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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday December 16, 2021

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Robert Davies

Robert Davies

Head, International Projects , Heritage Management Organisation

portrait of Susan Hazan

Susan Hazan

CEO , Digital Heritage Israel

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Looking back at the Europeana Network Association in 2021

In 2021, the Europeana Network Association (ENA) held its General Assembly meeting as well as three Members Council meetings. Take a look at what our Councillors and members have worked on this year as part of their strategic priorities. 

Colourful depiction of figures dancing
Chwistek, Leon
Museum of Art in Lodz

In 2021 the ENA Members Council (the body of formally elected representatives of the ENA) met virtually three times. In March, the Council approved the strategic priorities for ENA in 2021-2022, representing a long term vision for ENA. These include cross-initiative capacity building and digital transformation; cross-initiative inclusion and diversity; transparency, accountability and democracy; harnessing the potential of ENA members; and ENA mechanisms and funding. Councillors began diving into each of these topics and looking at how they could be taken forward, working together at a number of key meetings over the year. 

Supporting digital transformation and capacity building

Digital transformation remained a key focus in all of this year’s Council meetings. Working closely with the Europeana Initiative on behalf of the network, in the spring Council members contributed to co-creating a framework aiming to empower, motivate and guide the sector’s capacity building. At their second meeting, Councillors discussed developing ENA’s vision for Digital Public Space for Culture by 2030 and contributing to capacity building work across the Initiative. 

We were delighted to support a Europeana Initiative Capacity Building Task Force which kicked off in September and aims to develop a vision of what digital transformation looks like in the sector in all its different facets, and begin to plan out how to support, enable and measure it.

Work on diversity and inclusion

Identified as a key topic of interest for the ENA in 2021, this year the Council continued discussing diversity and inclusion in the network and the sector. The Council formed an Anti-racism group, and Councillors began working with external consultants to gain a better understanding of inclusion and diversity. The delivery of the New Professionals Task Force final recommendations, which identified key challenges facing new professionals in the ENA and the cultural heritage sector, contributed significantly to this effort. The Council also formally established the Membership Working Group which aims to make the ENA more open, inclusive and diverse, and provide more opportunities for young, new and emerging professionals to get involved with the ENA. 

Throughout June, several Councillors took part in a series of workshops which provided tools to help Europeana develop a shared value system in the form of a common Europeana Initiative Community Pact. In the months to come, representatives of the Foundation, ENA and the Aggregators’ Forum will together take part in the Europeana Initiative Diversity and Inclusion Task Force which will define a strategy to enable the Europeana vision for a diverse and inclusive cultural heritage sector. 

Community work 

In March, the Council revised the original Community Terms of Reference. During the first two Council meetings of the year, a space was created for the Community Steering Groups to compare their current work plans and to see how they can support each other. They discussed things they could work on together this year, and briefly touched upon where they see their communities in three years from now. At the December Council meeting, Communities presented their work plans for 2022 and invited the Council to give feedback. 

Climate action: birth of a new community 

At their summer meeting on 30 June, the Council approved the proposal to formalise the status of the former ENA Climate Action Group with an aim to raise awareness and to take responsibility for collective climate action. The ENA, Europeana Foundation and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum agreed to take this issue forward as a shared priority, and this resulted in the creation of the Europeana Climate Action Manifesto, launched at Europeana 2021, and the new ENA Climate Action Community, launched at the ENA General Assembly meeting in November 2021. We are delighted to welcome the Europeana Climate Action Community, and see this as a major achievement for ENA this year! 

ENA General Assembly event

On 3 November 2020, around 120 ENA members and Councillors gathered virtually at the ENA General Assembly. The audience had an opportunity to learn more about the governance of ENA and the six existing Communities, their task forces and future plans. The members approved the ENA Annual Report 2021, Financial Report 2020 and Provisional Budget for 2022 and reflected on the ENA’s achievements over the year. They also looked at the goals and aspirations for ENA in the coming year, which you can read about in the Activity Plan for 2022

One of the highlights was a panel discussion dedicated to engineering the Network and engaging ENA members in the work of Europeana. It was great to hear some Councillors share their personal journeys and experience with the ENA. In an effort to help new professionals in the Europeana ecosystem and connect them with more experienced network members, a buddy system was introduced during a social event that followed. 

2021 Council elections

This year, the Council said goodbye to 17 Councillors that have reached the end of their terms: Georgia Angelaki, Ina Blümel, Petra Boettinger, Erik Buelinckx, Tamara Butigan, Michal Cudrnák, Olimpia Curta, Maria Engberg, Barbara Fischer, Karin Glasemann, Susan Hazan, Pilar Irala-Hortal, Vera Kriezi, James Morley, Marta Musso, Antje Schmidt and Frederik Truyen. We profoundly appreciate and value their contributions to ENA activities over the past few years and hope to keep working with them as ENA members! We also welcome 17 newly elected and 10 re-elected Councillors, who were introduced at the last Council meeting in December. The Councillors will meet again virtually in spring. The minutes of all the Council meetings will be available on Europeana Pro.

If you haven’t done so up to now, please consider joining  the vibrant, democratic community of the Europeana Network Association. Sign up today!