The European Association of Eurobilltrackers, whose official name is “Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers” (A2E) has the goal to guarantee the continuation and quality of the EuroBillTracker website. The reason to create the association was because the website has experienced a consistent growth since the start in 2002. The Association was created in May 2008.
The main tasks and goals for the association are*
being in possession of all intellectual properties related to EuroBillTracker, including the website and its various domain names. The assets of EuroBillTracker also include the program code, databases, translations etc.
being responsible for all issues related to EuroBillTracker
creating and managing the conditions for optimal Tracking of Euro Bills
promoting communication between the users of EuroBillTracker
protecting the EuroBillTracker database
financing, when deemed necessary, the promotion and the tools of EuroBillTracker
ensuring a free of charge use of EuroBillTracker on-line tools
*as stated in the official statutes.
The association consists of a Board of Directors, who join for a meeting on a monthly basis to discuss various points raised by the board members themselves and by the heads of the working groups. The international meetings and their candidacies are also discussed within the Board of Directors. More information about the Board of Directors and the Working Groups can be found in the section "BOD & WG"
It is also possible to become a member of the association. If you are interested in becoming a member of our association please refer to the section "Join us"
Birth of the Association (2008)
The first steps towards forming the European Association of EuroBillTrackers – Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers (A2E) were taken in the first months of 2008 when the founding members and the mediators started preparing to officially register the association. The association was officially registered in May 2008 and became the legal owner of the EuroBillTracker website.
The EBT website was born before the A2E. It was created by Philippe Girolami and launched on the same day that the EURO was put in circulation across various European Union countries (1st January 2002). The website increased in popularity and many volunteers started to take care of it, but slowly, some friction between the volunteers and the legal owner of the domain name started to exist. These tensions concerning the normal administration of the site reached a breaking point on 25 December 2007 when the legal owner of the domain name removed the administration rights from the volunteers. The answer of the volunteers was to copy the last backup to a new domain, and the EBT database was split in two.
The division of the database was not sustainable and totally senseless, but the two parties, with the mediation of Bruno Berken (Phaseolus) & Théo De Jonckheere (de-jo) managed to find an agreement, which they called the “Gennevilliers Agreement” named after the name of the suburb of Paris which hosted the meeting. It was decided to create a non-profit association which will be the owner of the website and will also be responsible of its management. The merge of the two databases was completed on 12 January 2008. The statutes were drafted by Bruno Berken and the first roles assigned were the following: de-jo (President), avij & Giro (Vice-Presidents), Phaseolus (Treasurer) and Nerzhul (secretary). Those who, voluntarily, wished to join the association, were asked to pay a membership fee of EUR 10 annually.
A2E was registered as a non-profit association under the French law and in the first months of 2008, the intellectual and legal ownership of EBT was transferred to the A2E; in August 2008 the first General Assembly was held in Ljubljana, where the members of the association elected their first Board of Directors (BoD).
The Gennevilliers Agreement also provided for the creation of several Working Groups, these being: development, technical, database and communications, and during the years it was possible to develop several new features like the connections between users, the administrative subdivisions of countries and many others. On the other hand, the filtering of mistakes and fake entries from the database was improved and many errors were removed by the so called “cleaning girls”, a group able to analyze profiles and find fake entries with the help of a specially designed tool. A support working group was also created later on.
If the international EBT meetings existed also before of the birth of the A2E, with the A2E they become something more official, also due to the need of a General Assembly every year. Since 2009, the Association has organised two official international meetings every year, and of course many local meeting were also held. Meetings were held in Ljubljana, Bologna & Ferrara (Italy), Vienna (Austria), Malta, Florence (Italy), Kalkar (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain).
During its first years of existence, the A2E managed to keep the use of EBT totally free and without any advertising banners, with the only income to cover the costs of hosting the web site being the membership fees and donations, and due to the limited number of members that was not much. If this situation was good for the short period, it does not mean that it will be also for the long term because sooner or later some expenses for a new server will have to be incurred.
During this period, the number of members was limited (less than 100, which is very little when compared to about 7000 forum users and 100 000 – 150 000 website users). As part of a campaign to create awareness about the existence of the association, the Board of Directors decided to create a web site dedicated to the association.
