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Retreat Meeting 14-16/08/2014

Minutes: FYEG EC Retreat | 14-17 August 2014 | Bodíky, Slovakia


1. Office Introduction

1.1 People


Employed people:




Role

Name

Responsibilities

Secretary General

Maggie

Fundraise, help writing applications, reports, ensure we have Money in the account for liquidity, help EC coordination, organize
events, legal responsility, payments

Project Assistant

Shenna

Project management, application for project funding, project follow-up, help in legal & HR admin, etc

Intern

Edu

Starts 15th September. Role still to be fully defined.


Other people involved:

Catherine (sp?) - Professional accountant, shared with the EGP. Doesn’t live in Brussels.

Christoph - webmaster, paid 100€ per month for volunteer contribution. Main tasks: Update mailin lists, upload website content, advise about IT. Currently
in Canada but back in Europe in September.


1.2 Financial details

  • EC members get

    • 100% travel/acommodation reimbursement for activities - but obviously important to keep all bills.

      • In case of invitation/external representation, try to get organiser to pay in the first instance. If not possible, the EC has to take the
        decision of whether to include it as an EC cost

      • up to 20€ per month for phone costs. Phone bills have to be kept and provided marking the relevant international calls made in relation to
        FYEG work. Reimbursement is usually provided at the end of the year with all the bills together.

  • Funding sources:

    • Trainings - should involve experts

      • Networking - more social activities, summercamps/wintercamps, etc

      • Study sessions - usually applied for by CDN. Has to be in European Youth Centre in Strasbourg or Budapest

    • Admin grant by European youth foundation and European Commission

    • EGP provides us with an “admin contribution”. This is 3.5% of their anual budget, which this year means 78.000€ (exceptionally high because of
      the campaign). For the following years new European Parliament rules mean we can only get a maximum of 60.000€ per year.

    • Fundraising ideas: there have been different ideas for fundraising in the past - PayPal account for donations (but expensive as they take
      commission, and there is also the problem that FYEG does not currently have a donation policy - e.g. we´d have to give something in return,
      even if symbolic); an online shop (some complications with being registered appropriately)

  • Budget: EC and Office have visibility of the real state of the budget/finance lines. Only
    Treasurer and SecGen should update this. Is there an opportunity to publish more frequent budget status for more transparency?

  • Deadlines for project applications – office contacts EC to ask what we should apply for. Shenna will take ownership of this task >> she will
    send email soon with all the deadlines. Closest deadline: 1st of October - both EYF and EACEA


There was the option to apply for projects for MOs to get money for – but no ideas proposed were suitable for the funders. Also some previously submitted
projects didn’t go through for some small reason, so some may be resubmitted. Usually we would apply for what is agreed in activity plan e.g. Mission
INclusion, Migration seminar, etc.

2. Working Groups (WGs)

Responsible: Krassina

  • 10 WGs
    , which need at least 5 people from 5 different MOs.

    • Each needs 2 coordinators, at least one of them female.

  • Their mandate runs September-September

  • Call for WG members currently open, closes Sunday 31st August >> Promote this call!

    • Can highlight the additional value in terms of learning new skills, training, possibilities of political impact, involvement...

    • Spreadsheet with WG applicants can be found

      here

  • General WG guidelines found
    href="https://drive.google.com/drive/#folders/0B-JMQQ61hSS2V19OUGNkbE5QZTA/0B-JMQQ61hSS2ekl2bjFPbUFIVXM/0B-JMQQ61hSS2MHV1SVYzMXd1cGM/0B8frfmUFB8FHRmlsN2ZhUU01T0k"
    >
    here

    - >> useful background to read up on.

    • WG meetings: first one is in person, the rest usually online

    • If there is a specific event related to their topic, WG members may want to join

    • WGs should have independence, but EC has overview, keeps them updated on events, political issues, resources and gives them a bit of
      structure/direction, especially before the WGm.

    • Spokes connect them to MEPs.

  • >> Read through applications for “our” WGs. EC approves first WG members - can be approved in blocks during the Tuesday call.

    • EC member then set up doodle for each of their groups to set up first Skype call. EC member needs to be there at the first one.

    • Then when they've chosen coordinator they’re self running.


Work of the WGs

  • Involvement in releveant FYEG campaigns/activities (COP, TTIP..)

  • Self initiatives and work directed towards lobbying.

