ARTICLE 1-3 – FOUNDATION – DURATION
In accordance with the articles of association, the head office of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF SCHOOLS shall be located in Switzerland, and the various provisions concerning it shall be governed by the laws of the said country. As a result, this necessarily requires the presence on the executive board of the said institution of at least one member from the Swiss Confederation, who shall be recognised as pursuing an activity of school, teaching or training management.
ARTICLE 4 – PURPOSES OF THE FEDE
The purpose of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF SCHOOLS, in accordance with the provisions of its articles of association, shall be to encourage exchanges of courses and experience, to arrange meetings between school directors, teachers and young people of different countries, to organise competitions, certificates and examinations (with the obligation in any event to provide for testing with a European outlook and foreign language content, etc.). In short, in any of its actions, it shall create a general climate that encourages the development of a European way of thinking and promotes the concept of "European citizenship", fulfilling such ambitions with a concern for quality.
The said quality could be recognised by international certification (e.g. ISO standard), or even by a label from a professional qualification office. Such an initiative may represent a step forward in the official recognition of FEDE diplomas. The institution indeed has a duty to assert the original nature of its international character, the merits of its initiatives and the excellence of its organisation and services.
ARTICLE 5-7 – MEMBERS
During the probationary period, any "associate" (and not yet "full") members may not claim the status of "Member of the FEDE", inter alia, in any advertising, because their situation remains provisional.
They may not demand any responsibility, whether in the organisation of competitions or examinations, or in the presidency of a commission, or in any other activity involving authority. Failure to comply with these provisions shall incur serious penalties that may extend to the rejection of the offender's final admission.
Full members, who may be entrusted with duties on the committee, the executive board or commissions, shall be required to behave consistently with the ethics of the FEDE. However, should such members fail to adhere to the most basic rules of professional ethics or fraternity between members, they shall render themselves liable for harsh penalties, or even be expelled from the FEDE whose image may not be damaged by thoughtless actions.
The same rules shall apply to members with observer status.
Honorary members shall automatically take part in general meetings and in the committee. However, they shall only have an advisory (non-voting) role: they may be asked to act as advisors of the FEDE. Only an honorary president, being a former president of the FEDE, by virtue of his experience and outstanding services rendered in the past, shall be authorised to take part in a vote, for example at the time of the general meeting elections every 4 years.
Moreover, whilst the members of groupings, associations, unions and various organisations, themselves members of the FEDE, may appoint their chairman/president or a representative to the general meeting, to express himself on their behalf and even to seek a position of responsibility, if appropriate, the said chairman/president or representative shall only have one vote in any election.
Lastly, as the FEDE is European, by its very nature, only those schools having their registered office in a member state of the Council of Europe shall be entitled to apply for membership of the FEDE.
The said provision therefore excludes those schools that are dependent on another continent, except for countries and overseas territories that are dependencies of a European State. Those schools that are dependent on another continent may only apply for observer status.
ARTICLE 8 – MEMBERSHIP AND ADMISSION
The membership and admission procedure is laid down as follows:
1. All applications shall be sent to the President's office.
2. A reply to applicants shall be sent as soon as possible (8 to 10 days) with:
•a questionnaire to be filled in information about the FEDE (various brochures)
•the articles of association in one of the official languages (English, French), as well as the internal rules of procedure
•an indication of the registration fee and annual subscription
•a description of the admission procedure
3. The applicant school shall reply to the questionnaire and return it to the President's office, together with any appropriate documents, and shall pay the registration fees to the treasurer. Once the said payment has been confirmed, the candidate school shall receive an acknowledgement of receipt. The application will then be examined by the Executive Board, which shall have all the necessary information. Should the Executive Board see fit, it shall appoint a member of the FEDE, known for his or her competency and impartiality, to visit the establishment in person and report back with an opinion. However, in the last instance, the Executive Board shall take one of the following decisions: "favourable", "unfavourable", or "further investigation needed". To be effective, the decision will have to be ratified by the next Committee.
