Comrades, thank you for the opportunity!
It's been more than seven years that I have been contributing to the international co-ordination of our movement - I enjoyed a lot being part of my own dream.
I was travelling to many countries, I visited Belgium, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Croatia, Poland, Kosovo, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Macau, Haiti, India, Malta and some more others countries which I can't remember anymore.
I had the possibility to meet interesting people, amazing leaders of our movement, other organisations and civil society in general and I was able to learn French and Spanish and to contribute to the building of a new society.
In particular I am proud of the whole process which lead to the “symbolic action” in Passau in November 2006. Unfortunately an evaluation has never been done, but I believe we were right during the council in Venezuela when we decided this continental campaign in order to implement the IPA 2004-2008 in Europe and to develop training through action.
We were facing huge challenges and we were struggling very much but we were acting! We had a plan which we had to review several times but we were in action! The leading idea of all our activities, meetings and trainings was the action, we were discussing local actions and trying to improve them while we were building bits and pieces of the common European action which resulted in the “charter
I believe in ycw
In my understanding ycw is about change – our leading idea is to change the reality, to improve the living and working conditions of young workers, to contribute to the construction of a “just society”. The improvement we are striving to has a concrete and a personal dimension.
I just read again an article about “the use of lower case letters” again, which I wrote earlier this year and I still believe every word of this article and that's the reason why I'm not worried about ycw and why I'm able to leave in peace.
When I started in the international secretariat about two years ago I was very motivated and I dreamed of continuing somehow the “symbolic action” we were just finalizing at that time with joceurope (being in action).
Creativity is not the finding of a thing, ...
but the making something out of it after it is found.
Our first meetings as new team in the secretariat where not exactly what I would call a symphony of harmony... we were struggling and fighting a lot and it was not always easy to define common orientations and to reach conclusions but we went through this period and I still believe in the orientations and plans we developed.
I think it is good to highlight our strength first: we are really good in developing a vision, a dream and to discuss orientations. I think we understood the purpose of ycw.
Our biggest deficit is surely not the plan – even so if I can't exactly say what it is... No, for me, the problem is somewhere between a lack of capacities and the willingness to overcome this challenge (to learn, to try something new, to be creative - crazy)! This might sound like a strong judgement... maybe it is... but above all it is an expression of my frustration.
I see that our current co-ordination simply doesn't answer the needs of the movement, some questions that are permanently with me (I'm sure, I'm not the only one): Are we really...
- ... strengthening the actions that are happening within the movement?
- ... co-ordinating these actions? Exchanging, bringing together the actors of the actions?
- ... multiplying the impact of the actions through our international plea?
Leadership is not an award, right, or title; it is a privilege!
For me leadership is not an award, right, or title; it is a privilege! I think it is a challenge for our movement and co-ordination to deepen the meaning of this statement and more important to act accordingly.
Too often our actions as co-ordinators are about us, we turn around ourself, we blame the movement for many shortcomings and we talk about what should be done instead of identifying clearly what our action in order to support the movement are and without considering ourself as actors, as facilitators and as multipliers.
We have to be more critical in our evaluations in general but above all we have to be an example, we have to be even more critical with ourself as co-ordinators and ask how did our action contribute, or not, to the situation.
The future of action and co-ordination
I believe it's the essential to re-define our action and to adapt our way of working to the changed reality. The type of action which corresponded to the reality at the beginning of ycw in Europe, today only works well in few countries where the young workers a facing a similar situation as young worker in Europe around world-war-two did.
Maybe the biggest challenge of any co-ordination today is to progress towards a relevant and attractive action that motivates young workers to participate, to commit and to engage with it.
The same time on international level we have to redefine ourself in order to be relevant, dynamic and strong for the action!
As long as I remember we are searching for answers to these questions, which is good, but we need to be careful to search together for a collective answer and for the international movement. It has already been too long that we have been concerned about the coordination in Europe and Africa without taking any appropriate actions.
I believe these two questions are very much connected. Only a strong co-ordination, which is participative, relevant and creative will be able to lead the movement towards a strong action.
In the secretariat we developed a vision for the action as well for the coordination and - as I said - I still believe in both ideas. My experience over the last two years shows me clearly: in order to implement these ideas we need a strong secretariat...
... which we are not. We have too much limits in implementing our ideas, we are too incoherent and we a struggling too much to let go the past, our history. We are living between reality, theory and what we would like to see...
Even if we would be strong enough – a hierachical dominated structure doesn't correspond to my idea
of I participative co-ordination and I don't want to give up too much of my values for the aim of the process... I think it's a highly dangerous game to contradict yourself during the process in the name of the better.
I always wanted to leave our movement still believing in it and I fear continuing now would mean to finish one day with bad feelings. Well, I think the moment has arrived it's time for me to go. I want to step down considerably.
I saw people finishing with ycw being burn-out and de-ilusionated... I saw people continuing as a full-timer because of a lack of possibilities; I don't want to become part of any of these groups. I believe that won't be good neither for ycw nor for me and I believe it's more responsible to step down in time than to finish a mandate just for the sake.
I hope my decisions doesn't surprise you too much... and I hope it will help ycw to progress and create enough space for decisions that need to be made!
I'm happy to discuss all needs concerning transition, I want to step down considerably!
Yours in solidarity.