Monday, 20 September 2010

Letter from the Chair

Dear DARE Network members, friends and colleagues,

This is a time of endings and hopefully new beginnings. Wim Taelman, one of the co-founders and engines behind our network and long-time Board member, has stepped down as Treasurer of DARE. Although I am sure he will continue to be active in the EDC/HRE field, he will be officially retiring from VORMEN this month. Our network is very much indebted to Wim's hard work and inspiration and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours. Wim, we will miss you!

Our Grundtvig funding will also come to an end this year. As you all know, the generous financial support from the European Commission has enabled our network to develop activities, prepare publications, organise trainings and share best practices during the past three years. The last activity within the framework of the EC grant will be "A Europe of Active Citizens: Assessment, Policy Responses and Recommendations on Active Citizenship Education", which will take place in Budapest on 11 November 2010 and is organised by the Active Citizenship Foundation. We hope that the various policy recommendations formulated by DARE over the past years, for the European Commission and other European institutions and governments, will be further elaborated at this international conference and taken up during Hungary's presidency.

As for new beginnings, DARE's General Assembly (Vilnius, 3 July) welcomed seven new full members: the Turkish Cypriotic Human Rights Foundation (Cyprus), Volunteers for Development (VIS) (Italy), Menneskerretigetsakademiet (Norway), Bulgarian Network for Human Rights Education, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (Austria), Educational Center Tuzla (Bosnia-Hercegovina), and Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education (Austria). The General Assembly also approved a proposal by the Board to develop a new membership fee structure, based on a solidarity principle in which larger organisations will be asked to make larger membership contributions, which will allow our network to develop a larger financial base.

In the meantime, through DARE's Synchronised Action Days 2010 you can showcase the many different activities in the field -- be it a a workshop, a campaign, an art project, a local, regional or international initiative, as long as they up to 10 December, Human Rights Day. DARE collects and disseminates your activities to stakeholders on the local, regional, national and European level. So don't forget to submit the Synchronised Action Days 2010 Activity Report Form on the DARE website: http://www.dare-network.eu!

Wishing you a productive fall,

Frank Elbers