The rather contentious Administrative Council meeting at the Lujblijana OIDFA Congress highlighted fundamental disconnects both within the Belgian Congress Organizing Committee (BCOC) and between the BCOC and the OIDFA sponsors. To make a very long story short, a reorganization of the BCOC was done, and a deadline of August 22 set for the BCOC to decide whether or not to hold the 2018 Bruges congress.
On July 29th a letter was sent to the OIDFA EC by the BCOC indicating that the committee has decided not to proceed with OIDFA to cooperate in the organization of a lace congress in Bruges in 2018. Instead, an independent world lace congress will be organized by the Belgians to be held in Bruges in 2018. One primary reason cited for the cancellation is Belgian law which prohibits non-profit organizations to work for foreign organizations. As such, the financial help that OIDFA could give is in question.
In 1998 the OIDFA Congress was held in Gent, Belgium, and one could presume that working relationships for non-profits and foreign sponsors were somehow accommodated. We may never know the whole story, but the cancellation of an OIDFA Congress is a serious blow to the organization. It will inevitably cause some rethinking on the part of people considering future OIDFA Congress proposals, some of whom are connected with this blog.