February 8th, ARTS56, Brussels. It's almost 2 p.m. and our External Relations Officer arrives to the first European Environmental Bureau (EEB) Board Meeting in 2017, grabs some sandwiches ("meeting starts with a light lunch"), and joins the crowd.
Here we are, between many other representatives of many other organisations being many other members in the EEB Board.
It's the first time an EEB Board Meeting is led and held by two EEB presidents (since the last election in September 2016, where two presidents had been elected).
This meeting takes place to get informed about the work of the EEB itself, of the progress that the EEB made in the past months, to decide on the future focus of EEB and to discuss, and discuss, and discuss. (and to grab sandwiches and help cleaning the table by doing that!
Officially, this meeting was the opportunity for YEE to replace our former representative Sara with Stefan, who is our current External Relations Officer and who has already been at the 2016 EEB Annual Event in Austria.
Big news and relevant for us is the information that Fältbiologerna, the only other youth organisation in the EEB network, is going to leave the EEB – which means that YEE will be the one and only youth representative left in this network. Currently, we are pretty close to EEB and many people at the Board Meeting remembered Stefan, came to him, talked to him, and also asked for help and ideas connected to youth (for personal as same as for official reasons).
Besides many points in the agenda about the internal work of the EEB and reports and decisions about those there's also on other big point for us: Stefan/YEE joined the Work Group for the preparation of the 2018 Annual Event, which will be a bigger event (including conference, workshop etc.) than the past ones and which will also have a focus on the Youth. This gives us the chance to include our ideas, our experience, our needs and our wisdom(s).
Besides of all theoretical work at the meeting it's important to be there, talk to other board members (representatives of member organisations and member countries) face-to-face, because these are the moments others will remember about us, and which will bring them (hopefully) closer to us and to the needs of the young people (which can easily be forgotten when you only travel around attending such meetings, living and acting in your own NGO bubble). In other words: this is when and where reality takes place and where the first steps for co-operations, for more intercultural and inter-organisational exchanges are made.
If you need more information, if you have advice for us and especially Stefan, if you want us to spread the word about your idea and need contact to other European Environmental organisations: here's the network, here we can connect you to the people you need to talk to. Write us!
See you next time,