« Dear colleagues and dear friends,
The anniversary that we are celebrating is not like any other anniversary. The tenth anniversary is always an important date either in lives of people or in the life of organizations because it is always a sign of vitality and development. Voluntary organizations in the field of training and career guidance are few to show such longevity, most disappear after a few years of life.
The FECBOP was born in Paris in 2005, founded by the French network of CIBC and four other countries (Germany, Belgium, Italy and Portugal). Ten years later, the acceding countries have doubled with the accession of Central European countries (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic – whom I thank again for all that has been achieved during these two days, the exquisite courtesy and the excellent organization -, Hungary and Bulgaria); and most recently, the recent accession of Spain which is represented by the University of Valladolid and the “Observal center”, a prestigious organization that deals at national level with the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning.
All the new countries that have joined have brought new experiences, new enthusiasm, expertise, skill and professionalism. In addition, during the first ten years of our history, national networks have increased their membership within each country. And we always receive positive signs of growth almost everywhere.
Everything that happened during this decade is without a doubt the result of the commitment of everyone. But this is not sufficient to explain our success. I want to emphasize two fundamental reasons that I believe are the foundation of our history. These reasons are both of a strategic nature:
a) The first concerns the vocation of the FECBOP that was designed as an open and promotional organization that does not just organize the “existing” in the area of BdC and lifelong guidance in countries of the European Union; but it’s mission is to promote / encourage continuing spread of BdC and lifelong guidance, making quality its strength, without ever yielding to the temptation to barricade ourselves in a small sporadic circle of self-sufficient organizations. The FECBOP wants to weigh and count on the political level in Europe. And to do this we must be many and highly qualified at the same time.
b) The second reason is due in my opinion to the fact that the FECBOP since the beginning of its history wanted and knew how to tune with the great themes of training and guidance that are central and paradigmatic in politics of the European Union. This brief statement does not allow me to get to the heart of these issues. So I’ll just mention them as keywords: 1) lifelong guidance as a key part of lifelong learning; 2) transition management and accompaniment in personal and professional transition; 3) flexibility and security, that is to say flexicurity; 4) personal and social empowerment; 5) quality as a common denominator of the previous four. In other words, the key words of FECBOP are the keywords of the European Union in terms of training and guidance. This is also why our organization celebrates its tenth anniversary in good health.
Before concluding, I would like to extend heartfelt words of thanks to two persons in particular: our coordinator Serge Rochet and Vice-President Jacques Hofmans. Serge was the first creator of the FECBOP and he is the true backbone. I can say without fear of contradiction, that Serge is the history of the FECBOP. Jacques also is not just a man of the first hour of our Organization. For all these years, as Vice President he led us with competence, professionalism and wisdom. And I also want to thank all of you, both old and new, for your presence and commitment to a shared vision of guidance throughout life, for your ideas and potential innovation, for your ability to overcome local or national divisions to build together and go further for the development of our federation.»
In Bratislava, 9th October 2015