Professor Phil Larkin, President, European Association for Palliative Care, explains how our members can get involved in electing the next EAPC Board of Directors.
All good things must come to an end . . .
The time has come for change. After four years (which seem to have passed very quickly), it is time for the members to prepare to elect a new EAPC Board of Directors (2019-2023). The election will take place on 24 May 2019 at the 16th EAPC World Congress in Berlin. In preparation for this, we want to make the election process clear and transparent and, most importantly, easy to understand. It may seem early to start the procedure, but the election is about giving our members opportunities to decide who should represent their views for the next four years – so the sooner we can engage in that discussion the better.
First, we set up an election committee comprising some members who will leave this board, having served the EAPC for up to eight years. Thank you is never enough . . .
The election committee are:
- Carlo Leget, The Netherlands
- Irene Murphy, Ireland
- David Oliver, The UK.
They will be supported by Julie and Eleanor from Head Office in making sure procedures are followed to the letter. Nearer the time, in a series of blog posts, the election committee will explain the voting procedures and how the event will run on the day. We want to keep our members fully informed, so please keep an eye on the EAPC blog.
So if the election committee are responsible for that, why am I writing to you now?
Considerations when electing someone to the EAPC Board
I think as the President, it is important for me to set out some important principles in terms of what it means to be elected to the board. The current board consists of 13 elected members including the President. As a board member, you commit to a four-year term but with an option for re-election for a further term. In 2019, six members, including myself, will step down and therefore we have seven members who are proposing to stand for re-election. For continuity, it is important to have a ‘thread of wisdom’ from the previous board and, given all the changes that have happened in EAPC in the past four years, that thread will be really important. So I ask voters to please consider carefully those people standing for re-election who will be the bridge to the new board.
Representation is essential, in terms of countries and people’s professional backgrounds. It is really important for balance that we do not have over-representation from one particular group but of course this really depends on who stands for election.
The EAPC needs to speak to the broad range of people involved in palliative care today so please bear that in mind when you cast your votes.
I think it is also important to know that board members represent EAPC, not their respective countries, and so your vote should not just focus on your national candidate (if you have one), but consider all of the candidates and think about who will add something strong, innovative or different to the EAPC.
Your capacity to stand for the board and indeed vote is dependent on being a member of EAPC yourself (an individual member), or a board member of your national membership association. You will need to be able to prove you are a member on the day of election ( dare I ask if you know your membership number?!).
It is also important that your membership organisation has paid its subscription to EAPC by 30 April 2019 at the very latest, because otherwise this may impact on your ability to vote or to be elected.
Electing the President
One thing that will be different to last time is that no candidate will be proposed as Incoming President on the ballot sheet (in case you don’t remember, that was me). The reason for this is that it was a bit confusing to members on the day because the President is actually elected by the new board, not the members. So, people will be asked to vote for all the candidates presented, one of whom will be elected President as an internal process of the board after the election. All candidates and the new President will be announced and presented at Congress.
Becoming a member of the board
Planning ahead, we are now seeking nominations for candidates at this time. If you think it is something that would interest you, I would urge you to talk with your national membership organisation to seek their support. If you are an EAPC member organisation and thinking of putting a candidate forward, now is the time to start looking around and having those conversations. The closing date for candidates to be nominated is 31 January 2019. For more details please see our website.
This board has done great work. The next, I am sure, will do the same. Who they will be is entirely up to you . . .