Minutes from the Euro RGB meeting in New Mayapur, France, September 25, 2017
New Mayapur – France
September 25, 2017
Voting members: 18
PRESENT – VOTING MEMBERS
1. Doyal Govinda Dasa (Euro RGB Secretary for Germany; TP Heidelberg, Euro RGB 2nd Vice Chairman)
2. Hrdaya Caitanya dasa (GBC of Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain, New Mayapur; co-GBC of Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and France, except New Mayapur and Dole; Euro RGB Secretary for Benelux)
3. Janesvara dasa (Almviks Board; Euro RGB Secretary for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark)
4. Krisna-kirtana dasa (Euro RGB representative for Poland, TP New Raman-reti Warsaw – PL)
5. Krsna-premarupa Dasa (Euro RGB Secretary for Switzerland; TP Zurich)
6. Madhusevita dasa (GBC of Cyprus, Greece, Villaggio Hare Krishna, Milano Area, South Umbria, southern Italy, Rome Area, Malta, San Marino; Co-GBC of Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and France (except Dole)
7. Mahaprabhu dasa (Director of IC Benelux; Minister of ISKCON Communications Europe)
8. Manohara dasa (TP Radhadesh, Belgium)
9. Praghosa dasa – arrived later (GBC of Channel Island, Denmark, England, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Wales)
10. Prahladananda Swami (GBC for Croatia, Co-GBC Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia and Slovenia, Euro RGB Chairman; Health and Sannyasa Minister)
11. Sivarama Swami (GBC of Hungary, Co-GBC of Romania)
12. Smita Krsna Swami (Minister for Cow Protection)
13. Tapas dasa (TP Stockholm; Chairman of the National Council in Sweden)
PRESENT – NON-VOTING MEMBERS
1. HH Janananda Goswami (national secretary for France)
2. Jay Nitay das (zonal supervisor of UK)
3. Lalitanatha dasa (Euro RGB secretary for Denmark)
4. HH Yadunandana Swami (national secretary for Spain)
NOT PRESENT – VOTING MEMBERS:
1. Bhaktivaibhava Swami (GBC for Albania, Czech Republic, Finland, Macedonia, Slovakia, Co-GBC for Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania)
2. Bir Krishna Goswami (Co-GBC of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia)
3. Dharmaksetra dasa (Euro Minister of Records, Chairman of the Dutch National Council)
4. Dina-sharana devi dasi (GBC of Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Dole; IDSAF Director)
5. Radha Krishna dasa (Euro Varnasrama Minister, Euro RGB 1st Vice Chairman)
NOT PRESENT – NON-VOTING MEMBERS:
1. Nrsmha Krsna das (zonal supervisor of Turkey)
2. Parabhakti Dasa – non-voting member (TP Villa Vrindavana, Italy) on behalf of Radhanatha Swami
3. Trilokatma das (zonal supervisor of Slovakia)
HH Prahladananda Swami is Euro RGB Chairman.
HG Radha Krsna dasa is Euro RGB First Vice-Chairman.
HG Doyal Govinda dasa is Euro RGB Second Vice-Chairman.
HH Janananda Goswami is new Euro RGB member as a national secretary for France.
HH Yadunandana Swami is new Euro RGB member as a national secretary for Spain.
1. Euro RGB Executive Committee (EC) will meet 3 times during the next year to work in depth on different important issues concerning the functionality of the Euro RGB body. Euro RGB EC will send out the invitation for participation to the whole Euro RGB body before the meetings.
2. Resolution 250917/1: A Zonal Supervisor, who finishes the GBC College and is recommended by his/her local GBC, also needs to get the national/regional council approval to become Euro RGB member.
3. Praghosa d gave a report on ToVP team’s visit to Europe.
The international ToVP fundraising team will be visiting Europe during April of 2018. They will start in Belgium and then travel to Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and finally Switzerland.
The Euro RGB urges all yatras and devotees in Europe to enthusiastically welcome the ToVP team and assist them as best they can and take full advantage of the opportunity to serve this wonderful project and thus gain the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, the previous acaryas and of course Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya!
4. As there was no suitable replacement found since the last meeting, Euro RGB body gave the unanimous vote for the present secretary to continue with her service.
