Service Insider: The Vice-Chair of CER

Hi, my name is Ronald, and I am an alcoholic! My home group is the English Speaking AA group of Gothenburg. My recovery depends on applying the AA 12 steps in my daily life, meeting and speaking with other members in the program and by always attempting to be of service. This combination has saved my life and provided me with a richness and spiritual wealth that is unfathomable, yet ever increasing.

My service started with the relatively simple, but oh so important functions such as greeter and coffee maker, and then by opening the meeting room and chairing meetings. After a while, the service structure of AA became more interesting as I had been travelling to other towns and countries where AA existed, albeit slightly different from my home group. The sensation of belonging and of not being alone in those different, foreign places was incredible.

So I became interested in how AA was structured, how AA groups communicated with each other and, from the Nordic Intergroup, I soon arrived at region. And what a region it was! Unlike any other regional structure, the CER region is huge in both geography as well as in the number of different groups. We span the entirety of continental Europe! We have more than 550 individual groups in an area from Turkey to Iceland, from the Baltics to the South of Spain. And on top of that, a few online groups as well!

Since September 2018, I have been the vice chair for the regional CER assembly. Not really sure what the role really would entail, I accepted the nomination, seeing it as a fine opportunity to continue doing service in the region. As vice chair, my main task is to be able to stand in for the chair. This is a bit of an odd role. Why would I need to stand in? In most cases the chair is there, and we plan our meetings so that the chair will attend. This includes both the quarterly regional assembly meetings of CER, but also the so-called “Steering Committee Meetings”. The latter meetings are where the region’s chair, secretary, treasurer, vice chair, delegates to conference and other officers meet to prepare the upcoming regional quarterly meetings. Well, in the past 6 months, this honor befell me once, as our chair was unable to attend one of the steering committee meetings. So, it was fortunate that I had attended the previous meetings and knew our format and that the agenda had been prepared by the chair and the secretary.

With the help of my fellow members of the steering committee and the delegates, the meeting went well, and we conducted standard business. The meeting after, our chair was available again as planned. It is a joy to attend these meetings, all attendees are well prepared, committed to their tasks and our discussions are thorough and fruitful. Also, the spirit of AA is very present.

Since then, in our recent regional assembly meeting, some additional tasks have arisen. Traditionally the vice chair will support ad-hoc committees that are formed spontaneously to fulfill a specific, usually limited task. So these months there are 3 such committees. One is working on creating a standard format for intergroup reports, another committee is preparing the regional forum in December and the third committee to review our document ‘CER, How It Works’.

I am privileged to assist these groups of enthusiastic AA members, creating and improving the AA service within CER.

In future releases of the Arena Newsletter, updates on the work these sub-committees are doing will be posted, but if you have any questions around this, or would like to volunteer to assist, please get in touch me directly via email:

In Service,
Ronald vV, CER Vice-Chair