Amsterdam - November 2001

 

Secretariat FICE International
Sociaal-agogisch Centrum het Burgerweeshuis
Postbus 75450 1070 AL Amsterdam The Netherlands
IJsbaanpad 6 1076 CV Amsterdam The Netherlands
T ++31 20 572 77 00 F ++31 20 572 77 10 E f.schiff@sac-adam.nl

Minutes of the CE-meeting in Amsterdam on Friday 2 November 2001

Present: Theo Binnendijk (President), David Lane (Vice President), Martti Kemppainen (Vice President), Richard Joubert (Treasurer), Famke Schiff (minutes)

1. Announcements
- Kathleen Lane was invited to participate in the CE meeting in Amsterdam. She left the meeting during the private discussions with Markus Mader, Director of Pestalozzi.
- Richard Joubert will be a candidate in the election for European Commission, representing FICE International.
- The European Commission has organised a conference about social politics and economics.
- NGO's roles in Russia are recognised; they will be supported by funds.
Martti will hand over a letter to Nina Larionova (Union of Social Child Care) concerning their membership fee of Sfr. 500 for this year and the coming years. If her organisation is to remain a member of FICE International she has to pay the fee before 1-1-2002.
Mr. Likhanov (Russian Children's Fund) has paid the fee of Sfr. 500.
- Candidate Treasurer:
Richard Joubert will meet the new staff of Ance France on 3rd December 2001. He proposed that he should ask a member of the staff to be a candidate for the post of Treasurer. For Ance France it is important to be central to FICE because it has played an important role before. Richard is prepared to continue his activities for UNESCO/EU, so there will be a French link.
On the other hand it may be better for FICE to have an established member with experience in FICE. Roland Stübi seemed to be a candidate for this function.

Another possibility to involve Ance France is to ask if it will be interested to nominate a member to fulfil a role as Vice President.

Conclusion: It is the proposition of the CE that an open discussion should be initiated, and that it should not attempt to limit discussion. In principle each National Section is able to nominate a candidate for the election.

- Extra items were placed on the agenda:
- FICE Scotland
- Congress 2004

2. Minutes of the Federal Council meeting in Bucharest on 10-11 October 2001
Undiscussed.

3. Preparation for meeting Mr. Mader
Because of the present situation the function and activities of the Secretariat have to be reconsidered to make its work more efficient and financially effective.
It is proposed that there should be a division between the Secretariat and the General Secretary. The activities of the Secretariat should be directed towards day-to-day administrative support, agendas, minutes and translation, recognising that technology (e-mail and fax) makes communication easier nowadays.
The main tasks of the General Secretary are to manage preparation for meetings of the CE, CF and General Assembly, to maintain contacts with national sections and external contacts, to make proposals and initiatives to improve the benefits provided for members, and to help to develop the organisation. The General Secretary has to be well acquainted with the policy and procedures of FICE.
The argument for having a General Secretary from the same country as the President is that in terms of practicality it is efficient; the argument against is that there is the danger of the loss of the international character of the organisation.

FICE can not afford a full-time General Secretary and Secretariat. It is important that there should be one main person responsible for the Secretariat. The General Secretary has to make sure that everyone does their job.

Mr. Mader is the new Director of Pestalozzi, employed in a full-time capacity since October 2001. Theo has spoken with him about the situation of the General Secretary. Mr. Mader was very realistic and said he needs his time for running the Pestalozzi Foundation.
If Mr. Mader is enthusiastic to do the job he will find time and think about ways of resolving the situation. If he sees no possibilities, it will be necessary to discuss the provision of financial support by Pestalozzi.

Wolfgang Trede proposed that FICE should hold discussions about the situation of the General Secretary/Secretariat with an organisation in Germany (SOS Kinderdorf).

Present situation:
Theo feels strongly supported by the CE, but said that more could be done if there was a General Secretary.
What to do:
- Secretariat: Famke will go on with the work until the Congress in Berlin in 2002; there has been no discussion yet about the period after Berlin.
The travelcosts of Famke are paid by FICE International; the hours she works for FICE International are paid by FICE Holland.
- Berlin: election of General Secretary.
During the coming months FICE will be managed in the same way until there is a General Secretary.

4. Meeting with Mr. Markus Mader / Discussion about General Secretariat
Markus Mader was invited for the meeting to make his acquaintance and to discuss the problems concerning the role of the General Secretary.
During the meeting various issues were outlined, to give Mr. Mader an impression about what is going on.

There is a formal agreement between the board of FICE and the Pestalozzi Foundation that Pestalozzi should provide the General Secretary for two years. Now it has been confirmed, there is an obligation.
FICE and Markus Mader have to be clear about the possibilities and their wishes; neither party can afford for it to go wrong again.

Frequency of meetings:
- CE 2 - 3 times a year
- CF 2 times a year
- GA every 2 years with a Congress

FICE started the discussion: what is the mission of FICE for the future? Associated with this the General Secretary has got a developmental role. The General Secretary has to think ahead and help to develop the organisation. He has to advise the President.

