Meanwhile in Vienna… the Members Council continues its work
On 21-22 June, the Members Council - the 30 elected representatives of the Europeana Network Association - gathered in Vienna to discuss the Association’s role in the wider Europeana ecosystem, and its practical implementation: the 2017 Business Plan. In addition, the Councillors went through achievements to date, and Working Groups projected their next milestones.
The learned and beautiful surroundings of the Austrian National Library provided the backdrop to the second Members Council meeting of this year. The main items on the agenda were reviewing the Association’s role in the context of Europeana’s strategy, and contributing to Europeana’s 2017 Business Plan. But first, it was time to reflect on the work done since last meeting and celebrate some achievements!
Highlights of the past months
Some weeks ago, the Council of the EU adopted Council conclusions on the role of Europeana for the digital access, visibility and use of European cultural heritage. This important document outlines the Member States’ view on Europeana, its role and future funding - read more about this in our previous blog post. Over the last few months the Members Council successfully worked with Europeana Foundation to provide input into these Conclusions and raise support for them.
Another success story was the #AllezCulture campaign ‘I am @Europeanaeu’, which invited people to post their cultural hero(in)es from Europeana Collections, on social media. The campaign, spearheaded by the Members Council, inspired hundreds of contributors from all over the world to share their favourite items, reaching almost 1 million unique individuals on Twitter. A new campaign will be launched in the autumn, so stay tuned!
Councillors at work, Austrian National Library, Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY-SA
The Members Council had also been working on governance matters, reviewing the Association’s statutes, bylaws and procedures. Based on the lessons learned last year, we proposed amendments to these documents, which we will put before you for approval at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November. Speaking of the AGM, your Councillors have been busy putting together an inspiring programme with an impressive line-up of speakers. Check the AGM page for updates, and get your ticket now!
Reviewing the role of the Association
Next, we discussed the role of the Association within the wider Europeana ecosystem, as well as interaction within the Association, and its collaboration with Europeana Foundation. Using real-life scenarios, we developed ideas for improving communication and engagement.
What’s more, the topic sparked so much interest and discussion among the Councillors, that a dedicated group will further evaluate the role of the Association in the light of current and future developments. This group will create a realigned mission statement to be ratified by the General Assembly at the AGM.
Developing the Business Plan
On the second day of the meeting, we focussed on contributing to the creation of Europeana’s 2017 Business Plan, one of the Members Council’s key tasks. After some rounds of groups discussion, selected Councillors pitched the outcomes of the finished Task Forces, and together we decided which of the recommendations we thought should be incorporated in the plans for the next year. The Council’s suggestions will be taken on board in the next step of the Business Plan development: the review by the Governing Board of Europeana Foundation.
The Members Council in action in the Austrian National Library, Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY-SA
The meeting ended with several Working Group meetings to plan for the coming months, but not before the Councillors had the chance to get some first-hand experience of Viennese culture. Under the approving gaze of Franz Josef and Sisi, we enjoyed a guided tour through the Austrian National Library’s historic State Hall and the Library’s new Museum of Literature.
All in all, the meeting saw lots of engagement from the Councillors, who each contributed their own expertise to the discussions. A full report of the meeting will be available soon; in the meantime, check out the pictures! Our work will continue over the summer, so we’ll keep you posted on new developments here. The Council’s next meeting will be in Riga, right before the start of the AGM. If you have topics you’d like to see discussed, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the Councillors. See you in Latvia!