Internal regulations

As agreed (updated) at the Spring GA 2016 - 29-30 April - Brussels


1.PRINCIPLES

a) To represent the interests of the various Institutes and Associations of Spatial Planners according to Art. 5 of the Statutes established in the countries represented by the Council of Europe.
b) To represent, through their Institutes and Associations, the interests of spatial planners working in the public, private and academic sectors.
c) To bring together as corresponding members or observers representatives of private, academic, public or associate sectors having a link to the planning practice.
d) To establish partnerships with international organisations who will support the ambitions of the ECTP-CEU
e) To adopt a structure which is neat, simple, economical, efficient and conducive to easy working and decision-making.
f) To provide for continuity and authoritative representation of the various members, recognising that some Presidents may hold office in their Institute or Association for only one year.

2. STRUCTURE

a) The ECTP - CEU comprises two delegates per Institute or Association. It is chaired by the President. In appointing their delegates, Institutes and Associations are encouraged, as far as practical, to represent the interests of their members working in the public, private and academic sectors. The terms for which delegates are appointed are at the discretion of the Institutes and Associations.
b) THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, called "Comité Exécutif" in the Statutes, comprises the administrators, namely the President, the Vice-president, two or more administrators, the Secretary general and the Treasurer. It is chaired by the President. The administrators serve for a term of four years and are eligible for re-election only once consecutively. The President serves in office for a term of two years alternating with the Vice-president for the second biennium and is eligible for re-election. At each election, the Executive Committee will seek to achieve with the delegates an arrangement which, so far as possible, will provide for an adequate period of association with the ECTP - CEU, in the interests of continuity.
c) WORKING GROUPS and TASK FORCES may be appointed to undertake specific tasks. Each member is entitled to one representative on each Working Group or Task Force who may be drawn from the permanent delegates to the ECTP - CEU or other representatives. The terms for which representatives are appointed are at the discretion of the Institutes and Associations.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELEGATION OF POWERS

a) The General Assembly is both a decision making body and a working body. The General Assembly's approval is required for the items according to Art. 21 of the Statutes.
b) The Executive Committee has full authority to act within its agreed terms of reference and agreed budget.
c) The role of the Executive Committee is:
(i) To maintain the momentum and organise the business of the ECTP - CEU.
(ii) To take the initiative on administrative and constitutional matters, including the budget and the admission of new members, and in resolving disputes.
(iii) To prepare material for, and make recommendations to the General Assembly.
(iv) To supervise the Working Groups and Task Forces, to brief them and to receive their output and to ensure that they have effective programmes to which they adhere.
(v) To represent the ECTP - CEU when necessary.
(vi) To organise the procedural arrangements for the election of the members of the Executive Committee.
d) The President may agree proposals, other than those specifically reserved to the General Assembly in (a) above between meetings as appropriate and report to the next Executive Committee meeting.
e) Unless matters are specifically delegated for action, the Working Groups prepare proposals for the Executive Committee and General Assembly to vote on according to the agreed principles.

4. ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

a) The Executive Committee (ExCo) is composed of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 9 elected delegates and should reflect a due balance between northern, central and southern European countries, so as between large and small associations. The number of administrators within the ExCo may be enlarged by a decision of the General Assembly.
b) The ExCo members are elected every 4 years by the General Assembly by secret ballot.
c) All ExCo members (also called "administrators") are elected for a four-year term. All ExCo members, can be consecutively re-elected only once. The suitability of candidates is judged by the General Assembly based on a proposal of General Policy Guidelines presented to the General Assembly by each candidate. When standing for election each candidate must also declare willingness to stand for the Presidency in the coming period, and issue a specific manifesto or statement with proposed policies and actions. This document (revised over time) is the basis on which the two Presidents are appointed according to paragraph f).
d) One ExCo member is required by the Statutes to be the Belgian Administrator, and must be of Belgian nationality.
e) One ExCo member can be elected among the delegates of corresponding members and has right to vote within the ExCo.
f) Following the election according to parag. c), the ExCo meets to appoint two Presidents, a Secretary-General and a Treasurer by secret ballot. These posts can be also covered by the Belgian Administrator. None of these posts can be covered by the ExCo member elected according to paragraph e).
g) The General Assembly ratifies the composition of the ExCo by secret ballot; if the General Assembly fails to ratify it, the ExCo proposes a different composition. If no ratification is obtained, the General Assembly elects the ExCo posts directly by secret ballot.
h) One President will be in charge for the first biennium; the other President for the following biennium. They will alternate automatically. The order of alternation is decided by the ExCo.
i) One of the two Presidents is acting as Vice-president when the other is holding the Presidency. Failing the President for any reason during his/her term, the Vice-president assumes the Presidency until the end of the natural period. Failing both Presidents during their terms, the elected ExCo will appoint two new Presidents according to f).
j) Failing one or more ExCo members during their terms, the General Assembly will elect new ExCo member/s who will act within the ExCo until the end of the natural period.
l) If an ExCo member ceases to be a delegate of his/her association paragraph j) is applied.
m) The General Assembly can contest one or more ExCo members if it is proved that he/she is not acting according to the Statute or not sufficiently fulfilling his/her duties. In this case the ExCo member in question can express his/her objections. The General Assembly will decide by secret ballot.
n) The election of the new ExCo will take place at the General Assembly preceding the last for the outgoing ExCo. The elected ExCo will start its term after the conclusion of the General Assembly following the one at which it is elected.

