In consideration of the historical formation of a previously informal group dealing scientifically with paediatric ophthalmology since 1973, the European Paediatric Ophthalmology Group EPOG, these statutes reflect the intention of the former EPOG, now European Paediatric Ophthalmological Society EPOS, to adjust its structure and to advance its aims. These statutes were adopted by the Constitutional Session in Geneva on the 27th of October 2001 and were extended by the 7th general Assembly of EPOS in Leuven in 2008 and by the 9th General Assembly of EPOS in 2010 in Bad Nauheim.
Article 1: Constitution
The EPOS is a society constituted in conformity with Article 52 (2) and Article 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code, and for an undetermined term.
Article 2: Name
The name of the Society is European Paediatric Ophthalmological Society EPOS
Article 3: Domicile
The domicile of the Society is Geneva, Switzerland.
Article 4: Communication
The official language of the Society is English.
Article 5: Aims
The aims of the Society are:
- To bring together ophthalmologists, paediatricians, geneticists, electrophysiologists, and basic researchers interested in the field of paediatric ophthalmology, including genetic diseases of the eye.
- To provide a forum for researchers in the field of paediatric ophthalmology, including genetic diseases of the eye for open discussion and sharing information.
- To encourage in particular young clinicians and scientists to specialise in paediatric ophthalmology and genetic diseases of the eye.
- To promote European collaborations in the study of paediatric ophthalmology, including genetic diseases of the eye.
- To disseminate scientific knowledge related to paediatric ophthalmology, especially by annual conferences.
- To improve standards of practice within Europe in paediatric ophthalmology.
Article 6: Membership
Section 1: Active membership
- Those eligible for membership include individuals interested in the field of paediatric ophthalmology, including genetic diseases of the eye. They may be physicians, basic scientists, professionals allied to medicine, or graduate or undergraduate students.
- Members are accepted by decision of the Board. Possible refusals need not be justified.
Section 2: Honorary Membership
- Honorary membership may be awarded to individuals who, in the opinion of the Board, have acquired particular distinction in the field of paediatric ophthalmology, including genetic diseases of the eye, or who have performed particularly meritorious work for the Society.
- Candidates for honorary membership are proposed by the Board and elected by the Assembly of Members without discussion.
- Honorary members do not pay membership fees.
Article7: Membership Fees
Section 1: Annual assessment of membership fees
- The amount of annual fees shall be proposed annually by the Treasurer and fixed by the Assembly of Members.
- For students and residents in training, a reduced level of fees is fixed.
- Members may apply for a reduction of the annual fees. The decision is taken by the Board.
- In all cases, annual fees shall cover the society expenses.
Section 2: Payment of fees
Annual fees shall be due and payable by January 31st of the year for which they are levied. They are paid on an account opened to the name of the society.
Article 8: Assembly of Members
- The Assembly of Members shall meet at least once a year.
- Members have to be invited, with agenda attached, by the President at least two weeks in advance.
- Individual proposals shall be conveyed to the President at least one week before the date of the assembly.
- The Assembly of Members decides by simple majority of members present. On request of one third of the members present, a decision is taken by secret vote.
- Members may represent each other at the meeting, but no member may represent more than two other members.
Article 9: Board
- The Board shall consist of the President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, four elected members, and a Past President.
- The Board is elected by the Assembly of Members for a period of four years. The members of the Board are elected individually by secret vote. The President shall be elected one year before commencement of his or her term of Office to serve as President Elect on the board. The president shall be elected from the board or be a former board member.
- The Board decides by simple majority of its members. Decisions may be taken by written communication in any form.
- If a member of the Board withdraws from his or her office prematurely, his or her successor shall be elected only for the remainder of the term of office.
- No member shall remain a member of the Board for more than two consecutive periods.
- The first elections will take place in the year 2002. In deviation from Art. 9 B, at these elections, the President, the Treasurer and the Secretary are elected for a period of four years, the other elected members of the Board for a period of two years.
- The Past President shall serve for a term of one year.
Article 10: President
- The President presides at the meetings of the Assembly of Members and of the Board. He or she is entitled to represent the Society and to enter into obligations on behalf of the Society. Obligations for an amount above Euro 2.500 have to be approved previously by the Board.
- The President organises the annual scientific meetings.
- The president elect has seat in the board and shall be informed on all consultations. Other rights and duties of any office the president elect may hold on the board shall not be touched.
- The past president has seat in the board and shall be included in the consultations. This office does not exclude the incumbent from electability to any other office. Other rights and duties of any office the past president may hold on the board shall not be touched.
Article 11: Secretary and Treasurer
- The Secretary shall assist the President in the discharge of his/her duties and, in the absence of the President, shall assume the President’s duties.
- At the annual meeting, the Secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings.
- It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to present a financial report to the members at the annual Assembly of Members. His/her report shall be taken into consideration for fixing the annual fees. The Treasurer accords access to the account processing to the account audit on an annual basis.
- The Assembly of Members elects two account auditors for a period of two years. The account audit reports to the general assembly on an annual audit. The account auditors are not members of the board and shall act independently from the board.
Article 12: Meetings of EPOS
- EPOS shall organise annual meetings that may be held as free-standing meetings or in conjunction with other international or national meetings.
- The Board may award travel grants to members and non-members according to merit and need.
Article 13: Exclusion of Members
- Serious grounds justifying the exclusion of a member include especially a clear violation of the acknowledged standards of scientific working and medical ethics as well as any behaviour grossly damaging to the reputation of EPOS. On proposal of the Board, the Assembly of Members decides on the exclusion of a member by a majority of two thirds of the members present.
- A member who has left more than one year’s fees unpaid may be excluded by decision of the Board.
Article 14: Dissolution
- The EPOS shall be dissolved by a decision taken by the General Assembly at two thirds majority of the members present, on proposal of the President. A report shall be presented by the President an by the Treasurer concerning the dissolution.
- If the EPOS is dissolved the funds shall go to the UNICEF nutrition unit (or similar unit), Geneva, Switzerland, after payment – as far as possible – of the debts and fulfilment of all its obligations.
- Dissolution shall be performed by the Board.