ECF holds Annual General Assembly in Marseille

02 May 2024 | Events

On 25-26 April, ECF members and staff gathered in Marseille (and online, due to strikes that disrupted many members’ flights) for our Annual General Assembly. The meeting, which took place alongside the Marseille Encounters – the European Common Space for Alternatives – highlighted the growth and maturity of the network as it approaches its 20th anniversary.

We discussed and adopted our 2023 Annual Report, which looks back on a busy year for ECF,  with many policy initiatives having an impact on civic space,  a more participated, diverse and dynamic European Civic Academy and a strong Civic Pride campaign. We also kick-started the discussion about our strategic priorities for 2026-2029, which will be further developed over the coming two year, to be adopted by the next General Assembly.

The general assembly voted to approve the membership applications of four organisations: Balkan Civil Society Development Network, The Collective Leadership Institute, the Polish Robert Schuman Foundations and Association Cultural Baizara. We are sure that these organisations, several of which had already strong relationships with the ECF, will contribute to widen the scope of our activities towards the Western Balkans and to bring diversity in our practices and activities. A warm welcome to the network!

We also saw a renewal of ECF’s governing bodies. We elected new organisations to our Board of Directors:  the Ivorian Community of Greece, Cap Magellan (France) and the European Institute Foundation (Bulgaria).Kristine Zonberga of Civic Alliance Latvia was elected to join the Steering Committee, Karolina Dreszer-Smalec of OFOP was re-elected as ECF Vice-president, while  Yonous Muhammadi of the Greek Forum of Refugees stepped down from the Steering Committee, continuing his mandate in the Board.

The event took place ahead of the Marseille Encounters – a gathering of civic and social organisations and movements as a European Common Space for Alternatives, (including ECF members Arci and Ligue des droits de l’Homme.) ECF Secretary General Alexandrina Najmowicz participated in a plenary session entitled “Power to People”. During the session, she discussed the origins of shrinking civic space in recent years and urged civic actors to focus on what unites us for the common good and work the consolidate pan-European and global links.

As we approach the European elections on 6-9 June, we remain united, hopeful and more committed than ever to a Europe of Democracy, Solidarity and Rights for All. We will be working hard in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the elections to ensure that the EU institutions hear our message that we urgently need European policies that enable, support and protect civil society to play its role, striving for these values to be at the core of our societies.