    • They should approach EC with any project and political content, and the office regarding the fundraising, admin etc.

WG Communication

  • There is currently a WG coordinators list and WG coordinators meeting, but didn´t work really well in the past.

>> Go with proposal to WGmeeting, then the WG themselves can decide.


Working group meeting

Proposal: 3 people per WG - 30 people

Plus EC.

Plus 2 people on top of Climate Change WG for COP

Plus Ecosprinter

= around 50 visits

>> Spokes to get in touch with MEPs for this




3. TTIP

Responsible: Micha + Júlia

Content update: CETA is here, going to parliament 2015. Documents currently with national governments. Germany has said they are against ISDS


The FYEG TTIP project:

MO interaction

Needs to create awareness in MOs, so when there is a need to mobilise, people already understand it. This may need to be in 2 years time, or before, or
later.

Already voted to include ECI, Micha already registered FYEG as signatory.

ECI is good tool to mobilise. >> Get MOs to formally sign up to ECI.

TTIP conference

Organise a conference together with partners - focus on the green group.

This could be outside Brussels (Group are keen to do more activities outside)

When?

Training

Pool of experts in FYEG to create educational tools.

Go to MO Events to train/educate, and webinars

Educational material/webinars in different languages.


Micha + Julia >> More comprehensive campaign plan to be developed – first thing after this meeting – by end of august

. Include WGm.

Interested people come together across EC/WGs.

Tools to mobilise MOs for ECI.

CDN creating educational platform, resources may be used.

11th October – European day of mobilisation against TTIP – get info out to MOs asap.

Try get local partner connections

Fundraising Green group, big MOs.

4. Member Organisations

Responsible: Gio

  • MO list contains official responsible for each organisation.

  • Calls are sent out by the Office

  • Divide MOs amongst EC members ( division found here) and be more in
    touch/aware of what they're doing. – to include visit of MOs GA or other activities

Include MO updates in EC meetings.

  • Specific EC member to have overview of MO communication: Gio

    • Connect up stuff that´s happening elsewhere, identify options for pooling resources and doing things in common.

    • Work with status of potential organisations, organisations dropping off, future organisations…


>> MO details to be updated within 1 month: Gio to provide template to contact MOs and request updated information, EC members to get in touch with
respective MOs to check for up to date information. (to include contact details of social media people etc) . But whole EC has responsibility to find out
potential new members and find out what´s happening in the relevant region.

Regular Informal communication with individual MOs

What they are working on – projects, campaigns

- When is their GA.

- What are they struggling with.

- Keep them posted

- Follow up on calls, participation, proposed activities

Frequency of informal communication – at least once a month – get in touch by FB/phone

Skype meetings with MO responsibles for updates

Consulting MO opinions/feedback - Difficult to reach everyone, some with limited resources.

5. Olive Tree Branch - Israel/Palestine

What do we want to achieve in this discussion (ie during retreat)

- Not reach content conclusions, rather understand other point of view

- Timelines/milestones and actors

- Boundaries of the debate, what are the controversial points

Borders of where we operate, what the issues are

Not an insulated issue – a lot of historical context.


Left was very pro-palestine in 70´s and 80´s, but included antisemtism, lots of people with Jewish background couldn´t feel included.


Two different systems of thinking, two different “worlds”

- one focused on the history of Israel, antisemitism, etc

- one focusd on the history of oppression and colonialism

Words are very important in this context. Because words are understood in a different way within the “opposite” system of thinking, “parallel discussions”
are set up. The debate explodes very quickly, and no understanding is reached.

Process

Set up a Coordination team working on it >> call in September

o Coordination team (with people from EC, MOs, WGs)

§ can report back (as a whole) to EC – EC person in there serves as additional link

§ 8-10 people

§ The team should enable the logistical process of the project – facilitator, moderator team – responsibility to set up events, bring in experts, pose the
relevant questions, frame the debate, set the agenda. This is automatically a very political set of decisions, but the Coordination team should not be a
space for opinion creation.

o EC involvement in this : 1 person in coordination team. (Decision taken by EC vote)

§ EC needs to pre-descuss – EC can/should have consensus on the process. We need to be able to be truly inclusive, keep a check on ourselves – are we
blocking or proposing things because of our internal viewpoint.

§ Be anti-polarising.

