Bucharest, Romania, 21 September 2007 (updated 9 January 2008)

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1. These Rules of Procedure 11. Guidelines for applicants wishing to organise an ESC Congress/Seminar
2. Member's rights and duties 12. ESC associated meetings or events
3. Payment of yearly subscriptions 13. Simultaneous translation
4. Rights and duties of the Board of Directors 14. ESC granted projects
5. Executive Committee (EC) - rights and duties 15. ESC award
6. Affiliation to other organisations 16. Internal Scientific Committee
7. Publications 17. Expert Groups
8. Financial arrangements 18. Support towards local initiatives
9. Congress Sitting 19. ESC sessions during other congresses
10. Seminar Sitting 20. Committee of Past Presidents

1. These Rules of Procedure complement and are to be read in conjunction with the statutes of the ESC which consist of Articles I-XIV.

2. Member's rights and duties

All ordinary and honorary members as defined in Articles IV, V, VI are entitled to:

a) receive a quarterly Newsletter.
b) receive the Journal of the ESC.
c) receive information about seminars, congresses and other meetings organised or supported by the ESC.
d) free attendance at ESC seminars.
e) preferential registration rate at ESC congresses.
f) attend and vote at the General Assembly and suggest items for the agenda (Article X,3).
g) be represented on the Board of Directors.
h) vote for the Board of Directors (Article X,7).
i) receive minutes of the General Assembly and a summarised financial statement.

All members will:

a) inform the Secretary of any change of address.
b) pay a yearly subscription (Article IV, 1).
c) not knowingly bring the ESC into disrepute (Article VI).
d) inform the Treasurer of any suggested or actual financial support, be it monetary or in kind, which they have received in the name of the ESC.
e) not commit the ESC, either directly or via the local Congress/Seminar organising committee to any expenditure without getting prior authorisation from the Treasurer.

3. Payment of yearly subscriptions

The annual subscription is due on 1st January. Unless arrangements have been made for regular payments to be made through a credit card, the Treasurer will send out a reminder no less then a month after the due date. A second reminder is sent when the fee is at least two months overdue and, if no response is received within three months, membership can be deemed to be cancelled.

When a new member joins after 1st October, their subscription will, in the first instance only, last up to 15 months rather than the usual 12.

4. Rights and duties of the Board of Directors

A Board member is entitled to:

  1. be invited to a board meeting once every calendar year.
  2. elect the Executive Committee.
  3. serve a term of four years initially but may stand for re-election (for a maximum of 2 terms consecutively, i.e. 8 years).
  4. to receive a summary of the discussions at each Executive Committee meeting.
  5. to discuss any proposed changes to the Statutes prior to ratification at the General Assembly.
  6. to vote on any proposed changes to the Rules of Procedure.

A Board member will:

  1. attend at least one Board meeting every two calendar years.
  2. represent all the views of those members who are entitled to vote for him/her to the Board and Executive Committee.
  3. assist the Executive Committee from time to time with translations of short letters into their own language or similar tasks best carried out in the individual countries.
  4. render assistance with the organisation of congresses and seminars by serving on sub-committees when requested.
  5. inform all those eligible to vote when an election is due and request nominations in time for this to be sent out with the agenda for the General Assembly.
  6. ensure that all those eligible to vote who are present or represented in the General Assembly are given the opportunity to do so.

The first representative for each country can be elected onto the Board when there are 10 paid up members and the second member can be elected if there are 50 or more paid-up members from that country. When the membership numbers from any country drop below the set level the representation on the Board will be adjusted acccordingly at the time of each General Assembly.

When a new Board member needs to be elected, all members of the appropriate country will be informed by the Central Office one month prior to the General Assembly. The number of members at the time of the Congress shall be used as a reference to determine the level of representation.

If the Board of Directors is likely to have more than 29 members, the Executive Committee will examine the current Rules of Procedure and suggest ways in which they can be changed so that the Board does not become so big that it is no longer effective or financially viable.

When the number of elected Board members according to these rules comes to less than 29 the shortfall will be made up by representatives from countries who have more than 5 but less than 10 members. Initially this will be by drawing lots and later in rotation.


