«Charlie K arlsson welcomes all those attending the meeting. Item 1. Approval of the meeting agenda and appointment of an E RSA C member responsible ...»
Meeting of the
E uropean Regional Science Association Council
Palermo, August 30th, 2013
Charlie K arlsson welcomes all those attending the meeting.
Item 1. Approval of the meeting agenda and appointment of an E RSA C member responsible
for verification of meeting minutes
The agenda (appendix 1) is verified and Riccardo Cappellin is appointed as the ERSAC representative
responsible for verifying the minutes.
Item 2. Annual report from the E xecutive Director Richard K elly reports that ERSA has been successful in its cooperation with other associations, in creating a brochure which has been distributed amongst the directors in the EC and in other activities as well.
The Summer School has been successful, the congress has been eventful with a great programme and fantastic facilities. Fabio Mazzola deserves ERSA’s thanks for his work. Maristella Angotzi is also to be acknowledged for her work and input into the preparations of the congress.
Other activities that ERSA was involved in involved a workshop in Paris, with another in Germany and Spain coming in the close future and yet another workshop in France in 2014.
It has also been agreed with AESOP that a series of lectures will be organized jointly starting from 2014.
The report is approved.
Item 3a. Long range issues. Approval of the E RSA by-laws update Maciej T urala reports that only minor changes have been proposed by the lawyers since the last ERSAC meeting and that the updated version has been distributed. He asks the ERSAC to approve the by-laws.
The proposal to approve the update of the by-laws is agreed on unanimously.
Item 3b. Long range issues. E RSA President Search Committee report Gunther Maier reports that the Search Committee started its work with setting the criteria for selecting candidates: a candidate was to be a well-renowned scientist with organisational capacity and inside knowledge of the association. The committee also discussed the number of candidates and agreed that there should be at least two candidates. the committee failed in terms of ensuring the gender balance, yet this criterion needs to be kept in mind for the future.
Ultimately, two candidates were found: Jouke van Dijk and Andre Torre. Once the candidates were revealed to one another, they coordinated and came with a proposal that ERSAC elects Jouke van Dijk as President and Andre Torre as vice-President. The statement and information from the candidates was distributed in February 2013 together with information that the sections are free to propose alternative proposals. Further communication followed in May, asking the sections to put forward alternative candidatures by mid-July. No such proposals came until this moment in time.
Charlie K arlsson informs the ERSAC that Andres Rodriguez-Pose has sent in a letter resigning from his post as ERSA vice-President but agreeing to complete his term as an EOC member.
Item 3c. Long range issues. E lection of E RSA President and E RSA Vice-President for the term 2014-2018 Charlie K arlsson invites Jouke van Dijk to make a statement.
Jouke van Dijk states that both he and Andre Torre are enthusiastic to serve ERSA and to improve it, even though it is in a sound situation.
Jouke van Dijk is asked to leave the room and the floor is open for discussion.
Charlie K arlsson puts forward a motion to elect Jouke van Dijk as ERSA President for the term 2014The motion is approved unanimously.
Charlie K arlsson puts forward a motion to elect Andre Torre as ERSA vice-President for the term 2014-2018.
The motion is approved unanimously.
Jouke van Dijk is invited back into the room and the results are announced.
Jouke van Dijk thanks for the trust put in him and in Andre Torre.
Item 3d. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (Nordic Section) L ars Westin reports that the section has had a series of board meeting aiming at the reorganisation of the section and updating its by-laws. Alongside the reorganisation, the section has been active in organising events: it has coordinated the Jonkoping congress and two summer schools so the scientific level works very well, with the organisational aspect to improve. The section is also pleased to see the move towards clarifying the relationship between ERSA and its sections.
Charlie K arlsson adds that there were in fact three summer schools which were coordinated by the section.
Item 3e. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (Polish Section) K atarzyna Kopczewska reports that the court registration of the new association which is to serve as the Polish Section of ERSA was finally concluded in July 2013. An agreement on the handover of both rights and duties of a section has been reached with the Committee for Spatial economy and Regional Planning at the Polish Academy of Sciences, serving as the Polish section of ERSA to date (appendix 2).
The current plans of the section are to organise the first official meeting of the reformed section in the fall of 2013 as well as the Summer School in Poznan in 2014. There are further plans to organise workshops for students from Poland and Ukraine in between January and March 2014.
Maciej Turala puts forward a motion that the ERSAC approves the formal changes which have occurred in Poland.
Gunther Maier emphasises that this is a very important step for the sustainable future of the section and explains that he is happy to support it.
The report and the motion are approved unanimously.
Item 3f. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (Russian Section) Alexander Pelyasov reports that in 2001 there were just a few Russian participants in the congress, while now there are as many as 50 with the section organising a Congress in 2014.
The system in Russia is organised around several institutes of regional economics and some central institutions responsible for regional development. It is the Russian Academy of Regional Development that represents formally the Russian Section while other institutions are involved in activities under the umbrella of the Academy.
Each year there are various events organised within the section. Significant emphasis is placed on events which generate interest in regional science amongst the young academics in Russia.
The report is approved.
Item 3g. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (Turkish Section) T uzin Baycan reports that the section is currently in a transition period. The plans for the nearest future include election of a new Board, expansion of the membership and other events to be organised in 2014 and later.
One of the planned events is a Joint Special Symposium of Society for Risk Analysis Europe (SRA-E) and ERSA. She invites ERSA members to contribute to the symposium and invites all those interested to contribute.