4. In the event of a favourable opinion being given by the Executive Board, the candidate school shall receive a notice of associate membership for a probationary period, until certification by the sovereign Committee. The interim associate membership shall be published in the FEDE journal.
5. A general list of the schools to be made full members shall always be published in the "bulletin" before the Committee meeting, or failing that, shall be notified to all the members of the FEDE.
6. An establishment that has applied for membership may only present candidates to FEDE examinations after it has been finally admitted by the Committee. The said restriction shall apply to the elections, for new members wishing to take up responsibilities in the committee or Executive Board. They may only do so after being finally admitted.
7. The registration fee shall be fixed by the Executive Board. However, an application shall only become final, subject to the approval of the Committee, after the payment of the annual subscription fee to the treasurer.
8. It should be noted, for information, that it shall be prohibited for any school in an interim position to use the FEDE initials or to claim membership thereof in any advertising. Failure to comply shall of course incur serious penalties that may extend to the final rejection of the offender's admission.
ARTICLE 8B – MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATE
The certificate confirming that a school has the capacity of full member of the FEDE shall only be sent thereto if has been admitted to full membership and is up to date with its fees. The interim position of "associate member" may only give rise to attestation formalities but in no event to a certificate of membership.
ARTICLE 9-10-11 – RESIGNATION, EXPULSION
In the event of expulsion, for any reason other than failure to pay its subscriptions, a school may appeal against the decision to the President or to the Executive Board. The Committee shall then examine such appeal in accordance with article 26 of the articles of association.
The Committee shall give its ruling in the last instance, by a simple majority of votes. Where the votes are equal, the President shall have the casting vote. He may call for an expert's assessment or appoint an ad hoc commission before taking his decision.
ARTICLE 12a – ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
For the purpose of elections to a position of responsibility: President, Executive Board, Committee, Auditors, chairman of a commission etc., or national FEDE representation in a member country, candidatures shall only be taken into account if they are submitted to the FEDE general secretariat at least one month before the general meeting (as per the postmark).
This clearly means that there can never be any spontaneous candidatures, submitted several days before or at the time of the general meeting. Any applications from candidates sent after the deadline shall therefore be rejected, and there can be no exceptions. In addition, no candidate may run for several positions of responsibility at the same time, at least with respect to the presidency, the executive board and the committee. For the purposes of clarification, it should be noted that a member elected to the Executive Board shall automatically be a member of the committee.
Accordingly, candidates for elections that take place every 4 years at the ordinary general meeting (or exceptionally, at an extraordinary general meeting holding early elections), shall be required to come forward within the required deadline for a precise position on the Executive Board or the committee.... but may not apply for two positions. Failure to comply shall lead to the unconditional rejection of the candidatures in question.
To prevent any would-be candidates from making fanciful or sudden applications to be elected to the committee, the Executive Board and especially to the presidency, any applications shall remain subject to an obligation of at least two years of presence within the FEDE. The probationary period shall be included in the two years.
The non-professional auditors shall be elected, in theory, for two years with the possibility of renewal, unless the general meeting should decide otherwise and extend their term of office to 4 years, for example.
ARTICLE 12b - VOTES
Any decisions put to a vote shall be taken either by the raising of hands or by secret ballot. Under the articles of association, a request should be made by at least half the attending members for the voting to take place by secret ballot.
It is necessary however to distinguish between two types of vote:
Those concerning any new provisions of varying significance, whether structural in nature or pertaining to the current life and functioning of the FEDE: a vote by the raising of hands is then appropriate, unless otherwise provided, in exceptional cases of a serious nature, or on the express demand of at least half the attending members, when a vote by secret ballot is called for. The provisions of the articles of association are then applied unconditionally.
