European Gathering 2021 - OFN Europe entity

Here’s a summary of our discussion around potentially establishing an OFN Europe entity!

Questions:

  • Do we need an OFN Europe body?
  • Something just to give a legal body to OFN Europe? Something to employ people? To receive funding?

Experience from OFN Global:

  • So far OFN Global has been organized purely virtually – doesn’t exist as a separate structure, just organizes through individual country instances. This has been working since 2015.
  • Could also look at other cross-national organizations for inspiration – e.g. La Via Campesina – advantages in different circumstances to speak as individual entities or as a united entity

Potential benefits of an official OFN Europe entity:

  • Funding – for some types of funding having a centralized body is very important, especially for EU finding
  • Unified point of reference for administration, communication, fundraising, coordination
  • Accreditation, validation of OFN software
  • Scientific and environmental validation of OFN’s impacts
  • Exposure
  • Connection with producers at a larger scale
  • Participation in international consortia
  • Possible to assign funding to emerging instances who do not yet themselves have appropriate legal status
  • Economies of scale re: marketing, etc.
  • Confusing for those outside OFN to understand that representatives of individual OFN instances can represent and make decisions for OFN Europe community

Potential drawbacks:

  • Maybe above benefits could be achieved with an informal / virtual organization?
  • Administration costs, bureaucracy
    • But all of the individual countries are incurring expenses already, and duplicating efforts
    • If there were specific funding, this objection would be overcome
  • Would this cause a problem for OFN Global? Splitting the solidarity movement?
    • Can be viewed as an extra pipeline for funding
    • Once funds are raised, OFN Europe can financially contribute to the global pot, so this is a net positive
    • Funding can be tied to global development too, so this can be a positive for OFN instances in Africa, India, etc. too
  • Costs in terms of energy – can we put our efforts into country instances and a European body too?

Specifics to define:

  • Full-time employees?
  • Where?
  • Legal, bureaucratic, administrative framework?

Proposed tasks:
[ ] Create task force to research options in each country regarding bureaucratic processes, tax issues, etc. to determine which European country would be best for hosting OFN Europe, and according to which legal status. @ferrazfil @hhomann @Bato @Petros_OFN_GR @NickWeir
[ ] Apply for appropriate funding for the development of such an entity if the entity decides it is worth the effort

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@gen.shanahan these were some great notes. I have just come back to them to prepare a meeting today, SUPER HELPFULL. (just one correction needed, my Discourse handle is ferrazfil, which would clearly be difficult for you to find if you did not know)

Woops, fixed, thank you @ferrazfil !!

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