the June Heads of Office (HOO) retreat, including a recently launched new initiative whereby EFIL Member Organisations invite to some of their training activities volunteers and/or staff of partner organisations, this way increasing the peer-learning and sharing of best practices, which will be beneficial especially for smaller, weaker and new partner organisations in the Federation.
A separate session was devoted to a presentation focusing on the European advocacy environment and EFIL’s priorities; EFIL’s advocacy structures (Pool of Representatives and Advocacy Liaisons); the main current advocacy topics (visas, validation of competences, recognition of the academic year abroad). The EFIL Board visited the Parlamentarium, the visitors’ center of the European Parliament in the Brussels city center, which contains a permanent exhibition with hundreds of dynamic, interactive multimedia components, explaining the working of the European institutions and guiding the visitors through the journey of European integration and its impact on everyday lives.
Last but not least, the Board discussed and approved the work plan for the EFIL General Assembly, 15-16 May, Budapest, Hungary.
The first meeting of the EFIL Board in 2015 has been scheduled for 20-22 February in Venice, Italy.
EFIL Board having breakfast in the EFIL secretariat in Brussels
EFIL Board visiting the Parlamentarium, Visitor Center of the European Parliament