21 October 2020, 16.30 CEST, Online meeting

Members attended: According to the List of Participants

Sandra Kucina, EDEN President opened the AGM and announced that the Quorum of the AGM is available.


To consider:          matters arising from the minutes


To approve:          as a correct record, the minutes of the twenty eighth Annual General Meeting held in Bruges at 16 June 2019

Approved unanimously


To receive:            a report on the evaluation of developments of the Association since the last Annual General Meeting from the President

To approve:           EDEN President’s report


Highlights from the Report

o   Membership

EDEN membership has been an asset throughout the last years.

Institutional members 188

Individual members 286

Individuals in the Network of Academics and Professionals: 1053

Number of members raised in the ‘Student Chapter’ of EDEN:

continued support for the young scholars in the Association

o   Conference activities

·         2020 Annual Conference

held virtually with success, professional technical hosting by

Politehnica University of Timisoara

309 participants attended. There were 4 web streamed plenary sessions, 44 paper presentations, 12 workshops and trainings, one Synergy session, 11 posters and 2 demonstrations.

o   PhD symposia

·         The initiative has been recognised and became part of EDEN’s core activities.

·         At the Research Workshop, EDEN organised the 5th PhD Symposium

o   Council of EDEN Fellows

·         The Council of EDEN Fellows, including all Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Association, was founded two years ago with the aim of supporting the EDEN Community and the Executive Committee with an advisory role, serve as a think tank and as ambassador of EDEN.

·         As structural development, a Board of the Council has been elected.

The Chair of the Board, Lisa Marie Blaschke serves a standing invitee of the EC meetings.

The Board has continued working on the special projects: 

-        Current and future open education trends within socio-political contexts

-        Roles, responsibilities, and values of members of the EDEN Community

-        Strategic development of EDEN (2030)

o   EDEN Network of Academics and Professionals

·         Following elections in 2019-2020, EDEN has a new NAP Steering Committee.

·         Members of the new NAP Steering Committee:

Vlad Mihaescu, Chair of SC, Francesca Amenduni, Igor Balaban, Inés Gil Jaurena, Mohammad Sameer Hasan, Orna Farrell, Alfredo Soeiro – delegate from the EC

Sandra Kucina, President thanked Antonella Poce, the previous Steering Committee Chair for successfully leading the NAP SC in the previous years.

o   EDEN virtual events

·         European Distance Learning Week (EDLW 2019): 1639 registrations from 50 countries, 5800 webinar recording views by October 2020. 
EDLW was held in collaboration with  USDLA and with ODLAA as a special partner

·         NAP Webinars: in 2020: the 10 webinars attracted 1379 participants.

·         Open Education Week 2020 (OEW) EDEN has joined again the global movement and organised as successful webinar. There were altogether 6 webinars, 32 facilitators and 1080 participants from 50 countries from all over the world.

o   Publications

EURODL: published online, the visibility and academis value has further enhanced by introducing DOI to each article. A new contract with Sciendo Publishing was concluded in 2020 with increased profile of services for the readers and authors as well.
EURODL has 2849 subscriptions, 21829 users by October 2020.

16 double peer reviewed articles, 12 brief items and a special issue with selected 11 papers were published in 2019

There are 6 double peer reviewed articles and 13 more submitted articles in 2020/1,

In 2019, the Journal had 35 961 sessions and 29 525 users.

o   New EDEN initiatives in 2020

As the answer to the crisis in education caused by pandemic Covid-19, EDEN has promptly reacted and started the initiative Education in Time of a Pandemic aimed to educators and all those involved in education to help them  with shift to online and to support in the new situation.

Eleven webinars have been organised, with 35 speakers and moderators, over 3500 participants and more than 9100 views of recordings at the EDEN Youtube Channel

Based on the positive feedback received, another webinar series were offered in Autumn:
Education in time of a new normal with 6 webinars, 26 speakers and moderators, over 800 participants and 1064 views of recordings on Youtube.

EDEN is proud of the webinar presented by the European Commission DG EAC with the introduction of the New Digital Education Action Plan, with high level speakers.

o   UNESCO Global Education Coalition initiative launched by UNESCO.