 Download the extended document on the ESC Board member duties and responsibilities>>>

5. Executive Committee (EC) - rights and duties

All Executive Committee members will:

  1. attend a minimum of half the EC meetings a year. In exceptional circumstances, the EC may waive this rule.
  2. assist in the overall planning of the congresses. seminars and other meetings organised by the ESC. The detailed planning is the responsibility of the local organizing committee who may co-opt Board members onto sub-committees when required.

If these duties cannot be complied with, the functions of the EC member will be delegated to a co-opted Board member.

  1. the ESC meetings will meet the following guidelines:
    - invitations and the agenda need to be sent out at least one month prior to the meeting
    - all items should be listed on the agenda in detail
    - accepted minutes of previous meetings should be signed by the President and Secretary General
    - all members should report on the incoming and outgoing correspondence

a) President

The President will:

b) Vice President

The Vice President in collaboration with the Central Office will:

c) Secretary-General

The Secretary-General will:

d) Assistant Secretary

The Assistant Secretary will:

e) Treasurer

The Treasurer will:

f) Assistant Treasurer

The Assistant Treasurer will:

Each EC meeting has to be attended by either the President or the Vice President and either the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary and either the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer. If any of the three roles is not represented, the meeting will be invalid.


6. Affiliation to other organisations

International or national organisations with similar or related aims may apply for affiliation to the ESC. Members of affiliated societies shall pay a 50 percent reduced yearly fee (suggested by the EC, approved by the Board). Those seeking affiliation must submit an application in writing to the Secretary General. The Board shall ratify the final affiliation. This decision shall be followed by a signed contract including rights and duties of members of affiliated societies. The Central Office of the ESC shall receive a complete list of members including email and postal addresses from the affiliated Society. Members of affiliated societies have the same rights as other ESC members including voting rights during the GA. 

Members of affiliated societies are entitled to: 

  1. receive a hard copy or an electronic form of the Journal of the ESC 
  2. receive an electronic form of the Newsletter 
  3. receive information about seminars, congresses and other meetings organised or supported by the ESC 
  4. free attendance at ESC seminars 
  5. preferential registration rate at ESC congresses 

Affiliated societies will: 

  1. inform the Secretary of the Central Office of any change of address 
  2. pay a yearly subscription

7. Publications


The ESC may have publications such as a Newsletter and a scientific Journal, proposed by the EC and approved by the Board of Directors 


7.1. The ESC Newsletter 


The content of the ESC Newsletter will consist of a forum for members as well as Society related and other relevant information. 

Either the General Secretary or the Assistant Secretary of the EC will be the Newsletter Editor and will be appointed by the EC. 


7.2. The Journal 

  1. The Journal will be managed by an Editor-in-Chief (EiC) and three Editors. The four of them will work in very close collaboration. Non scientific secretarial management of the journal will be the responsibility of the Editorial Office, particularly collecting manuscripts and managing the review procedures. The tasks and duties of the EiC, the Editors and the Editorial Office will be described in a written protocol. 

  2. The EiC and the Editors are proposed by the EC to the Board and must be members of the Society. Nominations for Editor should be sent to the Central Office at least one month prior to the Board meeting where the decision is to be made. 

  3. The EiC and the Editors (one of whom will be delegated to act as deputy when the EiC is unavailable) are elected by the Board by a simple majority for a period of four years. Each of them can be re-elected. To ensure continuty, the past EiC can be nominated as Honorary Editor. The General Assembly must be informed of each change of mandate. 

  4. The EiC will be invited to the EC meetings, when necessary but will have no voting rights. If the EiC is not able to participate in the meeting, the deputy EiC will attend. 

  5. An Editorial Board might be formed by the Editor-in-Chief and Editors from experts in different fields in order to facilitate the peer-review process. Their tasks and remit will be described in the protocol as mentioned in 7.2.a. If any member of the Editorial Board is unable to complete their remit, the Editor-in-Chief will appoint a replacement. 

  6. A Journal Management Committee (JMC) will, in collaboration with the Editorial Office, deal with the non scientific related matters of the Journal, particularly financial aspects, contracts, marketing and contacts with the publisher. The JMC will consist of the EiC, the deputy EiC, the EC Treasurer and one Board Member. The Board will choose their representative on the JMC by voting. Both the Editor-in-Chief and the Journal Management Committee will report to the EC when requested and during each Board meeting.

8. Financial arrangements

The Treasurer is responsible for keeping accurate and up to date financial records.

