For the past two days I’ve been over here in Radhadesh, Belgium, helping to prepare for our next European Leaders Meeting. Devotees from more than fifteen countries are coming together for the sixth annual conference, and its important that their time is well spent and the results of the conference productive.
There’s still a few months to go, but we want to ensure that proposals already submitted for discussion adequately represent the concerns of the members in the different European countries, and that everyone who still wants to submit a discussion topic sends their proposals in a form that guarantees adequate and thoughtful discussion.
The ELM is an informal think-tank, designed to provide feedback on topical issues for an executive body which then creates policies. Each of the ISKCON temples sends one or more delegates from their national council. In this way, the resulting conference decisions are held to represent the collective Vaishnava thoughts on the major issues of the day. The conclusions of the ELM conference are then submitted to a higher body for further discussion. This higher body is made up of GBC members who have responsibilities within Europe, and others specialising in some area of expertise. The Euro-GBC decides bye-laws for ISKCON in Europe in addition to ensuring that existing international ISKCON laws are observed in the member communities.
We’ve also been following up the progress on last year’s conference resolutions, allotting time slots for the two days, and figuring out how many delegates each country can send. This year, we are prepared for 80 in total, with larger representations from Germany, Italy, Croatia, Sweden and the UK. So enthusiastic are our devotees in Croatia, they’ve already offered to host the conference in 2009.
Discussions took place under the compassionate glance of Gopinath, as seen this morning