Thursday, November 05, 2009

Cooperative Euforic: in the process of closing down

Euforic has called an Extraordinary General Meeting of members to take place on 26 November 2009 in Brussels. On the agenda is the complete close-down of operations and dissolution of the Cooperative.

Over the past few years the Board and staff of Euforic have tried to achieve a minimum degree of financial sustainability of the organization. After a profound financial crisis in 2004/2005 the organization’s finances seemed to recover somewhat in 2007 and 2008 but in the course of 2009 the structural financial instability of the organization showed again. When this became clear the Euforic members were contacted and the Board decided on 30 September to proceed to scale down operations and to dismiss staff (see also the announcement)

Over the years Euforic has provided a free, public information service, funded through membership income and surpluses that were generated through the implementation of specific projects with members. Because of the limited core income, and the small surpluses on projects and services, Euforic has always been financially unstable.

In September 2009 it became clear that the operational losses the organization would incur, required that the ExCo and Board seek immediate financial support for the organization to comply with contractual obligations, particularly regarding the personnel. At this stage however it was very much evident that the financial problems are structural, which is why the Board proposes to completely dissolve the Cooperative. Various member have committed contributions - in particular ICCO, ECDPM, APRODEV, EADI and CTA – that enable (financial) closure of the Cooperative.

Euforic has few assets and the motion to dissolve that the Board is presenting to the members of the Cooperative includes arrangements to dispose of these assets. EADI has kindly offered to seek ways to continue to provide some sort of public information services on matters that used to be covered by Euforic, possibly linking to the original Euforic URL. Some staff have indicated they may continue to provide consulting services as independent consultants together with former Euforic associates, for which they consider to establish a collaborative association provisionally called Euforic Services.

Check also the newsfeed for more news about Euforic's cooperative life


Alfredo Martínez said...

That's an incredibly big blow and will weaken development-related communication in the EU. I guess any halfway serious European professional working on development policies is using euforic. How come that this project is not longer backed by anyone? If the EC wasts money wherever they see the chance to do so, why couldn't they afford some ridiculous 50.000 euros for this terrific project in such a critical time, with the new aid commissioner coming? We will not go anywhere in terms of common dev policies if there is not even a feeling of needing good communication within the EU. You guys did a great job and yes, let's hope that EADI, another great promise still to become real, will live up to the announced plans, helping at least some part (feeds??) to survive.

Peter Ballantyne said...

This is indeed depressing news.

From the beginning, Euforic was motivated by the so-called 'three C's' of Europe's development cooperation - coherence, coordination and complementarity.

It helped ensure that these would be reinforced and enabled by excellent COMMUNICATION - among multiple and diverse stakeholders.

It helped many of its members and others get onto the web (1.0); between 2005 and 2009, it led a move by members and partners towards radically different social web 2.0 services that led to more effective and dynamic ways to communicate and interact around development issues.

Do doubt the demise of Euforic will leave space for others to reinvent precisely the same services. For they are profoundly needed.

I hope the Euforic associates can keep the brand alive and away from the circling vultures.

A biased comment from a founder and ex-Director of Euforic!