Between 4-6 November, EMSA Executive Board members have gathered together in Kocaeli, Turkey in order to have the first Executive Board Face to Face Meeting of the 2018/2019 term! The attendees of the meeting were: Tugce CETIN (President 18/19), Nick XIFARAS (Secretary General 17/19), Atalay DEMIRAY (Treasurer 18/19), Orsolya SULI (Vice President of External Affairs 17/19) and Ece CALISAN (Vice President of Capacity 18/19. The meeting was extremely productive, with many matters crucial to the workings of the Association discussed and the groundwork for the term was established.


Excerpts from the main agenda items of the meeting can be found below.


European Priorities

One of the major discussion points for this meeting was the proposals and strategy for the EMSA European Priorities 2019-2022. Lead by the EMSA Vice President of External Affairs, Orsolya Suli, during this session board members discussed the submitted proposals for the long term priorities of the association, and voted upon each. More information regarding the proposals will be shared before the EMSA Spring Assembly 2019, where the priorities and the long term strategy plans will be proposed for adoption by the assembly.


Quo Vadis – EMSA Strategic Planning

The session began with the the history of Quo Vadis, the three year strategic plan of EMSA. EMSA Secretary General Nick Xifaras shared the overview of the current situation, and the process in implementing the original proposal. As the deadline for the revision of the plan is during 19-20 term, the board members discussed the creation of the groundwork for the next board to build upon, and the importance of the needs assessment for the quality of the planning.  


Evaluation of the transition period and the beginning of the 18/19 Term

Due to the 18/19 term beginning in November 1st, in the next part of the meeting, the EB evaluated the input gathered from the European Board 18/19 members to assess the quality of the transition period and handover process between boards. The handover process went overall smoothly, and the vast majority of the board members are satisfied or fully satisfied. Contributing the factors for this success was the introduction of an established and feasible Individual Annual Planning system, update of the handover booklets, follow-up from both boards for online meetings with their successors and predecessors, and of course, the EEB-EEB Elect Handover Face-to-face meeting that took place between 7-9 September in Transylvania where board members had the chance to transfer position-specific knowledge, learn insight into board duties and communication, received technical workshops on EMSA platforms, and build team bonds through the process.



Last term, the European Week of Ethics has been transformed into a new event, the BlueCon, where EMSA members gather in order to develop and gather knowledge regarding the six pillars of EMSA, meanwhile enjoying the workshops and soft-skill trainings provided fully, without the plenaries that happen in General Assemblies. During this part of the agenda, board members brainstormed and further developed the project proposal for BlueCon and discussed the feasibility of potential funding possibilities for this unique event through grants.


Work distribution for vacant positions:

During this part, EB has discussed the various contingency plans and planned ahead in case of any absences from board members, so that the work continues smoothly during this period. The Executive Board has focused on the distribution of work for the tasks that are unfulfilled at the moment, and drafted a strategy to resolve the situation.


Public Relations Strategy:

In the next section, the EB has discussed the Public Relations Strategy of the association, and the potential improvements and additions to the programme used in the previous terms.

EMSA Partnerships and Resource Development Strategy:

In this section, EB members evaluated the status of EMSA partnerships, current resource development strategy and revised it in order to improve the partnership network of EMSA in the upcoming term.

Alumni Network and Strategy:

Board members have shared their inputs regarding the current status of the Alumni Network of EMSA, and potential improvements in order to improve the communication to and in between EMSA Alumni. Many discussions took place, communication channels were evaluated, and board members agreed upon the roadmap for the term regarding alumni relations. The roadmap includes more frequent communication, reactivation of mailing lists, and the continuation of alumni sessions during EMSA GAs.


External Meetings Strategy:

External Representation and advocacy has always been a priority and a strength of EMSA. During this session lead by EMSA Vice President of External Affairs Orsolya Suli, board members discussed the existing representation strategy and brainstormed on various proposals to further strengthen the coordination process of EMSA representation in external platforms. Proposals include streamlining the process of representative appointments, providing resources for better preparation, and implementing new measures to increase input from EMSA members before meetings to increase member involvement in advocacy efforts.


EMSA Budget and Financial Registries Overview and Discussion

During this part of the agenda, EMSA Treasurer Atalay Demiray shared the draft budget for the upcoming term, and shared the new budget and financial bookkeeping files which are updated for easier use after gathering input from EMSA European Board. The new documentation and templates will make the bookkeeping and claim submissions easier for members.

Also during this section, the implementation of the most recent changes to the EMSA Internal Rules on EMSA Savings Accounts were discussed.


Organizational Outreach Strategy

During this section, lead by EMSA Secretary General Nick Xifaras, board members discussed the …. And interdepartmental cooperation to further develop content to make the membership process more understandable to new and prospective members. Moreover, the involvement of the existing members of EMSA, the extent of EMSA Europe involvement and assistance to members for FMO projects and matters were discussed.  


Board Communication and Meetings:

During this section, communication channels of the board were discussed in terms of efficiency, and evaluation of the recently reintroduced channels were discussed. EMSA President Tugce Cetin shared the expectations of the board members regarding communication and internal management which she gathered during the 1-1 meetings with all board members. Then, potential timelines of the future board meetings were discussed and decided for this term.


Institutional Memory

During this session, the current status of the documentation and transmission of association’s history and knowledge-base was assessed, and potential areas of improvement were discussed by the board members. More established systems for institutional record-keeping and memory will strengthen our Association and ensure that every generation of EMSA members will develop upon the work of the previous generations, and do not repeat the proposals that have already been tried before.