For this reason we have divided the application form in different sections.

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To ensure the governance of the organisation, it is important to put emphasis                          on the diversity among Board members, both by representing the various                      Member Organisations , the knowledge they bring to the organisation but                      also in terms of skill-set and competencies to ensure that the individual                        Board members complement each other and come together to become a                      strong, strategic and effective Board.  


For this reason we have divided the application form in different sections.    

The first identifies the general information and availability of candidates.    

The second one focuses on the individual candidates experience as well as                        vision for the organisation. Please ensure in this section that ​                   no answer is      more than a page.  


The third section looks at the different skills and competencies that the Board                          as a whole should have when they come together as one body. This is to                              ensure that the Board as a body has all the necessary skills and                          competencies through the various individuals that compose it.  


This means that no one individual needs to have all the necessary elements,                          but by bringing together these 11 individuals the board as a whole would.                          Good governance starts with a well-rounded board, meaning that the Board                      skills composite, or Board as a whole, should ideally have strength in each of                            the areas. The last section is therefore a self-reflection exercise on these skills                          and competencies. 



Board Member of the European Youth Forum

This form must be filled in and sent back (in pdf ​and doc format) to the                                Secretariat  (​​),  together  with  the  nomination and acceptance letters by ​         Tuesday ​06 October 2020 (23:59        CET).  


This form will be published on the European Youth Forum website after                        the deadline for application and be accessible to Member Organisations                    and the general public.


SECTION 1 - General information & availability        NAME  Paulína  SURNAME  Jalakšová 

MEMBER ORGANISATION  World Esperanto Youth Organisation (TEJO)  NOMINATING  


World Esperanto Youth Organisation (TEJO) 

DATE OF BIRTH  06/01/1996 

GENDER   Female 

PRONOUN  She/her 

Would you be able to attend at least 20 meetings per year (on average                            2-3 days each) on weekends or weekdays – and be available on other                          occasions on an ad hoc basis? 


Are you fluent in English or French, with preferably knowledge of the                        other language? 


YES – I am fluent in both   

Are you available to travel extensively?   



SECTION 2 - Experience & vision 


1. What is your proudest achievement in the youth space (either                    individually or as part of a team)? Why is it so meaningful to you? 

I dare to say that one of the major challenges and successes of TEJO (and I was lucky enough to be a part of it) was organising our annual International Youth Congress (IJK) in a small African country, Togo, in 2017. It was possible because of an Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building in the Field of Youth project. It was a great and extremely fulfilling opportunity for intercultural learning for every participant from both continents, especially since it is considered as a good practices project. I cooperated with young Africans but also Europeans and learned from them and their diverse cultural backgrounds. It is also what sparked my extensive interest in funding, projects and non-formal education in general. It is important that European youth organisations have further opportunities to conduct such activities with proper funding coming from the EU and other institutions.

InĈEJ (the Czech Esperanto Youth Organisation), we started a tradition of participating at the events of the organisation ‘Forum 2000’, which has the main goal of supporting the values of democracy and respect for human rights. The most important of the events would be the Festival of Democracy in Prague, where we presented language issues in the context of democracy. Another success would be the coordination of a KA2 Strategic Partnership project during which we visited, for example, an African Refugee Centre in Toulouse, France, which brought me closer to the understanding of the situation of various marginalised groups in Europe.

There were also some other successes for me in SKEJ (the Slovak Esperanto Youth Organisation). Examples include becoming an observer member of the National Youth Council of Slovakia and strengthening the cooperation of youth NGOs in Slovakia, participation in various Erasmus+ and EYF projects, organisation of the Universal Congress of Esperanto with around 1600 participants in 2016, or being delegated to be a programme coordinator of IJK 2018 in Spain, with the topic of Gender Equality. Two main ones, however, would be our UPR (Universal Periodical Review) submission in 2018, where we created and presented a set of recommendations concerning the situation of the Roma youth. From this experience, I brought interest in youth rights and understanding of related mechanisms and processes, but also a strong interest to improve the situation of this and other marginalised groups. The second one would be the organisation of IJK 2019 in Slovakia. There again, I was the programme coordinator with the topic ​Against Prejudice. During this event, we cooperated with UNITED for