5. MEETINGS

a) The General Assembly meets twice in each calendar year (one of which is considered the Annual General Meeting). The Presidents of the Institutes and Associations which have subscribed to the International Agreement and Declaration will also be invited to attend the Annual General Meeting.
b) The Executive Committee will meet immediately before or after the meeting of the General Assembly. Other meetings of the Executive Committee may be arranged in the intervals between the General Assemblies as appropriate.
c) Venues of meetings are agreed annually. The General Assembly will usually meet by preference in Brussels. On special occasions and following a recommendation of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly may meet anywhere in Europe as long as reasonable accessibility is assured for all members.

6. VOTING

a) At the General Assembly meetings, every European country is entitled to one vote. (Corresponding members, observers and partnership associations do not have the right to vote.
b) At meetings of the General Assembly, only one delegate from each full member may vote on behalf of that full member. In the absence of both delegates, each full member may appoint another existing member to vote on its behalf. Voting in absentia is only possible on matters on the agenda of General Assembly meetings if a written voting statement is in the hands of the Secretary General prior to the Agenda item being reached. Representation by proxy in a ballot is also possible if the Secretary-General is provided with written proof of the appointment of the proxy prior to the Agenda item being reached.
c) Any amendments on proposals on financial issues have to be presented in written form if any member of the Assembly feels it is necessary for a sound comprehension.
d) At meetings of the General Assembly, voting on the following matters will be by secret ballot:
• admission or exclusion of members;
• composition and election of the Executive Committee;
Voting on other matters will normally be by a show of hands.
e) Three Honorary Presidents, the acting President or the Secretary general will in this order form a three-person team of scrutinisers responsible for ensuring that the proper procedure is observed in the case of these ballots.
f) At meetings of the Executive Committee, each member of the Executive Committee has one vote and a simple majority of the votes cast is required for all decisions. In the absence of a member of the Committee, another member of the Committee may be mandated to act as his or her proxy representative. Half the members of the Executive Committee present in person or represented by proxy shall constitute a quorum.
g) The President, when chairing the General Assembly and the Executive Committee, has a casting vote.
h) Members of the Executive Committee may attend and speak at meetings of the Working Groups or Task Forces ex officio. It is not anticipated that voting will be necessary at meetings of the Working Groups or Task Forces.

7. PREPARATION OF ECTP - CEU MEETINGS

a) The Agendas for General Assembly meetings will be prepared by the Executive Committee. The topics to be discussed will be listed and, as necessary, supported by notes, reports and detailed proposals.
b) Each agenda will include at least the following items:
(i) a list of all matters to be considered (subject to minor amendments)
(ii) the minutes of the last General Assembly meeting (taken as read)
(iii) the minutes or a report by the President of any subsequent Executive Committee meetings (for information and clarification only)
(iv) financial matters (report by the Treasurer)
(v) the fixing of dates and venue for the next two General Assembly meetings.
c) At the Spring Annual General Assembly, the Annual Accounts for the preceding year up to 31 December and the budget for the following year must be submitted for approval.
d) At the Annual General Assembly, the Executive Committee must report on the steps taken to achieve the aim of having at least one member from each European country and the Agenda must indicate how far this aim has been achieved.
e) The agenda for General Assembly meetings will be circulated by the Secretary-General at least one month prior to each meeting.

