Following the EFIL General Assembly, EFIL’s Board of Directors met in Budapest on Sunday 17 May.

The Chair, Jörn Lehmann, welcomed the guests from AFS International (Vincenzo Morlini, President and CEO, and Christine Leimgruber, Chief Program and Risk Management Officer) and AAI/Philippines (Rahiema Bonnie Bagis-Guerra, President AFS Asia-Pacific Initiatives and Chair of AFS Philippines, and Armieyah Mae Ayob, National Director of AFS Philippines) and thanked them for making time on their agendas to attend the EFIL General Assembly and for making themselves available to also attend the EFIL Board meeting.

The main points on the agenda were the cooperation between EFIL and AAI (AFS Asia-Pacific Initiatives), the cooperation between EFIL and AFS International, and a reflection on EFIL’s General Assembly, which took place in the days prior to the Board meeting, at the same venue.

Here’s a summary of the main outcomes of the Board meeting:

  • To boost regional co-operation, EFIL is preparing a project proposal (Erasmus+) involving EFIL and AAI Members. AFS International encourages initiatives that strengthen regional co-operation.
  • The President of AFS International remarked that het network highly values the role of EFIL in achieving AFS Vision 2020 in pursuit of the AFS mission.
  • Regarding the training calendar and the different offers by EFIL and AFS International , the President recommended further improving the co-ordination from both sides, as is currently done through TICLAB (EFIL’s Training and Intercultural Learning Advisory Body – for more: see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife), in which AFS International is represented. He added that AFS International aims at announcing training and international events earlier than was done in previous years, adding that a certain amount of flexibility will always be necessary. AFS International fully respects EFIL’s autonomy and highly values the financial support that EFIL is able to obtain from the European institutions.
  • As for Educational and Intercultural Learning, the President pointed out that the co-ordination of the development of core content is to be steered by AFS International . Additional learning content development by EFIL needs to be in line with the AFS International led work for network-wide initiatives. The EFIL Board confirmed that this is guaranteed through the monitoring role played by TICLAB, in which AFS International is represented.
  • In the field of new partner development, AFS International greatly appreciates the efforts made by EFIL in extending AFS activities to new countries. The President acknowledged that new organisations need assistance in the first years, but in a reasonable amount of time they should be able to generate sufficient financial resources to become self-sustainable. The EFIL Board pointed out that the efforts in the field of new partner development have contributed greatly to the growth of AFS programmes. The Board also remarked that the development of smaller partners in Europe is important from a mission point of view, even though the contribution to overall growth is less spectacular. The Board commended AFS International for the initiative to set up a much needed training on Risk Management and Global Link in July, targeting the new partners in Europe.
  • The Board complimented AFS Hungary on the excellent organisation as host of the EFIL General Assembly.
  • The Board’s choice to give a lot of visibility to the EFIL staff at the General Assembly turned out to be a good decision and was appreciated by the GA delegates.
  • The working group sessions at the General Assembly were well attended and interactive.
  • Although Roberto Ruffino’s absence at the General Assembly was regretted, his Skype talk was received very well.
  • The involvement of the TICLAB and of the EPOR core group (EPOR stands for EFIL’s European Pool of Representatives – for more: see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife) was a good opportunity for the GA delegates to connect with the grass root level and learn more about EFIL’s support bodies.
  • With no changes in the composition of the Board after the elections on 16 May at the General Assembly, it was decided to continue the current Board mandates for 2015-2016 (see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife).
  • Fundraising for 2015 activities has been successful so far including a string of recent funding successes under the European Erasmus+ programme.