Europe's Voice of Tourism

Preparing for the EOGA

In preparation for the upcoming EOGA in July Skal Europe President, Franz Heffeter, who was also on the Governance Committee, provides European Clubs with reasons for which this proposed reform is going too fast, generating unfairness, lack of control on expenditure, and higher fees.

June 2022 Newsletter

Dear Presidents,

July 9th is the big day for SKAL Europe but not only for us but also for Skal International. It is the day when we will decide in an Extraordinary General Assembly about the proposal of a new Governance model for Skal. For years members criticized the non-transparent structures of our organisation and the lack of influence from the basis to the top. President Burcin has the merit of installing committees to work on this issue.
 
Skål Europe always supported the renewal and modernizing of Skal. The presented results show that we are on a good path, but the work is not finished. There are several issues to be clarified still and these are very important ones as they concern decision-making processes, selection of candidates for the important positions, control especially of finance and a possible shift of influence to several countries which would always have a representative on the governing board. Maybe the most important result for the clubs is that the membership fees will have to be increased dramatically.

1 – The new executive board would consist of 15 – 16 people representing the new “regions” of the world of Skal. Except that there are more than double as many people on the board there is no change of structure and no description of their responsibilities described until now.

2 – During the promotion of the new model, it was always announced that there would be several permanent committees installed to act as an advisory element for the new Executive Board. But reading the proposed Statutes and By-Laws carefully you will find that the chairperson of the most important “Governance and Statutes Committee” should be chaired by the Past President who is a member of the new EB at the same time. This is a mix of positions which would allow the Past President a lot of influence and would prevent the Governance and Statutes committee from working independently.

3 – The main reason for all the wrong decisions and the tremendous waste of money to be observed over the years is the lack of control. Without a controlling body in the supposed new structure, the decisions of the new EB would be controlled again only at AGA which is no change from today. As the AGA should be shorter to give more time for personal exchange and B2B work no effective reporting and controlling of the actions of the EB can be seen.

4 – In the new model, the world of Skal would be divided into 13 “regions” which hold very different numbers of members. There are 7 countries which should be a region of their own: USA, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. One other would come from Thailand as in this region all other countries together have as many members as Thailand alone. In the described regions membership ranges from less than 500 to more than 1500. Europe will be three regions (to be combined into one area) of each more than 1000 members to be represented just by 3 directors. There are countries such as Germany or others having alone a higher membership than some of the other defined regions.

5 – There were always strong complaints in the past concerning the use and the constant rising of membership fees. The new model will cost. Only covering travel costs for the 15 – 16 members of the new Executive Board will need a rise of the membership fee of at least 5 Euros per member. As membership is declining year by year it will even need a higher contribution by each member which the clubs have to be aware of when voting for the new statutes. 
 
Therefore, we request urgently:

1 – To postpone the EAG to give the clubs the time to go over the proposal and to make their own opinion.
2 – To give the committees time to continue their work for an agreeable proposal. It is not necessary to have a quick decision now and to change it afterwards.
3 – To add the topic of the election of a second Vice President prior to the AGA in October to give an opportunity to decide between two candidates for the AGA. 

As there are so many important issues in the proposal which have to be clarified before deciding, SKAL Europe Area Committee objects clearly against the actual proposal of the new model. We want changes and we want to set actions for making Skal more attractive again. Therefore, the proposal should be reviewed and the results of the other committees should be integrated. All this needs time which has to be given.
 
Please help to find a common agreement on how to vote by:

1 – Informing the club members of the content and the importance of the decision best by holding a virtual AGA. Please keep in mind that the deadline for the nomination of voting delegates is June 23. The nomination has to go to Ana Maria Vera in Torremolinos (anamaria.vera@skal.org). It is important that all European clubs take their right to vote!
2 – Find a decision if accepting or rejecting (suggested by SEAC) the proposal of new statutes and send a short minute to the president of SEAC (direct mail is franz@heffeter.com) or others of the European board. All mail addresses are to be found on the website of Skal Europe www.skaleurope.orgPlease respect that fixing a deadline of June 28 is necessary.
3 – Herewith Skal Europe Area Committee announces also a virtual meeting of all European Clubs on July 7, 18:00
to discuss our final decisions and to give extra information if necessary. 

All the best


Friendly in Skal


Franz Heffeter – President