On 16th October the General Assembly of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities’ (EASPD) elected a new Executive Committee and Board via a new online election process. The 18 new members of the Board will serve a four-year mandate and will represent the General Assembly in supporting the work of the association, and in achieving its strategic objectives.
This election cycle was the first for the association since it adopted EASPD’s new Statutes. Starting with the election of the new Executive Committee, incumbent President, James Crowe (UK) was re-elected for a second mandate. Mr. Crowe will be joined in the Executive Committee by Vice-Presidents Karin Astegger (Austria), Valerija Buzan (Slovenia) and Javier Güemes (Spain) as well as Peter Saxenhofer (Switzerland), who was re-elected Treasurer.
With the Executive Committee, the General Assembly elected 13 new Board members. Eight of these Board members were elected as Co-chair to one of EASPD’s new Member Forums and will represent their Forum on the Board. Formerly known as Standing Committees or Interest Groups, each Member Forum comprises member representatives from EASPD member organisations. Each Forum is responsible for the implementation of the Association’s work in a particular area interest. Member representatives were elected as Co-chairs to the following Member Forum:
- Arts and Culture: Eoin Nash (Ireland)
- Early Intervention: Vasilka Dimoska (North Macedonia)
- Education: Miguel Valles (Portugal)
- Employment: Fabrizio Fea (Italy)
- Inclusive Living: Pep Solé (Spain)
- Person-Centred Technology: Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf (Italy)
- Policy Impact: Mirela Juka (Albania)
- Workforce Development and HR: James Churchill (UK)
A further 5 Board members have been elected without a portfolio. This includes Stef de Cock (Belgium),
Lieve Dekempeneer (Belgium), Ákos Pordán (Hungary), Petra Rantamäki (Finland) and Kathrin Völker (Germany).
Up to 5 additional EASPD member representatives may now be co-opted to the Board, to ensure a geographic and gender balance in EASPD’s governance. These candidates will be proposed at the discretion of the new Board and approved by the General Assembly.
Speaking following his re-election as President, James Crowe thanked the outgoing Executive Committee and Board for their commitment to the organisation over the last 4 years and welcomed the new members. “I would like to thank all candidates who applied for an EASPD governance position. In the past six months support service providers have faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. These challenges are not yet over, and COVID-19 will continue to test the flexibility and resilience of our sector. The high number of candidates who ran in this election cycle is a reflection of the dedication of our members to continue to drive EASPD forward, towards our goal of improving services and improving lives. I look forward to working with all of you, alongside the General Assembly, as we continue to build on the work of EASPD. Our key task is to promote the delivery of high-quality support services for persons with disabilities that contribute to the full implementation of the UN CRPD.”
The new Board will hold its first meeting online on 4th December. One of the first activities of the new Executive Committee and Board will be to support the development of EASPD’s upcoming 2022-2025 Strategy, which will set the direction of the organisation for the years to come.
Note to editors
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 17,000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.