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European Movement International Board meets in Brussels

On 10 September 2018, the European Movement International Board met in Brussels for its third meeting for this year, to discuss, amongst others, the Movement’s plans for the European elections and prepare November’s general assembly.

The meeting was preceded by a brainstorm session where the members shared thoughts and ideas about the European Movement International’s identity and its raison d’etre. It was agreed to explore one central issue that the Movement could make its cause célèbre.

EM International Projects

The Board focused then on the main agenda. The Secretary General offered an update on the ongoing European Movement International projects, with emphasis on the upcoming Women of Europe Awards; the On Our Watch initiative, which is being revamped to monitor political party manifestos ahead of the EP elections); and the Alliance for Democracy, which is gathering stakeholders to campaign together ahead of the EP elections.

Political Committees

Following that, the Chairs of the three Political Committees reported on the PCs’ work. The PCs had held Skype calls the week before the Board meeting, with the participation of all PC members. They then met again at the margins of the Board meeting, with the participation of just the Board members, to agree on their action plans going forward, with the emphasis on the upcoming Policy Positions being on participatory democracy, sustainability and foreign and security policy, respectively.

Membership Issues

The Board was informed by EM Italy of their wish to reduce their membership fee since the Italian government will be stopping their financial support. The Board was supportive of EM Italy in light of their predicament and it asked EM Italy to inform the Board of what will be the level of a membership they will be able to pay this year.

With regards to inactive members, in continuing the audit process that started in 2017, the Board discussed a number of cases of member organizations that are inactive and asked the Secretary General to proceed with the procedure of suspension of those that do not meet their membership responsibilities and requirements. On this, the final decisions will be made by the Federal Assembly.

The Board also discussed efforts to revive the EM Estonia, EM Lithuania and EM Romania, in collaboration with the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs in these countries and the Commission representation in each of their capitals.

Preparation for the Federal Assembly

The Board also discussed the draft Agenda for the next Federal Assembly, to be held in Vienna on 9 November at the WKO (Austrian Chamber of Commerce) headquarters. The next Board meeting will be held at the margins of the Federal Assembly.

European Elections campaign

Last, but certainly not least, the Board discussed the organization’s plans for the EP elections. The Secretary General presented several project ideas the Secretariat is working on, all designed to create platforms for citizens and stakeholders to discuss with MEPs and candidates the future direction of the EU and increase participation in next May’s EP elections. Further ideas were discussed and suggested by Board members.

Furthermore, the European Movement is signing a MoU with the European Parliament to be one of the official partners for its 2019 campaign. In the context of the partnership, the European Movement International and the EP will collaborate in a series of events and online campaigning actions with the intention to increase voter turnout and awareness.

As any other business, the Board discussed a request from EM Germany to ask the EU Council to share a list of all Member States’ Sherpas in the Council. The president and the Secretary General will make the necessary inquiry and the Board will decide on the appropriate course of action after the Council’s response.

The next Board meeting will be held in Vienna on 9 November.

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