Once per year Member Organisations, YEE secretariat and Executive Board members all gather in one place for the Annual Meeting of YEE. The event does not only offer an overview on the network's past activities, but also sets goals for its short and long term future work.
This year's meeting took place from 30th August to 1st September, in the same venue as last year, ecological center Toulcuv Dvur in Prague, Czech Republic. 31 delegates participated in a varied programme comprised of presentations, discussions and votings.
The Annual Meeting was opened outdoors in a relaxed atmosphere with name games and energizers. First indoor sessions were the presentation of the Meeting agenda, introduction to YEE and presentations of reports related to its work in 2015 (annual, financial, internal audit reports, final budget for 2015). The secretariat staff presented their work with a quiz, whereas the Executive Board shared their experiences in the orchards below Toulcuv Dvur. After clearing the Board of their positions, nominations for the new Executive Board members and internal auditors opened. The latter was followed by the presentation and approval of the YEE 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and the first project planning session. The first day ended with a relaxed walk to the nearby lake.
The second day began with legal issues - presentation and voting of a minor change to the Statutes of YEE. Former Executive Board members presented updated YEE policies on sustainability, projects and the Board, which were all approved after questions from members of the General Assembly. These policies are important documents for YEE as their implementation will increase the quality of work and projects and decrease the network's environmental impact even more.
After an outdoor session on opportunities, rights and responsibilities of YEE Member Organisations, participants of the meeting got acquainted with membership issues. Although some memberships were cancelled, 3 organisations joined the network - now YEE has 41 members. Most of the projects that were worked on during the second session of project planning and later presented to the General Assembly were included in YEE 2017 Work Plan.
The day reached its peak with the elections for the new Executive Board members and internal auditors. Participants relaxed and shared their impressions of a very busy and productive two days on a party with vegetarian catering in the evening.
The last day's agenda was shorter than in previous days, but important nonetheless. After accepting the draft for the 2017 budget, participants moved outside, formed pairs and exchanged their opinions about YEE and the Annual Meeting. The session was followed by a circle of emotion sharing among everybody. This activity also marked the end of the YEE 2016 Annual Meeting.
While most of the participants made preparations for their departure, the newly elected Board members had their first board meeting. After lunch in the local canteen participants parted ways, richer for one more experience and several new friendships.