Brussels, 10 December 2021

26 structured calls conducted with our member associations
The structured video calls with ECSWE members in 2020 and 2021 showed a clear need for professional advocacy, PR and association management at all levels of the organisation.

Structured 90-minute conversations help identify members’ needs

In order to stay con­nect­ed with mem­ber asso­ci­a­tions dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, ECSWE board and staff con­duct­ed a com­pre­hen­sive series of 26 video calls. The for­mat con­sist­ed of 90-minute struc­tured con­ver­sa­tions with the ECSWE rep­re­sen­ta­tive of each nation­al asso­ci­a­tion along­side one or two col­leagues. The calls helped bet­ter under­stand the role and tasks of each nation­al asso­ci­a­tion, its cur­rent chal­lenges, its eval­u­a­tion of ECSWE’s work and its hopes and expec­ta­tions for future col­lab­o­ra­tion. The main lessons learned from these calls can be sum­marised as follows:

Members ask for further professionalisation of our work at all levels

In the video calls, mem­bers fre­quent­ly stressed the impor­tance of ECSWE’s lob­by­ing and advo­ca­cy work and sug­gest­ed that this work be con­tin­ued and deep­ened. Mem­bers also advo­cat­ed for more pub­lic rela­tions work to make our advo­ca­cy work bet­ter known at the nation­al lev­el. In addi­tion, mem­bers expressed a desire to be sup­port­ed by ECSWE in pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing their own organ­i­sa­tion­al devel­op­ment, asso­ci­a­tion man­age­ment, advo­ca­cy and pub­lic rela­tions work at nation­al level.

Members want more networking, peer learning and sharing of best practices

An inter­est in more direct and more active involve­ment dur­ing Coun­cil meet­ings and through­out the year was expressed by the mem­bers. More infor­mal net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties were request­ed in order to bet­ter reflect each member’s diverse needs. Fur­ther­more, mem­bers request­ed to bet­ter pro­mote the exchange of good prac­tice and peer learn­ing. To this end, the Board and staff are cur­rent­ly explor­ing and test­ing more inter­ac­tive work­ing for­mats for Coun­cil meet­ings and conferences.

Members want to collaborate in projects and thematic working groups

A strong desire to coop­er­ate with their Euro­pean col­leagues on issues of com­mon inter­est was stat­ed by the mem­bers. Sug­gest­ed work­ing for­mats for such coop­er­a­tion were, on the one hand, the­mat­ic work­ing groups work­ing on a spe­cif­ic top­ic over a cer­tain peri­od of time and, on the oth­er hand, EU-fund­ed projects with exter­nal part­ners to work on strate­gic issues of Euro­pean rel­e­vance. As a result, var­i­ous the­mat­ic work­ing groups have been formed, and ECSWE applied for EU fund­ing for the HERMMES project, an ERASMUS+ part­ner­ship on ICT and media education.

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Georg Jürgens