EFIL’s first Board meeting of the year was kindly hosted in Moscow by our Member Organisation, AFS Russia

The agenda covered global and regional network updates, and a general overview of the Federation including the personnel situation of the Secretariat in Brussels, updated fundraising results, the EFIL calendar of activities 2016, EFIL’s recent activities in the field of advocacy, the upcoming Volunteer Summer Summit in Venice (July/August) and an evaluation of the 2015 European Citizenship Trimester Programme with the Brussels Camp.

Special attention was given to EFIL’s involvement in the MIRAI programme, a short-term exchange programme launched and sponsored by the Government of Japan, for which EFIL has been appointed as the European secretariat. For more: see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife.

In the session about new partner development in Europe, time was devoted to discuss the way forward in the young member organisations in Croatia and Slovenia. Brief updates about the recent developments in Bulgaria and Poland also passed the agenda. In Poland a transition is taking place, and the role of AFS partner will soon be passed from the Fr. Siemaszko Foundation to Global Citizens, the new AFS Polska.  In Bulgaria, Intercultural Exchanges Bulgaria (IEB) was officially registered and acts as the AFS partner in that country.

The Board discussed the current political and humanitarian situation in Europe, with special attention for the Paris Declaration, and expressed the intention to further monitor opportunities for a potential role to be played by EFIL.

As fixed agenda point on the first Board meeting of each year, the Board looked back at the previous year’s funding efforts under the Erasmus+ programme, the EU programme in the field of education, training, youth and sport, and evaluated the cooperation with the National Agencies and AFS partners over the past year.

The Board discussed the end-of-year results of 2015 (after audit), the final 2015 projects budget overview, and the membership accounts. For 2015 EFIL has met the ambitious target set in the draft budget, ending the year with a small surplus. A small working group has been put together to look into a number of financial matters.

The work plan for 2016 includes further Board meetings in June and October. An extra-ordinary General Assembly (for the elections of new Board members) will be attached to the EFIL Heads of Office retreat in June. The call for nominations of the EFIL Board 2016/2017 will come out on 16 March 2016.

On Saturday evening, the EFIL Board members met with the AFS volunteers of the Moscow chapter.

The next Board meeting will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland, 10-12 June.