The Board of Directors
As stated in the Statutes of the Association, the Association of EuroBillTrackers is managed by its Board of Directors. This is made up of a member from every Eurozone country and 1 representative from a Non EuroZone country, all of which are appointed by the General Assembly and serve for a term of 2 years. The board of directors then elect the President, 2 Vice Presidents, the Treasurer, the Secretary and the Meeting Co-ordinator; the latter has the role of communicating board decisions to the Association's members with regards to the Association’s International meetings. Due to their dedication to EuroBillTracker, three members have been given the status of a Founding member. The Founding members are also members of the Board of Directors and are over and above the countries' representatives.
Usually the BOD meets online once a month and discusses various issues which have been raised during the month. They also decide when to start working on the next Summer and Winter meetings, discuss improvements to the setup of the association and assigns specific tasks to the different members of the board or of the community.
A section on the forum has been created for publishing official information related to the association. Suggestions from the members to the Board of Directors can also posted there. There may also be information about the association in your language in your own national subforum.
EBT Working Groups
Upon the creation of the European Association of EuroBillTrackers, a number of Working groups were also set up with the aim of seeing to the needs of the association, its members and its website. All members of the Working Groups are volunteers and no one receives any payment from the association. These working groups are the Development, Technical operations & Maintenance, Database, Communication, Support and Translation working groups. The leader of each working group is invited to attend the meeting of the Board of Directors which is usually held monthly.
Headed by klapotec, this group’s task is to add and update features to EBT’s software and related tools. Some of the features implemented by this group were the regional divisions of each country and the user connection feature. They have also provided a website where users can put forward their suggestions for EBT improvements, which can be then be voted for by other members.
The tech team, led by avij, deals with all the technical issues required to run and maintain the website. This includes installing new hardware, hosting of the web site, applying security patches and upgrading operating systems. They also install new versions of EBT tools produced by the Development group and respond to hardware and software problems.
The database Working Group, led by ErGo, is there to maintain the quality of our database. The ‘Cleaning Girls’ is a group of people whose role is to investigate suspicious behaviour of users and delete notes registered into the database maliciously.
Claudio VdA leads the communications group, whose aim is to be in contact with EBT users by preparing and sending newsletters from time to time. These newsletters are translated into the same 18 languages in which EBT is translated. This group also keeps track of any opportunities where to advertise EBT. Links to these advertisements or articles are also uploaded on EBT by members of this group.
The support WG, managed by gergapsek, replies to the support requests sent by EBT users. Users can create a support request to either edit/delete a note, moderate or unmoderate hits, merge accounts and any other request which user might think of. These requests are then tackled by Support WG members, who thereafter inform the user that his request has been adhered to. The support team is also responsible for adding and amending city profiles following suggestions by users themselves. They take care of plotting the co-ordinates of a new location registered in EBT onto a map, which map is then displayed in members’ profiles.
A Translation WG has recently been created and it's headed by avij. This WG will co-ordinate the translations required for EBT web site, info page, newsletters and other related matters. Presently EBT is translated into 18 different languages.
Why should one become a member? The main reason is to be a part of our project and keep it alive. By becoming a member you have the right to attend the General assembly, which is usually held during the International Summer meeting. It is also possible to candidate for vacant seats in the Board of Directors. For important issues there will be a voting during the general assembly and as a member you have the right to cast your vote.
We encourage our users to become members of the association. All you have to do is fill out the form and send it to:
Viides linja 12 D 74
The membership fee is €10 per year and can be paid by bank, post or to a representative at an international or national meeting. See details below.
The money collected from our members will be primarily used to pay for the hosting of the website. Also costs like the fee for the bank account and registration at the Préfet du Val-d'Oise in France will be paid for with the money collected from our members. The treasurer will be responsible for collecting the money and effecting the necessary payments.
Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers IBAN: FR10 2004 1010 1239 1918 1V03 364 BIC: PSSTFRPPSCE (La Banque Postale, 1 Rue Edouard Branly, Orléans-la-Source, Orleans 45900 France)