Berlin - September 2002

Agenda - Minutes

Full Report and pictures (Courtesy of the Children Webmag)


Agenda for the General Assembly in Berlin on
Tuesday 17 September 2002

1. Announcements

2. Minutes of the General Assembly in Maastricht

3. Report of the President

4. Report of the Treasurer

5. Audit report as proposed by the Audit Committee

6. UNESCO and European Council

7. Acceptance of reports / discussion and discharge

8. Elections of President / Treasurer / Secretary General

9. Elections of new Audit Committee

10. Acceptance and exclusion of Full Members

11. Action Program

12. Other Business

Minutes of the General Assembly in Berlin on 17 September 2002

Evelyn Eichmann - Austria
Helga Stefanov - Austria
Sena Druzic - Bosnia Herzegovina / Yugoslavia
Viara Todorava - Bulgaria
Dashenka Tashkova - Bulgaria
Zdenka Havlasová - Czech Republic
Vlasta Hrdlicková - Czech Republic
James Anglin - Canada
Søren Hegstrup - Denmark
Karen Scott - Denmark
Kathleen Lane - England / Wales
David Lane - England / Wales
Sari Laaksonen - Finland
Martti Kemppainen - Finland
Daniel Collombet - France
Jean-Pierre Trinquier - France
René Bernard - France
Francois-Richard Joubert - France
Daniel Vidaud - France
Nicole Janze - Germany
Wolfgang Trede - Germany
Friedhelm Peters - Germany
Hans Ullrich Krause - Germany
Gerd Schemenau - Germany
Birgit Heinisch - Germany
Siegrid Kinzinger - Germany
Malay Dewanji - India
Emmanuel Grupper - Israel
Hashem El Husseini - Lebanon
Inese Jurgena - Latvia
Zoja Chehlova - Latvia
Robert Soisson - Luxembourg
Theo Binnendijk - The Netherlands
Famke Schiff - The Netherlands
Onno van Praag - The Netherlands
Aad Vroon - The Netherlands
Anton Tobé - The Netherlands
Wim Kok - The Netherlands
Jaroslaw Utrat Milecki - Poland
Jadwiga Królikowska - Poland
Simona Farces - Rumania
G. Manlycen - Rumania
Toma Mares - Rumania
Ioan Neacsu - Rumania
Marta Abvarado - Russia
Emilia Chervinskaya - Russia
Andrew Hosie - Scotland
Bojan Dekleva - Slovenia
Špela Razpotnik - Slovenia
Adela Hadžiomerovic - South East Europe
Roland Stübi - Switzerland
Rolf Widmer - Switzerland
Suzanne Widmer - Switzerland
Thomas Mächler - Switzerland
Carol S. Kelly - USA

Theo Binnendijk, President of FICE International, welcomed the members.

1. Announcements
A new agenda was handed out because of changes in the order of the items.
Changes of statutes: this item had been put on the agenda because of the acceptance of South East Europe as an Associate Member. Further consideration of the statutes had shown that they did not need to be changed since the statutes offered membership for supranational bodies. Such members had the same voting rights as a country.
Christine Karner was not present at the FICE meetings because of an accident she had in May and she had not recovered yet. The General Assembly sent her a card.

2. Minutes of the General Assembly in Maastricht in May 2002
During the CE-meeting of 16 September 2002 it had become clear that Theo Binnendijk had forgotten to place the minutes of the General Assembly in Maastricht on the agenda., and he had been unable to provide a copy of the minutes for the General Assembly in Berlin. He made his apologizes for this. The minutes would be discussed during the General Assembly in 2004.
Action: Minutes of GA in Maastricht 2004 will be put on the agenda of the GA in 2004.

3. Report of the President
In respect of the elections Theo Binnendijk had written a report about the past two years and his intentions for the coming period. He gave a brief overview: Theo Binnendijk was not satisfied with the results of the last two years. There were various reasons for this. The most important was the consequences of the withdrawal of the Secretary General and the impossibility of fulfilling this function. Theo Binnendijk was glad with the support he had got from the Treasurer, Vice-Presidents and Secretariat.
Theo Binnendijk had been involved in international contacts: he had established or renewed contacts with IFCO, AIEJI and ENSCW. He had spoken to Malya Dewanji who wanted to set up a FICE platform in Asia.
The Website FICE International had been established with thanks to David Lane. The English texts were ready; the translations in German and French required more time. Christine Karner would fulfil a role in this.
FICE projects needed to be described clearly with concrete goals, project structure and responsibilities. Although a lot was going on in the countries it was difficult to tell what FICE is and does.
The CE had decided to prepare brochures about what FICE does; public relations would get more attention in the coming period.
More exchange of experience in the Federal Council and General Assembly about achievements in the countries was wanted.
Relations between FICE International and FICE Europe: Robert Soisson announced that he would not be a candidate for President of FICE Europe, because of his health. Onno van Praag would also resign. Because of the fact that it seemed there were no candidates for FICE Europe the CE had made a proposal for the management of FICE Europe for the time being. Theo Binnendijk had been surprised to hear in the CE on 16 September 2002 that there were French candidates for positions in FICE Europe.
" Finances were discussed at every Cf as there were problems concerning the payment of membership fees. It was proposed that there should be a working group concerning new sources of finance for FICE International. The Treasurer would co-ordinate in this working group.

