The President opened the Management Meeting by thanking Veronique and her colleagues for the excellent organisation of the management meeting at Hellevoetsluis He welcomed everyone for the meeting. Apology for Vicky Macdonald and wished her a speedy recovery.
Joseph Spiteri said that during the Symposium in Ravenna it was decided to restructure the member fees in order to chase sleeping members and attract new members but unfortunately this did not happen. With the restructuring of the membership fee, the European Walled Towns experienced a 50% loss of the income generated from the membership fees yearly.
Management Committee Members Present during Meeting
Joseph Spiteri President
Andrew Grima Secretary General
Emy Micallef Treasurer
Veronique Stern Vice President
Anne Scicluna Vice President
Rainco Van Egmond Hellevoetsluis Council
Nathaly van der Wielen Hellevoetsluis Council
David Bruce Advisor
Medwyn Jones Denbigh - UK
Apologies were received from:
The President stated that he is concerned about this matter and suggested that the the membership fees should be revised again. The organisation cannot be sustainable with the amount of income received from the membership fees, the president said that he is not suggesting that EWT should go back to the old fees but considering increasing the membership fee by 20%. Currently the membership fee is €140 and that should go up to 200 Euros, this should at least give more room in order to be able to function properly with two meetings a year.
During 2016, there was 23 towns who has paid their membership and 10 individual members paid. The fact that we restructured the membership fees it did not make any difference for the sleeping members even though we kept in touch with them, said the president. Every town has their own financial difficulties but the European Walled Towns cannot sustain itself with a membership fee of €140.
Vice President, Anne Scicluna pointed out that during the years council members change and those newly appointed do not know about the European Walled Towns. Medwyn Jones suggested that the EWT should introduce a two-tier membership. The EWT has never had a huge sponsorship it always depended on its membership fees, the aims of the organisation in the past have worked, we are functioning with a different economic and political scenario as well, unless the European Walled Towns gets a huge sponsorship it needs to be decided what to do.
David Bruce suggested stopping spending, working on voluntary individuals towards a major re launch event in order to bring people together. The President continued by asking, what new things can the organistation offer during the re launch. The reality today is that these networks are loosing their importance because of various situations; one can make an effort on individual members through communication. Joseph Spiteri said that the European Walled Towns are still creating some form of interest, this year Croatia, Slovenia are attending the symposium. Veronique Stern said that nowadays communication is different from years ago; there are easy ways to communicate with members. The President continued by saying that the organisation is uploading every document or news it receives from its members on its own website and Facebook page. President Joseph Spiteri said that lately he received an email from Milan Kovac from Ljubljana asking whether the European Walled Towns would support his town in order to save some historical remains, an invitation was sent asking him if he can attend the symposium and deliver a presentation, Milan accepted and he will deliver his presentation in front of other members. As he infact did.
Another important issue is definetly an increase of the organisation's presence online stated the President; the European Walled Towns is providing the tools and enhancing the communication with our members.
The President proposed that rather than having a yearly symposium, the organisation should organise a symposium and or a themed conference every two years. We need to have a strong meeting when we feel is the right time and discuss a specific subject with professional presentations. Vice President, Anne Scicluna mentioned that it is important to have the yearly Management meeting in order to improve the financial situation.
President said that we can have an AGM and Symposium combined with the time of election, the vice presidents will be elected for 2 years so everybody will be in line up to 2018. In 2018 all will be due for re election for 4 years including the president and treasurer, 2 years for vice presidents when all elected officers elections, are in line, vice presidents will be re elected for 4 years.
Anne Scicluna, pointed out that if the symposium will take place every 2 years it has to be stopped called Annual General Meeting and called General Meeting.
David Bruce proposed to the AGM the new membership fees. These will be small towns with under 25,0000 inhabitants will pay €150.00 instead of €140.00 while towns with population of more than 25,000 will pay €300.00.
Medwyn Jones said that the European Walled Towns has a list of four Life Members, these are Peter Osbourne, Bob Storey, Chris Lines and John Price. Medwyn also mentioned that in Ravenna it was also agreed to chase the sleeping members.
In this Vicky Macdonald sent out a newsletter and David Bruce was to chase the sleeping members. Although Vicky Macdonald sent out a newsletter as agreed, David Bruce said that he unfortunately did not have time to chase sleeping members.
Treasurer Emy Micallef made a suggestion that Tenby, as the founding member of the European Walled Towns, the organisation can offer Tenby free membership with a promotion in their town for individual members.
Joe Spiteri agreed to make Tenby an honorary founder member town and ask them to promote individual membership in their town and their network. Medwyn Jones also suggested to contact the four life members send them greetings and ask them to promote European Walled Towns membership among their friends.
Treasurer Emy Micallef presented the accounts for 2015-2016 and were approved.
The President pointed out that he is concerned that European Walled Towns at the moment has three Facebook pages, this needs to be settled in order not to confuse the members. The Secretary General explained that there are 3 pages, one belonging to David Bruce, one to Gabriella the ex European Walled Towns Secretary General and another one created recently by the Secretary General. Joseph Spiteri said that the European Walled Towns needs to distinguish which page is the official page. President suggested that we need to switch to the recent created one which we use continuously. David Bruce said it may accelerate the process if he changes the European Walled Towns into a page from a community and specifically comment regularly on the old page and stating that it is not the official page and direct them to the official page. www.facebook.com/walledtowns/ The President said that the Facebook page will be administered by the Secretary General and we must inform all members about the new Facebook page.
Den Bosch Organisation
Veronique Stern said that she has invited all countries in Holland and some other towns for the symposium but did not get any response, she also pointed out that she did not hear anything about the new organisation which was setup up by Den Bosch President pointed out that Den Bosch has sent an invitation letter to different European Walled Towns members in order to join their new Organisation, and after a while he said he saw a post on Facebook by Hubert appealing to towns to join. https://www.aanmelder.nl/militaryheritage/wiki/209066/conference The President also pointed out that if Den Bosch is using the European Walled Towns database this is illegal.
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