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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday July 16, 2018

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Second 2018 Members Council meeting: Transforming communities and getting to work

On 5 and 6 July, the Network Association's Members Council came together in the National Library of The Netherlands, The Hague for their second meeting of 2018. Two days were filled with hard work, intense discussions and new initiatives that focused on transforming the new network communities.

Councillors from the July 2018 Members Council Meeting, Den Haag, Zuzana Malicherova, CC BY-SA

Six specialist communities

On the first day of the meeting (5 July), the Council formally approved six new communities where ENA members could work together to cultivate and share knowledge, expertise and best practices around a specific topic or area of common interest in a rewarding way. These groups are Europeana Tech, Europeana Impact, Europeana Copyright, Europeana Research, Europeana Education, and Europeana Communicators Group.

Based on personal preference, the Councillors were then divided into six groups representing each of the communities. Every group worked on specific community work plan with the objective to implement the new structure and come up with a strategy that can be acted upon.

A shift in structure: moving towards collaboration and communities

Back in March 2018, the Council decided to revive the network around special groups of interest.  After analysing the existing Europeana and ENA community landscape, they have agreed to integrate these special interest groups into the existing Europeana’s communities in order to have an effective and well-functioning structure in place.

The main focus of the July meeting was to work on developing and/or strengthening Europeana and Network work efforts in both plenary discussions and in breakout groups. The Chair of the Europeana Network Association (ENA), Merete Sanderhoff explained that this process would mean a shift toward strengthening collaborative community groups. She stated that since the previous meeting, the Management Board had reflected on the structure of the communities and special interest groups, and decided that a collaborative, consultative community approach would be most effective.

Councillors from the July 2018 Members Council Meeting, Den Haag, Zuzana Malicherova, CC BY-SA

What we want to achieve by 2019

On the second day (6 July), the Councillors then continued working in breakout groups, clarifying basic questions how the communities will function and what they would like to achieve within their first year. Each group has also appointed its Steering Group - a representative body composed of a Community Manager, Community Chair and Vice-Chair responsible for successful community governance, communication and workflow. They agreed on whether they would have Working Groups and Task Forces in place to address specific network and community-related needs, and the best means to regularly keep in touch and informed as well as sharing this to the wider Network through Europeana Pro News articles.

Transformation and Governance changes

Besides community-building, a number of other topics were also on the agenda. These included Europeana in the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework, preparing the Network for the governance shift, a budget update and the status of Task Forces and Working Groups. Given the incumbent elections of 28 new Councillors in December 2018, and of a new Board in January 2019, the Council discussed how to best prepare the Association for this shift in governance ensuring the continuity of institutional memory, knowledge and expertise.

Finally, Europeana Foundation director Harry Verwayen highlighted the most recent developments around Europeana and the ENA in light of the May 2018 Council Conclusions and New European Agenda for Culture. This included funding and projects awarded for the upcoming four years. Our operational landscape has been changing and the Council will keep playing an important role in the ongoing transformation process in the coming years under the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework.

Councillors from the July 2018 Members Council Meeting, Den Haag, Zuzana Malicherova, CC BY-SA

Get involved in 2018

We will keep you posted on the activities of the new communities in the coming weeks in a series of posts on Pro News. Check out the separate community pages linked above and if you wish to join a community, email us at network@europeana.eu.

You can find pictures from the meeting on Europeana Flickr, and presentations on Europeana Slideshare. The next meeting will take place in Vienna in December 2018, prior to the 2018 AGM event. We look forward to seeing you there.

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