THE EUROPEAN CLUB
A Network for Dialogue
Brussels Budapest Ljubljana Vienna Zagreb
What is the European Club?
The European Club (EC) is an informal platform created with the goal of bringing together businessmen on a national level, who are interested in establishing personal contacts with businessmen, institutions and authorities of other European countries and in discussing European topics. Furthermore, it aims to bring matters of European business interest to the attention of officials and governments.
Apart from that, the EC also targets opinion leaders such as university professors or high school teachers who could act as multipliers of European ideas.
Since the EC is - if allowed by local laws - not formally registered, there is no need for a board, legalized statutes or other written agreements as is usual in such cases. This informality underlines its nature as a platform.
However, the concept of the EC foresees a certain organizational structure, albe it a rather simple one which consists of: sponsoring partners members
a) Sponsoring partners
The following institutions and opinion leaders such as the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry the representative of the European Union in the country the representative of Phare/Tacis/CARDS or other European institutions trade delegates from EU-countries international banks and finance institutions from EU-countries companies from EU-countries universities, academies and research institutions the local International Vienna Council (IVC) any other institution having any relation to European matters are invited to act as sponsoring partners.
The sponsoring partners (numbering 5 - 10) decide periodically (e.g. for each half-year) on the programme and speakers, and also whom to invite as members.
The financing of events is provided by the sponsors, whereby, depending on the price level of the country, each of them contributes an amount between EUR 1.500,- and EUR 2.000,- annually. These funds cover mainly the costs of catering, refunds for guest speakers (if from outside) and current expenses such as mailing of invitations.
The sponsors nominate a coordinator who from among themselves is responsible for the technical preparation of the regular events and administrates the data base of the members. This person is also entitled to manage the account to which the contributions are credited and from which the bills have to be paid. The coordinator together with one or several of the sponsors organizes the monthly or bi-monthly meeting (procure speakers, secure invitation, open the event).
The members are elected by the sponsors and consist as mentioned above of businessmen, managers of companies with relations to the EU, teachers of various school-levels, representatives of authorities, diplomats, trade delegates and, of course, representatives of European institutions in the country. In principle, also journalists are welcome as long as they are invited ad personam" and not as representatives of their media. In order to make open and unbiased discussions possible and to avoid official reporting of the EC it should be understood that they do not write about the events or meetings if not agreed upon beforehand.
Since the EC is financed by sponsorship, members do not have to pay membership fees. No personal liabilities or responsibilities will arise from membership.
The composition of sponsors and members should be well-balanced in the sense that it does not evoke the impression of a club with a majority, for instance, of Austrian members. Therefore, local institutions and people as well as those from other EU-countries should form the core of the membership. Austrians will comprise only a part of the EC membership.
The EC meets regularly, i.e. once a month or once in two months, and, if possible, always at the same time and place.
Normally, a speaker will be invited who covers a specific European topic of general interest. In order to attract a well-mixed audience, items which are of interest to a very small part of membership should not be put on the agenda (e.g. support of small farms in mountain regions or standardization of production of toxic materials in the chemical industry).
The duration of such meetings should not exceed 2 2 ½ hours, i.e. about 1 hour speech, then discussion and finally a small buffet (sandwiches, petit fours, drinks). Shortly after, a summary of the speech(es) will be available on the individual website.
As an additional service, the EC can offer the following:
Close continuous contact to all other institutions of European interest will be sought.
Why the European Club Network?
Since the establishment of several European Clubs in Vienna and Brussels and recently in cities of Central and Eastern Europe, it has become obvious that a network of the individual Clubs should be encouraged. In a world where networking plays such an important role, the European clubs can participate as one of the main goals is to promote communication among the people of Europe.
The European Club is an informal platform created with manifold goals in mind. Primarily, it aims to bring together, on a national level, businessmen who are interested in establishing personal contacts with enterprises, institutions and authorities of other European countries, and in discussing European topics contribute to better knowledge about Europe.
Furthermore, it intends to bring matters of European business interest to the attention of authorities and governments and targets opinion leaders such as university professors or high school teachers who act as multipliers of European ideas.
As defined by the nature of a club, regular meetings - monthly or bimonthly - take place in each city where such a European Club exists. Speakers from both inside the country and abroad are invited to present topics of general interest, related to recent developments in the economy and politics, the emphasis lying on relevant European topics.
The present network should form the necessary basis for providing an overview of the activities of each of the Clubs enabling interested members to attend also meetings of European Clubs other than their own local one and, most vital of all, giving the possibility to exchange information and experience.
The individual contributions to the website of the European Clubs contain their programme for the near future, announcements of the imminent meeting and summaries of past events. These inputs are given both in the national language and in English. Additionally, inquiries can be made directly via e-mail, links of which are available on the respective site. Other news and an archive of photographs complete the range of services.
This network is meant to serve to bring people closer together. This seems to be particularly important as most of the Clubs are based in Central and Eastern European countries who are currently preparing to join the European Union. It is not only of fundamental interest to provide the participants of these Clubs with reliable information on EU matters but also to connect them to each other, as well as to the Clubs in EU Member countries, thus strengthening the European idea. This network should be seen as a warm welcome extended to Europeans who, for a long time, were secluded from the rest of the continent and it serves as an invitation to an open dialogue among citizens of countries which have a lot in common.
INVITATION TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN CLUB!
We are extremely pleased to announce you that in the near future (during the month of March), with the support of the HILTON-ATHENEE PALACE HOTEL, the newly established EUROPEAN CLUB will held its First Meeting. This represents an initiative of the banking/ business community in Romania, and of the civil society and academic environment, launched in Wien and Brussels by the Director of AUSTRIA-HVB, Mr. Ivo Stanek, able to facilitate the understanding the current historical evolutions of the European institutions, the exchange of views between foreign and Romanian elites on these issues, as well as a better mutual knowledge of sponsors and participants themselves. The first meeting will deal with the topic: "Romania and the Euro zone", and it will bring together specialists, businessmen, NGO leaders, as well as important speakers.
Until now, the main Sponsors and Members of the Steering Committee of
the EUROPEAN CLUB are:
- the Romanian branch HVB major Central and Eastern -European banking group;
- the EUROLINK-House of Europe, representative non-governmental agency of the International Federation of Europe-Houses (FIME) in Romania;
- the Embassy of the Austrian Republic in Bucharest;
-the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bucharest;
-the HILTON-ATHENEE PALACE HOTEL in Bucharest;
- the Romanian representative office of Haarmann Hemmererlath Comp.;
-the GAEA ecological organisation - Head-Office in Bacau Municipality.
Other distinguished partner-institutions already expressed their interest, and they are in process of enrolling in order to attend the informal meetings to be organised in the future. In the same time, high-level European and Romanian personalities are willing to give lecturers and participate to the debates of the European Club.
If you feel impressed and stimulated by this opportunity, in order to formulate your interest to or potential questions related to your personal support and attendance, as Sponsor or/and Participating institution, please be so kind to contact us, preferably by e-mail or fax, writing to the Public Relations Department of the House of Europe. We will be pleased and honored to register your requests and comments, and to forward also potential needs of clarification.to the main Sponsor institution, HVB Head-Quarters and to its Romanian branch.
Thank you in advance for your kind consideration and any valuable expression of support of European Idea and Romanian way toward the United Europe.