4. Report of the Treasurer
Richard Joubert, Treasurer, explained his financial report:
At 31 December 2000 there had been a positive balance of Sfr. 7.648,55; at that date Sfr. 45.495,85 had been available .
At the end of 2001 the balance had had a positive result of Sfr. 15.747,54. The total available at 31 December 2001 had been Sfr. 64.706,54. This surplus had been a consequence of the absence of a Secretary General (which had saved Sfr. 10.000). Thanks were given to the President and Secretariat who had undertaken all the work. Some subscriptions for 2001 had been paid after 31 December 2001.
The positive result of 2001 had been used for the establishment of the Website FICE International.
The financial report at 10 August 2002 had shown an available amount of Sfr. 60.468,74.
The amount available for the function of Secretary General was Sfr. 10.000.
The income of FICE International was determined by membership fees only. The Treasurer proposed that fees for 2003/2004 should be maintained at the same level as 2001/2002.
The proposal concerning the membership fees was the base for the budget 2003 and 2004. Besides the income of fees (Sfr. 40.000) the budget of 2003 would be supplemented by a subsidy of Sfr. 10.000 provided by the Pestalozzi Foundation. This organisation - aware of the problems arising from the withdrawal of the Secretary General - had offered a subsidy of Sfr. 10.000 a year for 2002 and 2003.
The Treasurer proposed to fix the budget for projects at Sfr. 10.000, this was an average over 3 years.
Some countries had asked for a reduced membership fee since some countries had weak currencies. The Treasurer had to ask the CE for permission. Reduction was not granted for a long time; FICE had to be careful with a reduction in the fees because it was the only source of income at this moment. For the countries who had asked for a reduction the level of the fee had not been established yet.
" The Audit Committee had checked the books. FICE was a healthy organisation.

5. Audit report as proposed by the Audit Committee
The Audit Committee had verified the financial books. The books gave a true and fair view of the situation. The Treasurer had managed the finances carefully.

Martti Kemppainen, member of the Audit Committee, mentioned that FICE needed more money and would hopefully obtain more from organisations in the future. He therefore proposed the need for an external audit in the future.

6. UNESCO and European Council
Richard Joubert had written a report about UNESCO and the European Council. In summary :
FICE had re-established its position in UNESCO and had been elected to the Council of NGO's. It was important to be present in international organisations. Especially with a view to co-operation and the joined financing of projects it was important that they should know what FICE does.
" Richard Joubert had represented FICE in two working groups of the Council of NGO's: 'Education and Culture' and 'Social rights, European Social Card' which fought against poverty.
Other working groups in which he had participated were: 'Human rights', 'Research and Ethics'.
Mr. Heydt, President of Council of Europe, was prepared to introduce the Council of NGO's at the FICE Conference.
In October and November 2001 Richard Joubert had represented FICE in two conferences of Council of Europe.
At the request of Wolfgang Trede Richard Joubert had brought the question of FICE's participation in the working group on Equality of Rights for Women and Men to the attention of Mr. Zielinski (President of Commission of NGO). Mrs. Wolff would represent FICE.

7. Acceptance of reports / discussion and discharge
Report of the President
Robert Soisson had three remarks:
The fact that the agenda of the General Agenda was not in line with FICE practice was regrettable. Theo Binnendijk thanked Robert Soisson for this remark.
Books of FICE Congress in Maastricht 2002: the name of FICE was not mentioned in these books while it was involved in this Congress. In the opinion of Robert Soisson it was a responsibility of the President of FICE International to make the involvement of FICE visible. Theo Binnendijk agreed in the importance of making visible the involvement of FICE, but the books were published by FICE Holland, which was not under his control.
Website FICE International: on base of what had been done until now Robert Soisson was not satisfied about the costs of the Website. The Website had been presented too late, there were no special effects, and he was not sure if the amount of money included the translations of the texts in German and French. This item would be discussed in the Federal Council.
Sari Laaksonen:
She agreed with the need for more exchange of developments and experiences between the members in the Federal Council.
She offered compliments for the work Theo Binnendijk had done in relation to other international organisations.
Emilia Chervinskaya:
She mentioned the presence of Theo Binnendijk in a meeting of Lions International in Brussels last month.
Malay Dewanji:
FICE projects, the new structure of FICE and platforms would strengthen the position of FICE in the future.
The report of the President was accepted by the General Assembly. Theo Binnendijk thanked the members for their confidence.

