Everybody happy in Ghent

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Federative Council 2002

New statutes, a new political platform, new internal rules of procedure, a street action, a new Executive Committee…the latest Federative Council of the FYEG in Ghent, Belgium, was a very successful one.

From Ukraine to Portugal and from Finland to Malta, 45 participants attended the Federative Council of the FYEG in Ghent, Belgium, at the end of November 2002. For about three days (and nights!) the delegates were together to discuss both internal FYEG issues, as well as green political issues.

After arrival in the lovely Belgian student town of Ghent, we started our programme on Saturday with an introduction of the EU action programme called ‘Youth’. Inez Adriaensen, project officer, responsible for Action 5 (seminars, networking on the Youth Programme), told us about the possibilities for funding of different sorts of youth projects. This proved to be very useful, as most of us seemed to have never heard before about this programme, although there are ‘Youth’ offices in almost all the member states of the EU.

Campaign ‘Multicultural Europe’
During the day, we held workshops, where we tried to develop projects, mainly focused on issues of migration and a multicultural society. FYEG is planning to stage a year and a half long campaign on ‘the limits and possibilities of a multicultural Europe’. This campaign will run from the beginning of 2003 until the elections for European Parliament in June 2004. Some of the ideas are the construction of a symbolic ‘Fortress Europe’ and a travelling action camp along the outer borders of the EU. You will surely hear more about these plans soon!

On Saturday late afternoon, some delegates preferred to go into the centre of Ghent, to participate in the ‘Buy Nothing Day’. FYEG decided to give away free hugs….

New member organisations
After a night on the town and not enough sleep for most of us, we started with ‘the real stuff’ on Sunday. We started the day with changes in the membership status for some organisations. The Federative Council accepted the Czech and Hungarian Young Greens as full members, and it accepted new applicant members from Malta, Ireland and Bosnia. Congratulations to all of you! Suspensions of member organisations had to be given to the Belgian Ecolo organisation, and the Italian and Swiss Young Greens.

New statutes!
As said before, the statutes were changed as well. Thanks to a very well prepared procedure, and the amendments proposed in advance by Belgian, Dutch and Portuguese groups plus the EC, we managed to come out with much more workable statutes than we had before. Unclear wordings were eliminated, and the statutes were defined according to the current working practice.

All of these results lead to a very heavy dancing session at the glam party organised at Kinky Star.(http://www.kinkystar.com). Oh boy, we shook the house…

Working groups
We started Monday, the final day, with three different working groups working concurrently on political issues: a strategic plan for FYEG, the political role of FYEG, and possible membership of FYEG in the EFGP (European Federation of Green Parties). The last working group came with interesting conclusions: because of different opinions among our member organisations, we had consensus that FYEG should keep an observer role within the EFGP. Further, the FC accepted a political role for the Executive Committee, since the FYEG is regarded as a political group, and since we can only be efficient if we can react fast on political issues. Another positive point, by the way, was the agreement about the annual contribution that the member organisations have to pay. Possibly even more important, was the agreement after that on a brand new paper on ‘internal rules of procedure’, developed by Karim Beroud from Dwars (Netherlands). Of course, the budget for 2003 was accepted as well, just as the plan to develop a brand new website within the coming two months.

Political platform
On Monday afternoon, the highlight of the programme: the changing of the political platform; the platform on which we base our daily political points of view. These sessions were very well prepared by Jelle Janssens from Jong Agalev (Belgium), who even had prepared a complete slideshow with all the amendment proposals from Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria and Portugal. It was really great to experience the discussions during the afternoon between Germans and Danish arguing over the drug policy, acceptance of a new chapter on health by the Portuguese, the role of the European Union between Belgians and the Scandinavians, and hunting between… well, I forgot. Anyway, in the end a lot of amendment proposals were accepted, and also the political platform is much ‘sharper’ now than the version we had before.

New Executive Committee
To close the day, the delegates still had to elect a new Executive Committee. Most of the EC Members stood for election for the second time; two new persons applied. In the end, there were exactly nine candidates for exactly nine functions. In a secret vote, all the candidates were voted in with a minimum of 90% of the votes; a great sign of faith in the new (old) crew)!

After that, everybody was happy (well, we were that before as well), and we still had a high-percentage of the night ahead of us…. What better way to put the cherry on the cake if not by an international evening! All in all, the atmosphere during the FC in Ghent was great, the decisions made were great, the people were great…. we had a wonderful time and have good faith in the coming year!

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