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Minutes from the General Assembly, Prague 2007

  1. Chairman opens the meeting.
  2. The minutes of the first assembly (2005) are accepted without changes.
  3. Overview of activities.
    The chairman gives an overview of different activities:
    • The conferences: in Barcelona there were 300 participants from 26 countries and 250 papers . In Prague there were 380 participants from 38 countries and more than 300 papers.
    • The constitution has been made at a notary in Barcelona. The only change is that the phrase “The association will exist for an indefinite time” has been added by the notary. There is an English and a Spanish version, both will be online. The Association has now also been registered officially in Spain. If people want changes proposals can be made for the next general assembly.
    • Daniel Oberski demonstrates the front page of the website and asks for improvements. The only request is to make the payments more easy. This will be arranged. The members show their appreciation for the website in a loud applause.
    • Peter Lynn gave a brief overview of the work done for the journal of ESRA called SRM which has been a big success shown in the number of contacts with the site. On the other hand it was a lot of work which will bring with it extra costs. The members show their appreciation for the journal in a loud applause.
    • The chairman mentions that we were not successful in an application for a grant from the ESS for a study of web surveys. The work is nevertheless going on. Several papers were presented at the conference on this issue.
  4. Financial report over 2005-2008.
    Joan Manuel Batista gave an overview of the revenues and expenses of the ESRA over the years. In 2005-2006 we received € 1.500 from ,membership fees. In 2007 we received another € 2.080 from membership fees and we expect to receive € 1.130 more in the same way. This leads to a budget of € 4.710. So far we paid only € 266 for the notary but we expect extra costs for the journal € 2.000. This leaves €2.444 at the end of this year. It has been expected that we have to spend approximately € 5.000 per annum for the preparation of the journal. This means that next year we run into problems with the journal if nothing is done.
    The conclusion was draw by the assembly that the memberships fee should be increased starting in 2008. The proposal is that people with higher salaries pay €30 per year or more and others €10. This is still very moderate but sufficient for our activities to be covered. If we have 200 senior members and 150 junior members we would receive (if all would pay) € 7.500 from memberships fees and that means that we can cover all necessary costs for the journal. A mail about this issue will be sent to all members of ESRA and all participants of the conference. We will offer the possibility to pay for a period of 2 years.
  5. Activities of ESRA in 2008-2009.
    Besides the activities with respect to the journal SRM and the web site, ESRA will participate in three conferences in 2008: RC33 in Naples, EAM (the place of the meeting is as yet unknown) and in the Berlin conference on comparative research (3MC). Especially the last one is very close to the topics of our conference.
    In 2009 we will organize the ESRA conference. The location of the conference has been discussed with Polish participants who are interested in organizing the conference but have to check the possibilities. So, other possibilities have also been left open.
  6. Membership of the ESRA committee.
    All members have accepted to remain in the committee for the moment while we will start at the next conference to replace committee members according to the constitutional requirements avoiding that all people resign at the same time. All ESRA members are invited to consider standing for election to the committee in 2009. We would like to achieve some kind of balance by gender, region and field.
  7. There were no other points to discuss.
  8. The chairman closed the meeting.