|20th Board Meeting |
August 9th 2003
Reggello - Italy
The following persons were present:
John Petersen, Chairperson
Lászlo Dani, Deputy Chairperson
Mjellma Mehmeti, Board member
Jan-Christoph Napierski, Board member
Conchi Gallego, Board member
Eva Valvo, Substitute
The following guests were present:
1.- Opening of the meeting
John Petersen opens the meeting welcoming everybody to Italy. It is decided that he will chair the meeting.
2.- Approval of the agenda and the minutes of the previous meetings
The following changes in the agenda are approved:
- Including the CC for Europe as a new extra topic under Point 4
- Including Eva’s proposal for a CC Guide in Point 9
- Including the discussion on the membership issue on Point 3
- The minutes proposed are approved
3.- Preparation of the General Assembly
First the board reviews the members that are expected to be present in the General Assembly. Among those the board proposes Elizabeth Alber to chair the GA and Erik Jentges to be the secretary.
The board goes throught the agenda of the GA.
A) On the point for election to the board John informs of the situation. There are four people whose mandate is finishing: John Petersen, Mjellma Mehmeti, Laszlo Dani and Agota Illyes, and also Siebren de Boer will stop as a substitute. Both John and Mjellma express their intention to run for re-election. Laszlo informs that he will run for the position of substitute and John informs the board that Agota and Siebren have expressed their intention of not running for re-election.
There are two candidates for the board: Eva Valvo and Dasa Bolcina. They will present themselves to the GA.
The candidature period for substitute has not yet ended. Candidates will be allowed to present themselves until the point of the agenda on elections. So far there are two candidates: Laszlo Dani and Helena Soares.
Finally John informs that Lene Albrechtsen the auditor would wish to continue in this position.
B) There is some discussion about the point of the agenda included on due time by a member Natalya Nikolova from Sofia on proposals to improve the members participation in ACC. After some discussion the board decides the following:
- As far as for the proposal to have forums on the internet, it is decided that the ACC will provide the ACC Yahoo Group as the “meeting place” for members. Other debate forums based on topics, national, cultural...etc background could be set up upon the initiative of a group of members. However the board considers that this forums will not be under the www.acc.eu.org as they are group initiatives that could not always fit with the ACC criteria. These initiatives as well as any other informal group will be welcomed by the board, however there won’t be a concrete promotion for it.
- When talking about “formalised groups”, two possibilities are brought up in the debate:
o The creation of a committee when there is a project (meaning any kind of activity or concrete task). The procedure is established clearly in the statutes
o The possibility of legalising ACC at national, regional, local or any other “subgeographical” level will be done based on the experience that we have so far - only including the case in Latvia. In order to create such an organisation the following criteria should be fulfilled:
The creation of the organisation and its statutes should be approved by the board of the ACC.
The first two paragraphs of the statutes should be identical to those of the ACC
Only members of ACC can be members of this “sub”- organisation. Meaning that individuals are members of ACC, and only then they could also be members of this other organisation.
Mjellma Mehmeti informs the board that as established in the Work Plan she is working on a document related to the work of the committees. She will take all this opinions on board when finalising the document and before presenting it to the board.
C) Another point of the agenda revised by the board is the change in the statutes. Those changes were proposed by the board and sent in due time. The aim of these changes are to allow the ACC to fulfill the legal and procedural requirements in order to be able to establish the First European Community College.
D) There is a proposal to include a workshop linked to the point dealing with the FECC. The aim is to take advantage of the participation of some members of the organisation in order to hear their feedback on the project, to have them better informed about the latest developments of the FECC and also if possible to contribute to the ongoing debate within the Yahoo Group concerning this topic.
This is an information point in the agenda so no decission needs to be taken.
E) There will be an inclusion in the AOB point about approving the membership fee for the next year, as it is stated in the statutes. The board decides to propose the GA to mantain the entrance fee in 10€. There will also be a proposal for approval that is the possibility of renewing the membership via e-mail.
