Marko Grdošić – President
I guess the month of May is the hardest to describe and write about. There was an Agora! And it was for sure not an easy one. Aware of what the whole Vote of Confidence might bring, we went for it, knowing that this is the right and only solution to resolve all the internal issues and to increase the achievements in the future. And we did the right thing! Coming back to Brussels and sleeping the Agora over, we started with future planning, establishing the common ideas we will be working on for the next four months. The team spirit had a boom and it is still running at the same level!
A week after Enschede I had the knowledge transfer with Alfredo and attended two General Assemblies of the platforms we are members of: European Civil Society Platform on Life Long Learning (EUCIS-LLL) and European Movement International (EMI). Attending them gave me a lot of ideas about where AEGEE could have more influence on a European level. This I find very important in order to make our positions stronger and make our voice better heard.
At the General Assembly of EMI the most interesting topic was approving the support for the campaign Vote@16, about which we will inform the Network in the following weeks and try to gather as much input as possible. The last days of May I’ve spent on Youth in Action, together with Luis, preparing the EVS application for the next Comité Directeur.
And in the end, another meeting of the coalition which is working on Erasmus for All brought good news. The Coucil of the European Union presented their position, including a separate youth chapter which shows a great improvement and gives hope for the future development of the Commission’s proposal.
Alma Mozgovaja – Secretary General
May started with the challenging Agora. Besides spending every single moment when I was out of the plenaries for printing additional ballots, meeting with the Chair team, the Juridical Commission and you, members, yes, we also had a Vote of Confidence. I believe it will change not only us as CD and as individuals, but also the whole AEGEE network. We are demanding not just on political and institutional fields, but we are also very critical to ourselves.
This month was relaxing because I didn’t travel at all (exc. the Agora), although there were quite some things to do – registering changes of the president and newly elected Comité Directeur for the Brussels registration, agreements for the newly elected CD, attendance list as result of bar codes scanning, joining two more teams – IT Committee as CD appointed person and the Key to Europe- team.
As promised, the new assistant moved in. Ioana is taking care of physical archives in the basement of the house. I am even happier because she is not the only one working on this, we also have Edouard and Hector who are mainly dealing with electronic archives and archives structure.
Apart from this, I also attended the Secretary Generals day by the European Youth Forum (YFJ) about change management and some tools on how to manage HR, Secretariat vs. Board relations etc, which will be helpful for the implementation of further changes in the CD and in AEGEE in general.
To conclude, for every decision you make, put your heart, soul and your whole being behind it, truth and confidence are the roots of happiness. Be true and confident!
Elena Antova – Financial Director
May started with a new beginning. At the Agora in Enschede the next generation of Comité Directeur members was elected. Seven young, enthusiastic and motivated people will represent the future of our association from the 1st of September 2012.
At the Agora I was busy with my task as a Financial Director: AEGEE-Europe’s Registration desk, Presentation of the Budgets and Reports, Progress Meeting, presenting a proposal at the Prytania.
After the Agora was over and we finally got back to Brussels, I continued with my daily work: checking reimbursements, making payments, bookkeeping. Together with the rest of the Comité Directeur members we had a meeting for drafting and finalizing our new Activity Plan, which will represent our plans and ideas till the end of our term. We also had teambuilding sessions with Fabian, for which I am really thankful to him. His contribution and support helped me a lot and I am sure the others as well. Before starting my travel to Napoli for the Network Meeting, I had to prepare some final updates for the External Accountant that was going to check the finances of AEGEE-Europe at the end of the month.
I took part in the Network Meeting Napoli as a trainer and Comité Directeur representative. I had sessions about the Strategic Plan, “Erasmus for All” Program, Financial Reporting and AEGEE Thematic bodies. It was a really motivating and inspiring Network Meeting, with a great team of organizers, trainers and participants.
Jüri Kirpu – Internal Relations Director
The beginning of May was full of different trials and tribulations. The Spring Agora Enschede was without a doubt one of the biggest happenings in the recent history of AEGEE, which will probably be remembered by many of us. Six of us received confidence from what can be considered as the purest voice of AEGEE and with it a new breath of energy was given to us to conclude our work here in Brussels. Upon the conclusion of our General Assembly, I asked Fabian Brüggemann to aide us by bringing us together, which he gladly accepted to do.
With the new task distribution done, quite some changes were made within the Comité Directeur, after which it was decided that I would be dealing with communications in general. With this I am now a member of the Public Relations Committee Speaker Team, responsible for Key to Europe development with Alma and also responsible for the media partnerships, which I would like to improve for the remainder of my time here. As a complementary part to the Secretary Generals day, which was organised by YFJ, the day long session was closed by a communications and external media relations discussion, where different NGOs active in the youth field described their experiences. It was very interesting to take part in it, since it broadened my perspective on communicational strategic planning.
The month also included dealings with the Network Commission and the elections of the new Speaker team. Congratulations to Wieke van der Kroef and Marek Pezda for being elected for the Speaker team!
