Update from the November Meeting of the European Scout Committee
For its first regular meeting in the current triennium the European Scout Committee met in the Netherlands, home of the chairperson of the Europe Committee WAGGGS, with which a joint meeting was held at the same occasion.
This meeting followed initial gatherings immediately after the elections in June and an induction meeting organised at the Europe Support Centre in Geneva at the end of August.
At the very beginning of the new triennium much of the meeting’s agenda concerned the finalisation of the operational framework for the next three years. The list of selected volunteers to help achieve the objectives set in the Regional Scout Plan was reviewed and appointments confirmed.
The confirmation of the appointment of the new Treasurer of the European Scout Region was deferred until the end of the year/beginning of the new year and the deadline to submit applications extended to 10 December 2016.
In addition, the Committee received a series of reports from its members, the Office, the Treasurer, and the Chairman of the European Scout Foundation and reviewed the situation in some of the associations in the Region.
The meeting was concluded by reviewing the list of regional events planned for the remainder of the year.
A full day of the three-day meeting was reserved for the first Joint Meeting with the Europe Committee WAGGGS in the new triennium.
Operational Framework 2016-2019
The Committee reviewed first updates from the different regional working groups, mainly focused on recruiting coordinators, team leaders and team members for the different groups and teams, with most of the people now selected and confirmed. A few positions remained to be filled and the appointment of members of the Finance Support Group reported to wait for the confirmation of the appointment of the new regional treasurer.
There will be five main areas of work, each under the leadership of a volunteer coordinator; within those areas a number of teams will focus on specific themes and objectives:
- Education for All, with teams for Diversity & Inclusion, Skills for All, Youth Programme, and Social Impact;
- Strengthening our Organisation, with teams for Tailored Support and GSAT, as well as a team of GSAT facilitators and assessors;
- Spreading our Message, with teams for Communications and External Relations, Funding & Partnerships, as well as a team of External Representatives;
- Continuous Improvement, with teams for Working Methods and Volunteer Management;
- Supporting our Finances, with a Finance Support Group.
More details on the process of volunteer selection and the composition of the groups is available in Circular 27 2016.
The actual work of the groups will commence later in the year, with the All Groups Meeting in January 2017 being the first highlight.
In addition to the operational framework, the European Regional Decision Committee for Messengers of Peace will now have three volunteers supported by the Director of Diversity & Inclusion. Other volunteers represent the Region in the board of the European Scout Foundation and the Leadership Training Fund committee.
Internal Ways of Working
The Committee reviewed and approved the Committee’s Standing Orders and Conflict of Interest Policy, which were consequent on the new elections and derived from practice at World level.
The Committee also agreed to use the WOSM Complaints Policy as its Complaints Policy. All relevant texts, following final edits, will shortly be available on scout.org/europe.
Communications and Regional Branding
The Committee reviewed the results of the new regional branding. This had been introduced with the publication of the new Regional Scout Plan.
A smooth rollout over the next months will ensure to make known throughout the team of volunteers and the entire Region the idea behind the new visuals introduced.
Regional Events in 2017
The Committee reviewed a list of events planned throughout 2017 (see Circular 20 2016).
Regular network meetings (ICT Network, Spiriteco, Fundraising Network), project-linked trainings and workshops (Diversity & Inclusion, Peace Education & Inter-Religious Dialogue & Spiritual Development, Youth Spokespersons) and The Academy 2017 (in Hungary in Autumn 2017) will again provide a great variety of sharing and training opportunities for participants from National Scout Organisations all across Europe.
The Scout Association (UK) will host an ad hoc IC Network Meeting in the United Kingdom in March 2017 in preparation of the World Scout Conference later in the year.
Major global events (World Scout Interreligious Symposium, World Scout Education Congress, World Scout Moot, World Scout Youth Forum, World Scout Conference) complete an already busy schedule.
The Treasurer shared latest financial figures and reported that the external audit of the region’s books for the fiscal year 10.2015-09.2016 had only just finished. No particular points have so far been raised. Following the audit review meeting in January, the consolidated accounts will be published in Spring 2017.
The process of developing the initial draft budget for the period 2017-2018 will begin during a Skype call in December involving Committee and coordinators and may include a session during the All Groups Meeting (by which time the new treasurer will probably have been appointed) to ensure that everyone was familiar with the process and his/her role.
The Committee appreciated the valuable services of its outgoing treasurer and the work by the Director of Administration and Finance and her team.
Messengers of Peace (MoP)
During 2016, a total of USD 500 000 had been allocated to MoP and related co-funded projects, with some USD 150 000 for projects supervised by the Region (for under USD 25 000 grants) and a number of larger grants for projects related to refugee support activities, in particular in Sweden, Germany and Greece.
At a recent review meeting for all Regional Decision Committees (RDC), the approach to its work by the European RDC was highlighted as being exemplary in terms of good governance, transparency, as well as accompaniment and follow-up.
To be able to better cope with the growing complexity and expected additional workload, the Committee agreed to appoint a third volunteer to the European RDC to complete the team of three volunteers, supported by regional staff.
European Scout Foundation
The Chairman of the European Scout Foundation (ESF) shared an update on most recent activities of the Foundation which had included the welcoming of some fifty new Friends of Scouting in Europe (FOSE) at a series meetings held in several countries since June.
Jørgen Rasmussen will retire from the chairpersonship at the Foundation’s upcoming board meeting after many years of valuable service.
With the Regional Conferences of the Eurasia, Arab and Interamerica Regions, the cycle of the general assemblies of the regions of WOSM has now been completed. The Committee was represented at each of these events and will use these opportunities to foster existing relationships with each of the other regions.
The Committee’s Chairperson and Secretary attended the World Scout Committee September Meeting in Ethiopia, which was largely dedicated to reviewing work achieved and lessons learned in the current triennium and planning documents and input for the World Scout Conference next year.
Most recently, the World Scout Committee announced the upcoming appointment of Mr Ahmad Alhendawi, the current UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth as WOSM’s next Secretary General. Initial reactions from within and outside WOSM were very positive and at 32 years of age, Mr Alhendawi will be the youngest ever Secretary General.
WOSM Safe from Harm Policy
A draft version of the new global policy on Safe from Harm has been shared with National Scout Organisations. The Committee agreed to draw the NSOs’ attention to the draft document and to solicit their feedback of this important policy paper.
Major Upcoming Meetings
- 11-14 May 2017 – 2nd World Scout Education Congress at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Switzerland
- 25 July - 2 August 2017 - 15th World Scout Moot in Iceland
7-10 & 14-18 August 2017 – 41st World Scout Youth Forum & 13th World Scout Conference in Azerbaijan