Those pertaining to various elections: in the absence of any clear and precise indication in the articles of association, it would seem appropriate to adhere to the following custom:
should only one candidate apply for a position of responsibility subject to election, the vote shall in theory take place by the raising of hands, unless the candidate, at his own request, should seek election by secret ballot for personal reasons;
should two or more candidates run for a position of responsibility subject to election, a vote by secret ballot shall be mandatory.
Secretaries of at least 4 different nationalities shall be appointed and chosen from among the youngest participants at the general meeting. They shall be responsible for the organisation of the voting and the counting of the votes, and shall entrust the results to the president for official announcement.
The counting of the votes shall strictly take place within the confines of the meeting room.
ARTICLE 12c – POSTAL VOTES
Postal votes shall in principle be exceptional and shall take place when the following double condition is met: seriousness of subject-matter and urgency of consultation. In the organisation of such a procedure, which is awkward in all respects, it should be ensured that despite all the difficulties of such a consultation, the anonymity of the votes is nevertheless preserved.
ARTICLE 13 – COMMITTEE
With respect to the representation of the various nationalities within the committee, it is essential to ensure the fairest possible balance.
It is therefore highly recommended that each country, or failing that, each group of countries, according to geographical sector, should be represented by a member.
In the absence of any voluntary candidates, the president and the Executive Board may, under the auspices of the general meeting, co-opt an interim member who, of course, shall step down from office on the arrival of his elected successor.
In addition, in order to balance the influence of one country in relation to another, the following distribution of representatives is provided for:
1. Each nationality shall be represented when at least 5 member schools are located in the country. A grouping of countries will be organised, on the basis of geographical sector, for those with less than 5 members, and the said grouping shall nominate its candidate. In such a case, the committee will therefore include one representative for a grouping of countries with less than 10 members in the geographical sector concerned.
2. Each fraction of 10 schools in excess thereof shall lead to an additional representative up to 50. In excess of 50, the qualifying fraction shall be 50.
3. Each country may not be represented by more than half the members of the Committee.
Number of schools Number of representatives
From 5 to 10 ........................................................................................................................1
In view of the key role played by the committee in the life of the federation, it seems appropriate to stipulate clearly that any member of the committee who is absent more than 3 times in succession, without serious grounds, shall automatically be struck off the committee. This shall be confirmed by a letter sent to the member in question by the President.
ARTICLE 14-15-16 - EXECUTIVE BOARD
Similarly, to ensure the broadest representation of nationalities on the Executive Board, each country may not hold more than one half of the positions.
In addition, the general delegate appointed by the President, and under the authority thereof, shall take part in meetings of the Executive Board without the right to vote. The general delegate, in his role as the President's principal private secretary, deals with the everyday business of the FEDE, in constant liaison with the various members of the Executive Board and the committee, and on such basis plays a fundamental role in the proper functioning of the institution.
Lastly, it is advisable but not obligatory for the meetings of the Executive Board, sometimes extended to the members of the committee for reasons of time, to be held in different places from one board meeting to the next, within the limits of the projected budget.
Various experts and personalities may be called by the President to attend any given meeting of the Executive Board without voting rights.
ARTICLE 18 - COMMISSIONS
The following commissions were confirmed or set up by the general meeting of 7 April 2000 at Como:
The transactions of the commissions, which elect their chairman and secretary-rapporteur, shall be recorded in the minutes of meetings, to be forwarded promptly to the General Secretariat, and in an annual report to be forwarded to the General Secretariat, at least two months before the general meeting called to assess the activities and any decisions taken. These commissions shall necessarily be made up of members of at least three nationalities. They shall operate under the terms of paragraphs a, b, c, d and e of article 18 of the articles of association.
The number and type of commission meetings shall not be fixed; they shall be called in relation to the requirements expressed by the members of the FEDE and their role shall be to reflect thereon and to submit their conclusions accordingly.
ARTICLE 19 – FUNDS
With respect to the funds of the FEDE, from various origins, they shall be placed in the best interests of the institution, but they shall also allow a certain number of complementary expenses and commitments to be honoured.