Intercultural Organisation, and later that year, I represented SKEJ at their conference, which brought me to being a member of the International Preparatory Group of their last conference taking place in October 2020. Coordinating the programmes of IJK on the above-mentioned topics, I learned a lot about the areas of inclusion and equality from


2. As you negotiate internally and engage externally you will often                    need to find areas of compromise. Can you give an example of when                          you found a compromise and explain how you would approach                    negotiation in a Board meeting? 

I have been a board member of two smaller organisations, where I was not directly involved in any major conflict inside of the board. However, when deciding about the host of IJK 2019, TEJO had to choose between two of the member organisations - my organisation, SKEJ, and the Dutch Esperanto Youth Organisation (NEJ). This fact caused competition between the two organisations especially during a major event (Youth Esperanto Week), where both groups were present. In the end, both organisations succeeded to stay calm and the decision was made in the favour of SKEJ. Additionally, we established cooperation between the two boards and arranged an exchange with the representatives of NEJ. In the exchange, they came to IJK in Slovakia to help and learn, and our representatives were to come to IJK 2020 that should have taken place in the Netherlands.

In general, I am a very non-conflict individual that likes to solve issues with facts, reason, and a calm approach, but does not give-up fast either when believing in something, which brings me to another example.

Recently, in TEJO we came up with an idea for a KA2 Strategic Partnership project on the topic of European recognition of the Romani language. I prepared a concept for the project and sent it to a representative of a Roma organisation that I met during the UNITED conference several months prior to a proposal for cooperation. We received a strict no as a response from the organisation while they also expressed their impression that we want to use their minority status to acquire funding. I understood their concern and tried to explain our reasons and motivation. In the end, we agreed on them applying as coordinators of the project with us as partners and on some adjustments based on their ideas. Unfortunately, this cooperation had to be postponed due to the current pandemic situation, which shifted the priorities of the organisation.

Overall, I am a level-headed person that likes to make an informed decision and relies on research about topics. I would not discredit the opinions of others but rather listen to their point of view and in case of further disagreement use only arguments based on logic. I am also empathetic, which can be proven by my four yearlong successful working experience in recruitment. There I functioned mainly as a mediator between candidates and clients, which often included disagreements and, consequently, negotiation.


3. What is the best public speech you have ever seen/watched? Why?                      What is your personal experience in public speaking?  

My favourite speech is the classic of Charlie Chaplin from the movie Great Dictator. I am aware that it was not a public speech per se, rather than a scripted part of a movie, but the emotion and intention were undoubtedly real, especially coming from a person famous for their silence. It is safe to say that the delivery was spotless, and, unfortunately, the message is relevant even in the year 2020. His powerful words addressed inclusion in the phrases “ …I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, Gentile, Black Man, White ”; he addressed our resources in “ …and the good Earth is rich and can provide for everyone …”; and the words especially relevant in the current pandemic situation are “…The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all …”. He describes what was wrong in the world in 1940, but is also applicable for the challenges we face in 2020, some more, than others. We need to stand with young people fighting for their democratic future in Belarus, or against unjust attacks in Armenia, or for equality in Poland, and for us all, because we want the Earth to survive the climate crisis. However, his message of despair eventually turns to a message of hope and as he believes that the people can change the world for the better, I believe in it too. Personally, I have both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience in public speaking. I had a subject translating to English as Contemporary Rhetoric, where I finished on top of my class. Concerning the experience, I have had many opportunities to put my knowledge in practice, both in my university and in the youth field: I made a plenary presentation about influence of language on our way of thinking at YFJ General Assembly in 2018; as a member of the organisation team of multiple events, I spoke in front of hundreds of people; and I conducted several online activities during the pandemic. However, my skills are not perfect, but I believe that I can improve.