EDEN has joined the COVID-19 Global Education Coalition initiative launched by UNESCO. We are providing free, continuous and high quality online support for the international open, distance and e-learning community of education by series of webinars about the emerging needs, demands, relevant solutions in the context of the epidemic for digital pedagogy, organization and delivery of learning.

o   Communication, Social media presence

·         The Spring and Autumn series have significantly enhanced the impact and visibility of EDEN.

·         We have introduced 4 new microsites

·         Published 7 EDEN Monthly Newsflashes

·         Issued 28 circulars

·         3 posts on the President’s Blog and 2 posts on the Fellows Blog

·         Twitter Facebook, LinkedIn: we had a significant increase in followers in 2020

·         EDEN YouTube Channel: Keynote interviews of the Annual Conference EDEN19’ have been published. Videorecording of the EDEN19’ and EDEN20’ plenary sessions is available.

·          All webinar sessions were streamed live, recordings have been archived and are well attended online

o   Awarding excellence

·         3 EDEN Senior Fellows, 5 EDEN Fellows

·         2 Best Research Paper Awards

·         1 Young scholar awards have been issued

We acknowledge with pleasure that high number of students are interested to participate in EDEN activities.

It was noted that in 2019-2020, 225 young scholars were supported by waiving their conference fees at the Annual Conference and at the Research Workshop.

o   Digital credentials

·         EDEN has issued 4248 digital badges in 2020 at the Annual Conference and the COVID webinars.

o   EU funded Projects in Progress

·         MicroHE - Support Future Learning Excellence through Micro Credentialing in Higher Education is coming to an end

·         R4C - Reflecting for Change

·         PLEAIDE - PLayful Environment for Inclusive leArning Design in Europe

The Erasmus+ Civil Society Co-operation (Operating Grant) is most significant support towards developing EDEN’s operational capacity, collaboration and solidarity in actions in our resources and helps to optimise the structured efficiency of resources.

o   Important trends observed

·         Webinars continue to be preferred to f2f training

·         Virtual events had to take over the traditional conferences due to COVID-19 restrictions

·         Growing importance of social media presence in maintaining the activity of networked organisations

o   Organisational Developments

·         EDEN has higher impact and outreach achieved

·         Significant support was received from the EU Civil Society Co-operation (Operating Grant)

·         The Association has been able to react promptly and efficiently to the new emerging situations

o   Raising awareness of EU policy initiatives and contribution to shaping EU policies

·         EDEN Executive Committee members have participated in the Commission ET 2020 Working Group on Digital Education, Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA).

·         EDEN was invited by the European Commission to provide views on the roadmap for the New Digital Education Action Plan, to take part in the linked EC research participatory action workshop in August 2020. Recently we had the chance to take part in the HEInnovate expert group, showing that EDEN is well recognized as player and stakeholder in bringing novelty and shaping new policies.

o   Impact of Brexit on EDEN’s Operations

EDEN had established a new legal entity in Estonia in order to take over the legacy of EDEN based in United Kingdom since 1991, after the Brexit. An agreement between the two entities has been prepared.

The President thanked the great work of the Executive Committee, EDEN Fellows, the NAP SC, and the Secretariat.

President’s report was approved by the AGM unanimously.



To receive:                          A report on activities and recent matters of the EDEN Fellows’ Council

In 2020 the Fellows have been involved in the #onlietogether webinar series by identifying speakers and similarly in the EODLW, the MicroHE panel, the PhD symposium.

Ines Gil Jaurena, who is member of the NAP Steering Committee, is also a new member of the EDEN Fellows Council to strengthen the cooperation with NAP.

There was a Fellows’ meeting held in July and two Fellows’ blogs were published.

Currently the Fellows’ Council is working on three projects:

1-      EDEN 2030, led by Deborah Arnold together with Albert Sangra and Antonio Teixeira, aims to support the EDEN EC and to shape strategic development of EDEN for the next decade. We held a workshop on this item at the EDEN Annual Conference in 2020. We are continuing to work with the EC on defining and refining future needs and actions for assisting the EC.

2-      EDEN PreVisions, led by Antonio Teixeira and supported by Deborah Arnold, Don Olcott and Christian Schumann, aims to identify present and future trends in the field of open distance and network education within socio-political context. We are moving forward with this with a Delphi study and the field work will start at the end of 2020 with the first survey to the fellows.

