Internal rules | European Liver Patients' Association

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This version of internal regulations of the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA) are currently in the process of amendment.

Internal Rules 2007

Internal regulations of the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA)


1. Objective 2. Confidentiality 3. Positions 4. Spheres of activity and implementation 5. Voting at General Assemblies and at meetings of the Steering Committee 6. Payments, expenses and procedures

7. Rules and sanctions

“Never lose sight of the fact that the spirit is more important than the words.”

1. Objective

1.1 To clarify and expand certain parts of the Articles of Association

1.2 To set out general, fixed rules for the running of ELPA

1.3 To set out procedural guarantees for the benefit of members and, eventually, of employees

1.4 Any other general proposal, made known to everyone in writing, will be considered as an addition to these regulations and will have the same force. It will then be included when these regulations are next updated

1.5 These regulations will be communicated to each new member and employee when they join ELPA and they will be displayed in ELPA’s offices

1.6 To achieve its objectives ELPA may undertake any activity connected, directly or indirectly, or instrumental or supplementary to, those objectives

2. Confidentiality

2.1 Any information, in the widest sense of the term, concerning ELPA is considered confidential and no member or employee may divulge its existence or its content. The members of the Steering Committee must respect the principle of confidentiality in any matters in which ELPA is involved as well as in voting and internal decisions.

2.2 ELPA’s internet, intranet, fax and email facilities may be used for personal reasons, provided they are used sparingly and in good faith.

2.3 Use of the internet must respect security procedures and legal constraints, notably regarding copyright, libel, misinformation, abuse and provocation.

2.4 Activities that contravene operational rules could result in disciplinary action.

3. Positions


The President represents ELPA in all its work and is given all the powers necessary to do so. In the event that the post of President becomes temporarily vacant, for example as a result of significant unavailability or a long illness, the post will be filled by the Vice-President. 

In the event that the post of President becomes permanently vacant, for example as a result of resignation or death, a new President will be elected using the procedure set out in Article 16 of the Articles of Association.


The Vice-President permanently assists, and, if necessary, stands in for, the President and carries out his/her duties. He/she is charged by the President, in agreement with the Steering Committee, to carry out specific duties in line with the goals of ELPA.


The Secretary is responsible for the administration of ELPA and is given extensive powers to do so within the limits set by the President or the Steering Committee. He/she may be assisted by a salaried employee who is not part of ELPA.
His/her responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • convening the annual General Assembly and all other meetings of ELPA
  • ensuring that invitations to meetings and circulars relating to all events organised by ELPA are sent out
  • recording the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Steering Committee and to oversee their implementation
  • recording, together with a secretary appointed at the beginning of each
    meeting, the minutes and accounts of the General Assembly and of the Steering Committee and to oversee their distribution
  • preparing all the questions submitted for consideration by the General Assembly and by the Steering Committee
  • managing the general administration of the office and its supplies
  • organising, as economically as possible, travel itineraries for members andguests whose costs ELPA is reimbursing

The Treasurer holds ELPA’s funds.
His/her responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • collecting fees, subscriptions, grants and other revenues of ELPA
  • making all payments authorised by the President
  • keeping double-entry accounts according to established accounting rules
  • presenting an annual report on ELPA’s financial position with supporting
    accounts to the President and Steering Committee at least 7 working days before the annual General Assembly. The Steering Committee must then submit it to the General Assembly for approval
  • presenting intermediate accounts as needed by the Steering Committee
  • preparing the next year’s budget and presenting it to the Steering Committee before the annual General Assembly

The other members of the Steering Committee are at the disposal of the President, the Treasurer and/or the Secretary to be seconded to assignments.

4. Spheres of activity and implementation

4.1. Members and employees must act in accordance with directives given by the Steering Committee. In all circumstances they have the right to represent ELPA but may only do so with the prior written consent of the Steering Committee

4.2 ELPA reserves the right to break off any partnership with any organisation if ELPA believes that that organisation does not conform to ELPA’s ethos as set out in Article 7 of the Articles of Association and in the Charter

4.3 To reiterate and clarify conditions of membership of ELPA, full members must be:

  • non-for-profit organisations recognised as such in their respective countries
  • organisations whose principal objective is the support and care of people with hepatitis and other liver diseases
  • organisations ready to cooperate with other organisations sharing the same aims
  • organisations unaffiliated to governments, political parties, economic pressure groups or pharmaceutical companies
  • organisations working in the voluntary sector
  • organisations with a majority of patients or their representatives

5. Voting at General Assemblies and at meetings of the Steering Committee

5.1 Only the president of a member organisation may represent that organisation and vote at the General Assembly

5.2 If the president is unable to attend, a member organisation may designate another of its members as its representative provided they have a duly authorised, written permission to do so

5.3 In the absence of such permission that member organisation will be considered absent and may not vote or claim reimbursement of expenses incurred in attending the General Assembly

5.4 During voting at the General Assembly each full member has one vote

5.5 At meetings of the Steering Committee each proposal must be put to the vote and decisions will be taken by a simple majority

5.6 Each member association possesses one vote. Each member association can be a candidate for the Steering Committee provided that there are no more than 2 associations per country. In voting at a Steering Committee Meeting, the votes of no single country may count for more than 25% of the total votes.

6. Payments, expenses and procedures

6.1 ELPA will reimburse to existing members, to invited future members and to its employees the costs incurred in attending properly convened meetings subject to the following conditions:

6.1.1 Travelling expenses

ELPA will reimburse travelling expenses upon presentation of the original receipts on the basis of the lowest available price for public transport or on the basis of a fixed amount per kilometre determined by the Steering Committee

6.1.2 Accommodation expenses

Whenever possible, ELPA will organise General Assemblies so that they take place during one day without the necessity for a night’s stop-over. However, a night’s accommodation will be reimbursed for those whose total travelling time (there and back) exceeds 10 hours. If ELPA cannot itself organise accommodation, members will be reimbursed for the price of reasonable local accommodation

6.1.3 Other General Assembly expenses

ELPA will pay for meals

6.2 To be reimbursed members must submit their expenses’ claim within 30 days of the date of the meeting for which they are claiming

6.3 Reimbursement of expenses will be only for one person from each member, except where the Steering Committee declares otherwise

7. Rules and sanctions

7.1 Any behaviour contrary to the interests of ELPA or in breach of legislation in force may, depending on its nature and seriousness, result in disciplinary action

7.2 The following sanctions are available:

  • a verbal warning from the President or his/her representative
  • a written warning
  • a summons by the Steering Committee to discuss the alleged behaviour, the
  • costs of travelling to which to be borne by the member summoned
  • the exclusion of the summoned member