The publishing costs of the proceedings of a congress/seminar should be part of the costs of the meeting.

The EC is empowered to allow expenditure for:

Any expenditure of over 10.000 Euro on any one meeting/item (other than congress/ seminar) should be ratified by the Board. Any expenditure of over 20.000 Euro on any one meeting/item (other than Congress/seminar) should be ratified by the General Assembly.

The annual membership fee shall be reviewed regularly by the EC, discussed by the Board and voted on at the General Assembly.

9. Congress Sitting

Congresses are held every two years. To enable enough time for organisation the site for the congress four years later will be voted on at the General Assembly. The organiser of the next congress will make a short presentation at the General Assembly including dates and venue and confirming their willingness and ability to proceed with the organisation.

A short proposal and presentation shall be made at the General Assembly in support of the bid for the next Congress prior to a vote. A short recommendation from the Board may follow a presentation.

10. Seminar Sitting


The ESC seminars are usually held in the year when there is no congress. Any member wishing to organise a seminar shall submit a bid in writing to the Central office. A short presentation should be made at the Board meeting in support of the bid prior to a vote.

11. Guidelines for applicants wishing to organise an ESC Congress/Seminar


1) At the time of submitting a bid to organize a Congress or Seminar a country must have at least 10 paid up members of the ESC

2) Proposals for holding congresses are presented 4 years ahead at the General Assembly. The venue is decided upon by a vote of the ESC members during the General Assembly.

3) Proposals for holding seminars are presented 4 years ahead at the Meeting of the Board of Directors. The venue is decided upon by a vote of the Board members.

4) An official bid for the congress /seminar must be delivered to the Central Office not later than three months before the day of the appropriate General Assembly or Meeting of the Board of Directors. Four copies of the bid are required. The Central Office is obliged to confirm receipt of the document and to send copies to the EC members (president, treasurer, secretary general), one copy shall remain on file at the Central Office. Bids for congresses are presented by the EC at the Board meeting before the appropriate GA.

5) An official bid to hold a congress/seminar must include:


a) A preliminary budget, containing calculations of expenditures (congress venue,) and an estimate of contributions by local sponsors (acquiring local sponsors is not a condition of organizing a seminar).
b) A letter of acceptance from the organizers stating that they are prepared to follow the principles of the Society for the organizing congresses or seminars (as specified in sample contract sent on request by the Central Office).
c) Specifications of the congress/seminar venue, sufficient capacity of accommodations, and accessibility of the city and a congress venue where the congress is to be held.
d) Proposal of scientific topic(s) of the congress/seminar. A definite topic is decided by the Board in accordance with the proposal of the organizers.

6) The Board of Directors reserves the right to determine the date of holding the congress/seminar, changing the date if necessary, possibly changing the location in the case of apparent inability of the organizers to guarantee the event or in the case of an unstable situation in the country where the congress/seminar is to be held.

12. ESC associated meetings or events


Each request to organize an activity under the auspices of the ESC, should meet the following criteria:

- the ESC must be involved in the programme,
- the theme and programme must concur with the aims of the Society,
- the request must be discussed and approved by the EC.

13. Simultaneous translation


English is the official language of the ESC.
Simultaneous translation can be available in 2 languages other than English, and or the language of the host country, for ESC Congresses, seminars and general assemblies. These languages shall be decided on by the EC and the Board.

14. ESC granted projects

Individuals or organisations may apply for financial support from the ESC for activities that are in accordance with the aims of the Society as described in the Statutes. Application forms are available at the Central Office. Up to a maximum of 5% of the balance in the ESC accounts can be awarded in any one financial year.

The application must contain

The aims and projected outcomes of the project
Details of any other source of funding sought or obtained
Details of the person or organisation making the application
Commitment to present the results to the Board of Directors and acknowledge the ESC funding appropriately
A detailed budget proposal

All proposals will initially be scrutinized by a small scientific committee which will have at least two members of the Executive Committee on it of the Board. They will then be presented to the full Board for the final decision on whether to make the award.

The Treasurer will be responsible for initial and ongoing monitoring of the awards.

Download the grant application form >>>

15. ESC award 

An ESC Medal and an ESC Diploma are established to honour outstanding scientific work and/or organizing activity performed in accordance with the aims of the Society. 

