The Lions Clubs International (LCI) association has seen explosive growth in Central-Eastern Europe since it chartered the first Lions club in Budapest, Hungary in 1989.
- Lions have generated 10 new districts, 400 new clubs and more than 11,000 new members.
- European states on the Baltic coast have created successful membership growth in countries like Poland and Estonia by developing relationships with Eastern European states.
- Between 1995 and 2000, annual membership in Eastern Europe nearly doubled.
- From 2000 to 2003, membership in Eastern Europe grew by 20 percent.
- Women’s membership increased from 28% to 34% from 2006 to 2011.
- Basic information, training and working materials to current members.
- Comprehensive information about LCI to prospective members.
- Leadership training at all district levels.
- Experts in the field, including experienced Certified Guiding Lions, to address needs and challenges and work directly with local Lions.
- Access to experienced, senior Lions leaders in the European region.
Central-Eastern European Initiative
To accelerate membership growth in Eastern Europe in 2007-2008, (then) Second International Vice President Eberhard J. Wirfs developed the Eastern Europe Project (EEP) which has now been transformed into the Central-Eastern European Initiative (CEEI) under the guidance of Past Inernational Director Phil Nathan. This initiative:
- Provide financial aid and clear goals for each country with realistic time frames.
- Train and prepare each country to function independently.
- In fiscal years 2011-2012, 2012-2013, began to move these countries into the GMT/GLT structure.