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welcome to all of you who joined us in January and hello to everyone else who has been expecting the monthly newsletter. A day later than planned it's coming your way.
The London European Club has so many organisers now who are doing so much for this Club, preparing events, walks, taking us to concerts, exhibitions, trips abroad, coffee meetups...that I feel that it may sound a bit presumptous to call myself the Organiser. But someone needs to be the one who drives this Club in a certain direction and that is still me, the woman who started it a year and a half ago, just because I thought I could do something different with a meetup group and couldn't find a group that focuses on European culture.
Those of you who are new may be wondering why we have certain rules (if you want to read about the rules please go to http://www.meetup.com...), why we have so many events per month and why we restrict numbers to events. It is simply because we have discovered that banning people who don't show up at events gives space to those who want to come and deleting inactive profiles creates a real feel of how many members actively participate in activities. The European Club is not the largest meetup group in London, but it certainly is a very active one. We also think that mass gatherings are not the best way to connect with people and develop a debate, so we restrict numbers to managable level, to give an opportunity to Europeans to get to know each other. Having a variety of events means that members can meet on different levels, while having coffee together, hiking, travelling, partying, debating...
So the only thing you need to do as a member is to RSVP accurately, come to events and be active or if you find our rules restrictive- to leave the Club. I have been on Meetup for a couple of years now and the main "complaint" I hear is that "you never meet the same people" and that conversations are "shallow". This can be true in every meetup group including the European Club. If you only come once and you expect to have the most profund discussion you may be dissapointed (or you may get lucky). But if you come on a regular basis and you make an effort to spend some time with the people you meet, I am sure you will have a great experience. I certainly do, but then again I have been to over 120 events in the last year and a half.
As I recently came back from the wonderful Italian trip that Penny organised for us I am impressed by how well it worked out and how much we saw in such a short amount of time http://www.meetup.com... I feel that the best way to get to know a country is to visit it with locals and I'm planning a few more trips for the Europeans. We also attended a talk about Berlusconi and the freedom of media at the Frontline Club and we are having an Italian party on the 11th of February. I hope you don't think we have overdone Italy, but if you feel that you'd like to present your country in the best possible light invite us to an event that you think would be of interest to other fellow Europeans. This is how exisiting organisers became organisers in the European Club.
Last but not least I'd like to point out a project that one of our members Myko is working on. It's called Together an Ocean http://togetheranocea... and he is looking for volunteers who'd be happy to talk about the country they come from. If you feel inspired click the link and get in touch with Myko.
I used to list all the upcoming events in the newsletters, but that would take a while now. We had 14 events in January and there are already 9 in the February calendar and I know more are being prepared. So check the European calendar on regular basis and find something that is of interest to you.
I look forward to meeting you soon.
Maja (pronounced Maya)