The role of the auditor or auditors shall be, precisely at the end of each calendar year when the accounts are closed, to verify the mathematical accuracy of the results, to ensure the proper usage of any surplus funds, resulting from sound management, and lastly to warn the President and the Executive Board in the event of any duly recorded anomalies.
ARTICLE 20 – SUBSCRIPTIONS
As far as subscriptions are concerned, the treasurer shall remain strictly vigilant. Reminders shall be sent to late payers at least 3 times: generally in May, September and December each year.
In the absence of any response, and especially in the event of refusal to pay, an educational establishment (or legal entity) shall be considered as resigning and shall be struck off, but only after referral to the Executive Board and a final attempt thereby to settle the matter with the defaulting member.
Any establishment that has been obliged to leave the FEDE, on any grounds whatsoever, and that wishes to return, shall not be required to undergo a probationary period but shall however pay the registration fee again, at the current rate.
In addition, it should be noted that any school that is part of a group (even if it does not operate in the same town), shall duly pay its annual subscription fee, but it shall however be exempted from paying the registration fee, because of the close link between the group already registered and the school itself. In such cases there are indeed common rules of operation applying to both organisations. This is also true for several schools belonging to the same network.
On the other hand, in the case of a school run under a franchise agreement, and which is therefore administratively and financially independent of the principal establishment, with its own budgetary methods of organisation and pedagogy, or in other words, if there is no subjection to the other's authority, the rule set out above shall not be applicable. The school in question shall pay its initial registration fee and its annual subscriptions, on the same basis as an independent establishment.
The said provision shall not have any retroactive effect.
ARTICLE 23 – LIABILITY TOWARDS THIRD PARTIES
It should be noted that, whilst the members of the FEDE shall not assume any liability for the commitments entered into by the said Institution, they shall in return and on a reciprocal basis refrain from any personal initiative that may unreasonably bind the Institution. In such matters the disciplinary board may again be called upon, and civil proceedings to seek a remedy, or even criminal proceedings, may be envisaged.
ARTICLE 24a – CONFERENCES, EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS
The FEDE should be active in developing its public relations. For such purpose it shall have the obvious resources granted thereto by virtue of its international character and its European recognition on the basis of its consultative status with the Council of Europe. It shall endeavour to step up its action by a virtually systematic contribution to international events, conferences or even didactical, cultural or professional exhibitions, selected for their interest.
The FEDE may also organise itself to set up its own meetings of a European nature, geared towards its objectives and achievements, focussing on the in-depth action that it pursues among young people, on its work to promote foreign languages and European culture, and its assertion of the concept of "European citizenship".
A budgetary fund may be set up and earmarked for such actions with an international outlook.
ARTICLE 24b – FEDE COMMUNICATION
In the same spirit, the FEDE shall develop its communication, which may be expressed in various ways (newsletters, press releases, dinner-debates) and especially through publications in two languages (French and English), which does not rule out the idea of national representatives from other countries translating material into their own language if need be.
A Spanish translation is also recommended, subject to the financial means being available, for the benefit of members from countries of Latin origin.
Communication by the FEDE shall also be developed through the use of modern resources such as the Internet.
ARTICLE 27 – DISSOLUTION
The extraordinary general meeting, called urgently in the event of dissolution, shall adhere to the same rules as those provided for under article 13.1 of the articles of association. The only difference shall pertain to the fact that dissolution shall then be decided by an absolute majority and 2/3 of the members that are up to date with their subscription.
Should the said majority not be attained initially, a second meeting shall be called at least one month later, and in accordance with the spirit of the articles of association, a simple majority shall be sufficient for dissolution to be pronounced.
ARTICLE 28 – UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES
Bearing in mind that the purpose of these internal rules of procedure is to complete or develop the articles of association, in any unforeseen circumstances, before referring to the minutes of the meetings of the committee or of the general meeting, and even before consulting the Swiss Civil Code, it would be reasonable to give consideration to the foregoing rules of procedure, being normally adopted by a general meeting.