CD Telegram Summer Edition 2013

One year has passed, we were spending our first full and busy summer and our second August in Brussels. We didn’t stop working until the end, but we took a short break to gather enough energy for the even more exciting months ahead of us. It was an amazing year, full of AEGEE spirit and full of results in the Network and we would like to say many thanks for the hard work during the year!

Luis Alvarado Martinez (President)

July and August were not as calm as we thought they would be. I started the month with all the preparations for our event in Spain, organized together with AEGEE-Zaragoza. With this project we have done something which had never been done. AEGEE-Europe has organized the first ever consultation for International Youth NGOs to further involve them in the Structured Dialogue Process on Youth of the EU. The results achieved in Zaragoza will be extremely valuable these upcoming months.

Directly after this, we came back to Brussels to meet a very motivated Identity team, with whom we debated and drafted the final paper, coming from the recommendations of the Network on the updates of our identity. These months and also Agora Zaragoza will be historic moments for this organization, if the Agora decided to ratify the document.

After some days in Brussels catching up with other tasks, I flew to Alghero (Italy) to represent AEGEE in the Southern European Summer University, organized by the Italian Youth Council, to debate about the future of the European Youth Forum, the future EU Youth Programs, and also the future involvement of AEGEE in the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. Very fruitful discussions were held and after evaluating our policy, advocacy and political work, I can say that today AEGEE counts on strong political bonds with key actors in the Youth sector which improves our visibility and makes us more reliable and stronger as partners.

Directly after Alghero I went on holidays. First I spent some time in Norway and then I flew back home to my adored Canary Islands. These days were crucial for me, as they allowed me to disconnect and recharge my energie for the upcoming year. Directly after that, I met my team in Alicante, where we planned our year and then we all came back to Brussels where we found a hard-working CIA reform team, and we hosted our Summer Cocktail with our partners in Brussels.

Anna Gots (Financial Director)

My July started in Zaragoza in the EuroSD event where, together with representatives from 16 INGYOs, we debated on further future involvement of INGYOs in the Structured Dialogue on Youth of the European Union process. The event was had a strong external impact as well as on a personal level for me, increasing my interest and participation in policy and advocacy field.

After coming back to the reality of the office, I prepared clarifications regarding our General Subvention report for the EACEA, second interim financial report of COY (LLP) project and continued managing the financial follow-up of our Youth Rights event in Strasbourg and Co-management event in European Parliament.
Besides this, the results of our application for another project funded by LLP came in, and work on the last adjustments of the budget and first meeting with the partners already took place. More details about the project EVA (Erasmus Voting Assessment) will come soon.

August came with Agora preparations in cooperation with the Chair team, issuing the open calls and enjoying the first weeks performing the new task.

Of course at the same time it was a period of finalization of internal financial reports for me, collecting, paying and claiming back all possible reimbursements and invoices from the previous periods.
Moreover, having a bit more quiet time in the office in the beginning of the month, I’ve managed to finalize the research on the new bookkeeping software and proceeded with trying out the options available online.

The second half of the month was as active and inspiring for me as for the other CD members – evaluation of the previous year and building plans for the year to come in the warm atmosphere of Miguel’s house in Alicante.

Kathrin Renner (Vice President and External Relations Director)

For me, July and August were quite relaxed. Most of July I spent finishing pending issues and working with the K2E team to prepare the next edition, writing articles and dealing with the printing house. I also updated the CRM to store contacts and other related information for the CD in the long term together with Pavel. Together with the rest of the team, we worked hard during the Identity Meeting and I am very happy with the results. I already went on holidays on the 21st of July, going back home to Passau to finish my thesis and my studies.

I came back in August shortly before the CD Planning Meeting in Alicante at Miguel’s house, were we reflected on the past year and drafted our Activity Plan for this upcoming year.




Miguel Gallardo Albajar (Projects Director)

Back to school!

July and August were months where I think I managed to combine work and relaxation very harmoniously. In July, I traveled to Madrid for a weekend and I took the opportunity to establish some contacts in the national media which I expect will prove very useful for the Y Vote 2014 conventions that we will have there this autumn. Also we can use these contacts for giving the Agora in Zaragoza bigger visibility. When I came back to Brussels, I joined, together with the whole CD, the meeting with the Identity team. Together we tried to make sense of the results of the surveys and create a coherent identity out of it. I am quite satisfied with the results; you may have already received them in your inbox so check them out because it is a very important issue for the future of AEGEE. After the intense meeting I took one week of holidays and I traveled to an indie pop music festival between Spain and Portugal, then to Alicante to give a hand in our SU and then to Oviedo for a cultural and gastronomic weekend with some friends from AEGEE. I came back to Brussels exhausted physically, but mentally fresh.

Then came August. It was a month which was supposed to be quiet, but with all the preparations for the Agora and some closing of initiatives of the closing term, it became so intense that it went by super-fast. Luckily the weather was unexpectedly nice (for Brussels) and we could enjoy lunches in our garden and going to a music festival in the main park of the city. However, before I realize, I was already back in Alicante, celebrating my birthday with my friends and family, Even my “CD family” was there, since we chose Alicante as the perfect location to do our evaluation and the planning for the new term, because we could work hard during the days while enjoying some relaxing time on our breaks at the beach or drinking a relaxing mojito in a nice terrace in El Barrio.

Beata Matuszka (Network and Human Resources Director)

After reading all of our reports for the summer edition, you can imagine how busy our summer was (even if we hoped that we can slow down for a bit). For me July also started with the EuroSD in Zaragoza with Anna, Madalena and Luis. 

