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Newsletter Section 4

Around Europe

EurOpen News – Extraordinary General Meeting

(Mick Farmer)

The EGM was finally held in London on 31 January, 1998. In all 19 people attended, including twelve representatives of the current membership of EurOpen. I
attended as an observer.

During a lively initial discussion, it became clear that there were really only two views.

.     Keep the name of EurOpen as a focal point for joint activities using volunteers.

.     Wind up EurOpen Ltd. and return any assets to its members (this would not include the UKUUG as we had already resigned last year).

The other options of transferring any assets to a similar existing organisation, or using the assets to establish a grant foundation were not supported.

The first formal vote that EurOpen Ltd. be wound up as a limited company was carried unanimously.

The second formal vote that the DKUUG proposal be adopted and a new EurOpen established under this framework was carried by a majority vote. This implied that any assets would be transferred to the DKUUG.

The DKUUG proposal is to establish an umbrella organisation in Denmark, called EurOpen, with local European countries as independent members.

The DKUUG will use its secretariat to run EurOpen at a low budget level. Membership of EurOpen is one ECU per year. National organisations will meet their own expenses in connection with meetings, etc.

The initial intention is to run this new EurOpen with a board of about three people. It has now been formally registered, for details see the Contacts section at the back of this newsletter.

So, the passing of an era. Like many a EurOpen meeting in the past, there was a great deal of talk about collaboration, joint events, pan-europe road shows, whatever. However, it's been a month since that meeting and there's been no rush of e-mail, just a request from the ever-enthusaitic Finn, Paavo Muranen.

The “youngsters” were still vigorously discussing the future when I left. While waiting for the Hotel Coach, I was joined by two other “old-timers” like myself, Simon Kenyon and Kim Biel-Nielsen. We'd seen it all before, perhaps once too often. Now it's time for these new stalwarts to show what they're made of.

ICT Round Table No. 8

(Mick Farmer)

Our first meeting this year took place in Brussels on 28 January 1998. It was also one of the most popular, with 19 attendees (and eight apologies :-), many of them attending for the first time.

The chairman, Jean-Michel Cornu (AFUU), started the proceedings by summarising what the Round Table had achieved during its previous incarnation.

.     A Memorandum of Understanding on Electronic Co-operation to allow smaller organisations, and especially SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises), to participate in the work of the ICT Partnership.

.     Electronic Services for the ICT Partnership, namely a web page ( http://www.dkuug.dk/ict ) and a distribution list.

.     Recommendations to the service providers of the ICT Partnership on-line services.

.     Recommendations on organisational and multi-cultural aspects to the EC.

.     A free seminar in January 1997 for the associations on “The Internet, what benefits for your association?”.

A new program of work was proposed – “Internet Usage and Network Co-operation”, where we would liaise with other organisations working within the same arena. At this point, attendees were
invited to introduce themselves and describe briefly how their work was related to the new working title [Ed: Details on http://www.dkuug.dk/ict/rt8/ ].

After a lengthy discussion, due mainly to the new members' lack of appreciation of what were our intentions, it was agreed that the scope of our new initiative was to develop co-operation and people-networking (an ugly phrase :-) by using the emerging ICT technologies. Three main goals were proposed.

.     Observing experiences from various related projects (e.g. ISOC, IEEE, UNESCO).

.     Understanding Internet usage (e.g. European usage, diversity, people-networking).

.     Contributing to RT8 projects (e.g. publication of best practices, contributions to Working Groups, possible set of recommendations).

In my view, a rather ambitious set of deadlines were agreed.

.     Inventory of existing works on Internet usage published on the web (mid-February, 1998 for a first draft).

.     A contribution from RT8 to the IEEE IPSG Draft Recommended Practice for Internet usage (end of March, 1998).

.     Publication of a set of texts from researchers (i.e. their findings) on various aspects of Internet usage (May, 1998).

.     Recommendations to the European Commission on Universal Services for “Access to the Information Society” (June, 1998 for initial proposals).

.     Presentation of the results so far (ICT 25 June 1998, INET'98 in July, La Villette – Paris, October, 1998).
The next meeting of the Round Table has been tentatively pencilled in for Wednesday 24 June 1998 (afternoon) in Brussels. This is the day before the ICT Partnership Plenary Meeting.

I'm unsure whether the UKUUG gains anything from being a member of the ICT Round Table No. 8. If we move away from being a UNIX-centric group, and even an Open Systems group, then we should look at the wider implications of our being involved with the Internet from the beginning. Our experiences and expertise could be invaluable within this arena. What do you think?

CECUA Conference – The Citizen and
the Global Information Society

This important event will be held on 21-22 April, 1998 at the Palace Hotel, Brussels. It is concerned with the implications of the technology of the Information Society, and not about the terchnology itself.

The event is sponsored by ISPO of the European Commission, and the Keynote Speakers include:

.     Commissioner Bangemann
.     Lone Dybkjaer, MEP
.     Rolf Skoglund, Senior Vice President, Ericsson
.     Don Heath, President ISOC.

Full details are available on the ISPO web site. The URL is http://ww.ispo.cec.be/citizen .

Tel: 01763 273 475
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