Co-operation with other organisations could be expanded; now there is more room for formal partnerships.

FICE has three official languages: English, French and German. Because of its historical base in Switzerland, German is the language used for legal purposes. Official documents should be in three languages.

Current FICE projects are:
- PEP
- Educateurs sans frontières
- Web-site
- Web-magazine
- Children's rights in co-operation with other organisations
- Peace education in former Yugoslavia
The problem is how to bring it all together. The ideas are there but there is failure to implement the ideas in practice. The Vice Presidents and General Secretary have to play a role in it.

The FICE International bulletin was stopped; efforts were made to put it on the web. At this moment there is no FICE International bulletin.

Financial situation:
Pestalozzi has promised to give money for three years to help FICE to fund the post of General Secretary.
If all members were to pay their fees, FICE would not have financial problems.
The General Secretary, Secretariat and translators (Sfr. 4.000) cost Sfr. 10.000 (without travel costs).

Markus Mader has just started his new job. Because of the fact that his activities are focused on the Pestalozzi Foundation in first instance, he is not so enthusiastic about the work for FICE for the time being. If Markus Mader can find a solution to cope with the situation.

Action
- In the meeting of the board of Pestalozzi on 12th December 2001 Markus Mader will discuss the situation of FICE. After that date he will give the CE an answer about the request as to whether Markus Mader or Pestalozzi can support the General Secretary / Secretariat.
If Pestalozzi will not offer support, alternatives will have to be found.
In April during the meeting of the Federal Council a solution will have to be found.
- Markus Mader will send his curriculum vitae to FICE.
- FICE will send a job description to Markus Mader before the end of November 2001.
- Kathleen and David will prepare job descriptions for the General Secretary, Secretariat, President and Vice Presidents.
- 14-16 February 2002: meeting of CE and Task Force in Paris.
- After the meeting of CE and before the meeting of the CF all the sections will receive information about the situation of FICE, including nominations for posts subject to election.
- Theo will contact Wolfgang Trede about the possibility of SOS Kinderdorf providing a General Secretary or the Secretariat.

5. Task Force mission FICE
- Aspects of Task Force assignment: the mission of FICE International, its relationship with FICE Europe, the roles of Vice Presidents, financial issues
- Firm plans have to be made.
- Members have to do work in advance.
- Contributions of other members are important.
- Richard Joubert's ideas about the future will be taken into account.

6. FICE Europe
The position of FICE Europe will be discussed in the Task Force. FICE Europe did not work out as it was expected to be.

7. Membership
FICE is an umbrella organisation, organised by national sections. Besides national sections there are correspondent members and associate members.
Correspondents and associate members get papers but do not pay a membership fee.
Full members get the same information but pay for the services of FICE. These members have the right to vote.

The CE have the opinion that correspondents and associate members should pay for the services of FICE. Members who have an active interest in FICE will support the activities of FICE.

There are countries which do not have a national section. In a few countries more than one organisation is a member of FICE. What should be done in those countries where there is no national section and people wish be a member of FICE? A solution for these countries could be individual membership or organisational membership. If there were a number of individual members, they could form a national section, but there may be individual members who were not be committed to forming an organisation.

Action
- David Lane will work out the proposal on the possibilities of membership for individual, organisational and associate members.

8. Sources of finance
The level of membership fee makes is insufficient to permit FICE to do all the things which it wishes to; extra sources of finances are needed. Not all the members pay their fees. Although the FICE statutes state that if a member has not paid their fees for two years they can no longer be members, the board has in practice taken no action. The board has to be strict if it wants to break through the present situation. Members have to be convinced why they have to pay. Sending a letter is not enough; personal contact will be more effective. The Task Force could be a starting point for a new policy. It is important to explain to members why the turning point is necessary now.

Actions
- After 10th November 2001 Richard Joubert will produce a list of those who have not paid.
- Theo will try to make contact with presidents of other organisations and think about solutions of the financial problems.

9. Contract Website FICE International
The contract will be translated into French by Christine Karner.
Changes in the concept:
- 1.1: be the proprietor of the website……
- 1.4: …….. equivalent in quarterly instalments…….
- 1.5: give a minimum of six months….
- 2: CfC will:
- A clause about sponsorship in order to finance the website will be included in the contract
A lawyer will need to be consulted is needed in order to check the correctness of the contract.

Action
David Lane will amendt the contract.

Extra agenda items:
- FICE Scotland
Action
- Theo will contact Andrew Hosie to ask for information about his organisation and for arguments for joining FICE as a member seperated from FICE UK.

- FICE Congress 2004
- To hold the Congress in Finland is not an option, as that year the northern countries will be organising a congress about abuse
- In the UK, Scotland is planning to organise an international congress in 2003/2004
- David Lane will discuss with FICE UK the proposal to organise the conference in collaboration with other organisations within the UK