Dear Friends and colleagues of AMARC Europe,

It has been a long time since our last communication and this letter to you is a form of apology and an explanation for that silence.

Some of you might know that AMARC International is experiencing a transformation. The former AMARC International general secretary, Marcelo Solersvicens left in September 2013. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the recruitment and contract procedures for a new secretary general weren’t as fruitful as expected.

In times of need, AMARC International turned to the European region for support, and since June 2014, Francesco Diasio has been acting as interim AMARC International Secretary. This has had an enormous impact on our activities. This is the first year since 2011 that AMARC Europe hasn’t been able to organise a European meeting for community broadcasters and the newsletter wasn’t published or the website updated.

On the other hand, we continued our participation in the Mednet project; some of our members got involved in looking for resources to organise the European Community Radio Festival; we continue supporting our members and their associates in defending community media in Europe. We have sustained the skeleton work required to guarantee AMARC Europe’s successful transition.

In its meeting of November 2014 in Rome, the AMARC International Board ratified Francesco Diasio as Secretary General till January 2016. That definitely opened the door to the transition AMARC Europe was preparing for and Miriam Meda, former member of the board representing the Spanish Federation of Community Media ReMC, is now AMARC Europe General Secretary after she relocated to Brussels in early November.

So, new and exciting times are ahead of us in the New Year. AMARC Europe webpage has greatly improved. Our communications via newsletter have resumed, and by December we are expecting the publication of the new AMARC International newsletter. AMARC regional representatives have started to collaborate in the review of internal procedures and processes; actions and activities are being decentralised from the Montreal Office to the regional offices. There are plans for a new AMARC International website.

We do our work to the best of our capacity, but we are in the lookout for people that might be interested in joining our board meetings and our activities. We are a very rich community, as we can count on each other support and work. We need to manage now with the resources we have, but it is necessary to increase our activities and funds for 2015, if we want continue our European work.

Communication in community media is really a two ways process, and we want to hear more from you. We need your criticism, your support and your guidance. We are all AMARC and we need to shape this organisation together.

Finally, we want to close this open letter by expressing our deepest gratitude to Francesco Diasio, for his effort, his unselfishness and utter dedication to community radio in Europe. We know that we will keep working together. And we want to welcome Miriam Meda, who with her enthusiasm, commitment and new perspective has become a new driving force for all of us in Brussels.

We hope we would meet face to face soon, but till then, keep in touch.

Nico, Riitta, Aitor, Judit, Cristy, Jean Paul, Eric, Tina and Sally