There are also two new measures proposed in order to get as many replies as possible:
- There will be every year an e-mail sent to all members in January asking them to reply back in order to confirm their membership.
- There will be a permanent reminder at the bottom of each Bulletin.
In these two cases members will be reminded to update their personal data if it has changed.
F) There is one last topic for discussion concerning the GA. It is about the creation of an NGO in Rite Folk High School in Latvia in which ACC is taking part. The board approves at this point the partnership with the other NGOs in the founding of the school and will put it forward to the GA (2004) for its ratification.
4.- Overview of activities and projects (revising the Work Plan for the year 2003).
ERCC: Eva Valvo, in charge of the projects makes a brief presentation of how the course is going on. The activity is still running so it is not possible to give a complete feedback or evaluation to the board, but this will be done at a later stage. Eva makes a positive evaluation of the development of the activity. As negative remarks she informs that there was a incredible amount of very late sign offs. The Italy Committee managed to overcome the problem because a waiting list had been created, however this meant a lot of extra work just before the course started.
About the lectures, she makes a positive evaluation of the lectures held, specially the one from an Italian MEP that was also very interested in the ACC work and willing to cooperate in any future activity that the organisation would be running.
About the media coverage, there has been a limited attraction, nevertheless some informations have been published and broadcasted in some local media. She also considers that the lobby work done towards the local, regional and province institutions has been very fruitful.
She also presents the idea of producing a booklet as a follow-up of the ERCC. Talking about the future the goal of the Italy Committee will be to have a new edition of the ERCC, but this decision is still not taken and it will only be taken when a proper evaluation is done.
TCC: John informs about the TCC as he was present in the first part of it. The impression he got was that is was going very good and participants and organisers were satisfied with the results so far.
There was a press conference to present the project that gathered a lot of important local and regional media and there will be a second meeting with the media in order to present the results fo their work.
Agota and Barna have already applied for some fund for follow up and a confirmation from the Council of Europe has arrived a few days ago. Therefore there is some money granted for a publication on the TCC.
Bumball Game: Most of the board has already read or seen some information about this game on the bulletin and the website. John presents the idea of producing Bumball materials with the ACC logo as merchandise. This idea is approved by the board.
Apart from this John informs about other possible uses of this game, as a socialising game in any activity that ACC organises, as a way of committing some people with a concrete activity and also as it has already been used, as a case example in a course being this the topic around which people was asked to create an NGO.
Caucasus Community College: John and Laszlo inform the board about the latest developments of this project. Nana Saginashvili, an ACC member from Georgia presented this project that was approved by the board to the Council of Europe. Unfortunately the project was rejected. Laszlo and Agota have accepted the compromise of monitoring and helping her with the project.
The first main important thing is to find a topic for the Community College course, then they will give some guidelines and counselling for writing again the project and also for applying for money.
Nadir Kamaladinov, from Azerbajan has informed the office that he is willing to work with Nana in this project.
The board will be waiting for further information.
EVS: Conchi introduces the document that was sent to the board as an attachment. Naomi Woltring finished her EVS period at the begining of July and there was an evaluation done with her about her voluntary period in the ACC office. One of the conclusions drawn from this evaluation was that the board should try somehow to be more actively involved and informed about the EVS person in the office; so as a first step in order to improve our work a report on the evaluation done with Naomi is given to the board for information.
Apart from this she mentiones the main issues of the document that show a very positive evaluation both from Naomi’s perspective and also from the office side towards her volunteering period in the office.
John speaks at this point to reaffirm his positive evaluation of the work done by Naomi and so he thanks her again for her work on behalf of the board.
He also informs that a new volunteer will join the office in autumm. Her name is Hristina Raycheva and she is from Bulgaria.
CC’s for Europe: John informs about this project sent to a call for proposals launched by the EU Commission. The project focuses on the ACC target to include an Action 6 in the new generation of the Youth Programme that will finance Community Colleges throughout Europe.
