We hope that this newsletter finds you well! On April 23, Volt Belgium held its annual General Assembly where members approved the financial accounts, elected its new leadership and voted on new policies to be added to our Mapping of Policies. You can read more about the outcome of the General Assembly on our website.
The First 60 Days
Since the General Assembly, the leadership has been very busy with increasing Volt’s presence in the news and in the streets. Volt Belgium’s new co-presidents, Johanna Dirlewanger-Lücke and Carlo Giudice, were interviewed by Bruzz about their ambitions and plans for Volt in Belgium – you can read the (Dutch) article on Bruzz’ website. Furthermore, the new Executive Committee has been working closely with Volt’s first Provincial Committee member, Jasper Coosemans, to increase our presence on the local level.
Our city team in Antwerp organised a clean-up action, participated in a political school fair, scoring 15.8% of the students’ votes, and was invited by the NGO ArmenTeKort to learn about opportunity poorness. Our city team in Brussels attended the presentation of the Manifesto of the International Brusseleir in the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region, and hosted an info session on the electoral law reform with Joachim Wilcke, head of staff of our MEP Damian Boeselager. With the help of our two city teams, Volt has also launched a team in Leuven!
On May 21, Volt Belgium participated at the Belgian Pride in Brussels, a first for us! You can find the Belgian Pride Charter signed by us on our website. #HappyPrideMonth
Volt Belgium organised on June 4 together with friends from PRO burgerlobby a workshop on drawn citizen’s panels and citizens’ participation given by the NGO De Wakkere Burger. It set a great precedence for future events and cooperation in elections with citizens’ parties and lists. On 17 June the board met in Liège with Jules Ortjens & Mart den Heijer, elected Council Members in Maastricht, to discuss cooperation in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine and the presence of Volt in the province of Liège. Over the past two months, Belgian Volter also went on the streets to support the legislative election campaign of Volt France in its foreign constituencies, resulting in exceptional results.
2024 and You!
With the eyes on the super–election year 2024, the Belgian leadership has been working day and night to learn, and to deliver a strategy to our party. To kick it off, the Executive Committee met on 15 May 2022 in Brussels for a day of teambuilding, where it agreed on how to work as a team, and decided on a shared purpose statement, which you can find here. It will be the basis for the Strategic Roadmap that the Belgian leadership is going to develop over the course of this summer.
On the 11th & 12th of June, the leadership of Volt Belgium participated in a two day strategic retreat in Brussels with the objective to learn from experts and veterans in political elections and define key elements for the 2024 electoral campaign in Belgium. It was attended by the Executive Committee, the Provincial Committee, functional and city leads, and we even had the pleasure to welcome Volters from our neighbouring chapters. Jules Ortjens & Mart den Heijer (Elected Council Members in Maastricht), Jason Halbgewachs (Coordinator Party Office of Volt Nederland), Christopher Gudacker and Elisabeth Leifgen (Lead Candidate and Campaign Coordinator of Volt North Rhine-Westphalia), and Audrey-Flore Ngomsik and Sacha Courtial (Legislative Candidate for & Board member of Volt France) shared with us best and worst practices from their respective election campaigns.
Furthermore, a master class about Belgian electoral law was given to us by no one less than Belgian political scientist Kris Deschouwer! Prof Deschouwer explained how all 5 Belgian political levels work, how lists are to be drafted and how seats were distributed. Over the next weeks, the Board is going to develop its Road to 2024 strategy where more info will be shared. Volt Belgium invites and strongly encourages every member and supporter to join us in this collective effort to get Volt elected in Belgium!
A big thank you to Wiebo Vaartjes and Frans Wiggers for organising and guiding us through the strategic retreat.
Amendments to the Statutes
At the General Assembly in April members approved amendments to the Statutes. To validly take a decision to amend the Statutes, the General Assembly must meet a quorum of at least fifty percent of the Effective Members. Unfortunately, the General Assembly in April did not reach the quorum of members being present and, therefore, the amendments to the statutes were not adopted.
For such cases, our statutes foresee an Extraordinary General Assembly automatically convened 15 days after the failed General Assembly, with the only agenda point being the statutory amendments and where no quorum of present members is required. However, the fact that the General Assembly in April did not reach the quorum was only noticed on the 11th of May by the Volt Values Board, 3 days after the day where the Extraordinary General Assembly should have been held.
This unusual situation and how it will be dealt with is still being discussed between the Electoral Board, the Volt Values Board and the Executive Committee; however, it seems likely that those amendments to the statutes will be tabled again (as well as other amendments) to our members at the next General Assembly in the fall. To avoid this situation happening again, the Electoral Board, with the support of the Volt Values Board and the Executive Committee will already set the date of the statutory Extraordinary General Assembly (the 15th day after the fall General Assembly) to ensure those changes are formally accepted.
The Electoral Board and Volt Values Board will be confirming this way forward, or eventually suggesting another path to our members during the next few weeks. For queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weeks ahead
On 26th of June, the Board is meeting for its final retreat before the summer to finalise the strategic roadmap for 2024 (and beyond). We will discuss the election strategy, candidate profiles and work on a reverse-planning for the Road to 2024. We will share all of this, including vacancies and action points in our newsletter following the retreat next week. Want to share your ideas and experiences? You are always welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
Get in touch with us
If you have any question, or if you want to get in touch with the Executive Committee, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not answer directly to this newsletter, as we do not receive the responses.
Thank you for reading!
Johanna and Carlo,
For the Board of Volt Belgium