Draft Minutes of the GA 2012 - Statutory Business Sandvika – Norway 7 and 9 June 2012 Note: This is a report of the formal statutory business of the General Assembly. A separate report will be made of the non formal exchanges that happened at the GA.
Welcome: Johanna Engen (EAPN Norway) and Ludo Horemans (President EAPN) welcomed the delegates.
Ratification of Delegates: The attendance list was used to ratify the delegates to the GA. The delegates were ratified: 128 in favour, 1 abstention and 0 against. It was noted that there are some difficulties in EAPN Slovenia and that they are not present at the GA. The Executive Committee is following this up with the representatives from the Network.
Nomination of Proxies: The following Proxies were given:
Peggi Liebisch (EAPN Germany) to Alexander Kraake (EAPN Germany)
Doris Kolz (EAPN Germany) to Carola Schmidt (EAPN Germany)
Freek Spinnewijn (FEANTSA) to Clotilde Clark-Foulquier (Eurodiaconia)
Kadri Soova (PICUM) to Gregory Cummerigue (EAPN Belgium)
Raluca Manaila (EAPN Romania) to Paul Dragan (EAPN Romania)
Marina Angelaki (EAPN Greece) to Loukas Antoniou (EAPN Cyprus)
Tzanetos Antypas (EAPN Greece) to Konstantina Vardaramatou (EAPN Greece)
Maria Liapi (EAPN Greece) to Maria Marinakou (EAPN Greece)
Persefoni Giannoulatou (EAPN Greece) to Ninneta Kazantzis (EAPN Cyprus)
Ratification of the Executive Committee (2012-2015): Michaela Moser (EAPN Austria), Stephan Backes (EAPN Belgium), Maria Jeliazkova (EAPN Bulgaria), Ninetta Kazantzis (EAPN Cyprus), Karel Schwarz (EAPN Czech Republic), Per Thomsen (EAPN Denmark), Kärt Mere (EAPN Estonia), Outi Ruishalme (EAPN Finland), Olivier Marguery (EAPN France), Alexander Kraake (EAPN Germany), Maria Marinakou (EAPN Greece), Izabella Marton (EAPN Hu), Vilborg Oddsdottir (Iceland), Tess Murphy (EAPN Irl), Letizia Cesarini Sforza (EAPN It), Skirma Kondratas (EAPN Lithuania), Gilles Rod (EAPN Lux), Mila Carovska (EAPN FYROM), Saviour Grima (EAPN Malta), Quinta Ansem (EAPN Netherlands), Johanna Engen (EAPN Norway), Kamila Plowiec (EAPN Poland), Sergio Aires (EAPN Portugal), Paul Drăgan (EAPN Romania), Jasmina Krunić (EAPN Serbia), Zuzana Kusa (EAPN Slovakia), Carlos Susias (EAPN Spain), Sonja Wallbom (EAPN Sweden), Freek Spinnewijn (FEANTSA), Germen Stoffers (Salvation Army), Jana Hainsworth (Eurochild), Marie-Cecile Renoux (ATD Fourth World), Maciej Kucharczyk (AGE Platform) and Clotilde Clark-Foulquier (Eurodiaconia). The Executive Committee was ratified, 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Approval of the Minutes of the 2011 General Assembly:The draft minutes as circulated were approved. 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Approval of the Activity Report 2011: The draft activity report as presented was approved 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Approval of the Financial Report 211: The report as presented was adopted 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Auditors Report: The Auditors Report was adopted. 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against
Discharge of Members: 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Appointment of Auditors: It was proposed to keep the same Auditors CdP De Wulf & Co scprl. 129 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Approval of New Members:
Dynamo International: Mari Fresno presented the application from Dynamo International. The Executive had already considered the application and presented a positive advice to the GA to accept the application. A question was asked about the fact that their Board are all Belgian based. It was explained that this is the formal arrangement at present but that decisions are made by their members who are coming from many EU countries. They are now reconsidering their formal structure to make more clear that they have a European leadership. Their membership application was approved 104 in favour, 24 abstentions and 1 against.
