Rites Tautskola, Latvia, June 25th 2005

1.- Approval of the Agenda
2.- Approval of the last meeting minutes
3.- Rite
4.- ACC General Assembly
5.- Future of the ACC
6.- AOB


Board Members present: John Petersen, Conchi Gallego, Jan-Christoph Napierski

Guests: Linda Jakobsone and Lucie Ciskova. Tomas Balco is invited for point number 5

It is not a deciding board.

1.- Approval of the Agenda
The agenda is approved

2.- Approval of the last meeting minutes
The minutes should be approved at a decisive board meeting

3.- Rite
John introduces the issue “What should be the role of ACC in Rite”. Just to inform everybody John refers to the history of this topic and where we are now.

The situation is the there are problems within the Rite NGO as things don’t work as expected.

The ACC became a co-founder of the Rite NGO with the aim that this would give a greater feeling of ownership of the place to the ACC Latvia members. After 2 years it has been proved that this is not really happening for various reasons.

ACC Latvia people are starting to give up in Rite as they can’t achieve the aims they had for the place.

The main problems that were identified in the meeting were:

- It was planned that Rite would be focused on the locals, but it didn’t work and it won’t work because the local partners/people/network is far from seeing Rite as an attractive place, as a Community College...
Should it be then a place for European Courses and “forget” about the locals?
- The second and main problem is about the property of the school. When the NGO was created it was promised that the property of the school would be transferred to the NGO. Up until now this has not happened, and it means many difficulties. The “feeling of ownership” has not been established among active people at Rite (ACC Latvia), and it also means that most of the time there is no common planning of all the partners about what is going on in the school, what are the priorities...etc

The board proposes that the ACC should only stay in this partnership under the condition that the property is given to the NGO. It is then discussed the way this condition would be put forward to the rest of the partners.

The ACC would send a letter to Niels (one of the owners of the place) and the chair of the NGO asking for this issue as well as demanding for the accounts of the place that were not presented in the GA. The letter should be clear and strict delivering the ACC perspective about the future of the place.

Linda offers herself to investigate how much it would cost and how long it would take to hire a lawyer in order to do this transfer of property.

There is also mentioned the need of a “school business plan”. Linda mentions that there was one done 4 years ago, most of it could be still used. In order to gather ideas for a possible school plan (from mid May to mid September) there will be a specific session organised with the participants of the BCC2 that is running parallel to this board meeting.

Some other ideas:
There are nowadays 7 ACC representatives in the Rite board. 5 of them from Latvia + John & Siebren. John proposes that maybe these 7 people could be the ACC board so there would be more implication for the ACC people from all around in Rite and it would be possible to attend the Rite GA if a parallel board meeting would be organised. This is something that is not decided but should be thought about.

There is also a proposal to bring other NGOs/groups to Rite: more activities and more people leading the place. This is seen as a positive idea but only on a second step, when the current situation is cleared out.

This is an open topic for discussion that should be brought up in future board meetings.

4.- ACC General Assembly

John informs that the call for GA has been sent out. The GA will be in Brussels on September 24th starting at 13.00h

As previous years, Sunday morning can be used for other discussions.

About the elections, there are 2 board positions available for one year period (Linda and Eva). There are two candidates that are Emma and Lucie.

For the substitutes Erik will run again and there is one free position. There are no candidates so far but John reminds the board that the deadline is set up during the GA.

Some logistic work is still to be done, arranging a cheap place to sleep and some meeting rooms for Saturday and Sunday.

5.- Future of the ACC

John introduces this point of the agenda. The ACC started working 6 years ago. There have been lots of projects, lobbying and all types of activities trying to put forward our ideas.

The situation nowadays is that the Vice-president of the European Commission, Margot Wallström apparently has included our ideas in the new communication strategy of the European Union (linked to the White Paper). This is a great success, as we believe that this can only be good for Europe and its civil society. We only have to wait for the Community Colleges to be included in the EU budget.

The only “negative” aspect about this is that news is that the media has reported the idea came from a Danish organisation.

So, if the ideas have succeeded making it into the EU-Commission and the format has then been proved, the question is: what now?

Tomas gives some information about the Terezin project (Czech Republic) which aims to be a kind of “pilot project” under this new communication strategy of the EU.

Lucie brings up the topic of the bottom-up perspective. This is still valid for the ACC projects and it is very different from what is proposed and done by other organisations and projects like for instance the Terezin project. The ACC should keep on lobbying so the focus of this new strategy would be the bottom-up approach.

Linda tells the board that even if she works with EU issues on a daily based, she still hasn’t heard anything about Wallström’s ideas. Maybe it is too soon to take any decision about what to do with the ACC in the future, when there are no official statements about the topic. The ideas, she believes, need to be still proved.

She also mentions that things in the EU level take long time to happen. From now, that Wallström is spreading ideas around (especially in the Nordic countries) until the moment when something could happen; it could be a matter of at least 2 years. In this time, the ACC should work to make itself more visible, more known, increase its presence all around, not only in DK, but all around Europe.

Rite could be a tool to be used in our lobby efforts. We could promote the idea that the “D Plan” already exists, it is in Latvia and it’s called Rite.

Jan Christoph believes that the ACC projects are still special. He thinks that the next 6 months are the key ones for this lobbying. But we don’t know how to lobby at this high level. We need new strategies for lobbying in the future.

The board decides to think about this issue over the summer and the topic would be brought again during the GA.

6.- AOB

There are no other businesses

The meeting is closed

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