5.- Accounts and financial issues
John presents the economical situation of the organisation. This year the ACC got some money for running costs from the A3029 budget line of the EU. Some of that money has been used for salary so the board states that the criteria of the EU has been fulfilled as there has been at least one person working in the office.
The ACC has reached 300 members and therefore we have got the status of “comon benefit organisaton” in Denmark. This means that from now on all individuals or companies doing donations to the ACC will be able to withdraw some taxes from the money given. Moreover, the ACC can offer educational services without needing to charge VAT. This in accordance with meetings John have had with the authorities.
6.- Update of Rite’s process
Apart from what has been discussed and decided about this topic when going through the GA agenda John gives some extra information on the process of the creation of the Rite School as an NGO.
Up until now Rite was a private institution, an Ltd. owned by local municipalities and the Danish supporting circle. The buildings have belonged to the local municipality and were recently sold to one person, who has also been the chairman and/or principal of Rite. It is now in the process of recreating itself so that the school will be an NGO. ACC has been invited to participate and some board members as well as some people from ACC Latvia have been participating in some meetings. The process is now at the point of translating the statutes in three langagues (Latvian, Danish and English) and if those are ready a statutory meeting will then take place probably in September. As agreed before, the ACC will be part of this partnership and therefore of this new NGO and will be able to pay a fee if needed.
7. – FECC [this point was though moved and dealt with in the end of the meeting, probably between 10 and 11]
John presents the idea of the First European Community College from the very begining in order to assure that everybody has the same information about the origins and development of the project.
In October 2002 the first draft of the project was created, since then there has been more than 15 updates and the last one is the one that has been sent to the board as an attachment for this meeting.
In February 2003, during the Schools for Europe Community College II the first draft of statutes of FECC was created. Jan-Christoph was leading this group. They have been since then uploaded to the website open for discussion. The statutes were included in the AWE Journal.
Since then lots of lobby work has been done and there has been some high level meetings. The dossier with all the documents and proposals has been presented in the Ministry of Education in Denmark and we are waiting for a reply.
The fact that Mjellma’s award of Young European of the Year 2002 brought visibility to the ACC has also probably influenced the good “welcoming” of our project in some scenarions.
John presents then the contents of the documents sent out. There are different approaches and different possibilities, but this is still a working document so new proposals also from members could be included.
The board reads the core philosofical part of the project and agrees that it fulfills the aims of the ACC. It encourages specially John to keep on going with the lobby work and developing the project in the direction is going.
If further discussion is needed it will be taken in the future by the board.
8.- September Seminar
A) September seminar: John informs in this point that there has been some money fundraise for the celebration of a seminar in Denmark in order to promote and present the ideas behind the FECC to some folk high schools related people.
The seminar will have the shape of a public conference based on three lectures and followed by workshops. The topics of these lectures will be Youth, Folk High Schools and Active Citizenship.
There are three lecturers already inivited: Jan-Christoph Napierski, Mjellma Mehmeti and Conchi Gallego. There is funding for travelling cost for other 10 participants. The names of these people will be selected at a later stage.
John will prepare a draft agenda of this seminar and send it to the board and the other participants.
9. – future activities
A) Youth Participation in Governance: Laszlo presents this project in which ACC is a partner. It is now pending on financing. Waiting for more concrete information on the role of ACC he promises to keep the board updated about this issue.
B) BCC: Agota and Barna have got this project financed after a previous rejection [the headline has sometimes been “Access Europe”]. The aim of this project is to gather ACC members organising Community Colleges projects or aiming to organise one in order to share experiences, debate on common issues and come up with some “guidelines for organising projects” that will help new committees to start new projects.
There will be a planning seminar in October in which external people to the ACC will be invited (maybe some linked to the AWE).
The board is very happy about this approval and is looking forward to be able to contribute to this project.
C) The CC for Europe has already been explained before
D) Permanent finance: this topic raised by Eva sometime ago about the possibility to find a permanent way of financing is debated. Eva presents some examples of organisations that have a permanent income that allows them to work easier and focuss more on their aims. This is seen as a very positive perspective but difficult to reach. Anyway board members are encouraged to come with any idea or possibility in this sense in the future.