3-      EDEN community, coordinated by Don Olcott, Alastair Creelman and Lisa Marie Blaschke, is searching for ways to further integrate EDEN members into the organisation as well as define member roles and values and expand our network of professionals. We are working on developing a mentoring scheme and then distributing a survey to EDEN senior fellows to gather data, information about the fellows in order to identify where our strengths are, so that we can better identify possibilities for mentoring within the organization.

The Council will continue working with the EC on the EDEN values and we will be holding a Fellows’ meeting at the Annual conference in Madrid where further guidelines will be defined for the board membership.

The report on activities and recent matters of the EDEN Fellows’ Council was received and endorsed by the AGM.


To receive:             a report on the activities of the Executive Committee and the Secretariat to ensure the continuing operation of EDEN considering the Brexit developments

To approve:          a proposal on legal actions towards sustained EDEN legacy in the European Union and the UK

Brexit developments AGM29

András Szűcs, Secretary General presented what has been done by the EDEN Board and the Secretariat to ensure the continuity of activities and EU relations of EDEN.


·         EDEN operates since 1992 as non-profit Company limited by Guarantee in the UK.

·         Partner of the European Commission, beneficiary of EU programmes funding. Erasmus+ Civil Society Cooperation in Education and Training program offers policy partnership and financial contribution to the activities of EDEN.

·         Brexit - the continuation of EDEN mission as a UK based legal entity will be ceased after leaving UK the EU on 31 December 2019 and the 2020 transitional year.

·         Potential consequences for EDEN: loosing impact and outreach, face a weakened financial basis.

·         Erasmus+ Framework Agreement:

“If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU (no-deal Brexit) ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding.”

·         There may be later agreements between the UK and the EU maintaining some form of involvement of UK based institutions in the programmes after Brexit but this is uncertain.

·         The EDEN Executive Committee, since October 2018, has dealt with the Brexit consequences as priority, aiming uninterrupted operation and sustained outreach of the Association. This is not only for the eligibility of EU funding but for the maintenance of the high value European network of members and partners, community of scholars and practitioners


·         EACEA (EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), further lawyers and international advisors, EDEN’s auditors (UK) have been consulted

Decision (2019)

·         creation of a new entity in an EU country which is able to take over partly or fully the activities of EDEN

Request of EACEA

·         the new organisation, based in another country, is a credible entity and complies with all the requirements mentioned in the Civil Society Co-operation (Operating) Grant Call and that

·         in essence it is the same entity of EDEN, ensuring the continuity of operations: it has the same membership, the same work programme, the same management structure of EDEN.

“EDEN Digital Learning Europe”

·         A non-profit organisation (Association, “Mittetulundusühing/MTÜ” with the name EDEN Digital Learning Europe (EDEN Europe) was registered in March 2019 in Estonia under the Estonian Non-profit Associations Act, with virtual office in Tallinn

·         Estonia - a highly digitalised EU country: legislation, operation of a non-profit organisation is reasonable, flexible and supported by excellent online infrastructure, digital tools and procedures.

·         Taxing, VAT less beneficial than EDEN enjoyed in the UK.

·         The Founders were three private persons with endorsement of the EDEN Executive


EDEN UK – EDEN Europe relations

·         EDEN EC decision: Principles of relations between EDEN UK and EDEN EE

o   The aims of EDEN as set in the original Constitution and unchanged since 1992 should remain identical, and the legacy of the Association has to be carried forward.

o   Activities, services, and operations, including governance and structure should be present in the new organisation.

