EFA’s Annual General Meeting and Networking Day in Brussels
EFA’s 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on the 16th of June in Brussels next to the European Parliament at the Radisson Blu EU hotel.
This year’s AGM welcomed three new members to EFA from Croatia, Ireland and Latvia. In addition to these new members, EFA also welcomes back Asthma UK. The members joining EFA in 2014 increase our representation to a total of 38 members in 24 European countries! In addition, Isabel Saraiva, from the Portuguese RESPIRA, was elected to replace Ms Lina Buzermanienė as new EFA Board Member because she would only have had one more year term allowance as a Board member.
The AGM also approved a change in membership structure which could permit further organisations to join EFA in coming years even if they are unable to pay the membership fee immediately. Under the new structure, a patient organisation can apply for EFA membership and receive a ‘trial membership’ period for a maximum of 2 years during which they can search for the funding to pay for full membership. Trial members will not have the same rights in EFA’s official activities and must demonstrate efforts to allocate the membership fee annually to the AGM if they are unable to do so. EFA hopes this new structure attracts further applications in coming years from newly developing patient organisations as well as those with very low incomes. The AGM also examined and approved EFA annual report 2013, accounts 2013 and workplan and budget 2014. The reports from 2013 will be available soon on our website.
EFA is pleased that responses to this year’s AGM were overwhelmingly positive. According to the results from the evaluation forms, besides some areas needing further improvement, all the participants said that they were satisfied with the AGM and that their expectations were met. We hope that we can continue to meet this high standard for the 2015 AGM.
EFA’s strategic planning meeting which occurred the afternoon of June 16th can be read about in more detail here.
During the members networking morning next day, EFA’s food allergy, allergy, asthma and COPD working groups had short meetings to discuss EFA disease specific projects. These will be highlighted in our next newsletter. EFA’s Roberta Savli also introduced the composition of the new European Parliament in view of members starting to engage with their MEPs as early as possible, and using the EFA Manifesto as a tool.