This was also the month of follow-up on human resources: after the HR Forum which was organised by AEGEE in June with the participation of 9 organisations, a 40-page-long document has been created with best practices, SWOT analysis for each organisation, which is a perfect starting point to continue our work. I was also working on the kick-start of the European level meeting, the open call has been issued and the initial steps with AEGEE-Zaragoza with the logistical issues were taken.
You might have also realized that there was an increase in the “New addition to the Network” e-mails on Announce-L, we can now welcome Lille, Verona and Nantes in AEGEE starting July. The summer brought the time of Skype marathons with the Netcommies, one by one, this also helped to get a more detailed overview of the Network which is crucial for the preparation for the Agora.

Besides, you might also remember that the HRC and myself were collecting data from your locals about the Human Resources Cycle (you can still fill it in here), which was consolidated and a small team from HRC started to analyse it already in order to finish the draft manual by Agora Zaragoza.

I was also present at the Identity meeting and some other tasks and projects still continued during the summer, such as the realization of the Euroskepticism project.

It was weird for me to start the holidays and finally enjoy the summer when my hometown already started to prepare for autumn and the start of the new school year, so I decided not to leave my flat at home (however, it was rather my doctor’s than my decision after the surgery), but after 2 weeks in Hungary, I flew to Alicante to have an intensive week with my CD team to evaluate the last year and plan the next one. Once again, million thanks to Miguel and Miguel’s mom for hosting us (and help us to gain some weight).

Even if we had a transition bbq/summer cocktail party for the partners, I couldn’t be in Brussels when our new term officially started, for the second time already. On 1st of September I woke up in Helsinki, since the second meeting of the Membership Growth Project was held in the North.

Lucille Rieux (Secretary General)

Believe it or not, July and August have been busy months after all. In July, the workload didn’t cease. Early July, I represented AEGEE at the European Year of Citizens Alliance’s (EYCA) meeting in Zagreb, during which the recommendations in order to improve Citizens Participation and Civil Dialogue were discussed. I also attended other meetings, such as the board meeting of EUCIS-LLL, where AEGEE is now member, Education meeting among YFJ members, and Euractiv thematic meetings. During the days in the office, I have been focusing on preparing articles for the future Key to Europe, and above all, working on the preparation of the Identity Meeting, which took place in the Head Office of AEGEE-Europe, gathering about 20 people (including CD).

Luckily I managed to take some holidays at the end of July and early September, mixing relaxing days in my home town and traveling around.

I came back to Brussels still quite relaxed and happy and ready to start working on the preparation of the next year. Apart from regular work, such as preparation of the Y Vote conferences, discussions regarding the Identity, writing Activity Reports of the 2012-2013 term, the main focus of August has been planning of the new term of our Comité Directeur. We spent one intense working week in Alicante, evaluating the work achieved, and discussing a lot on our priorities for the next year as well as the task distribution. It was very nice to change atmosphere and to go to Miguel’s house to do so, as it really gave another perspective to our discussions.

Back in Brussels, busy time started again, with the kick-off of our new term which was celebrated during the cocktail we organised at the end of August for our partners.

September is about to start, and I am happily ready to start this new year full of challenges.

Pavel Zborník (European Institutions and Communications Director)

At the beginning of July I had many pending issues from June which I spend mostly travelling, so I focused on finishing them. Also at the begging of the month, my home local organised their SU and I helped them a bit with organisation and made one workshop for them.

During July I was working on system development for CRM to store contacts and other related information. At this time we have almost 1000 contacts in CRM database. Before I left for one week home, at the end of July, I started to work on the new concept for OMS Wiki to include there all AEGEE related knowledge. My effort in this continued with migration of the content of the Members Manual as test phase to check usability for storing this kind of information. I will work on this task during next year to have an updated and full knowledge base which would help AEGEE members to get to know more.

First week of August I spend on vacation, where I couldn’t completely disconnect from my task and drafted concept of AEGEE communication strategy and a new system how to manage websites on European Level. The rest of the month was not so different from other CD members, Alicante and summer cocktail. At the end of the month I was working on an application for next year’s edition of a youth event prior to the Internet Governance conference in Berlin.

Madalena Sousa (Research and Administrative Officer)

Working in AEGEE-Europe during July and August was a very interesting and an important challenge for both of us. It was a non-stop way with so many different learning insights.

July started with the last preparation details for the EuroSD event in Zaragoza. I was involved as a facilitator in a team with other 3 amazing AEGEE members. This event was a step further on the representativeness and sustainability of INGYOs in the SD on EU level, on getting more organizations involved and reinforcing our position in the process. Besides the essence of the event, for me it was the first time working with an AEGEE local – Zaragoza – where I met an amazing team and had the pleasure to be in an European event organized by them.

Coming back “home” was the time to follow-up, to report, do administrative and research work regarding the “Education at a Glance”, EuroSD, COY (LLP project), internal strategies, etc.

Regarding COY, I was creating an online library providing all the documents and relevant informations, calendar etc. towards a more facilitated joint work among partners, I was writing the proposal for the Pan-European Database and giving feedback on the framework “Classification on Youth Workers Qualifications”.

August was also a month doing research related with COY and specifically for potential stakeholders to be part of our database, getting in contact with partners, review descriptions according with contributions, etc. It was also time to do research on Quality in Education, Educational Change and Managing Education in order to have a better contribution in this field in AEGEE further on and finally I was contributing in different internal processes such as NFIL strategy, Strategy for the Internal secretariat, etc.

I would like also to highlight the great celebration AEGEE-Europe organized at the house by hosting partners, youth organizations, former AEGEE members and Les Anciens etc with a very nice cocktail. It was an amazing evening, where I had the opportunity to meet very interesting people. These initiatives are very relevant to the organization and bring so many people that come to know more about the organization, to do networking, to see old colleagues and of course to contribute somehow to the development of AEGEE.