17th Round Table Europe – 24 November 2023 – Brussels


Cyril Ritchie

President of UIA

"War, Peace, Politics, Associations – Chapter 2"

The UIA President writes: "After I spoke on this topic at the 2022 UIA Associations Round Table Europe in Rotterdam, I received so many (mostly!) positive comments and compliments that I feel compelled to pursue the subject at the 2023 Round Tables. Thus, the Keynote of 2022 becomes Chapter 1, and of 2023: Chapter 2.

I shall hope to again stimulate reactions and engaged discussion."

"The relations between the United Nations and Associations/NGOs: Why? How? What? What future ?"

The United Nations Charter adopted in 1945 re-labelled Associations as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for purposes of creating an ongoing relationship. Thousands of NGOs now have a Consultative or similar status with many of the 50 entities that make up the United Nations System.

The Workshop will explain the history, usages, potentialities, benefits, complications and possible future(s).

Whether your Association has a UN status or not, you will find it to be more rewarding and more baffling than imagined!


Marijke Roelants

Managing Partner - BoldLAW

"How to capture your association’s cooperation in a contract"

Forging cross border alliances belongs to the core of international associations. After initial talks and maybe some initial cooperation to test the waters, it is possible your association is looking to collaborate more with an organization.

When setting up a cooperation, you will need a contract to make sure that the participants share the same vision of the future for this cooperation and that it is clear who does what. This means that you will have to take a moment to consider which legal terms are appropriate for the kind of relationship that your association is looking for. There are several options laid out before you, but how to choose between them?

This workshop is designed to give you insight in how you can make the right decisions in legal terms. We will also explain in plain English some important terms of every cooperation contract.

We especially welcome questions from delegates during the session, which will be answered on the spot based on our experience.


Marijke is Managing Partner at BoldLAW, a Brussels based law firm specialized in the management and operation of companies and associations and the drafting of collaboration contracts. Marijke is an experienced lawyer with over 15 years in assisting both international and Belgian firms and associations and works in English, Dutch and French. Clients praise Marijke for her clear communication and analytical skills helping them to move forward quickly and constructively.

Apart from being a lawyer, Marijke is also academically active. Since more than 10 years she is a member of the editorial board of the most distinguished corporate and association law review in Belgium, TRV-RPS (‘Tijdschrift voor Rechtspersoon en Vennootschapsrecht- Revue pratique des sociétés’). Marijke also writes about association law reform and gives seminars for the Belgian Institute of Tax Advisors and Accountants about the General Assembly and the role of the Board of Directors in relation to the approval of the annual accounts.

Virginie De Visscher

Executive Director, Business Events, Destination Canada

"Event sustainability – 10 small changes that will inspire"

While they champion sustainable events, the perception among association executives is that they are challenging and costly to plan. Add in soaring inflation and shrinking budgets and many feel they are unattainable.

This workshop will debunk this misconception by sharing actionable tips to integrate sustainability measures easily and budget friendly.

A case study on a carbon neutral event will be unpacked and participants can leverage the learning into developing their own future action items.


Executive Director, Business Events, Virginie De Visscher has a tenacious determination to reimagine how the country attracts business events to its destinations.

An innovative thinker with a highly collaborative approach, Virginie has extensive experience in business development, international operations and humanitarian aid; from leading international trade missions to managing coffee and cocoa operations in East Africa.

With an infectious enthusiasm and passion for topics that range from sustainability to meeting trends, Virginie is a highly sought speaker and thought leader. A biosystems engineer by trade, she has received a wide range of certifications, including her Sustainable Excellence Professional designation from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals and Certified International Trade Professional designation through the Forum for International Trade Training.

Frédéric Destrebecq

Executive Director, European Brain Foundation / European Brain Centre

"Expanding the outreach and capacity of your association’s community – how to reach out to sponsors and funders"

The European Brain Foundation is an independent multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder charity. Its goal is to support those living with brain conditions and raise awareness about brain health in Europe and beyond.
With the creation of this Foundation, the European Brain Council did set itself the challenge of opening a new venture of engagement that involves specific fundraising activities. These actually aim at reaching out to funders that are not traditionally positioned in the brain space.
For the purpose of the workshop, the theory on value creation and value capturing will guide this interactive session and discussions.


Frédéric Destrebecq is the Executive Director of the European Brain Council and European Brain Foundation. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership while managing the day-to-day operations of EBF and its ongoing relationships with its member associations and other stakeholders, as well as representing the organization in various European and national forums.

Prior to this position, Fred served the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) as Chief Executive Officer, and previously as Director for European Affairs.

Fred holds a Master´s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). He also studied at the Institut d´études politiques (Paris) and University of Wales College (Cardiff), in the framework of the former EU Socrates exchange programme.

YMCA Europe

Juan Simoes Iglesias & Olga Lukina

"Empowering the Next Generation: How to Make Your Association Youth-Friendly?"

During the workshop we will raise and discuss the critical questions of the topics, such as:

  • What is wrong with the title of this workshop?
  • Why don't we trust young people?
  • What is the intergenerational approach?
  • What are specific examples of youth empowerment tools within civil society organisations?

