Sunday, November 11, 2007

One more gone, one less to go

It depends on how you count, of course. One more COMEM gone – my 15th – means that there is one less to go until the end of my term, in May 2009. This one went quite well, in my opinion. I use to say that once it starts, it goes very quickly. And this one confirmed once again this theory. The hardest part is the one that very few people see: the preparation. The venue, the notice, the agenda, the documents, all the logistical arrangements, the communications with member organisations and with the delegates, getting everything ready for when people start arriving and the meeting is declared open. And all this is done by a wonderful group of people whom I am privileged to work with. Then, it’s a just a matter of following the agenda and, of course, the usual drill of the roll-calls, the reports, the questions and answers, the speakers’ lists, the debates, the votes, the decisions. This time, the YFJ approved one policy paper (on the equality between women and men), four resolutions (on conscientious objection, on visas, on consultations with young people and on the European youth capital, which, in 2009, will be Rotterdam), upgraded the membership status of two of its members (the Estonian and the Romanian national youth councils), and tried, for the first time ever, an electronic voting system. But the COMEM is not only the official meetings ruled by strict procedures; it is also the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, to engage in interesting debates, to learn from other experiences and, especially, to refresh the motivation to keep working for young people and youth organisations in Europe, for the members are the raison d’être of the European Youth Forum. Holding the meeting in Brussels equals to rainy days, but it also means that the Sunday is, for me and my colleagues who live in Brussels, a free day. And I dedicated this free day to sleep quite a lot, to deeply clean my apartment and to enjoy the sofa and the planned laziness. And to get ready for a very special visit!


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