EFIL’s last Board meeting of the year took place in Krakow, Poland, and was hosted by our Member Organisation, AFS Polska.
It was the first meeting of the Board in its new composition after the Board elections at the extra-ordinary General Assembly in Lisbon in June. Ekaterina Bagdasarova was appointed the new Chair of the EFIL Board of Director (see also here in this edition of EFILife).
The Board welcomed the new President and CEO of AFS International, Daniel Obst. The Board took note of the overall positive evaluation of the World Congress in Brazil and of the recommendations made to the Board of Trustees, but regretted that several especially young and new AFS organisations from Europe were absent in Rio, mostly for cost reasons. The Board highly praised the level of solidarity in the EFIL network, with several young and struggling organisations receiving substantial support from EFIL Member Organisations.
Funding applications have been particularly successful lately, incl. (1) a two-year project aiming at developing training for teachers for the promotion and assessment of intercultural competences with upper secondary education, combining mobility experiences with in-class learning;(2) a project to prepare the launch of the future Global Citizenship Trimester Programme between AFS Organisations in Europe and Asia;(3) the appointment of EFIL by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be the European implementer of the MIRAI programme for the 2nd year running. A brief update was added on EFIL’s flagship projects (Volunteer Summer Summit, ECTP, Intercultural Dialogue Day, Forum).
The Board took note of the positive developments in Croatia/Slovenia (CROSLO-project), Poland (EFIL Affiliate membership shifted from the Foundation to AFS Polska), Bulgaria (General Assembly and the appointment of a new Board) and Ireland (continuing good partnership, including hosting of the 2016 Programme Directors meeting).
The Board agreed on the overall outline for next year’s EFIL General Assembly (Prague, 25-28 May 2017). The EFIL survey conducted in September which involved all 28 of EFIL’s Member Organisations, confirmed a high level of satisfaction with EFIL’s work. Comments included several interesting suggestions and opportunities that will be integrated in the programme of the upcoming EFIL General Assembly.
The Board continued the discussion about EFIL membership, with focus on the transition to Full Membership of EFIL’s six Affiliate Members and the possibility of EIL Ireland joining EFIL. A working group was put together to review the current membership fee system.
At its last meeting of the year, the Board always looks back at EFIL’s efforts in the field of Intercultural Learning (ICL) over the past year, using the EFIL Intercultural Learning Strategy as a monitoring tool. It was concluded that ICL featured as an essential part in EFIL’s activities over the past year, that EFIL’s effort in the ICL field created a coherent added value to those of AFS International, and that EFIL was perceived and acted as an expert provider of ICL within AFS and by relevant external audiences.
The next Board meeting will take place in Helsinki, Finland (dates to be confirmed).