CD Telegram April 2013

Something amazing this way comes… and yes, here it is, the long anticipated Spring has finally arrived in Brussels as well! The sunshine and the Spring breeze gave the Comité Directeur such a huge amount of energy this month, that even the extremely intense Agora couldn’t hold us back from the active work for the rest of the month!

Luis Alvarado Martínez (President)

April was also a very busy month for all of us. Straight after the Agora, I had to help Pavel Zbornik with the new applications for the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. Later on, I had to attend several meetings in Brussels with different partners and get everything ready for the COMEM (Council of Members)/General Assembly of the European Youth Forum with our Liaison Officer Marko Grdošić.
During the COMEM, we presented our candidature for the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe where we were elected, which is very good news for AEGEE-Europe.

Straight after COMEM I had to go directly to Strasbourg to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe where we represented International NGOs and a few days later our event on Youth Rights started in Strasbourg in the European Youth Center of the Council of Europe. During this event we drafted a campaign with several other INGYOs which will be launched at the end of Summer.

One day before finishing the event in Strasbourg, I had to fly to Sofia, Bulgaria, to be a speaker in a panel organised by the S&D Group of the European Parliament, “Relaunching Europe”, and give our input as organisation in topics such as Youth Unemployment and the new Youth Guarantee, Mobility, Education and Skills.

Apart from all this, I have been working this month on the Youth in Action application for our Peace building Caucasus training which will take place next September during the University of Youth and Development in Mollina with our members from that region. I was also preparing a press conference in the European Parliament for the launching of the new Y Vote 2014 project, another press conference in the Parliament for our LLP project and finally preparing the Youth Conference which AEGEE-Europe will be organising in Brussels next June.

Anna Gots (Financial Director)

I’d say for me April was one of the most challenging months of the term  for several reasons.

First of all it started with the great Agora Rhein-Neckar, which all of us enjoyed very much equally from the organisational and content point of view.

It was also a very important and exciting event for us, having the first reporting there, presenting several controversial initiatives and running for Comité Directeur again at the same time. Of course I must admit that I’m very happy with the results and would like to express once again my gratitude to the Network for confirming the trust in our team and giving us the chance to continue doing what we love most for one more year and having more time to implement all our ideas.

Besides all mentioned activities during the Agora, during the last days together with Pavel, Nico Huurman and Sandra Geldmacher, we managed to have FATF board meeting, approving activity and financial reports 2012 and discussing changes to be implemented in the nearest future.

Back in the office, first of all I had to deal with the follow-up of the Agora: reminding locals that still haven’t paid about the membership fee, taking care of invoices and reimbursements, etc.

Soon after, the time came for the first reporting of COY_NGO project (supported by LLP grant), followed by a series of interviews with candidates for the administrative and research assistant position in the office. After comprehensive and meticulous evaluation we choose the very decent candidate – Madalena Sousa, who joined our team immediately and already started contributing actively to different initiatives.

Last but not the least challenge of this month was reporting on General Subvention, which kept me busy in the office surrounded by folders for one week.

But after this was done I finally got some time to rest and relax, taking the flight to Kyiv and participating in the long awaited holidays with my family and friends there.

Lucille Rieux (Secretary General)

April turned out to be an extremely busy month as well. The Agora came first, and I enjoyed it a lot, because it is always a great moment to finally share ideas and receive direct feedback from the members. Of course, it was also very tiring, both following the organisation, giving input, and even running for CD again, but Agora Rhein-Neckar proved to be a great Agora once again!

Once back in Brussels, I started working on several aspects, from following up on the identity process, to finding a new employee that AEGEE was going to host. It took quite some time to select her, Madalena Sousa, and then to introduce her to the work of the Comité Directeur, to our current plans and projects.

Besides this, I have been also working with the Policy Officers, and preparing the Policy Officer consultation which was supposed to take place in Maribor, at the end of April. Unfortunately, due to a lack of applications, the event had to be canceled at the last-minute. I therefore started to work with Pavel and Luis on a youth rights event which AEGEE organised in Strasbourg at the end of April, and I was there also, helping to build a youth rights campaign together with other youth NGOs.

The last ten days of April were also a Youth in Action deadline, and I have worked a lot with the Y Vote team to help preparing the applications for the events of Y Vote. In total, seven applications have been submitted, with hopefully a positive outcome!

Apart from those key aspects, I have dealt with general Secretary General issues, from internal communication administration, CD meetings, registration of AEGEE-Europe etc…

Hopefully, May will bring some sunny days and a bit less workload!

Kathrin Renner (Vice President and External Relations Director)

April was dominated by the Agora and travelling.

