Dear fellow members,
I hereby present you my candidacy to the position of members’ representative.
Few words about my background : I graduated in political sciences (European studies) and studied then an MA degree in socalled “East European studies” where I focused in particular on anthropology, social history, and nationalism studies in the Balkan area. My main interests are Roma rights and Roma civil society, gender equality, migration-related issues, and in general human rights. I have been first involved in European Alternatives in the Cluj-Napoca local group, which I then left to join the Prague local group when I moved to this city.
For me, European Alternatives is mainly about fostering citizens’ participation in decision-making processes in Europe and I attach a lot of importance to the grassroots perspective. This is one reason why I have decided to be a candidate to the position of members’ representative. Two years at European Alternatives as a volunteer and a local coordinator have made me realize how important it is to strengthen members’ participation in the organization: not so much as active volunteers, since they already are, but in the decision-making process.
I believe there is a big need to improve the way information is shared and spread from the various formal and informal bodies of EA (boards, cooperative, staff) to the members. On the other side, there is also a big need to improve the way members’ concerns, questions, and ideas, are reported to these bodies. All of us know that the question of communication is crucial, and I believe we are all hardly working on it.
I would like to contribute to the positive evolution of EA and I have several ideas which I would like to put in practice if I become a members’ representative, in addition to the usual commitment of being the members’ “voice” during board meetings.
For instance I would like the members to have more impact on the agenda of board meetings; this could be done in sharing this agenda early enough and asking for suggestions. For sure, results of board meetings should be also shared systematically, directly with the members and not via the coordinators. Same for the annual financial report which, I believe, should be public. I think it is also crucial to gather on a regular basis, perhaps thanks to a questionnaire, opinions, concerns and ideas of members. Creating a forum of discussion where members could discuss both content-related issues and logistical issues (related to the functioning of EA) would be certainly a great way to enhance the communication among members, staff, boards, cooperative, and perhaps external people. Creating a kind of database or archive file to gather all grievances, ideas and questions could also help us remember what has already been done and what is still to be done, what are the recurrent problems, and which solutions have been found.
Last but not least, I believe the role of members’ representative is also to support local coordinators, who are often overwhelmed by too many issues to manage at the same time, alone.
Since I am now leaving Prague and hence my position as Prague local coordinator, I am ready to commit to represent all members, and hopefully bring a positive contribution to the life of our great network! 🙂