SECTION 3 - Self-assessment 


This section looks at the different skills and competencies that the Board as                          a whole should have when they come together as one body. This is to ensure                              that the Board as a body has all the necessary skills and competencies                          through the various individuals that compose it.  


This means that no one individual needs to have all the necessary elements,                          but by bringing together these 11 individuals the board as a whole would.                          Good governance starts with a well-rounded board, meaning that the Board                      skills composite, or Board as a whole, should ideally have strength in each of                            the areas. The last section is therefore a self-reflection exercise on these skills                          and competencies. 


How to fill it in?    

7 competencies are presented and explained in the matrix below. Each       

candidate is invited to self-assess their competencies by rating from ​1 to 5​,             

meaning:     1 - Expert   2- Experienced  3 - Ok  4 - Less experienced   5 - No experience   

The candidate can provide further explanation if needed in the last       


Competencies  Explanation  Why  Self- 

assess ment 

Short justification of your response 

Leadership  Ability to 

provide vision  to the  organisation  and to lead by 


The Board will  have to lead  the  conversation  to develop the  next Strategic  Priorities. 

2     I am a president and a vice-president of        two  national  organisations  with  international reach. I was also the        programme coordinator of events with          hundreds of participants and have a        significant understanding, but I still have        space for improvement.  


Governance  Understanding  of the  principles of  good  governance,  the  organisation’s  structure and  functioning &  the distinction  between the  roles of the  Board,  Management  and  Secretariat.  

The Board will  need to 

ensure  oversight of 

the work of  the different  bodies of the  organisation  (CBMA, FCC,  Secretariat  etc.) 

1  I have a solid experience in and        understanding of this area from TEJO,        SKEJ and ĈEJ. Even though, I gave myself        a 1, I am still open to further learning,        which goes for other sections as well.  


representation  represent the Ability to  organisation  and bring key  messages to 

relevant  events and 


The Board is  the public face 

of the  organisation.  Board  members are  invited to  attend and  represent the  organisation at  numerous  events and  meetings.  

2 I represented TEJO on various occasions        with the YFJ, at Yo!Fest, but with other        organisations  such  as  UNITED  for  Intercultural Action as well.  


management  Ability to interpret  financial  documents  and trends to 

assess  financial  health of an  organisation. 

The Board is  financially and  legally  responsible for  the  organisation  and has  oversight of  the finances.  

1 I am a Master student of General Finance        and Behavioural Economics, where I          choose subjects specifically dedicated to          finances of NGOS and public finance of        the EU. I am also the grant officer of        TEJO.   

Policy & 

Advocacy  Ability to provide  strategic  direction to  the  development  of the  organisation’s 

The Board has  to provide  direction to  the  development  of policy  positions  (policy papers,  2

In the last few years, I have reviewed        every YFJ policy paper and pushed        amendments for some of them, on behalf        of TEJO. I also contributed to the drafting        of the Gender Equality policy paper of        TEJO. Additionally I have been a part of        the Erasmus+ Coalition and I also initiated       


policy  positions and  advocacy  actions.  resolutions,  positions etc.)  based on the  Work Plan and 

Strategic  Priorities,  adopted by  the Member  Organisations 

a cooperation with several European          youth  organisations  on  European  language policy.  

Team work  Ability to work 

in a  constructive  manner within  teams and  with different  people bodies  of the  organisation. 

The Board is  made of 11  volunteers and  has to interact  with various  other actors  (other Board  members,  Management,  Secretariat,  working  structures,  Member  Organisations  etc.) 

1 I have extensive experience in teamwork        from organisations of events, being a        member of the board, working on        position papers and more.  

Members &  Stakeholders  relations  Ability to enge  with a wide  range of  actors with  different  interests. 

The Board is  the main  interlocutor of 

the  organisation  and the main  contact point  for Member  Organisations. 

It also has to  engage with  various  stakeholders  (institutions,  partners,  media etc.).  

2  I feel that communication is my strong        side  especially on individual level.        Despite,  my  experience  in  public  speaking, I think that I still need to        improve in this area.