Report of the Treasurer
On base of the positive report of the Audit Committee the General Assembly accepted the financial report 2000/2001. Theo Binnendijk thanked Richard Joubert for all the work he had done.
The General Assembly discharged the Treasurer and Audit Committee of their tasks.

UNESCO and European Council
The General Assembly endorsed the report about UNESCO and European Council.

Richard Joubert was due to stop working for FICE this year. For many years he had been involved in FICE: in ANCE France, in FICE International and during recent years he had had the function of Treasurer in FICE International.
Theo Binnendijk proposed that Richard Joubert should be made an honorary member of FICE because of the support and commitment he had shown to FICE for so long. The General Assembly agreed with this proposal.

8. Elections of President / Treasurer / Secretary General
President: Theo Binnendijk had been President for the past two years and was available for re-election for a second period of two years. There were no other candidates. Theo Binnendijk was elected as President for the next two years; he accepted this responsibility and thanked the members for their confidence.

Treasurer: Rolf Widmer was the only candidate for this function. He was ready to accept the function of Treasurer. He felt that the job was very important and that FICE needed to be clear about aims in seeking grants. Members would be able to count on him and he hoped to rely on members. The General Assembly elected Rolf Widmer as Treasurer. He accepted the function and thanked the members for their confidence.

There was no election for the Secretary General because of a lack of candidates.
FICE would go on seeking a Secretary General. For the time being Theo Binnendijk proposed to share some of the tasks among the Vice-Presidents. Anton Tobé did not want to be Secretary General, but was willingly to do some work as Vice-President. He would assist Theo in establishing of international contacts (especially Eastern Europe) which he could do in combination with his job in the Netherlands.

If FICE should find a Secretary General in the period up to the next General Assembly in 2004, the person would not get the title of Secretary General because that person would not have been elected. The Federal Council could give that person the mandate to do some tasks of the Secretary General only. The Federal Council was competent to replace the Secretary General by an interim.

Malay Dewanji mentioned that someone he knew might be interested in the function of Secretary General for two days a week.
Action: The President would contact Malay Dewanji about this person.

9. Election of Audit Committee
Emmanuel Grupper and Malay Dewanji were willing to form the Audit Committee. The General Assembly elected them as members of the Audit Committee.
The General Assembly agreed with the proposal of Martti Kemppainen that a proposal for external audit control should be prepared by the Treasurer.
Action: A proposal for external audit control will be prepared for the General Assembly in 2004.

10. Acceptance and exclusion of Full Members
The Union of Social Child Care had not paid the membership fees nor participated in the activities of FICE International for a long time. In respect of this the Union of Social Child Care had received a letter from the Treasurer about the consequence that failure to pay would lead to their exclusion from membership. The General Assembly decided to exclude the Union of Social Child Care of membership.

Since the Federal Council in Budapest in April 2002 Scotland had been made an Associate Member. As a consequence it was not correct to use the title FICE UK any longer, and a more suitable title was FICE England & Wales. The General Assembly agreed with this proposal.

It was a task for the General Assembly to award an Associate Member Full Membership. Associate Membership was for a period of one or two years. Bulgaria had been an Associate Member for nearly two years. South East Europe had been Associate Member since October 2001. Because it would be too long till the next General Assembly the President proposed to make both countries Full Members. The General Assembly agreed. Congratulations were offered to Bulgaria and South East Europe; both countries were delighted and thanked the members.

Russia (Associate Member since September 2001) would be a Full Member in April 2003.
Scotland (Associate Member since September 2001) was willing to wait for Full Membership until September 2004.

11. Action Programme
Rolf Widmer emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Board of FICE Europe and FICE International for the future.

12. Other business
Kathleen Lane proposed a resolution to be sent to Kofi Anan at the United Nations about the threat of an attack by USA on Iraq and the consequences of this for children. FICE should definitely take a stand. The text proposed by Kathleen Lane would be discussed in the Federal Council meeting.
FICE should be aware and speak out against every war. Carol Kelly pleaded for more publicity about FICE as peace messenger. Daniel Vidaud proposed that FICE should act directly if the situation demanded it and not wait until the next General Assembly. FICE had to make use of the contacts it had; organisations such as NGO and Council of Europe could offer support.


- Minutes of GA in Maastricht 2004 will be put on the agenda of the GA in 2004. (Famke)
- Theo Binnendijk will contact Malay Dewanji about the person who was may be interested in function of Secretary General
- A proposal for external audit control will be prepared for the General Assembly in 2004. (Emmanuel Grupper/Malay Dewanji)