April update: Accommodation and workshops

Forum 2022 – Update April 2022

As I shared on the recent All Association Call, I was able to visit Cluj recently to discuss the details of our Forum this autumn. I had a great couple of days in the historic and beautiful city of Cluj with Shajjad Rizvi and Carmen Dragomir. We were able to visit the hotel in which we will be working and several other venues around the city. I am pleased to be able to provide the following update on preparations.

Cluj felt very safe and welcoming. Many EMAS Directors will remember the successful regional conference held there just a few years ago. Most people speak English and there is a strong café culture with coffee shops and bars having pavement seating in large and typically “European” squares and streets. I have no doubt that Cluj will be a really great place for our Forum and offers great opportunities to experience a city, country, and culture that is as welcoming as it is historic. I am really looking forward to returning and seeing you there.

The venue
The Forum will be held in the new Radisson Blu hotel in the centre of Cluj. The hotel is near the stadium and indoor arena which will be used for a global tennis tournament during our stay. The hotel facilities are excellent, and the experienced staff are familiar with all the requirements for visitors from all over the world. We will have exclusive use of the hotel, except for a few VIP tennis players and senior staff from the tennis tournament. Due to the large number of early bookings by Forum participants the hotel has now sold all the
rooms in the hotel.

Arrivals from the airport to the hotel: Travel from the airport to the Hotel is about 15/20 minutes’ drive, the local Award team will help facilitate transfers from the Airport to the Hotel upon arrival to Cluj Napoca. Please send your travel details and flight number ahead of time so the local Award team can arrange to pick you up.

Departures from the hotel to the airport: Return travel to the airport should be arranged by delegates. The cost will be 10 euro from the hotel to the airport, the hotel reception will be able to arrange a taxi. The delegate will cover this cost.

We are now recommending other hotels which are within a reasonable walking distance from the Forum venue. They are:

There are also many other options, and you can make your own arrangements direct with other hotels or through Booking.com, Air BnB and similar services. If you do, please do note the location of the Forum hotel to ensure you are in a suitable place.

The programme
An outline programme was shared during the the last All Association call and can be found here. The key item will be the development of our strategy and priorities for the next few years. This will be a very important point in our history as we imagine and plan for a future after COVID-19. We must also continue to stay relevant and respond to the complex and ever-changing needs of the young people who will benefit from the Award. Of course, the formal part of the programme is only half the story. As we all know the great ideas come from the informal conversations, the sharing of good practice and the mixing of colleagues in an informal setting. Our venue and the rest of the programme are ideally suited to ensure that happens too.

We have one afternoon dedicated to workshops. Following feedback from previous events we are ensuring that these workshops focus on debating and consulting on important issues and not on providing information. We have collated some possible topics, but we would also like to hear your suggestions too. We have prepared a simple form to gauge interest and gather your ideas. The form can be found here – please take two minutes to let us know your thoughts.

The conflict in Ukraine
Several people have asked for information about the impact in Romania of the current conflict in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is a terrible humanitarian crisis that is unimaginable to many of us. The movement of refugees into surrounding countries has been extensively reported in many countries. Romania has had its share of refugees although most are transiting to other countries. The conflict zone is more than 1,200kms/750 miles to the east of Cluj. Personally, I saw no impact of the conflict in Cluj.

Forum bookings
As we have shared previously the booking system for the Forum itself will open at the end of June and we will share details and links in the coming weeks.

And finally, the location, venue and programme for this Forum are shaping up very well and I know many of you are very excited to meet your colleagues for the first time in three or more years. The outcomes from the Forum will shape our work for years to come and it will be great to have you there to contribute. I look forward to seeing you in October.

Stephen Peck,
Deputy Secretary General