§ They would represent the EC opinion rather than personal opinion

§ EC should have united approach (on process)

§ EC member participating in the process – consult the rest of the EC so approach is coordinated.

§ EC to identify threats to FYEG, MOs and so on.


Technical discussion, how to shape the process, and what resources

6. COP

Responsible: Marie, Joan

Requirements

- Collaborate with networks

- One EC responsible

- Follow negotiations

- Delegation of at least 7 people SB42, PRecop, Cop21 >> chosen by January 2015

- Prepteam >> Call before May 2015 for Cop21 Seminar as intersessionals june/july

- Work with Global YGs to include other regions

Shenna, Jakob, Anton are experts. Climate change WG critical.

Two lines of action:

- Delegation (lobbying)

- Seminar (training, involvement in civil society..)


Finances – does the COP fund youth delegates? >> JGP/Marie to find out

Needs:

- Deleation to SP42, intersessionals,

- Seminar


Event in Brussels in December following Lima COP20. Shenna is organising.

- Need to bring in people who will be interested in being in the delegation.

- >> Know if we need to secure parliamentary visits ASAP

COP plan –

>> EC person responsible to get in touch with Anton, Jakob, Shenna, then put together a plan with them to discuss in Istanbul.

>> Everyone to bear in mind climate change mobilisation when talking to MOs – find suitable platforms and NGOs to do joint events with etc.

7. Far right, populism and inclusion

Responsible: Krassi (populism), Josef (inclusion)


7.1 Inclusion in MOs

How are MOs trying to become more inclusive, and how can we make FYEG more inclusive

No clear recruitment strategy in general in MOs

If MOs actively tackle racism, LGBTfobia, antifascism – then we offer ourselves as a political refuge, and attract people active in these fights. If not,
we will then stay within the same circles.


Figure out what MOs have inclusive policies, and offer recommendations to those who don’t.


We´re not identifying barriers in our communication.

Need to address individual issues targeted by far right rather than just saying “we’re green and want to celebrate diversity therefore we oppose it”.

Not just fight for equality, but be clear of how we are still privileged. Mingle with civic movements, maybe those which are not formally organised.


Reach out to groups/movements fighting far right, let them know we can fight for this on European level.


Difficult to reach

Challenge lies with facts

EGP is setting up a working group which will map far-right/populist parties and their arguments, and how we construct an argument in response that can be
understood by the average person.

7.2 Wintercamp

Combine two issues: Far right (and combating it) and inclusion.

We applied to Euro Youth Foundation for wintercamp, but didn’t get the funding. They like the general idea but lacking process. We can resubmit it but then
needs to be later in the year.

Alternative is to apply for Erasmus+, but structure of application needs to be changed.

We want around 90 people.

Any chance to get Group to give us finances for bigger conference?


People writing articles in advance (their perceptions on far right, inclusion, etc) and presenting them in workshops.

>>ask Shenna about application, find other sources of funding.E.g. Green group.

>> get out call for prepteam.

Opportunity to create a proper publication with the articles?

(For next meeting - How do we take it forward after the wintercamp)

8. MO capacity exchange

Responsible: Micha

Organise training event with key players of each MO (secgen, spokespersons..).

Make sure what we provide is something MOs need. Aim for April, so application goes in November.

Include issue of inclusion.


MO to apply for funding on national level?

>> Survey – what do MOs need, and what are they good at/what have they done.


9. Twinning Cities

Responsible: Milena

Role of intern needs to be defined, can take part in this.Lots of work done in advance – could feed in.

Erasmus + - “strategic partnerships” funding line available and seems very suitable. 3 year project. Includes finance for office work.

- Deadline 1st October -- priority to try and secure this funding.

Gruene Jugend – interested in partnering up

Have an initial pilot project – set ourselves a modest target for projects to follow up/constantly evaluate.

10. Eastern Europe

Responsible: Gio

Strategic movements to work with other organisations in Eastern Europe. (Why) is there a lack of MOs in the region?

Bring in Eastern European perspective into everything else – far right, what does the far right look like in Eastern Europe? Climate change perspectives in
Eastern European countries, etc.

Talk more about Eastern Europe on our social media + ecosprinter.

More interaction with CDN, more use of CDN-FYEG ec list (“hey guys, what´s your opinion on this?”)

Specific events

- GA in EE?

- Move Wintercamp as East as possible?