After eight exhausting, challenging, but happy days in Mannheim, I continued travelling for another week, visiting the General Assemblies of two of our partner organisations. First I went to ELSA’s International Council Meeting in Cologne, and then from there directly took a plane to Trieste and a bus to Maribor to the Annual Members Meeting of ESN. In both events I briefly presented AEGEE and talked with members on how we can collaborate further. After discussion about the format of our Agora, it was interesting to see how other organisations manage their General Assemblies and together with the Chair Team I hope that we can steal some good ideas from them.

Also the rest of April was quite busy: we introduced our new house to our partners in Brussels, I followed up the Study Fair of Agora, and then I supported the YVote team with several Youth in Action Applications and Pavel with the report on General Subvention. We also prepared the guide to learning objectives for the SU project, giving Summer Universities a real educational dimension. All organizers will receive more information soon.

Beáta Matuszka (Network and Human Resources Director)

April was an amazing month since I had many of chances to meet a lot of AEGEEans and a lot of friends from all around the Network, which makes my work worthwhile. In the first days of April, I spent some intensive days in Mannheim at the Agora, where beside many other duties, I presented the Network Status, I had a progress meeting, I worked with the HRC, I presented proposals and a candidature, and I could meet my friends also. On the last day, we enjoyed the second European level meeting, for which I’m extremely grateful to the participants from the different bodies and especially to Xueji Li from Mannheim, who provided an enormous support to make this meeting happen again.

After coming back from the Agora, I was working with the Youth (un)employment team first on their team meeting in Brussels, and later on with the next cycle European School Entrepreneurship which will be organised with AEGEE-Mannheim, and for which I had a meeting and was in contact with our fellow organisations, such as JADE and ESTIEM. Besides this, I was also selecting the representatives for the Growth Management Project of European Youth Forum, and as soon as we have results from YFJ, I will be able to write more about this project.

Right after this, I traveled to Istanbul to participate as a trainer at NWM Istanbul, which was an amazing event, not just content-, but also organisational wise, we can say a million thanks to Tika Kukhianidze, Meltem Darakci and to the amazing AEGEE-Istanbul and the participants.

This month we also got amazing news: the YiA application for the Euroskepticism project has been accepted, so we can prepare for an amazing event with AEGEE-London. But the first days of May were a YiA deadline again, and I was helping Lucille and Luis to gather partnerships from the Network for YVote events.

Many other things happened: the preparations for the new Members Manual has started with Olia Yushchenko and with other former Network Commissioners, the HRC members and Speaker Team, I started the preparation for the first Human Resources Forum in Brussels with the partner INGYOs and this month was also the knowledge transfer period for the Network Commission.

Miguel Gallardo Albajar (Projects Director)

April. What a busy month you were!

Started as you all know with the Agora in Rhein Neckar and the boost of motivation received by the support of the network for our crazy idea of running for a second year in CD.

Just after the Agora I went to Chambéry (France) to attend the meeting of the LLP Project IEREST (Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers), contributing to create better intercultural courses for Erasmus students.

The next week it was finally nice weather in Brussels and we welcomed our friends and partners in Brussels to our new house with a small party, which is always a perfect opportunity to meet and network.

On the weekend I took a train to Leuven for having a hand at their event about migration (co-organised with the Human Rights WG) and I came back impressed by the strong motivation of the participants.

Additionally, I had the chance to represent AEGEE-Europe at the General Assembly of BEST in Valladolid, giving me an insight of one of our partners that opens a lot of possibilities for potential cooperation.

In the last days of the month I traveled to NWM Lviv for a weekend full of workshops, learning and sharing, discussions with active members from the Eastern part of our network. And to top it off, the celebration of the XX anniversary of AEGEE-Lviv, our first antenna in Ukraine.

Summing up. A great month with plenty of opportunities to get in contact with the network!

Pavel Zbornik (European Institutions and Communications Director)

April started with the Agora, I think I don’t have to mention and we all know, that this is a busy period.

Right after we had two days until the deadline for applications for European Youth Foundation. These were intensive two days, but we managed to submit one training course on Human Rights in Lyon and also work-plan application which is a new type of grant for series of activities with maximum of 50 000 EUR.

In parallel I started to work on a report of Operational grant from EACEA. Anna was working on the financial report and I was collecting reports from the locals to show what our Network did last year. After receiving more 600 events, I had to prepare them for the report and selected the one with biggest impact. Report was submitted at the end of the month.

The second part of the month I spend with travels. I went to NWM Białystok with small stop in Warsaw. The NWM was very well organised and I really liked the discussion which took place.
I raised also an important issue there: the NWMs which are organised by Polish locals are the biggest among all, but they have no clear definition, they have also an aspect of national gathering of Polish locals with strong focus on national cooperation. We had intensive and interesting discussion about this. On the day after leaving Poland, I went straight to Strasbourg where together with Luis and Lucille we were organizing an event in European Youth Center to develop campaign with other IYNGOs to raise importance of youth rights and call for legal binding document inside the Council of Europe.