The report is approved.
Item 3h. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (Baltic Section) Diana Cibulskiene reports that the Baltic Regional Researchers Association has been formally set up in Lithuania with the objective of working in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and formally requests formal recognition.
Maciej Turala informs the ERSAC that the association has sent in an official letter informing ERSA of the fact of registration and requesting formal recognition as an ERSA section.
Charlie K arlsson asks if the ERSAC is ready to formally recognise the Baltic Section of ERSA.
The motion is approved unanimously.
Item 3i. Long range issues. Development of existing and creation of new sections (North African associations) Richard K elly reports that some of the sections were upset by the approach that RSAI took when setting up a section in Morocco. He invites representatives of sections to share their views with the ERSAC.
Riccardo Cappellin reports that when the Italian section moved to organise the congress in Palermo one of the major ideas was to emphasise the relationship between Europe and North Africa. Prior to the congress activities were performed to support this objective: i.e. a workshop was organised in midApril 2013 in Naples in cooperation with the French-speaking association.
He emphasises that it is essential for Europe to develop cooperation with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The relationship with Morocco is well established through the French-speaking section, a relationship with Algeria is more difficult, but the one with Tunisia is developing well with some representatives in the Naples workshop.
What is more, there seems to be interest coming from Egypt. It is ERSA’s duty to help the regional scientists to have access to the knowledge which is available in Europe. So the next step will be to organise a workshop in Tunis in the spring of 2014 and then the Moroccan and Egyptian colleagues will prepare their own events. Other sections are invited to cooperate in creating a Mediterranean network.
ERSA should commit to endorsing the development of associations in other parts of the world which may not be in Europe but are certainly part of European history and culture. ERSA should take a more active role in promoting regional science in other parts of the world, starting with North Africa.
Charlie K arlsson emphasises that there needs to be a certain level of care with the approach to this sensitive issue, yet all the attempts aiming at integration of the sections there are welcome.
L ise Bourdeau-L epage reports that the question of such associations in North Africa is essential for the French-speaking section as it has members from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, with the section organising scholarships for participation to its conferences for delegates from these countries. There is need of more cooperation with other sections in the approach to this area. The French-speaking section was very surprised with the creation of a Moroccan section without cooperation or even informing the representatives of this section. The manner in which things were not satisfactory and require more cooperation.
These developments put the French-speaking section in a difficult position as the section has already planned activities to take place in Morocco in 2014 as well as events focused on Mediterranean development scheduled during the section’s annual events in the near future. She asks for better transmission and spread of information.
Roberta Capello reports the discussion of the RSAI long-range planning committee on August 29th,
2013. She states that the enlargement of the association is a permanent item on the agenda and that thee statements from Riccardo Cappellin and Lise Bourdeau-Lepage are in line with the discussion. The conclusion is that whoever is taking a lead in organising a section in part of the world where RSAI is not present, they are welcome. Of course, there is need for cooperation between sections and supranationals to avoid problems.
RSAI is not a top-down association – all bottom-up activities are welcome. Yet as the association is large, the coordination costs are high. It is a fortunate development that both the new President and vice-President of ERSA are part of the RSAI council.
The RSAI Council is to approve the Moroccan section in its meeting on August 30th, 2013. The handling of this matter has not been successful, yet the message is that the Moroccan section is to be open for accepting any new members willing to join. It will then need to apply to become part of one of the supra-nationals, and they are expected to choose ERSA. This means that this will be a first step towards the African continent. The long-term strategy of the RSAI is to build an African supra-national just like it is to make a South American supra-national.
Charlie K arlsson summarises that the future work shall respect the existing relationships and attempt to improve the coordination of efforts.
Riccardo Cappellin agrees that a discussion can be postponed, yet the relationship between ERSA and RSAI needs to be clarified. Earlier, the Baltic Section was approved by ERSA and RSAI will recognise it. With the Moroccan Section it is the other way around, causing understandable dissatisfaction of the French-speaking association who were left out. He moves to decide who should approve the creation of the new section.
Charlie K arlsson summarises that this is indeed a constitutional issue which may only be reduced through the presence of the President and/or vice-President of ERSA in the RSAI council.
Tomaz Dentinho comments that the issue of double membership (to the Moroccan section and to the French-speaking section) in Morocco is solved insofar as the RSAI is concerned since there is only one payment to RSAI.
Gunther Maier states that there is no doubt whether or not the ERSAC is to make a decision on recognising a new section but further discussion at this point is not plausible.
Charlie K arlsson suggests that a recommendation is made for all those involved in the process of establishing new sections to consider these sensitive issues.
Item 3j. Long range issues. Agreements for cooperation between E RSA and its sections Maciej Turala reports that following the EOC decision made in Palermo in February 2013 the section representatives were approached with a request to sign appropriate agreements on cooperation with ERSA. Several sections have already sent in their signed copies, others are expected to complete this process soon after the finish of the congress in Palermo.
L ars Westin reports that he appreciated receiving this agreement as sign of professionalization.
However, the Nordic Section board has found it strange that the agreement included a point on the section’s obligation to pay a membership fee to the RSAI. He proposes to organise the process so that the sections would pay all their fees (i.e. a fixed amount of 250 EUR for section membership in ERSA and the 10 EUR per member for individual membership) to ERSA who would in turn transfer the individual membership fees to the RSAI for each section.
Tomaz Dentinho explains that the sections’ obligation to pay the individual membership fee for their members comes from the constitution of the RSAI which regulates the issue of the payment.