The European Scout Committee Concludes its Regular Meeting in Venice
For its third regular meeting in the current triennium the European Scout Committee met in Venice, Italy.
The Coordinators of the Areas of Operation were present, too, and joined the Committee for discussion of parts of the meeting’s agenda.
During the weekend, Committee also held the first ever joint meeting with the Board of the European Scout Foundation, during which matters of mutual interest were addressed.
One year into the current triennium, the Committee focused on reviewing progress made in achieving the objectives set in the Regional Scout Plan and, together with the Coordinators, addressed challenges faced by the various working groups.
Committee and Coordinators reflected their collaborative way of working and agreed on a series of measures to improve internal communications and support mechanisms.
In addition, the Committee received a series of reports from its members, the Office, and the Treasurer.
Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of WOSM, joined the meeting for an hour via conference call to update the Committee on developments at world level.
The Region’s budget for the fiscal year October 2017-September 2018 was discussed and approved and an update on the current financial situation received.
The meeting was concluded by reviewing the situation in the associations in the Region and the Committee’s activities planned for the coming months.
During the weekend the Committee attended a special ceremony marking the 30th Anniversary of the Federazione italiana dello Scautismo. There were also informal exchanges with members of the National Councils of AGESCI and CNGEI, which bodies met during the same weekend.
Operational Framework 2016-2019
The Committee reviewed updates from the different regional working groups, mainly focused on progress
made in the first months of activity. An open call will be circulated before the end of June to recruit suitable volunteers for vacant positions in Volunteer Management (1) and for the Finance Support Group (3).
During a workshop session, the Committee and Coordinators reflected on their ways of collaborative working and identified successes and challenges and ways how best to address these.
The Committee agreed on a series of immediate measures to further improve collaborative work, particularly regarding the flow of information. In addition, a document will better identify the role of the collaborators within the regional operational framework.
Planning has started for the next All Groups Meeting, which is scheduled to take place 26-28 January 2018. It is at this meeting where the Committee and supporting staff meet with all volunteers engaged in the various regional working groups.
The Treasurer shared latest financial figures and reported that the report from the external auditor for the fiscal year 10.2015-09.2016 had recently been received. He had agreed with his predecessor that the consolidated accounts would be published shortly.
A series of meetings of the Treasurer over the past months with members of the staff of the Office, the Committee, the European Scout Foundation as well as the previous Regional Treasurer had contributed to a smooth transition period which the Committee now considered successfully closed.
Background graphics prepared by the Treasurer (based on the figures of 2015-2016) illustrated the Region’s major income and expenditure positions and helped Committee members to better understand the financial framework in which the Region operated.
The Treasurer presented the draft budget for the period 2017-2018 for consideration, which had been put together based on elements submitted by the Coordinators of the different Areas of Operation and the Office. The initial draft version had already been reviewed by the respective Areas of Operation and the teams which had led to a few adjustments to better accommodate needs.
In the absence of requests for further significant adjustments, the Committee approved the proposal and recognised the valuable preparatory work and involvement of the coordinators and their teams in the drafting process.
Regional Events in 2017
The Committee reviewed a list of events planned for the remainder of 2017 (see Circular 20 2016).
Regular network meetings, 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 across Europe.
Messengers of Peace
An open-call encouraging National Scout Organisations and National Scout Associations to submit applications for Mini Grant Projects will be published before the end of June, building on very positive experiences gained with this kind of MoP Project Funding in the European Region in previous years.
To be able to better cope with the growing complexity and expected additional workload, Sofia Savonen, from Finland, had joined the European Regional Decision Committee, which now had three volunteer members, supported by regional staff.
European Scout Foundation
For the first time ever, the Committee held a joint meeting with the Board of the European Scout Foundation.
The Committee welcomed the Foundation’s new action plan, which the new chairperson of the Foundation, Henrik Söderman, from Finland, who had succeeded Jørgen Rasmussen in January, had introduced and which identified priorities the Foundation planned to focus on in the coming years.
Ways how to further improve collaborative work of the two entities were also discussed.
The Committee later attended a ceremony of the Italian chapter of the Friends of Scouting in Europe (FOSE) which welcomed a number of new members.
The preparations of the 41st World Scout Conference and the 13th World Scout Youth Forum in Azerbaijan in August are nearing completion. Statutory reports, background documents and draft resolutions have all been shared and will help the delegates make informed decisions when setting the framework for the next three years of WOSM. The changes to the rules of procedure will assist in ensuring that WOSM moves forward in its democratic processes.
Also during the summer, more than 5000 Rovers from more than 90 countries will experience the 15th World Scout Moot in Iceland (25 July-2 August 2017).
The Committee’s Chairperson and Secretary attended the World Scout Committee April Meeting in Malaysia, which was largely dedicated to preparations of the upcoming World Scout Conference.
WOSM’s new Secretary General Ahmad Alhendawi has now finished his first 100 days in office and has most recently presented his revitalisation agenda in which he has summarised objectives and priorities he had identified for the coming months. His analysis had also included a review of the World Scout Bureau’s presence in Geneva, which he could see a strengthened role in strategic partnerships and external relations.
Download your copy of the European Scout Region's Committee Update, issue June 2017!