The EFIL Board met in Leuven, Belgium, on 23-25 February 2018. It was the Board’s first in-person meeting of 2018. The draft minutes of the meeting, as well as selected background documents, have been shared with the EFIL Member Organisations and the AFS network via e-mail and the AFS Announcements in World Café.
Executive summary :
- Good progress has been made in the two advocacy campaigns run by EFIL: more funding for pupil mobility within the EU, and recognition of studying abroad. On 21 March 2018, EFIL together with EEE-YFU, will hold a public event entitled “Towards More Exchanges For Pupils” at the European Parliament in Brussels.
- A check list with criteria on which future decisions will be based for admitting non-AFS organisations into the Federation, was discussed by the Board. The list included criteria referring to corporate information, organisational culture, legal aspects and synergies. The document will be presented for official endorsement by the Members at the Extraordinary General Assembly on 30 May (which will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, alongside the annual Heads of Office meeting).
- The Board discussed the draft EFIL Member Support Strategy 2018-2020. In the coming years, in the field of partner development and member support EFIL will continue its focus on supporting its young and its weaker Member Organisations to help them become self-sustainable. No additional resources will be put into further expansion into new territories. In the mid-long term the creation of a Solidarity Fund will be looked into, to be monitored by a still to be established Advisory Group that will report to the EFIL Board. A close cooperation with AFS International will ensure the best possible support for the Members.
- The Board also briefly touched upon documents by AFS International referring to International Associate Members, and pointed out that some caution is needed when evaluating and categorising the current International Associates. In an ideal world, reaching a total of 50 exchanges in a period of 3 years would be a noble goal indeed, but the reality of new partners includes several aspects that hinder their rapid development and slow down the process considerably. Also, next to numbers, criteria as mission, market demand, political relevance (advocacy), etc. should be considered.
- The organogram of the EFIL secretariat in Brussels was slightly adjusted, including the arrival of two new staff members (Valentina Milanese, Jenny Larentsinusdottir), replacing outgoing staff Inga Menge and Tinna Sveinsdottir.
- “Developing Intercultural Competence through E-learning” (DICE) is a project focusing on developing a new e-learning and blended learning course addressing those aspects of intercultural competence which can be helpful in facing current society challenges and which might not be addressed yet by existing AFS tools and curricula. As the project is in its initial stage, the EFIL Board decided to wait with a more in-depth discussion until the future course and potential of the project will be more clear.
- The “GDPR” (General Data Protection Regulation) will become enforceable on 25 May 2018. For EFIL to comply with the new regulations, the necessary steps will be taken.
- EFIL had been approached by a group of 5 Chairs of Member Organisations with the idea of launching a new platform for the European Chairs to meet. The EFIL Board supports this new initiative. The first Chair Platform meeting will take place 18-20 May 2018, in Brussels.
- The Board studied the end-of-year results 2017 (before audit), together with the project overview. We’re heading for a slightly positive result.
- An extra-ordinary General Assembly will be held on 30 May 2018 during the Heads of Office retreat in Copenhagen, Denmark, with two agenda points: criteria for non-AFS organisations to join EFIL, and the EFIL Board elections.
- The next Board meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium, 22-24 June 2018.