For its second meeting of the year, the EFIL Board of Directors on 6-8 June met in Madrid, in the new office premises of EFIL Member Organisation Intercultura Espana. This was the last meeting of the 2013/2014 Board. Board elections took place the week after, at the e.o.G.A. alongside the EFIL HOO retreat in Malaga (see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife).
The Board discussed actual trends and key issues in the global AFS network. EFIL will keep on following the developments. An overview was given by the Secretary-General on the personnel situation in the office and of the results of the Secretariat’s fundraising efforts. Fundraising has been particularly successful so far in the new year (under the new Erasmus+ programme) with a string of approved funding applications and several more pending.
The Board took note of the updated activity calendar 2014-2015, and discussed the positive developments in the European Citizenship Trimester Programme ECTP (significant growth and content development), the ongoing preparations for the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the efforts to boost Intercultural Dialogue Day, and the 5th edition of the Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchange to take place in Vienna in October. A separate session was devoted to an in-depth discussion of EFIL’s four flagship projects. Special attention was given to the request by AFS INT to launch IDD world-wide.
EFIL keeps on monitoring the development of its newer members. The overview of sending and hosting numbers shows a steady increase with particularly good results for Poland, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia. The Board unanimously approved the extension of the Affiliate Membership of the partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia by a further 3 years (for more: see separate article in this edition of EFILife).
Meanwhile, steady progress is taking place in both Romania and Bulgaria. In Romania the registration of an organisation is in full progress. The developments in Bulgaria received a boost through the involvement of returnees from AFS Japan’s summer programme with Bulgaria since 2009. EFIL is also involved in the volunteer development and the launching of ECTP (as of 2015) in the UK. EFIL will help AFS International to facilitate a Study Tour to Ireland in October for European partners.
The Chair thanked out-going Board members Anne Collignon and Simone Caporali for their valuable contributions during their term at the EFIL Board. The next EFIL Board meeting will take place in Brussels (24-26 October 2014). A separate session will be dedicated to advocacy, following EFIL’s increased focus on lobbying and networking over the past years.
Dinner with the Chair of AFS ESP (Pau Puigpelat) and the National and International Directors (Sandra Lois Fraga and Marcel Krause)
EFIL Board at work at the office of AFS Spain