International Federation of Social Workers:Ian Johnston presented the application from the International Federation of Social Workers. The Executive had already considered the application and presented a positive advice to the GA to accept the application. The application raised discussion about the relationship between social workers and people experiencing poverty. This has been a topic that has been discussed in the people experiencing poverty meetings. There was a question raised about whether an organisation of professionals is compatible with membership in EAPN even if we need to have cooperation. There was agreement that these discussions need to continue in EAPN and that the presence of a federation of social workers could facilitate this discussion. The application was accepted 108 in favour, 16 abstentions and 3 against.
Amendments to the Standing Orders: Please note that unless specified the amendments were proposed by the Executive Committee.
It was first noted that EAPN Sweden had agreed to withdraw their proposal (Amendment 1 Option 3) to amend the standing orders to keep proportional representation from Networks (in a reduced form) at the GA, that would have allowed to keep the principle of ‘one delegate one vote’ at the GA. It was withdrawn because it might create difficulties in complying with the rule regarding the maximum proportion of votes that European Organisations can have at the GA (article 8.2). The concern expressed by the Swedish amendment will be taken up in a proposal put to a vote of the GA to charge the EXCO with this issue. For similar reasons amendment No 2 Option 1, from FEANTSA was also not put to a vote, as it would create difficulties to comply with article 8.2. Ludo, as President of EAPN, informed the delegates that he had tried to reach FEANTSA during the time of the GA to seek their agreement to not present the amendment like it was phrased but had not been successful. As a consequence the Bureau had decided not to put this amendment to a vote but to take it up in the proposal for the EXCO discussion that is following. In withdrawing these amendments a proposal was put to the General Assembly that: This GA asks the incoming Executive Committee to start a discussion and a debate about the distribution of votes among members - National Networks and EO's - and the principles on which to base such distribution and if necessary bring forward proposed Statute and Standing Order changes to a future GA for debate and agreement. This proposal was accepted 122 in favour, 2 abstentions and 0 against.
Amendment No 1, Option 1:To decrease the number of delegates to the GA to two per national network was defeated, 52 in favour, 12 abstentions and 68 against. Amendment No 1, Option 2: To decrease the numbers of delegates to the GA to three per network was agreed, 81 in favour, 16 abstentions and 41 against.
Amendment 2, Option 2: Amendment to clarify the numbers of votes of European Organisations and to put it in line with the existing practice that each EO has one vote was accepted, 95 in favour, 5 abstentions and 38 against.
Amendment No 3: To clarify the Exco role regarding the appointment of the Director was accepted 139 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Amendment No 4: To inset in the standing orders information about the Bureau that is presently only in the Executive Hand Book was accepted, 139 in favour, 0 abstentions, 0 against.
Amendment No 5: Proposal re Strategic Congress was accepted 137 in favour, 2 abstentions, 0 against.
Amendment No 6: FEANTSA amendment to change the no of votes that EOs can have at the Strategic Congress (to mirror their amendment re voting in the GA) was not put to a vote for the same reason as amendment no 2 option 1.
Adoption of the EAPN Work Programme 2013:The draft work programme as presented was adopted, subject to been adjusted to take account of the decision that there should be three delegates per National Network at the GA in 2013. This will mean a corresponding decrease in the numbers who can attend the learning forum.137 voted in favour, 1 abstention and 1 against.
Adoption of the EAPN Budget 2013:The draft budget presented was adopted subject to been adjusted to take account of the decision that there should be three delegates per National Network at the GA in 2013. This will mean a corresponding decrease in the numbers who can attend the learning forum. 137 in favour, 2 abstentions, 1 against.
There was a question raised about the ability of EAPN to reach its huge matching fund requirements. Fintan gave some background to how we meet this challenge but acknowledged that in the context of crisis and reduced funding for our members it is an increasing challenge. He said that it is good that there is now a sub group of the executive on Finance and Fund raising which was really necessary so that the members get a better understanding of what is involved and can have a greater oversight to decide what we need to do in the future.
