In 2022 AIDS Action Europe implemented a direct elections process for  Steering Committee Members. The Steering Committee has always aimed for a transparent and democratic selection process for new members and recognized that a direct election would provide the most democratic governance structure possible. We are proud to have gone through this process and are grateful to our member organisations for their support and active participation along the way.

governance review

To make an informed decision on the election system, the AAE sought the assistance of a governance consultant who delivered a report on the range of  election systems employed within similar networks. The report provided a framework for the SC to make the final decision and served as a basis for designing the steps to follow.


The next step in the process was to update the membership list, which involved re-establishing contacts with members, as some organisations had ceased to exist or changed their contact details. During the membership update process, we used individual website and social media checks and direct contact with local members. From an initial number of 445, the membership count was reduced to 370.

All AAE members were then invited to pre-register to vote at the election. AAE members were informed about the pre-registration process through numerous mailings, individual emails, social media posts, newsletters, website news, and online and face-to-face meetings. Out of 370 invited members, 104 registered to vote.3

During this period, the SC and Office had been working on a governance update to establish a comprehensive governance framework that would incorporate all planned updates and guarantee the fairness of the election.The SC and Office discussed a number of questions, including how to ensure balanced representation of sub-regions, PLHIV, and key populations. The discussions resulted in the following updated AAE governance documents:


Concurrently, we launched a call for candidates to the AAE Steering Committee. All AAE members were informed about the call through all AAE communication channels and were encouraged  to nominate one representative from their organisation to the Steering Committee. By the deadline for applicants, we have  received 13 complete applications.


Finally, the election was launched! It ran from December 19th until January 10th. The AAE team provided all the registered voters with bilingual application documents of all the candidates as well as with the access to an anonymous voting platform. Out of 104 registered voters 69 voted in the elections.


After the AAE members voted, the Steering Committee reviewed the election results to ensure the required number of votes to meet the 50%+1 threshold was met. Additionally, the Steering Committee exercised their right to appoint two candidates with reserved seats.


Following the review of the results by the AAE Steering Committee, 3 out of 5 seats were filled. The new members of AAE Steering Committee are: Mariana Vicente (GAT Grupo de Ativistas em Tratamentos, Portugal), Michal Pawlega (Social AIDS Committee, Poland), and Marios Atzemis (Positive Voice ,Greece).