Wikimedia Europe Reporting: What has been accomplished in 2022, by Anna Mazgal edit
Planning for impact
Building on the existing activity in EU policy and advocacy, the members of Wikimedia Europe agreed to bring more impact and capacities by mandating WMEU to develop fundraising and provide tailor-made capacity building. While policy work continues in increased capacity, the other activities will be developed to support members and non-members alike.
Outstanding community mobilisation
The idea inspired over 25 Wikimedia affiliates to become its founding members. WMEU has members all over the continent from Portugal to Georgia and from Norway to Malta. We have a statutory commitment to support people and structures in our movement in Europe regardless of their membership status.
Strong and sustainable structure
Members agreed on a democratic governance structure where one member has one vote regardless of the financial contributions they are capable of bringing. The initial Board works with the staff to ensure sustainable planning and efficient transfer of assets once the registration of the international non-profit association (AISBL) is completed in Belgium.
New opportunities and resources
The pledge from Wikimedia Deutschland to support the new structure on a current scale in the next years coupled with the Mercator and Schöpflin Foundations’ support set us off to a good start. In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation will support our advocacy work with a 3-year grant totalling at USD 300,000. Combined resources will allow us to bring in a policy advisor and a fundraiser and further diversify both the scope and the funding for our work.
Inspiration for the global Wikimedia movement
Efforts and outcomes at Wikimedia Europe are happening against a larger background of the 2030 Strategy implementation in the Wikimedia Movement. We coordinate with other initiatives, such as Wikimedia CEE Hub, and with the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure our learnings from the process and applicable experiences serve the global Wikimedia community, especially in the area of community-led governance and resource management.
Louder voice in the EU
While we have been working on EU policies for almost 10 years, being able to operate as Wikimedia Europe provides a new opening with our key stakeholders. Among others, in 2022 we brought our relationship with the European Commission to a new level as we were invited to provide our perspective on obligations should Wikipedia become a Very Large Online Platform under the Digital Services Act. Our Ukrainian members were speaking in the European Parliament about the efforts of Ukrainian Wikipedians fighting disinformation during the ongoing Russian invasion to increase awareness of the global importance of free knowledge.
Looking into the future
In 2023 we will be occupied with increasing our capacities by bringing in new staff members, expanding our outreach to donors and key partners, and ensuring that by the end of 2023 we reach full operational capacity as the new entity. Above all, we will ensure that the advocacy work not only isn’t hampered by the structural changes but also becomes strategically focused on input to the agenda of the next term of office of the European Commission. This will be coupled with strategic planning for the whole organisation with members meeting at their first general assembly in Prague, in June – where we cordially invite you to join us.