Wikimedia Europe

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Wikimedia Europe
Wikimedia logo
Wikimedia Europe members
Members of Wikimedia Europe
Affiliate codeWMEU
Country codeEU
Legal statusAssociation internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL)
Founding date2022
Main officeBrussels
Membership22 (members' list)
Staff2
Official language(s)English
Other language(s)French, Dutch
PresidentClaudia Garád
SecretaryMaciej Artur Nadzikiewicz
TreasurerCapucine-Marin Dubroca-Voisin
Board members
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Gonçalo Themudo
Key people
  • Dimitar Dimitrov
  • Anna Mazgal
Incorporation paperStatutes
ReportsReports

Founding members of Wikimedia EuropeEdit

On July 20, at the meeting of incorporated Wikimedia affiliates, representatives confirmed their organisations’ commitment to found Wikimedia Europe. As of 22 September 2022, the founding members of Wikimedia Europe are[1]:

ChaptersEdit

Thematic OrganizationsEdit

User GroupsEdit

Awaiting registrationEdit

Wikimedia affiliates awaiting formal registration[2]:

Board and StaffEdit

BoardEdit

Wikimedia Europe Board
Photo Name Wikimedia username Seat Term Role Affiliation
  Claudia Garád
Elected
2022–2024
President
Wikimedia Austria
  Maciej Artur Nadzikiewicz
Elected
Secretary
Wikimedia Poland
  Capucine-Marin
Dubroca-Voisin
Elected
Treasurer
Wikimedia France
  Rebecca MacKinnon
Appointed
(22 Aug 2022)
Wikimedia Foundation
  Gonçalo Themudo
Elected
Wikimedia Portugal

StaffEdit

Information for future membersEdit

We created a presentation to brief potential future members on Wikimedia Europe.

 
Presentation for future members

Our statutes are available here.

If you wish to join Wikimedia Europe, please reach out to Anna Mazgal (anna@wikimedia.be)

TimelineEdit

Steps Timing
Drafting notarial deed for the establishment of the INGO Done (November 2022)
Execution of notarial deed by the notary After membership is confirmed at a satisfactory level (December)
Application for legal recognition at the Belgian Federal Justice Department Three business days as of date of notarial deed
Royal Decree granting legal personality to the INGO Expected within three months as of the date of application
Publication of the establishment of the INGO One month as of the granting of the date of the Royal Decree

Project objectivesEdit

As an organized civil society organization we want to play an even stronger role than before in shaping European regulation in terms of free knowledge, access to information and freedom of expression.

The shortcomings of the current informal structure do not allow for a strong appearance to policymakers, journalists, and stakeholders. The brand "FKAGEU" is in great need of explanation, and is not recognizable as a Wikimedia operation despite serving our Movement for many years. Also, it does not have capacity to ensure institutional fundraising for itself as well as for the affiliates.

In the global landscape where technology underpins access to information and knowledge exchange at an unprecedented scale, Europe is seen as a regulatory environment uniquely fitted to deal with challenges that the platform economy brings. There is a lack of a distinct institutionally credible voice that explains the need of a democratic discourse based on exchange of true information. One that exemplifies that the internet can still be a sphere of hope, openness and collaboration.

The impact of establishing this entity is that people will have more free knowledge, more access to information and are not afraid to speak their mind, so that an informed democratic discourse is possible in Europe and knowledge becomes accessible to all. As an outcome, free knowledge, access to information and freedom of expression are taken into account within the legislative and regulatory framework of the European institutions. We understand our conversations, statements, position papers, press releases and online campaigns to be outputs.

As a result, a unique European player can be created that actively participates in the policy discourse. The Wikimedia projects are the largest non-commercial platforms in the world. Wikimedia is one of the largest civil society organizations that is both supported by a vibrant, engaged and diverse community and developed a unique open technological ecosystem. There is no other civil society organization in Europe with this set of technological know-how. This uniqueness in the discussion about platforms, combined with its technical expertise, makes Wikimedia a focus point in the European policy discourse.

Project descriptionEdit

An association will be set up in the second half of 2022 with as many European affiliates as possible. The current favorite but not definitive institutional option is an "association internationale sans but lucratif (ASBL) / internationale vereniging zonder winstoogmerk (VZW)" under Belgian law. A later enlargement through accession of more affiliates is possible and aspired. This new organization shall be named "Wiki Europe". In the future, we may seek an agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation to use the trademark "Wikimedia" and call ourselves "Wikimedia Europe".

The founding of Wiki Europe will be made public through press and media work, a public event, and direct outreach to policy makers and partners in Europe. Subsequently, the already existing advocacy formats will be continued. The usual close coordination and cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation will be pursued.

ContextEdit

The Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (FKAGEU) works on behalf of European Wikimedia Chapters, Thematic Organizations and User Groups, presenting a unified and clear position on major legislative and policy changes affecting the vision, mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. The FKAGEU has no legal structure. Currently, the administration lies with Wikimedia Deutschland which receives funds from 9 other Wikimedia Chapters. Two FTE work for the FKAGEU.

In order to strengthen the existing capacities and plan for a greater support to the Movement in Europe we now aim to found a European legal entity formed as a hub according to Wikimedia 2030. “Wiki Europe" will be an association of organizations, not of individuals. The nucleus of Wiki Europe is the EU advocacy work which we have been doing for nearly 10 years. Two additional functions of Wikimedia Europe could be, for example, fundraising and knowledge exchange. The fundraising function focuses on institutional fundraising from the EU bodies and fundraising support for affiliates.

Evaluation of the work previously done by the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EUEdit

Nearing its 8th year of operations in 2021, the Free Knowledge Advocacy group EU undertook an evaluative study aiming at assessing the experience and expectations of its key stakeholders, inside and outside the Wikimedia movement. Through 33 interviews, a generally positive experience was painted and a wishlist of next steps was outlined, underlining increased impact and greater visibility as key objectives ensuring adequate representation of our Movement in front of the EU.

Since a team of two was already at capacity, the questions on how to ensure meeting these expectations were posed to a focus group consisting of European EDs. Their recommendation was to structurally strengthen the FKAGEU operations by providing an agile autonomous structure, Movement-related branding and increased personal capacity. In parallel, strategic directions were prepared based on the study and the Wikimedia Movement 2030 strategy that operationalise the way to achieve the objectives set out for FKAGEU by the communities whom it serves.

All documentational documents can be found here:

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Last change in membership on 19 August 2022
  2. Article 5 states: "All Members must be legal entities that have a seat in a European country and are formally recognised as Affiliates within the Wikimedia Movement"