5. Dealing with complaints: As part of the effort by the Euro RGB to establish an effective complaints, investigation and adjudication system for ISKCON in Europe, Prahladananda Swami will first liaise with the international GBC office to see if they can locate previous documents, related to this topic, that were submitted some years back by ISKCON’s then Minister for Justice.
6. Book distribution committee report:
A team was created in order to assist in the increase of book distribution in Europe. At present, the team is headed by Visvambhara dasa (UK) and the current team consists of: Jai Nitai dasa (UK), Titiksu dasa (UK), Param Gati dasa, Anakadundubhi dasa (Italy), Chandra Caitanya dasa (Hungary) and Janananda Goswami (France). The goal was set to try to promote and inspire more book distribution during Srila Prabhupada Marathon (December) and to increase awareness that this group exists as a resource for devotees inspired to distribute books. Also, BDC will actively try to identify a future Minister for Book Distribution. Jai Nitai das and Janananda Maharaj will be representatives of the book distribution committee to Euro RGB body.
7. In the light of recent events in the USA in connection to ISKCON properties, Euro RGB body recognizes the utmost urgency and importance to safeguard the ISKCON properties in Europe by establishing a system which will deal with it. Practical steps towards this goal will be defining the rights and responsibilities of property trustees as well as following local laws in European countries connected with properties.
8. Next ELM (2 days) and Euro RGB (2 days) meeting: New Vraja Dham, last weekend 29.-30.9. ELM and 1.-2.10. Euro RGB
AP: Euro RGB secretary will compile a list of prerequisites to fulfil for leaders who want to host ELM or Euro RGB meeting in their yatra. The list will be sent out to European Leaders. A potential host can express their desire to host a meeting.
9. The situation in Munich – Munich temple will be closed by March 2018 due to contract not being extended. Devotees are looking to rent or buy a new place. They have a fundraising campaign which is authorized by the German national council executive committee.
10. Copyrighting the term ‘kirtan mela’ – Euro RGB body is not interested in pursuing this matter further.
11. Database protection and legal obligations – Jai Nitai das will inform the Euro RGB body about the recent developments in this field in the UK and European Union. Also, the body discussed the possibility of education in this matter to be organized during the next Euro RGB meeting in May 2018.
12. Mahaprabhu d made a presentation on the importance of communications and training in ISKCON before the Euro RGB body and the following resolutions were voted in:
…Whereas TPs and National Secretaries (Euro RGB Secretaries or Zonal Supervisors) must regularly deal with Authorities/Politicians, Religious Leaders, Media in the absence of Communications Directors
…Whereas it is important and beneficial for ISKCON leaders to regularly interact with leaders of society even if there is a Communications Director in the Temple or Yatra
…Whereas many of the problems our movement faced in the past were due to a lack of knowledge about the principles behind Communications and lack of basic skills in the field
Guideline: It is suggested that temple presidents and Euro RGB Secretaries/Zonal Supervisors follow the Communications Course within the next 2 years if they have not had any previous training*.
*In the case of previous education and training exceptions the Ministry of Communications will approve exceptions.
…Whereas it has already been decided by the Euro RGB that every Yatra have a Communications Director
…Whereas many Yatras/National Councils have failed to appoint a National Director/Coordinator
…Whereas it is essential that a Yatra have at least a national Communications Team
Guideline: It is suggested that in the absence of a Communication’s National Director or National Team to the best of their ability the Euro RGB Secretary/Zonal Supervisor will take that role and represent their Yatra at the European Communications Conferences and Meetings.
…Whereas the Global Communications Ministry has established that all ISKCON Temples have a Communications Director/Coordinator
…Whereas many Temples don’t have a Director/Coordinator
…Whereas it is essential for a Temple to have a representative that can deal with Government, Media, Religious Leaders, etc.
Guideline: In the absence of a temple director/coordinator of communications to the best of his/her ability the Temple President will take that role and attend the Communications Course in next 2 or 3 years. He/she can then represent that Temple at the National Communications Conferences, Strategic Planning Meetings for communications, etc..
13. Praghosa das gave a point of information that Abhinandana Nitay das (Slovenia) is planning to start the gathering of devotees who are business people in order to exchange ideas, best practices, share resources etc. Euro RGB body gives their approval for this initiative and asks for periodical reports on the development of the idea.