Other topic brought up by Eva that was included in this point of the agenda was the creation of a guide for organising CC events. This is seen that it is actually the aim of the BCC project, so this topic is covered.
John informs why this topic has been included in the agenda. The fact that some of the ongoing projects have already obtained some finance for publications brought to the ACC board mailing list the discussion whether this publications should fulfill a minimum established criteria. It was seen by the board that this was a topic that needed some further discussion and that is why it is now being debated.
The first topic discussed is the name of this publication. It is decided to open a broader consulation with the members and see if we can come up with a name that identifies it as an ACC publication and that it is at the same time “catchy”. Some issues are then up to discussion. The results of that discussion are:
CRITERIA TO FULFILL TO CARRY ON AN ACC PUBLICATION
- The style of the publication should be the one of the annual. The front page will stay the same, with a bigger picture and the name of the magazine that will be in a fixed size. The name of the issue will also appear in the front page in a fixed place.
- The blue color will be a standard one given by the office.
- There should be a brief summary of the contents in the back cover.
- The type and size of the font of the cover and the back cover should be always the same.
- There should always be a common “colophone” including the basic information about the ACC.
- There should always be an article from the board (our perspective on the topic).
- There should always be a sentence included saying something like “The opinions expressed in the [title] do not necessarily reflect the position of the ACC.” There will always be a committee in charge of the editing that will follow the same criteria as any other committee of ACC (meaning that its aims shold be in line with the ACC aims, that it should be approved by the board and that a board member should be included in the committee).
- A final copy of the magazine should be send to the board (or the office) to be revised.
- About commercials: a maximum of 5% of the printed space could be dedicated to commercials. The “type of commercial” that could be included is not specified, but it will always have to be under human dignity standards.
- Any institution or enterprise donating money could get their logos published on the back cover under the ACC line.
- The ACC office should always get a minimum number of copies of this publication that will be the number of members plus 100 extra. Also money for postage should be raised by the publishing committee. A copy of the final layout in a CD will have to be sent to the ACC office.
- An ISSN number has to be included. The office will be the one applying of this number.
- A common header and footer should be included in all pages. Header: Title of the issue / Footer: Name of the publication + issue number + page number.
- The publications will be in English. If money for translation is funded, other languages will be welcomed.
- We recomend to use the ACC commonly used font for the text: Trebuchet
- We recomend to include the text in two colomms.
- We recomend that the committee keeps in mind the weight of the publication in order to spend less money in postage (see the limits for different prices). Parameters are the number of pages and the weight of the paper (usually measured in grams per squaremeter). (Example: the annuals are printed in 130 grams per squaremeters for the coverpages and 100 grams per squaremeter for the rest of it.)
- We recomend a high quality of pictures if they are to be printed either in color or black and white. (not all digital cameras make pictures good enough for printing).
- If the English level is not good enough there should be some money raised to pay an English proofreader (or if possible have if for free).
10.- Office’s new location
The ACC office is moving. The new adress is:
Falstersgade 44, st
DK-8000 Århus C
There will be an informative box on the website for some time and an e-mail will be sent to inform our members about this change.
11.- Place and date of the next board meeting(s) etc.
After the GA the upcoming activites are:
September 27th Seminar in Denmark
October 10th-12th : Prep meeting of BCC
Sometime in the last semester: Founding Rite School meeting in Latvia.
Eva wants to present in this point one experience that has worked out very good during the ERCC. This is a way of proposing it to the rest of the board to be used in future events. One of the activities was the NGO market. The other one was a panel debate in which they selected a number of participants coming from different countries to present a topic to their colleagues and later on they got to discuss about this topics.
The results of these two activities will be the basis for a booklet that will be produced by the Italy Committee together with some participants that will be invited.
Finally John congratulates Eva and the rest of the Italy Committee for their work and thanks them for hosting the board meeting.
The meeting is closed.