General “study” of the region, what is the current political situation/power/structures in the different Eastern European countries.

>> Include part of the agenda on this in an EC meeting.


11. EC management

Responsible: Júlia and Joan


Communication channels

  • Mailing list

  • Weekly skype conferences

    • Try mumble

    • Allow time for personal updates

    • Try to be more efficient than 2h meetings! -- This means everyone needs to contribute to agenda in advance and think about it.

    • Agenda - include all the different fields - no need to discuss them if no updates, but at least all areas captured.

- Proper minutes writing – these need to be published.


Decision: Tuesday evenings, 7pm CET. Agenda should be there one day before.


  • “Quick response” mobile group - not everyone has smartphone so need alternative that is also on PC. Check what system can be used.

  • Alternative decision-making systems:>> Joan to propose system used in EQUO.

Agenda setting

By internal structure coordinator (Júlia/Joan)

– in charge of having clear agenda where people can put the points in

– Putting items from emails into the agenda for next meeting

– Look at calendar – this happens at this time, so X months before we need to take this decision, …

– Agenda setting for both online meetings and offline meetings

– Chase up people for the monthly EC reports

– PRs and facebook posts to be planned

Autonomy of work

- Important decisions to be brought to the attention of the EC in the meetings

– Especially political issues

- But trust that everyone understands what the debate is and the consideration of the EC.

- But don´t overburden the EC or the calls.

- If short updates –write in agenda, so no need to talk through them in call.

Decision making

  • Big decisions in offline meetings allowing proper discussion, if not possible, then in skype calls

  • In Skype calls: 5 pepole make the skype conference quorate, then decision is by simple majority between them

  • By email: Votes within 2 days counted, total of 5 people in favour, simple majority within those

    • If more urgent decision – sms or facebook the team

§ 5 people agreeing >> press release can go out

§ Spokespersons can issue quotes on their own behalf, but have to be within the margins of the political platform, obvious FYEG position etc.

Internal Capacity building

- Some sort of training in ECms?

- Training during the WGm on Erasmus+, writing processes etc

- Evaluate during course of mandate

- Make the most of specialised partners (GEF, green group..)

Sexual harassment and gender officers

Gio (Gender),

Gender officer

- in JEV, in general assemblies they count the number of minutes+interventions for males/females, then reveals numbers at the end. Good to encourage
further thought.

12. Office/financial planning

Intern – shared with Green Group.

>> Meeting with Terry to discuss opportunities of support for FYEG.

Strategic partnership – could allow to employ office assistant

New SecGen process

- Open call, but appoint by EC so mandate ends in May,

o October as transfer period

o Call 24th August at the latest

o 7th September deadline for application

o 14th September decision

o 1st October secgen starts in office

Criteria –

- FYEG office experience

- Leadership/organisational/administration skills

- Fundraising initiative – proactive approach

- Financial

- Already familiar with FYEG “network” – who to approach in case of need.

- Teamwork

- Project writing skills – important for funding sources.(but we still have project assistance)

- Structured approach to working

- Strategic thinking

>> Call based on old call, Maggie can make first draft.

Someone to propose “interview”/questions based on real work.

Nomination/support letter –

13. Partners

>>Need to make sure our partnerships are visible on our website!

CDN

Responsible:Gio

- project based and more to do with capacity building/training. CDN works very well in “exploration” of the political potential.

3-5 October – Belgrade

There are some questions that Vesna asked FYEG to discuss. Let´s discuss these before we come to that. Make a slot in one of the skype meetings.

GYG –

Responsible: Josef

- Steering committee of 16 members

- FYEG is representative of European region. FYEG has to help develop their capacity.

o Invite people from the Global South to our meetings. 1500€ of budget.

o Invite people to our capacity exchange?

- GA decisions:

o Organise GYG congress in 2015. FYEG help with contacts and office activity (NB. Ingrid would like to be involved.)

o Should be a priority.

o Support general fundraising, application writing, report writing.

o This will be a GYG event.

o 2016 global greens congress – look towards joint event.

Norwegians have offered to do this on a Norwegian grant.

Request interns from MEPs to fundraise

Person responsible for FYEG to take all of this into consideration.

>> Ask the GYG committee to come up with proposal of how to celebrate next congress, so we can discuss in Istanbul.

