On the 18th of March 2023, the WBAA Board gathered in Belgrade, Serbia for a board meeting, which was then followed by the General Assembly the next day. The board consisting of National Representatives from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia came together to discuss the main issues regarding the empowerment of WBAA and its continuation.
The first part of the board meeting was dedicated to the presentation of the work done by each chapter, targets achieved, and difficulties encountered during the organisational work of WBAA members. A short overview of the Service Provider's actions was presented to discuss the possible delay in activities such as future project calls. It was agreed that mutual dedication and focus on further cooperation should remain our primary goal, and as such, inform the EC to ensure stability in the WBAA performance and other work.
The board has tackled the idea of modifying WBAA Teams after discovering some issues in the work of teams, mainly in their functionality, how much they work, how much they contribute to the priorities, and whether there is a need for reconstruction. The board agreed that the main goal is to have products and results as part of the priorities of WBAA and the Western Balkans, which has yet to be done to the extent expected. The modification of teams will be a focus of the board in the future and will be discussed with other members.
The WBAA Board took into consideration preparing the new elections for the Albanian chapter, as the mandate of our dear colleague Jonida Mersinllariis expires in June 2023. On the topic of the mandates, its duration was the topic of the board. The idea comes from the experience that getting familiar with being a board member takes some time. It makes sense to keep these established competencies longer on the board (if the respective chapter elects this person).
On the topic of the outreach activities, the board discussed the transparency and appropriate selection when choosing board members to represent WBAA on different occasions. All board members should be active and be able to participate in these events to enrich the cooperation, promote WBAA, and establish networking.
The project BalkanConnect started as an individual project of the Bosnia and Herzegovinian Chapter and connected students from the region to exchange their information before their Erasmus mobility started. It was suggested to be included in the Online Community, which will enable better performance and usage of the Online Community and increase members. This has been left to be elaborated on and discussed with the European Commission (EC).
The team working on the WBAA website re-design updated the board on the recent improvements which include making the website more informative, user-friendly and valuable.
The initiative for the formalisation of WBAA, which expects to change the status of the association, was presented at the board meeting, focusing on better performance and inclusion in different regional and European project activities. As this requires more work and discussion, this topic will be elaborated more in the future.
Final thoughts and remarks were given about the WBAA General Assembly on the following day.
Overall, it was a very productive and exciting meeting in Belgrade with enough opportunity to have an excellent time together.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
edited by the Service Provider
Belgrade, 22nd of March 2022