[EURO-Discuss] Comments/Questions on Summary of EURALO Board Meeting in Geneva

Wolf Ludwig wolf.ludwig at comunica-ch.net
Sat Mar 1 11:40:10 EST 2008

Dear Veronica and all,
Here my replies and explanations regarding Veronica’s 
>>questions/concerns/comments (...) after reading the Summary report per concrete issues that have been discussed during the meeting.  

Veronica Cretu wrote Thu, 28 Feb 2008 22:21:
> (...)
>1.  “There are suggestions to reduce the size of the EURALO board to five 
>members to make it more operational and effective” – What are the main 
>reasons behind changing the current number of EURALO Board members? (there 
>is no enough information from the meeting summary on this). 

After the creation of EURALO in Lisbon at March 07 and in the course of the subsequent board nominations and elections we had severe controversies on this list. It was therefore decided to have an enlarged board size to be “inclusive” as much as possible; and I still believe that this enlargement was reasonable under the prior circumstances. After the board elections in May 07 we realized however that some of the board members never reacted or participated on this list. Some of them told me that they are over- charged by their real jobs and/or live circumstances – what is understandable. But:
A board – by definition – has a certain lead function and responsibility towards its members/organisations and should try to be as operational and effective as possible during the election term. Our experiences during the last months proofed that coordination and cooperation becomes more difficult according to the size of the board. Therefore I believe, before our first re-elections at our General Assembly in Paris we should make clear that nominations of board members demand a certain availability (in terms of time) of candidates, inputs, participation and commitments during the election term (for one up to two years). Having a small group of dedicated people coordination and work division will be easier. And candidates should announce before what is their special interest or contribution in regard of coordination, projects or content / follow-up on subjects. This is my personal reasoning and I don’t know whether it’s shared by all board members present in Geneva.
>2. I see that there were discussions about organizing certain events BUT 
>“As we cannot count on ICANN funding for such a side event / Users Summit 
>PrepCom in Paris” there are ideas about „prepare and submit a project 
>proposal for the board to be submitted to different European organizations 
>for sponsoring”. In this context, I have the following 
>If EURALO is an ICANN related/created structure – than it should be able 
>to function on support from ICANN. 

(Wolf’s remark) I agree in principle.

>In case certain proposals are submitted 
>to ICANN for funding, they SHOULD NOT BE refused/rejected, but on the 
>contrary, improved and developed and finally implemented.

(Wolf’s remark) I agree in principle but don’t see it as exclusive as you. 
If I have to invest more time and energy to convince ICANN (or any mother structure) to conduct useful meetings, outreach activities or content-related projects etc. than I prefer a certain autonomy to better invest my (volunteer) capacities – incl. fundraising for my planed activities. I would not call it “optimal” but rather more “pragmatic” ;-)

>Otherwise, if we start looking for funding from other organizations, we are 
>NOT an ICANN structure any longer. Requesting funding from other donors, 
>EUROPEAN ones, does not mean only using money for certain purposes, but 
>adjusting our projects/activities/mission/scope, etc. to the priorities of 
>the grant giver. 

(Wolf’s remark) As I said, I don’t see it in this “either” – “or” manner. I conducted several projects in the past when I submitted “my” goals / priorities / subjects and when I was not directed by grant givers or sponsors.

>And here: 
>EURALO should clarify its working relationship with ICANN;
>If EURALO starts thinking about applying for sponsorship from other 
>organizations, then, it should re-think/review its organizational structure, 
>mission, etc. – that are not in line with ICANN bylaws, rules, procedures 
>any longer.

(Wolf’s remark) These questions of principle could be reconsidered at our next GA! 

>Also, in regards to EURALO will submit a new budget proposal for the Fiscal 
>Year 2008-09 to ALAC that will include several activities, and my 
>questions/comments are: 
>- Usually any budget is made based on a Action Plan/s for a certain period 
>of time. Where can EURALO’s Action Plan for 2008-2009 be accessed? To what 
>extent ALSs are involved in identification of certain activities of this 
>Action Plan?

(Wolf’s remark) It is clear to me that we won’t get any financial support from ICANN in the current Fiscal Year (ending in June 07) any more. To prepare a side event in Paris (Users Summit PrepCom or whatsoever) needs external funding, as mentioned before.

The budget proposal we have to submit refers to the FY 2008-09 (post Paris) and will be based on a minima action plan (f2f board meeting, GA and outreach activities), as mentioned in the notes from Geneva.

>3. ICANN Internet users declaration and the preparation process of this 
>Declaration: Preparing a Declaration of this kind on behalf of ICANN 
>Internet Users raises several questions vs. concerns: 
> The extent/degree to which ICANN Internet users are aware/informed about 
>the current problems and challenges in the field?
>What ARE the current challenges, main problems in the field?
>What are the solutions or/and alternative decisions that are proposed OR 
>should be taken?
>What are the PROs and CONs of each solution?
>In order to find answers to the above questions, one needs both human and 
>financial recourses. An ideal output would be a research report which would 
>be disseminated among ICANN Internet users community and vis-à-vis which 
>ICANN Internet Users community would take a certain attitude. This attitude 
>is actually something that is reflected in a Declaration, and by this 
>Declaration ICANN Internet Users would seek concrete changes/attitude from 
>ICANN side.  
>Is this what is meant? Is this the process that is being discussed by 
>EURALO? I would appreciate concrete details about it, in order to be able to 
>come with certain proposal/solutions for how that can be implemented, etc. 

(Wolf’s remark) The idea of a “Internet users declaration” came up after LA and IGF 07 among EURALO fellows. In Rio they had a Dynamic Coalition dealing with this subject already – Vittorio and others were part of it. And nobody wants “to invent any new circle” again. There were many issue-related initiatives, discussions, inputs and drafts in different Foras already (WSIS, OECD, APC, ISOC-Italy, IGF etc.). And the idea is to take into consideration what was already done before and to link it up to ongoing ICANN discussions and particular User concerns. I think nobody is planning a “research report” which requires time and considerable means. The starting point was a common concern at EURALO and a Users Summit PrepCom in Paris in summer 07 could be another useful platform for it ...

As mentioned before, these are my pesonal remarks and I hope they may be useful.

Thanks for your response to the Geneva meeting notes, Veronica, and
best regards,


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