EOU Statutes



  1. Name

1 The Society called ”European Ornithologists’ Union (EOU)” is constituted under the Swiss Civil Code art. 60 and following.

2 The seat of the EOU is at Sempach-Stadt.

  1. Objectives

1 The objectives of the EOU are the advancement of ornithology and the promotion of the scientific study of birds among ornithologists within Europe.

2 To this end, the EOU shall hold conferences and other meetings at different places in Europe, promote communication between European ornithologists (such as by maintaining a web-site), seek funds to support collaboration among European countries, and engage in other activities designed to advance ornithology in Europe (such as publishing a journal).

  1. Membership

1 The Society shall consist of Ordinary, Sustaining and Honorary Members from any country.

2 Honorary members shall be nominated at the discretion of the Council and elected by the membership at a General meeting on the basis of their high distinction and/or services to ornithology and its advancement. Nominations for honorary membership may be made to the Council by any member. Honorary members shall have the privileges of membership but shall not be expected to pay an annual subscription.

3 Membership is open to any person who supports the objectives of the EOU and who registers for a conference or who registers by e-mail with the Secretary her or his wish to be a member. It is the responsibility of each member to notify the Secretary of any change of address or e-mail address. A member may resign by notifying the Council.

4 Sustaining Membership is open to any member who pays more than the basic membership subscription. It lasts for one year from the date of the additional payment.

5 Ordinary members may be required to pay a subscription. If so, membership lasts from 1 January to 31 December and ends automatically if the subscription is not paid or if the member resigns at least 6 months before the end of the year. If members are not required to pay a subscription, membership lasts until the member resign or fails to provide a current address.

6 If the Union publishes a journal, members will normally receive the issues of the Journal relating to the year(s) of their subscription.

7 Council has the power to remove from membership any person, who, by his or her actions or statements, brings the name of the EOU into disrepute or undermines its objectives.

  1. Organs

The organs of the EOU are: the General Meeting, the Council and the Secretariat.

  1. General Meeting

1 An ordinary General Meeting is held at every Conference. An extraordinary meeting shall be held by invitation of the Council or if a quorum of one fifth of the members asks for a meeting.

2 At the General Meeting every member has one vote. Votes are open if not more than one third of the members present ask for a secret ballot. Decisions are taken with simple majority of the voting members. For elections of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Ordinary Council Members, secret votes are held by paper ballot, and a relative majority of voting members is required.

3 The Council announces the General Meeting on the EOU website, on the relevant EOU Conference website and by sending e-mails to all on the membership list at least 4 weeks before the meeting, mentioning the topics on the agenda. Decisions on topics which are not mentioned on the agenda may only be taken if nine tenths of members present accept.

4 Every General Meeting convened according to 5.3 can make decisions independently of the number of participating members.

5 The General Meeting is responsible for accepting the minutes of its meetings, the reports of the Council, the accounts of the last financial period, the programme, the budget and the priorities for the next financial period; for electing the Council, the auditors and Honorary Members; for modifying the Statutes; for fixing the membership subscription rates.

6 Instead of a General Meeting, decisions may be taken, and elections held, by a mail ballot with simple majority of the valid incoming votes.

  1. Council

1 The business of the Union shall be conducted by the Council, elected from among the members. Not more than one officer and two members of the Council may be from the same country. If an officer or Council member moves country during her or his term of office and the result is that more than one officer and two members of the Council are from the same country, then all the individuals from that country may continue to serve out their terms of office. The Council shall consist of officers (President, Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and, if a journal is being published, Editor) and from ten to fifteen Ordinary members.

2 All shall serve in office for four years and, with the exception of the Secretary, Treasurer and Editor, shall not be eligible for immediate re-election to the same office. The President-Elect automatically becomes President. The President becomes Past-President for the next four-year term. Terms of office begin from the end of the General Meeting at which the officers and the elected Council members are elected. The terms of the Ordinary members shall be staggered so that half of these members are elected at any General Meeting. The Council shall appoint members to fill any vacant positions until a new election is held at the next General Meeting. Ordinary members may be co-opted by the Council for special needs. They are expected to attend Council meetings when invited but do not have a vote at Council.

3 The President of the EOU shall serve as chair of the Council, preside at meetings of the EOU, and appoint committees of the EOU.

4 The President-Elect of the EOU shall fill the function of the President if the President is unable to act. The President-Elect shall succeed to the position of the President if the President is no longer able to fill his/her position.

5 The Secretary shall keep all records of the EOU and its Council, prepare the agenda of General Meetings of the EOU and its Council, record and distribute the minutes of the General Meeting of the EOU and its Council, prepare the published communications of these meetings, and deal with communications of the EOU and the Council as directed by the President.

6 The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial matters of the EOU, and for sending out any subscription notices.

7 The Council shall meet at Conferences. The quorum at any meeting of Council shall be no fewer than ten elected members, including two officers. Emergency meetings of the Council may be called by the President with a two-thirds concurrence of its members or by two-thirds of the Council members. Council decisions can also be made by mail or other forms of communication provided that two-thirds of its members agree.

8 Reports of all committees are directed to the Council for their consideration and further action.

9 Nomination for officers and Ordinary members of the Council to be elected at a General Meeting shall be made by a Nominating Committee chaired by the immediate Past-President and including three other non-Council members appointed by the President. No more than one ordinary member of the Nominating Committee can be from the same country. Any member of the EOU may submit nominations to the Nominating Committee or volunteer to be nominated. The slate of persons to be elected must be made available three weeks in advance of the up-coming General Meeting.

10 Reports of the Council and of Officers shall be presented at the General Meeting.

  1. Secretariat

The Council may nominate a Secretariat which reports to the Council.

  1. Conference

The Conference is normally held every two years at different places in Europe.

  1. Journal

The Journal, if one is published, is edited by the Editor who appoints an editorial board of at least three persons, each from a different country.

  1. Finances

1 The financial period of the EOU is two years.

2 The income of the EOU is in particular from membership subscriptions, donations, legacy and returns from activities of the society.

3 Subscription rates shall be set by the General Meeting. The maximum subscription fee shall not exceed 50 Euro p.a.

4 Outgoings are according to the budget and the list of current priorities determined by the General Meeting. Council may spend 10% more than the budget or Euro 5000 more than the budget, whichever is the greater.

5 Beyond the limits of 10(4), Council may spend funds received for specific designated projects within the Objectives of the Union.

6 The General meeting elects two auditors.

  1. Liability

Liability for financial obligations is limited to the assets of the EOU. A joint surety is excluded.

  1. Changes of the statutes, termination of EOU

1 Changes of the statutes and the termination of the EOU are decided by a two-third majority of the voting members during a General Meeting when this has been announced to all members at least 10 weeks before the meeting or by a two-third majority of a postal ballot.

2 In the event of termination of the EOU, all existing funds shall be donated to one or more organizations with similar objectives to the EOU, as decided by the Council.

3 These statutes have been discussed and decided in principle at the General Meeting of the EOU conference in Bologna 1997 and Gdańsk 1999. The society was formally founded in Zürich on 11 August 2000 and these statutes set into force immediately. Further changes were made by votes on 23 August 2005 at the EOU General Meeting in Strasbourg, in accordance with clauses 5(2) and 5(3).

Signed by Prof. Jacques Blondel, President and Dr. Lukas Jenni, Treasurer in Zürich, Switzerland, 11 August 2000

Modified by the General Meetings in: Strasbourg, France, 23 August 2005; Vienna, Austria, 26 August 2007; Riga, Latvia, 27 August 2011; Norwich, UK, 29 August 2013; and in Cluj, Romania, 30 August 2019.