8. STANDARD ALLOCATION OF BUSINESS AT ECTP - CEU MEETINGS

a) General Assembly meetings will address three issues:
(i) internal administrative and policy matters;
(ii) professional exchange/policy debate on planning issues
(iii) special professional features, which may be introduced by external guests.
b) A considerable period will be allocated to professional exchange and policy debate on planning issues. Therefore point (i) has a section on items to be discussed and an informative section. The length of speeches will be suggested by the President prior to the discussion on a basis of equality.
c) At the Annual General meetings the Presidents of the member organisations will be invited to participate actively in part a) (ii). The length of speeches will be suggested by the President on a basis of equality.
Each member association sends to the Secretary General, by October 31st at the latest, a yearly update of the development of Spatial Planning, education, regulations, main events, refreshing the web site information
d) For the special professional feature guest speakers can be invited to each General Assembly meeting to present their views on matters of importance to the ECTP - CEU, the member bodies or the profession.
e) Agenda items outstanding at the conclusion of the General Assembly meeting will be adjourned to the next meeting or sent back to the Executive Committee for further preparation or for formulation by a Working Group.


9. PARTICIPATION IN GENERAL ASSEMBLIES

a) Each full member may appoint an additional representative to accompany delegates at meetings of the General Assembly, either for a specific meeting or on a continuing basis. Such representatives, the delegates of Corresponding Members and Observers may participate in the meetings but may not vote.
b) Representatives of Observers may attend General Assemblies except during discussions on their admission. They may not vote and may speak only if invited to do so by the President. Guests and other invitees, including partnership representatives, may attend meetings of the General Assembly and join in discussions on the invitation of the President, but have no right to vote.
c) In the event of plenary discussions of a confidential nature, guests and other invitees may be asked by the President to leave the room.
d) The floor will be open to all members of the ECTP - CEU on a basis of equality of length of speeches per member. Longer speeches may be permitted in the case of discussions based on a prepared paper submitted to the meeting.

10. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

a) Membership may be terminated by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee if a member is no longer able to meet the criteria for membership or if the whole or part of its subscription to the ECTP - CEU is outstanding for six months or more.
b) Applications for reinstatement to membership are dealt with on the same basis as original applications, but any member whose membership is terminated for non-payment of subscriptions will not be reinstated until all arrears are paid unless decided otherwise by the General Assembly.

11. SUBSCRIPTIONS

a) Annual subscriptions to the ECTP - CEU are calculated in accordance with a scale approved by the General Assembly at its Spring meeting and are due and payable on 28 February in each year.
b) If the whole or part of any member's subscription remains in arrear, the voting rights of that member will be suspended until the arrears are paid, unless the General Assembly accepts that the default is due to exceptional circumstances and is satisfied that payment will be made before its next meeting.
c) Observers and corresponding members will pay a contribution to be established and approved by the General Assembly.
d) Such contributions and members' subscriptions should be calculated for the first year on a pro rata monthly basis.
e) If no new agreement is reached, the subscription level set for the previous year will remain in force.
f) Partnership with other international associations are based on mutual agreement in assemblies without fees

12. SECRETARIAT

a) It is the responsibility of the General Secretariat to ensure the efficient preparation of agendas for meetings, circulation of papers and minutes and strict adherence to agreed deadlines.
b) The Registered Office of the ECTP - CEU will remain in Brussels and will handle the financial affairs of the ECTP - CEU, liaise with the institutions of the European Union and of the Council of Europe and hold the formal records and documents of the General Assembly.
c) The Registered Office will deal with accounting matters related to the execution of the budget approved by General Assembly. It will also deal with official relations between the Belgian authorities and the ECTP - CEU. In relation to the above, but outwit the implementation of the current decisions recorded in General Assembly meeting minutes or the minutes of an Executive Committee meeting, Registered Office officials must seek the President's approval before committing anything to paper and, more importantly, before taking any action with financial implications.

13. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

a) The official languages of the ECTP - CEU are English and French and this will be recognised in as much as possible documentation, proceedings and publications.
b) When the author of a document for internal use by members is not fully competent in either of the two official languages, the text may be written in any other language if an approximate translation, be it in summary form, is provided in one of the two official languages.
c) The members of the Executive Committee may use among themselves the language which it is easiest for them to use if the person spoken to understands.

14. BELGIAN JURISDICTION

The ECTP - CEU is a legal entity (aisbl / vzw) under Belgian law. If this were to become inappropriate for whatever reason, the choice of another law would be a matter for agreement.