EFIL Board meets in Reykjavik, Iceland

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EFIL’s second Board meeting of the year was kindly hosted in Reykjavik by our Member Organisation, AFS Iceland.

The agenda covered global and regional network updates, and a general overview of the Federation including updated fundraising results, the EFIL calendar of activities 2016 and 2017, EFIL’s recent activities in the field of advocacy and the personnel situation of the Secretariat in Brussels. Out of many applicants, seven candidates have been pre-selected for the final round of interviews for the new staff position of Communication Coordinator. Interviews will take place at the end of June.

Attention was given to EFIL’s liability and insurance coverage, especially in view of EFIL’s wider range of activities as compared to several years ago (e.g. large projects including non-European partners, partner development in countries where there’s currently no AFS presence, etc.).

To further develop EFIL’s external positioning, EFIL will start putting together a pool of experts on intercultural learning, global citizenship and non-formal education who could play an advisory role and give content feedback.

Good news was reported about EFIL’s initiative to support the young organisations in Croatia and Slovenia. So far no less than eight EFIL Member Organisations have put together funds to support the running of a combined office for Slovenia and Croatia, located in Zagreb, which will strongly boost the growth and development of the AFS programmes in both countries. In Poland, the transition of the EFIL Affiliate Membership from the Fr. Siemaszko Foundation to the newly established AFS Polska, will be voted on in the Extraordinary General Assembly, taking place alongside the HOO retreat, right after the EFIL Board meeting. At its June meeting, the AFS Board of Trustees will discuss the situation in Bulgaria where Intercultural Exchanges Bulgaria (IEB) is ready to be granted the status of International Associate in the AFS network.

Next to an update on EFIL’s flagship projects (Volunteer Summer Summit, ECTP, Intercultural Dialogue Day, Forum), special attention was given to four new large scale project: (1) Just like in 2015, EFIL has been appointed by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be the European Secretariat for the 2016 edition of the MIRAI programme; (2) EFIL will apply for Erasmus+ funding for a project with the AAI region, aiming at starting up a trimester exchange programme – Global Citizenship Trimester Programme (similar to ECTP in Europe); (3) In reply to the EU’s call following the Declaration of Paris, EFIL has submitted an application for a project which aims at upscaling three best practices of projects dealing with refugees and migrants in Europe; (4) EFIL has submitted an Erasmus+ application for a two-year project aiming at developing training for teachers for the promotion and assessment of intercultural competences with upper secondary education, combining mobility experiences with in-class learning.

As of 2016, in the even years, EFIL will launch as survey with its Members to find out to which extent EFIL’s activities have contributed to strengthening the Member Organisations, and how EFIL’s efforts in the various result areas are rated by the Members.

The Board further reflected on the various types of EFIL membership, a discussion to be continued in the next Board meeting.

Last but not least, the Board put together some guidelines related to the recruitment of candidates for the EFIL Board.

On Saturday evening, AFS Iceland kindly invited the EFIL Board members for dinner. The evening was much enjoyed by all.

The next Board meeting will take place in Krakow, Poland (dates to be confirmed).

For more information: paul.claes@afs.org