Rules of Procedure


Bucharest, Romania, 21 September 2007 (updated 9 January

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

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.

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.

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
  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.


the extended document on the ESC Board member duties and

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

a) President

The President will:

  • actively promote the Society and its aims.
  • build bonds with other related bodies.
  • seek sources of money for the furtherance of the Society’s aims.
  • convene and chair at least two yearly Executive Committee meetings
    as well as yearly Board meetings.

b) Vice President

The Vice President in collaboration with the Central Office will:

  • assist in all presidential duties.
  • deputise for the President when requested.

c) Secretary-General

The Secretary-General will:

  • keep an updated list of all members.
  • keep accurate minutes of Executive and Board meetings as well as the
    General Assemblies and ensure their distribution.
  • write all necessary correspondence for the Society.
  • send all new members the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the
  • organise Executive and Board meetings.
  • work closely with the President to ensure that all necessary parties
    are informed in good time of meetings and decisions.
  • supervise the ESC website on the Internet in co-operation with the

d) Assistant Secretary

The Assistant Secretary will:

  • assist in all secretarial duties.
  • deputise for the Secretary when requested.

e) Treasurer

The Treasurer will:

  • oversee written records of all financial transactions.
  • present an up-to-date financial report at each Executive Committee
    and Board meeting.
  • send out appropriate reminders for the yearly subscriptions
  • prepare a financial report for inspection by the nominated members
    of the Society (Article X.6) at least 2 months prior to the General
    Assembly. A written summary of this report, once countersigned, must
    be presented to all members of the Society at the General Assembly and
    be distributed with the minutes of the meeting to all members.

f) Assistant Treasurer

The Assistant Treasurer will:

  • assist in all the Treasurer’s duties.
  • deputise for the Treasurer when requested.

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.


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



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

  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

  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

  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
    (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.

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:

  • production of the newsletter.
  • essential travel/accommodation expenses to meeting (Economy Flights
  • employment of occasional secretarial assistance by the President/Secretary

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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. 

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

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

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

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.

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.

Scroll to Top