Stepping down from YEM: AGM and a goodbye album

After the long night in Aberfeldy, there was an early wakeup for a train to London. Klajdi from the YEM board had arranged the meeting and the after-party venues for the Annual General Meeting. Normally the YEM AGM has taken place in October but, given that I’ll soon be out of the country, this year we chose to have it at the end of July.

The board for next year was elected, and I believe YEM is getting a team with plenty of skill and ideas. JEF-Europe (YEM’s international parent organisation) has regarded the UK section as one which is just a couple of puzzle pieces away from “getting to the next level”.

Drawing of Juuso the EU Superhero by Madeleina Kay in my YEM goodbye photo album
#EUSupergirl Madeleina Kay had made a drawing of me as a Finnish EU superhero for the book.

Those who know me will know that I don’t think we achieved that this year, and that that caused me stress throughout the spring. However, maybe there’s something that came out of this year: it seems that in this AGM there was more reflection than before on what organisational stumbling blocks have to be overcome, and how. The board for next year, I believe, has a good understanding of these matters from the start, which I hope makes the job easier. It’s a lot of work ahead, but knowing what needs to be done is a good start!

Caitlin had organised an impressively elaborate YEM goodbye gift coming from not just British members, but from all across Europe. On Caitlin’s initiative, some 30 people had written postcards with messages for me, and Caitlin assembled these into an album. The album also features photos of me in different events, from Macedonia to Middlesbrough, Malta and beyond. It was touching to hear all the kind words – especially as for most people on the album, seeing a message from me on their screen was near-invariably a harbinger of toiling ahead, rather than just pleasant chatter. Thank you for that!

Juuso and Caitlin handing out Bollocks to Brexit stickers in Glasgow
One of the pictures Caitlin had included in the album was us handing out Bollocks to Brexit stickers in Glasgow this June.

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