Introduction to Supervisory Board
The European Cultural Foundation makes a clear distinction between supervision and management but is very keen on a close cooperation and common deliberation on the main issues and challenges faced by ECF. The Supervisory Board oversees the proper execution of the Director’s managerial responsibilities.
The Supervisory Board’s main responsibilities can be summarised as follows:
- deciding upon and evaluating the Foundation’s strategy as drafted by the Director, and prioritising its activities
- evaluating the efficient use of the Foundation’s resources (approval of budget and Annual Report)
- appointing the Foundation’s Director, members of the Supervisory Board and the President.
In this context, three Supervisory Board meetings took place respectively on 19 March, 28 May and 26 November 2021. All three meetings took place online. The topics discussed focused on a number of items, including:
- approval of 2020 Financial report and Annual report
- approval of the updated 2021 budget and Work Plan 2021
- decisions on Supervisory Board development and Audit Committee membership
- relationship with Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
- exchange with the staff representation group (‘Personeelsvertegenwoordiging’/‘PVT’)
- self-evaluation by the Supervisory Board
Supervisory Board development
The Supervisory Board continued the discussions on membership development. Following the departure of Chair Christophe de Voogd at the end of 2020, Rien van Gendt served as Chair Ad Interim at the request of the Supervisory Board, while the Vice Chair position became vacant. During the November meeting, Gerry Salole accepted the role of Chair, and Rien van Gendt returned to the Vice Chair position.
Over the year, we welcomed one new member to the Supervisory Board: on 26 November, Catarina Vaz Pinto (PT) joined our ranks and we said our fond farewells to Mária Hlavajová in May and to Isabel Alçada in November. We are most indebted to them for their inspired work and insights.
For 2022, the Supervisory Board is committed to continue the search for three further new members, including replacing the Vice Chair position after Rien van Gendt completes his third term on the ECF Supervisory Board in March 2022.
Relationship with Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Thanks to a long-standing agreement between the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (PBCF) and the European Cultural Foundation, PBCF provides the Foundation with 25% of its non-earmarked lottery income. Following the evaluation of the long-standing practice of cross-representation on each other’s Supervisory Boards by a Supervisory Board member acting as advisor, the two organisations have agreed to discontinue this practice. This meant that we had to say goodbye to James Kennedy who had represented the PBCF in the Supervisory Board meetings. We owe him much for the insights that he brought to the table. The quarterly exchanges on the level of Directors continue unaffected.
In the second year of the pandemic, some of the online and hybrid activities returned to physical: we were happy to gradually welcome staff back to the office. The Culture for Solidarity Fund continues to be our agile tool to provide support when and where most needed and we welcomed new co-funding partners that helped increase the Fund’s outreach.
Exchange with the Staff Representation Group (‘Personeelsvertegenwoordiging’/‘PVT’)
At the 26 November online meeting the Supervisory Board met with the Foundation’s staff representation group in a confidential and informal exchange. These annual exchanges have been established to help the Supervisory Board gain further insights into the organisation’s workings and staff.
Chair of Supervisory Board, European Cultural Foundation