Adoption of the Final Declaration:The final declaration as amended was adopted, 129 in favour, 10 abstentions, 0 against. In the debate it was agreed that the final declaration should be sent to the delegates to the 11th People Experiencing Poverty meeting thanking them for the courage they had shown in giving the red card to the EU Institutions. A plea was also made not too overlook the situation of Migrants in EAPNs work on the impact of the crisis as they are particularly badly impacted at every level by the crisis. Some colleagues took the imaginative step to record a reading of the final declaration with engagement of members.
Closing Remarks: In closing the 2012 General Assembly Ludo thanked warmly the Norwegian Network for their great hosting of the General Assembly and in particularly for the good atmosphere they created that facilitated the work to be done and meant that people would have fond memories of this General Assembly.
Ludo said a special word to Svein Karlson from the Norwegian Network who had before his accident been heavily involved in the planning for the GA. Ludo said he was particularly pleased than Svein had been able to join for part of the meeting and wished him the strength to face the difficulties his accident is imposing on his life.
Ludo also had a special word for Goran Larson from the Salvation Army who was leaving the Executive and who was unable to attend over the last year due to his battle against cancer. Ludo asked his colleague from the Salvation Army to convey a message to Goran that he remains in the thought and good wishes of all in EAPN.
Ludo had a special word of thanks for the Staff of EAPN and for the Director for their continued dedicated and hard work on behalf of EAPN. He said that, as President, he had the privilege to work in close contact with the staff, and he wanted to assure the delegates that the work staff members are delivering is of a high degree of personal commitment and of high professional quality.
He also thanked the Interpreters and the technicians for their continued cooperative and professional work.
A formal thanks was offered to Ludo for his tremendous commitment to the work of EAPN and for the dedication and commitment he brought to the post of President. The party that evening offered another opportunity in a more relaxed manner to acknowledge and thank Ludo for all he has done for EAPN during his time as President. A special thanks was offered to Michaela Moser who steps down as Vice President of EAPN and who has contributed enormous talent and creativity to the work of EAPN. Karl who steps down from the Bureau was also thanked for his work as was Izabella and Olivier who remain as candidates for the Bureau 2012-2015.
Johanna for EAPN Norway thanked all the delegates for their participation in the GA. She thanked her colleagues in EAPN Norway who had worked together to make the best conditions possible for the GA and she expressed hope that delegates would leave with a good memory of their time in Norway.
Closing the GA Ludo reminded us that for many people they have been living a crisis since well before 2008 and in fact the official responses to the crisis have driven them further into crisis making them pay the price for a crisis they did not create. He says he knows the change we call for will not happen tomorrow but that over the days of this General Assembly we have shared ideas and practices that already build the change we want and which can inspire us to continue to contribute to this change and seek majority support for the EU we want. He left us with four words which he hoped would help us to grow as a Network even in these difficult times of crisis and which he has seen operating in EAPN when it is acting at its best:
Commitment: the tremendous commitment of the members and of people experiencing poverty to make a real difference to the lives of people who live in poverty.
Solidarity: the need to ensure we build solidarity between people, workers and volunteers and among our National Networks and European Organisations. He also has seen our work on alliance building as an important step towards building broader solidarity for change.
Empowerment: turning our commitment and our anger into power to show that another type of power than the one the Troika is imposing on some member states is possible and needed.
Dignity: based on respect for human rights and the recognition of the right to dignity for people who live in poverty. Achieving access for all to these rights is our ultimate goal.
Ludo said it was an honour to be President of EAPN. He said that while he stopped as President he would be remaining active in EAPN. He also said that as the new President of Dignity International which has already a collaboration with EAPN for many years, he would also try to make EAPNs work known through this role and to bring the new ideas he sees through that work back to EAPN.