Cooperation Agreement

·         Cooperation Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding about Transfer of Activities has been drafted:

o   empowering and entitling EDEN Europe to perform the same activities and functions that EDEN UK does.

o   conferring rights to EDEN Europe to supplement / substitute the EDEN UK in its functions

o   includes permission for EDEN Europe to rely on the resources of EDEN UK (know-how, web page, databases, intellectual property) - for the same purposes as EDEN UK has been doing.

o   Agreement would be activated in “worse case”: a no-deal Brexit late 2020

Present status – Future steps

·         Last minute tensions with Brexit late 2020

·         EDEN UK remains beneficiary of the Erasmus+ Projects granted in the transitional year (2020) until the duration of the project agreement

·         Operating Grant – Commission decision:

the 2018-2020 Framework Agreement extended for 2021 in October 2020

·         EDEN Europe (Estonia) may serve as solution after the 2021

·         No EDEN Constitutional changes are necessary at the time being

·         EDEN UK will remain operational and functioning

Membership issue EDEN UK – EDEN Europe - How the membership of EDEN UK can be sustained for EDEN Europe?

o The EDEN UK Secretariat will contact each EDEN member, via registered mail (or any other tool on the condition that the tool applied shall give appropriate evidence of the


o The notification will contain an info sheet informing the members on the background and reasons of foundation of EDEN Europe

o A statement will be applied regarding that unless otherwise instructed by the member, within 15 days from the reception of the notification, the member shall automatically become a full member of the EDEN Europe as well.

o Joining EDEN Europe will not foster any further membership fee charge or the elevation of the current EDEN UK membership fee.

o Following the above procedure, members of EDEN UK could join EDEN Europe with their silence (no reaction to the notification sent). In this particular case, silence gives consent.

o The silence-gives-consent principle is backed up by existing jurisprudence: not excluded by the statutory law of Estonia, neither excluded by the Estonian non-profit associations judiciary.

AGM decisions proposed:

1.       The 2020 EDEN Annual General Meeting has noted and approved the report on the activities of the Executive Committee and the Secretariat regarding Brexit consequences on EDEN and the arrangements in order to maintain the continuity of operations of the Association.

2.       The extended membership procedure EDEN UK – EDEN Europe is endorsed by the AGM, in support of the sustained legacy of the professional community

Proposals approved with 18 votes in favour and 1 abstension.


To receive:            a report on the developments concerning NAP from the Chair of the NAP Steering Committee


Vlad Mihaescu, NAP Chair presented a report on recent developments and activites of the NAP Steering Committe:

·         Election of the new NAP SC – NAP SC members

o   Vlad Mihaescu, CHAIR OF EDEN NAP STEERING COMMITTEE, Politehnica Unviersity Timisoara, Romania

o   Francesca Amenduni, University Roma Tre, Italy

o   Igor Balaban, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics, Varazdin, Croatia

o   Orna Farrell, National Institute of Digital Learning, Dublin City University, Ireland

o   Inés Gil Jaurena, UNED, Spain

o   Mohammad Sameer Hasan, Universal Institute of Professional Management, India

o   Alfredo Soeiro, University of Porto, Portugal

·         Four NAP SC online meetings have been organised since the elections

·         NAP SC activites:

o   EDEN NAP Webinars – foreseen for first Wednesday of each month.

October 7th, Designing online courses: a practical approach

o   November 4th, Practical and pedagogical ways to assess your students online (during EODLW)

o   December 2nd, Critical Thinking in Education

o   EDEN NAP members' awareness and needs questionnaire

o   EDEN NAP Workshop as part of RWSH 2020 - October 21st

o   EDEN Chats – to be redesigned

o   EDEN NAP Website update – the SC is working on a new structure proposal

The NAP Chair report was received and endorsed by the AGM.

6.        FINANCES

András Szűcs, Secretary General presented the three related items.

Three documents were presented with the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the Treasurer.

To approve:          Statement of the financial Activities of EDEN for the year 2019

Approved unanimously

To approve:          the membership fees for 2021 recommended by the Executive Committee

Approved unanimously

To approve:          the proposed budget for 2021 recommended by the Executive Committee

Approved unanimously


To receive:            a report on the progress of the Journal from the Chair of the Editorial Board

            EURODL Report

            Dr. Ulrich Bernath, Chief Editor of EURODL presented the report.

            The report on EURODL was received and endorsed by the AGM.


To receive:            a report on the preparations for the upcoming Conferences organised by EDEN

The 30th Annual Conference will be organized in Madrid. The host university will be UNED.

The report on future EDEN conferences was received by the AGM.

Sandra Kucina Softic, President thanked to all for attending and closed the online Annual General Meeting 2020.