The trainers will mostly use the methods of joint discussions and short presentations.


Juan Simoes Iglesias

Secretary General, YMCA Europe

With a bachelor's degree in Social Education, Juan Simoes Iglesias serves as Secretary General of YMCA Europe (appointed in 2011), the Area Organisation that represents 37 national movements in the continent, providing programmes, strategic direction and support.

Previously he was the Secretary General of YMCA Spain (1999-2011) developing his responsibilities at national level and coordinating 10 local associations within a centralized structure. He worked as Executive Local Secretary at the Salamanca YMCA (1988-1991) and the Zaragoza YMCA (1991-1998) combining those roles with his volunteer commitment at the Youth and the Volunteers organisations network at national and regional levels in Spain.

Juan is a social educator, camp director and passionate about the role and capacity of civil society organisations with a focus on youth development.

Olga Lukina

Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening and Strategy, YMCA Europe

Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening and Strategy, working in YMCA Europe since 2015.

Responsible for designing and delivering capacity building tools for the members of YMCA Europe: training and education, health assessment, consultations, best practices, etc.

Since 2000 has been a volunteer in YMCA Belarus, including the President position, then was a staff member, fulfilling the duties of Project Manager. Possessing the experience of two terms in the Executive Committee of YMCA Europe.

Proud of skills and knowledge gained through rich practical experience and a wide range of non-formal education trainings (f.e., Training the Trainers, Training the Program Developers, Governance for Board members, “Change Agents”, effective communication, conflict solving, project management, project applications design, management of non-governmental organisations, social inclusion, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, human rights, social entrepreneurship, quality standards in non-formal education, etc.).

These skills, together with the Bachelor degree in teaching and methodology, gives Olga the opportunity to provide effective support by the most engaging format.

Chloé Menhinick

Association & Legacy Advisor

"Time for a Membership Strategy Health Check"

Are you looking to grow and engage your association’s membership? This workshop will guide you through every step of the process, from defining your membership goals and objectives to creating targeted strategies to achieve them. Whether you’re looking to attract new members, retain existing members, or enhance member engagement, this is an opportunity to conduct a health check on your existing membership strategy and to enhance its value for both your members and your association.


Chloé Menhinick specializes in strategic development of associations, focusing in particular on Strategic Legacy & Impact Planning, Membership & Network Growth and Sustainability Strategies.

Chloé has also been a principal driver for the recent development of industry knowledge and capacity in strategic meeting legacy and impact planning, implementation and measurement, and is recognized as a key industry thought leader in this new realm of knowledge and practice.

Daniel Laqua

Associate Professor at Northumbria University


Daniel Laqua is Associate Professor at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

He is the author of Activism across Borders since 1870: Causes, Campaigns and Conflicts in and beyond Europe (London, 2023) and The Age of Internationalism and Belgium, 1880–1930: Peace, Progress and Prestige (Manchester, 2013) as well as the (co-)editor of three books and six special issues of academic journals.

He has published widely on the history of international movements and organisations, including a volume on the history of UIA, International Organizations and Global Civil Society: Histories of the Union of International Associations (London, 2019).

Philippe Noirhomme

European VAT Desk

"VAT and related issues concerning international associations"

VAT is a constant source of concern for international associations in their daily activities and especially when they are organizing conferences in their own country or another. Philippe Noirhomme will discuss the information needed to clarify the situation regarding this tax and its application.

A special focus will be given to webinars and virtual educational activities due to new EU regulation.


Philippe Noirhomme is a certified tax adviser working with European VAT Desk. He previously spent 11 years with Ernst & Young Tax Consultants in the Indirect Tax department, and is currently a Lecturer at the Tax Institute of the University of Liège and Teacher at Solvay Brussels School (Executive Master in International Association Management). He is co-author of “VAT Package : the new rules applicable to services”, published by Editions Larcier in January 2010.

Philippe Noirhomme, conseil fiscal agréé, Cabinet EUROPEAN VAT DESK, a travaillé pendant 11 ans au sein du département Indirect Tax d'Ernst & Young Tax Consultants et est Maître de conférence au Tax Institute de l'ULiège et Instructeur à la Solvay Brussels School (Executive Master in International Association Management). Il est notamment co-auteur du livre VAT PACKAGE - Les nouvelles règles applicables aux prestations de services - paru aux Editions Larcier en janvier 2010.

"Achieving goals, finding partners: UIA’s Global Civil Society Database"

UIA provides tools and data to help associations with their outreach, event planning and more. Ryan will present a number of UIA's tools, including a live demo of 'Open Yearbook' and 'Open Calendar', explain the history and future plans of the Global Civil Society Database, and will answer questions about how associations can best take advantage of these free resources.


Ryan has worked as a web and database developer at UIA since 2011. He is responsible for the user interface of UIA's databases, the ongoing development of its website and the visual identity of the organization. He also provides regular training sessions on the use of UIA's Yearbook of International Organizations and International Congress Calendar digital publications.

Before joining UIA, Ryan ran a communications design studio crafting online identities for associations and small businesses.