Meeting with European steering committee

MADA - Responsible: Marie

European youth forum –

Responsible: Júlia, Joan

Ability to network with other youth organisations.

Emails forwarded by Maggie to EC list – with events for us to join.

>> Responsible for EYF – person who runs for the next mandate

GA is in November.

Green Group

EGP – We are their official youth wing.

Always one person at the meeting committee meeting.

No voting rights in committee meeting (!!!) – But we have votes at Council

We get 3.5% of their budget.

Spokes send agenda and report back to EC about committee meetings.

14. Communication

14.1 General

Should we have training on Social media?

>> Gio to update intro Powerpoint presentation

14.2 Social media

- Languages?

o Share articles in different languages – include language indicador at start, and explain why we’re sharing the article in that language. e.g. [FR] “This
article in Le Monde explains why...”

§ Or target in that particular language

- Active strategy to increase followers

- Boosting?

- Need information flow towards FYEG

o Know who is in charge of social media in the MOs

o Encourage people to think about “is this important for me > Could it be important at the European level?

o Get people to share in FYEG group what is going on in their local struggles.

o Use our MO links to encourage this and ask what is going on/what they´re focusing on

- “Politicise personal” – telling the story of our activism through personal struggles. >> Gio to work on concept

14.2.1 Visual identity

Profile picture – FYEG logo, but can have modifications based on theme (pride, etc), indicating the current thinking

Gio interested in working on it.

>> Brainstorming what feelings we need to get through – Gio to prepare survey

These must be in line with our aims and goals.

>> what kind of feelings do we want to capture in the different campaigns

14.2.2 Facebook

- Everyone to have access.

- Plan content and general lines on skype meetings >> include as item in agenda

- Group of around 4 people to coordinate and post stuff.

- If stuff needs to be published, notify on FB group.

Gio, Joan, Krassi, Micha interested.

14.2.3 Twitter

- Everyone access, but main group of tweeters who rotate

- Tweet from events, possibly allow 3rd party access to account (e.g cop delegation)

- Following trends – some sort of aggregator to find out what´s happening throughout Europe? Need a way to identify trends in different countries.


14.3 Website

- >> Need website responsible in EC to follow through the infrastructure of the website. Ask question in list.

- GA documents checked and uploaded.

o Ensure results of GA vote incorporated into IRPs and activity plan

o Ensure structure/format is correct.

- Information is missing

o Our partners – incl GYG.

o Activity plan – these are our activities this year

o New EC info

o Ensure calendar is updated

§ Include MO GAs, events etc.

o Policy papers there, without context. Need intro paragraph

- EC should be able to edit website

o What timescales until EC are able to update website themselves.

- >> Krassi to follow up with EGP so FYEG description on their website is

- Update Wikipedia >> Micha.

14.4 Press

- What are our objectives, is it important, what do we want to get out of it

o You can put a lot of effort into presswork and not achieve a lot

- Also press planning every week.

- EGP journalists list or ask EGP media officer

- Difficult to get press to listen to us – but Youth is an issue where we can be the agenda setter

- Looking for “Photo ops” – places where journalists/photographers will need imagery, and do actions there

- Identify other events/dates to provide opinions or get our name out there.

- Co-write articles with national MO spokespersons or joint statements/releases – getting attention to FYEG on local/national publications

o PRs with quotes of Spokespersons, joint with MEPs or national spokes etc.

o >> Make it a standard item in correspondence with MOs

- Blogs in Huffington post/other publications.

o Huffpost is present at European level – are they interested in a blog series in different languages? Or a blog series from the different youth political
parties?

- Try and place our own articles on European media outlets – Euronews, euractiv. “Europe and me” – paneuropean project.

o Write in the newspapers of partners.

- Write to our local newspapers?

14.5 Mailing lists

- Clarify what is there, and the purpose of each list and whether they are all needed

- Make sure MO list is up to date.

o Remember the other bits of info we need from the MOs >> Gio to write template.

15. Next EC meetings

For normal weekends, arrival date is Friday, departure day is Sunday.

  • Belgrade 3-5 Oct – Ecm + CDN joint meeting

    • Prepare Council.

  • 30th Oct – 2 Nov (both working days) – Brussels – WGm – micromeeting (try and get a day)

o NB clashes with EQUO General assembly

  • EGP council – 7-9 November – Istanbul

(6th is Micha´s bday)

Risk of booking early vs people changing