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In the previous analysis of relations within and across European networks only one medium of communication was mentioned: conferences or similar events facilitating face-to-face meetings. These play a part in all the networks included in this sample. However, in view of the transnational nature of European networks, virtual communication via email or other electronic means is just as important. A common tool for this form of communication are mailing lists. 

As part of the CEDRA activities, a mailing list (ERO-Call) was set up three year ago, intended to facilitate communication between European VET researchers. The list is based on self-subscription, which means that the enrolement can only be partly influenced. ERO-Call, now comprising about 400 members, has proved to be a successful means of communication (about 50 messages per year). The point of interest, in the light of the network analysis, is to what extent this list may support communication across various networks.

The above figure can make the following points clear:

  • there is only a partial overlap between the ERO-Call members and the network participants,  the majority of both groups being separate from each other; 
  • while half of the core participants (definition see figure 22) belong to the list, only a fifth of the other network participants are included.
This breakdown suggests that ERO-Call can only play a limited role in cross-network communication. In particular, it cannot compensate for the lack of individual network lists (for instance ECER/ VETNET). The solution, though, would not be to establish a comprehensive list covering all networks (which, in any case, exceed the sample of this analysis). Rather, a relatively small interactive list involving lots of core network participants could play a multiplier role, with information being drawn from and passed on to individual networks. 

© WIFO Manning 2003
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