The Medal might be conferred to a maximum of two members of the ESC every even year at the time of the ESC biannual congress and the Diploma to a maximum of two members of the ESC every odd year at the time of the ESC Seminar.The Medal award is decided during the seminar Board meeting and the Diploma award during the Congress Board meeting. 

Nominations for such honours are put forward by the members of the Board of Directors. A written proposal on a nomination form should be signed by at least 3 Board members and the CV of the nominee must be attached. Nomination forms are available at the ESC central office. Proposals should be sent to the ESC CO not later than 3 months prior to the Board meeting. 

All proposals will be initially scrutinized by the Internal Scientific Committee (ISC) and will then be presented to the Board. Conferral of the Medal or Diploma are carried out by the President of the ESC. The awarded person may be asked to present a lecture if its bestowal was based on scientific activities, and the award lecture should be published in the ESC Journal.

16. Internal Scientific Committee 

The Internal Scientific Committee is made up of 5 Board members who are elected during the Board meeting in the year of each congress. Members are elected for the period of 4 years (2 members from the first group are elected for 2 years only) for a maximum of two terms. If one is a Board member and not reelected as Board member but in the ISC, one has to be replaced. 

Members of the ISC elect a chairperson. 

Main current responsibilities are: identify candidates for the ESC award, select candidates for supported projects, and follow-up of granted projects. Additional responsibilities are identified by the Executive Committee and agreed by the Board. The detailed report is presented at each Board meeting and, on request, at the Executive Committee meeting. 

17. Expert Groups 

Expert groups are groups of internationally recognized experts in different fields of contraception and reproductive health. Each group consists of 5 to 7 members from different countries, including a maximum of three Board members. Nominations from the Board are delivered to the CO at least 3 months before the congress. Proposals for new experts from outside the Board are prepared by the Internal Scientific Committee. Composition of each group is reconsidered every two years by the Board. 

Each group is responsible for preparing a report of progress in their area annually, which will be published in our journal or on the website. All members will be invited to the congress (travel expenses and accommodation supported; registration fee waived) where one session should be organized by each group if requested by the Scientific Committee of the Congress. 

Each group should also prepare their statement either spontaneously or at the request of the Board, when any new significant development occurs. 

18. Support towards local initiatives 

In accordance with aims of the Society, an ESC member or national (local) society working in family planning may apply for financial support for a meeting or seminar. This must not be one of the regular meetings. The following items are needed for application: 1) the scientific programme; 2) a description of how the granted budget will be used. 

The application must be sent to the Central Office, which distributes it to members of the Internal Scientific Committee. This Committee is responsible for preparing a short presentation of all proposals and selection of the best candidates. 

The final decision is made by the Board. Each year a maximum of two meetings can be supported to a maximum of 10.000 euro each. Organizers are responsible for using the budget in accordance with the proposal, writing a report which will be presented during the Board meeting and published in the Journal or posted on the ESC website. One representative from the Board will participate in the preparation of the scientific programme. The ESC must be stated, officially, as co-organizer. At least one speaker must be a member of the Board, with their expenses paid out of the grant.

Download the grant application form >>>

19. ESC sessions during other congresses

Besides regular seminars and congresses the ESC may support a speaker or organize a session during national or international congress of societies with similar aims to the ESC. Requests are collected by the Central Office. The Central Office is responsible for the negotiation about financial aspects of the participation. A maximum of 7 % of the income from the last Congress can be dedicated each year to cover expenses of ESC speakers. The EC is responsible for the final selection of meetings which will be supported, according to the budget available. The ISC is responsible for the preparation of the scientific programme.

20. Committee of Past Presidents

The ESC Committee of Past Presidents consists of all past ESC presidents on a voluntary basis. The essential role of the Committee is to assist in ensuring continuity and stability in the life of the ESC. The activities of the Committee are limited to providing advice and proposals. The Committee will, when requested, be the "Ambassador" for the ESC towards European or international institutions dealing with contraception or reproductive health. Special attention should be paid to establishing contacts and collaboration in European countries which are not yet represented in the ESC. The Committee could help or even negotiate in the case of serious problems with ESC representatives or within the Society. The Committee can send one member to participate in Board meetings but with no right to vote. The committee meets every other year during the ESC congress and produces a report to the Board. Members are invited by the ESC. Continuation of the Committee will be evaluated by the Board after the next two congresses.

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