Letter from EUGEO President

Dear EUGEO representatives,

After the 7th EUGEO Congress that took place earlier in May I would like to provide you a short summary on some recent developments within the EUGEO community, and draw your attention to future plans and programmes.

Firstly, the “Night of Geography 2019” was held on 5th April this year. This was already the third edition of the Nuits de la Géographie initiated by CNFG in order to increase the recognition of geographers and geographical knowledge among the public. This year the event really crossed the boundaries of Europe with location in Africa and the Pacific and became truly global. We have good hope that the expansion will continue and the Night of Geography may become an official programme of UNESCO in the framework of the International Basic Sciences Programme. We do not know yet if the Night of Geography would become a world-wide initiative in the future, nevertheless, I am convinced that it will be important part of the European calendar of geographers also next year. The date of Night of Geography 2020 is set for 3rd April (Friday) 2020. Please circulate the information among your members and start thinking of possible events and perhaps joint initiatives.

Secondly, the 7th EUGEO Congress was held in Galway 15-18 May 2019 in conjunction with the 51st Conference of Irish Geographers. The 7th Congress proved to be a success in many respects. The theme for the 2019 event was ‘Re-imagining Europe’s Future Society and Landscapes’. The number of registered delegates was 445 from 37 countries who had the chance to attend various interactive panels, paper and poster sessions as well as early career networking events and international keynote lectures during the four-day event. We would like to thank our Irish colleagues especially Kathy Reilly and Frances Fahy for the excellent organization. The congress also provided good opportunities to widen the international relations of EUGEO. IGU President Yukio Himiyama and Secretary General RB Singh attended the opening ceremony of the congress.

During the talks we were informed that the EUGEO formula of organizing international congresses between IGU congresses at the continental level was taken over by the Asian geographical societies recently. This confirms that we are on the right track and we should increase the visibility of EUGEO congresses and other programmes. At the end of the Galway congress a joint meeting was held between EC members of EUGEO and IGU (Kolossov, Droogleever Fortuijn, Lemarchand, Lois González) where the possibility of upcoming joint actions was discussed.

During the congress the 2019 General Assembly of EUGEO was held. It was very encouraging that the number of member societies represented in the room was over 20. As this is the main decision making body of EUGEO we would like to maintain this turnout rate in the future and try to reduce the number of ‘sleeping’ societies. This is necessary to make the functioning of EUGEO more efficient and democratic. During the GA Leo Paul from the University of Utrecht was elected as treasurer and EC member of EUGEO. Leo will also represent our Dutch member society KNAG in EUGEO in the future.

Several important issues were discussed during the General Assembly, including the Hellenic Geographical Society as a new EUGEO member and the Annual Report and Financial Report of 2018. Our next General Assembly adjoining the 2020 EUGEO Seminar is planned to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The date will be confirmed soon. The 8th EUGEO Congress and General Assembly will be held in Prague, Czechia, summer 2021.

As it was emphasized in Galway the EC invites every society to consider the organization of the 9th and 10th EUGEO Congress in 2023 and 2025 respectively. Candidates for the 2024 Seminar are also welcome. You are most welcome to approach me personally or via e-mail in this affair.

Finally, the next major geographical event at the European and global scale is the 34th International Geographical Congress (IGC) which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, 17-21 August, 2020. The theme of the congress is Geography: Bridging the Continents. The conference location itself bridges two continents and different cultures and due to its easy accessibility Istanbul provides good opportunities for European geography and geographers to show up. Within the broader congress theme the following 6 topics were set as core issues by the local organizers: Globalization vs Localization, Climate Change, Migration and Conflicts, Earth and Disasters, Eurasia and Middle East Studies, Anthropocene. You can submit proposals for themed sessions under the six key topics until July 31, 2019. Please mobilize your members and try to nominate as many sessions as possible. I very much hope a good attendance of European geographers and visibility of our member societies in Istanbul at the next IGC.

Finally, I wish all of you a relaxing summer holiday.

Zoltán Kovács

President of EUGEO

For more details about EUGEO Association of Geographical Societies in Europe, please visit EUGEO website: http://eugeo.eu/.