Gizem Karslı - Vice President and Projects Director
There is no question that May was the hardest month for each one of us. You may blame us or understand, you may be happy or sad, yet what happened was what our values required us to do. I had one of the hardest times in my life, and I assure you I have never had an easy one. Yet, I truly believe that we acted in the right way by not covering up serious issues. I simply wish the direction the Agora showed us will be the best for our beloved association and ourselves. Hopefully, these will be the last sentences I will write about the infamous part of the Agora, time to put a full stop.
While we were playing difficult games in our AEGEE world, lots of things happened in the real world. For instance, more than 600 students got arrested in my home country. Among them I had my friends… Stop and think for a moment, imagine a close friend of yours behind the bars. It does hurt, doesn’t it? What else can I tell you about May? What should you or I be concerned with more?
A health minister declared that the state will take care of the baby of a woman who was raped, the police force switched to using iron batons, 12 people were pressed for charges for the negative comments they made on Facebook about the Prime Minister’s abortion discussion and many others…
How can I write about the weather in Brussels and what I have been doing when the part of Europe I was born in is walking to its death?
If you are still talking about the Agora, the Vote of Confidence or similar topics, I kindly ask you to wake up.
Guillermo García Tabarés - Human Resources Director
May was quite relaxed after an intensive beginning at Agora Enschede.
At the Agora two new Working Groups were approved, so I was mainly coordinating their first steps, making sure that the boring bureaucracy is done as fast as possible, leaving place for actions, debates, etc while having a strong basic framework. You can find their aims and ideas in the Newsletter for May. The same way, you’ll soon know who are the new board members also.
During the Agora, the General Members Meeting of AEGEE-Academy took place as well. For the ones that are not familiar with the term, we could say that it’s the Agora of the AEGEE-Academy, as they are registered as any other local. The recently elected board was also ratified and my tasks during May were just observing the knowledge transfer and making sure that nothing is forgotten during the transition between the two boards.
Lastly, there were no updates in the HR Committee. At the Agora we finally had a face-to-face meeting with around 10 members, which motivated them to continue working. Now it’s time to see how effective this motivation was. What I can tell in advance about the work of the HRC is that a local analysis of HR strategies will come soon. Moreover, I kept on communicating with the LTC responsibles, and assisting them when it came to reimbursement possibilities.
I can only conclude with the fact that the end is starting to be visualised, but on the other hand, mailing lists are quite silent now. Be it exams or warm weather, it seems we have some time not to feel so stressed about the aforementioned idea.
Claudia Fiorentino – Intern
May has been a month full of emotions for me. Before the Agora I gave my support for organising various materials, like ballot papers and booklets of candidates for the elections. I experienced my first Agora! It was amazing! I attended the opening ceremony, plenaries and different workshops. After the Agora I was trying to find new patrons. I found their contacts so that a request of patronage could be sent to them in the name of AEGEE. In addition, I checked contract statutes of Locals in the archive.
In these two weeks I gave my support for the general administration of the CD office. I tried to find some companies who provide products for house and office maintenance, to support us and the maintenance of the CD house and office. In addition, I also contacted some recycling companies in Brussels to recycle paper for the CD Office! Our goal is to recycle everything, out of respect for the environment.
Then I was taking care of AEGEE’s files and documents in the digital archive. Some of these documents were connected to all information and documents about AEGEE and contracts of old patrons. I rechecked every contract and I created a digital archive for them. Last but not least I was taking care of the french translation of the web page’s AEGEE Partnership Offer.
In these last months a lot of things have changed in the CD Office and my experience will end in one month. I hope to give my support to the entire Comité Directeur until the end of this amazing experience!
Ioana Duca– Archive assistant
Two weeks after the Agora I arrived in Brussels, ready to start my work in the archives of the CD house. My job was and continues to be in the basement of the house, and although I am missing lots of sunlight, it is very rewarding, since it is like a daily path of discovery that I am walking on.
I have seen what is in the archives and I have prepared an action plan so as to have an overview and to know in which way the archives should be ordered. There are a lot of files, dusty files, a lot of useless papers but also a lot of interesting projects, applications for Youth in Action, activities of locals that I didn’t know existed.
Working with archives can sometimes be demanding, but also very exciting, especially if you find information about previous AEGEE projects, contracts, letters etc. My job is to read all the files from the archives, sort them, and put them in order. I have sorted the Working Group files, Les Anciens files and I have started to work on the Council of Europe files, files related to European Institutions, applications for grants and projects. Every week I work on a different field. Also, each CD member is helping me when I am working on his or her field, so as to better understand what we need to keep and what is useless.
We also have a group for this job: Alma, Edouard, Hector, Phillip and me. I work on “the front”, the three boys are preparing some ideas for creating a database for the archives (mainly IT stuff), so that everything is easier to be found, and Alma is our supervisor.