European Movement Board Meeting in Brussels on 11 February
The Board of the European Movement International met in Brussels for its first gathering in 2019, with preparations ahead of the European elections dominating the discussion.
First in the order of business was an update on Finances. The Treasurer presented the closing 2018 budget, which was in balance. The Treasurer reported that thanks to successful fundraising efforts the 2018 budget would close significantly higher than initially anticipated. Next was an update on the 2019 budget, where income has also increased thanks to the successful funding application for European Movement projects on democracy.
The Board then discussed the ongoing relationship between the European Movement International and the European Investment Bank. Since 2017 the two organisations have been co-hosting events throughout Europe and the intention is to continue with this fruitful partnership in 2019. The Board also discussed preparations for the Women of Europe Awards 2019, a very successful project undertaken in partnership with the European Women’s Lobby, which has raised awareness around the contribution made by women in European integration.
The discussion then moved to all the projects and activities the European Movement International is undertaking ahead of the European elections. As a follow up to the presentation made at the Federal Assembly in Vienna in November, the Board received a comprehensive presentation of all the activities planned.
An extensive report was given, on progress with regards to ‘Democracy Alive’, the flagship event organised in partnership with the European Parliament, in the context of the ‘This Time I’m Voting Campaign’.
Subsequently, the Board discussed plans for Europe Day 2019, the focus will be on the EP elections this year. The EM International will be providing financial support for National Councils to organise events ahead of the EP elections, to mark the importance and vitality of European democracy.
With regards to online campaigning, the focus will be on the revamped ‘1000 Reasons to Vote’ campaign. EM International members will be invited to share images and quotes on the reasons why they and their members will be voting. Those will be put together in a coherent online campaign and shared with the whole network (and beyond).
Furthermore, the EM International is undertaking an opinion poll in 13 EU member states (accounting for 75% of MEPs) to gauge attitudes towards democracy and the rise of authoritarian parties in Europe. Results will be ready in April and will be shared with EM International members and partners throughout the EU.
An update was also given with regards to ‘On Our Watch’ a project undertaken by the EM International together with the European Youth Forum and the IHECS Brussels School of Journalism. ‘On Our Watch’ is a monitoring tool which enables civil society organisations to showcase and connect their own priorities with those of the European political parties and follow the implementation of manifesto policies.
Subsequently, the Chairs of the Political Committees presented updates on the PCs work. PC1 will build on the latest policy position on enhancing participation and the citizen consultation criteria. Furthermore, the Committee will look at disinformation in the context of the EP elections and later in the year it will turn its attention on transparency in the EU institutions.
With regards to PC2, the discussion focused on the adoption of the new Policy Position on “Moving Towards a Sustainable Europe”. The PC will explore the possibility of participating in the European Commission’s Green Week in June.
The work of PC3 focused on the Policy Position on “Strengthing the EU’s Role on the World Stage”, which was presented for adoption by the Board. Going forward the PC will develop those themes and engage in public debates through op-eds and other activities.
Last, but not least, the Board discussed membership issues. The CEC – European Managers application for membership was discussed and approved.
The issue of membership fees was also discussed, with the Board reviewing areas where problems arise and identifying ways to address them.
The Board then moved to set the statutory meeting dates for 2019. It was decided that the Members Council will take place 11 April on Texel and the Federal Assembly on 7-8 November in Helsinki.
The next meeting of the Board will be on 11 April in Texel.