Rules of Procedure for General Assemblies of the European Meteorological Society e.V. (EMS)
- revised at the 13th General Assembly, 11 September 2011, Berlin, Germany
- revised at the 16th General Assembly, 05 October 2014, Prague, Czech Republic
- revised at the 20th General Assembly, 02 September 2018, Budapest, Hungary
- revised at the 23rd General Assembly, 31 August 2021, virtual meeting
Composition of the General Assembly
Convocation and agenda of meetings
Conduct of Debates
Publicity of the General Assembly
General Rules for Voting
Voting at General Meetings
Voting by Correspondence
Minutes and Documents
Composition of the General Assembly
Before each General Assembly, each Member Society shall communicate to the Executive Secretary of the Society whether it intends to participate, and, if so, the names of the persons who will represent it at the General Assembly.
a) In addition to the provision of Rule 1, where a State has more than one Member Society, the Member Societies in that State shall communicate to the Executive Secretary the names of speakers who shall represent all the Member Societies of that State at the General Assembly, and which Society (to be known as a Representative Society) shall represent them all in the votes (see Rule 16).
b) A Member Society may nominate another Member Society as a proxy to speak and vote on its behalf. Notification of the name of the proxy must be conveyed to the Executive Secretary in writing in advance of the General Assembly. A Member Society can only act as a proxy for one other Member Society.
Membership of the EMS begins on the day that a Society is elected by Council. Associate Membership of the EMS, as defined under Article 3.5 of the EMS Constitution, begins on the day that the Associate Member is elected by a vote of at least two-thirds of the Council.
Annual subscriptions of members refer to the full year beginning January 1st, and become due each year, for new members on election and for current members on invoicing by the Executive Secretary. Annual subscriptions of Societies leaving the EMS will not be refunded. Non-payment of annual subscriptions of Members or Associate Members in full by 1 September (or the date of the General Assembly, whichever is earlier) of the year following the year when payment is due, will result in the EMS Membership being considered “dormant”. Dormant Members will not be listed on the website as (Associate) Member, and they are not eligible for any Membership benefits. However, should all missed payments be made the Membership can be reinstated without going through a new application process.
The General Assembly allows observers to attend an Assembly session. These observers should be in one of the following categories:
(i) representatives of Associate Members of the EMS;
(ii) representatives of non-European Meteorological Societies;
(iii) representatives of European Meteorological Societies which are not Members of the EMS;
(iv) chairpersons of committees established by the Council or General Assembly;
(v) representatives of organizations which the Bureau has decided by a simple majority vote to invite to a particular General Assembly;
(vi) experts whom the Bureau has decided by a simple majority vote to invite to a particular General Assembly.
A General Assembly may invite observers of the categories (v) or (vi) of Rule 5 to attend all subsequent sessions of the General Assembly until the invitation is withdrawn.
The conditions under which observers may attend a General Assembly of the Society are as follows:
(i) a notification of the attendance of an observer must be provided to the Executive Secretary before the opening of the General Assembly;
(ii) an observer shall speak only when invited to do so by the Presiding Officer. An observer may be invited to comment on motions but shall not propose or second them;
(iii) an observer shall not have a vote;
(iv) an observer shall not attend any part of the Assembly which is held in camera;
(v) an observer may be provided with appropriate documents at the discretion of the Executive Secretary.
A General Assembly in session may, in particular cases, add to or modify the conditions listed in Rules 5, 6 and 7 for that session by a two-thirds majority vote.
Convocation and agenda of meetings
The President shall convene the General Assembly of the Society at least once in each calendar year. The General Assembly may be held as a physical meeting, as a virtual meeting using video or telephone conferencing tools, or as a hybrid meeting involving both a virtual and physical presence. The date and format, and in case of a physical or hybrid meeting the place, are decided by the Council, the decision being by simple majority of the members of Council participating at the Council Session and in the vote, or at the written request of Member Societies of at least five different States, the request to be addressed to the President through the Executive Secretary, stating the matters to be placed on the agenda.
The agenda for a General Assembly shall be decided by the Assembly, but a provisional agenda shall be established by the President with the assistance of the Executive Secretary, taking due account of any requests made under Rule 9 or Rule 12.
Notice of the convening of a General Assembly, and the provisional agenda, shall be sent to all Member Societies as soon as possible and at least six weeks before the date of the session. Any documentation relating to items on the provisional agenda should be sent to all Member Societies as soon as possible and at least three weeks before the date of the Assembly, in the English language. Any additional documents for consideration during the session should be sent to the Member Societies as soon as they are available.
Any Member Society may propose the addition of items to the provisional agenda at any time, but preferably at least two weeks before the date of the Assembly. Such proposals should be addressed to the President, through the Executive Secretary, accompanied by explanatory memoranda in the English language. They shall, if received at least two weeks before the Assembly, be sent out by the Executive Secretary to the Member Societies.
The provisional agenda shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval as soon as possible after opening of the Assembly. The Assembly may amend the agenda at any time.
Under Article 5.1.2 of the Constitution, the presence of ten Representative Societies shall constitute a quorum at a General Assembly, except that, in addition, one of those present shall be one of the Officers of the EMS. If an Assembly has less than ten Member Societies present, or no Officer of the is EMS present, it shall adjourn and reconvene in one hour. It shall adjourn in this fashion not more than twice.
Any informal discussions which take place may be recorded and notified to the Council by any member present.
Conduct of Debates
In addition to exercising any power conferred upon the person elsewhere in these Rules of Procedure, the Presiding Officer (see Rules 14 and 31) shall open and close the Assembly, direct the discussions, ensure the observance of the provisions of the Constitution and of the Rules of Procedure, accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote and announce decisions. The Presiding Officer shall ensure the maintenance of order at the Assembly. The Presiding Officer shall rule on points of order, and shall have in particular the power, subject to there not being a two-thirds majority vote against, to adjourn or close a debate and to adjourn or close an Assembly.
During the debate on any one agenda item, one speaker (known as the Representative Speaker for that item) shall represent all Member Societies in any one State.
The Presiding Officer may call a speaker to order if the Presiding Officer considers remarks are irrelevant to the subject under discussion. Subject to the provisions of Rule 17, the time allowed to each speaker may be limited by the Presiding Officer.
Proposals shall normally be debated and voted upon in the sequence in which they have been presented.
During the debate on an item of the agenda, only Representative Speakers may present proposals on, or amendments to, the subject under consideration.
A point of order raised by any Representative Speaker shall be decided by the Presiding Officer, in accordance with the existing Rules of Procedure and usually immediately (see Rules 29 and 30). A Representative Speaker may appeal against the ruling of the Presiding Officer. Discussion on such an appeal shall be limited to the appellant and the Presiding Officer. If the appeal is maintained, it shall be put to the vote immediately and the ruling of the Presiding Officer shall stand unless that ruling is overruled by an appropriate majority of the Representative Member Societies present and voting (see Rules 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41).
Neither the Representative Speaker raising a point of order nor any other Representative Speaker may speak on the substance of the subject under discussion until the point of order has been determined.
If two or more amendments to a motion, or to an amendment, are proposed, a discussion shall be held and a vote shall be taken first on the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal or amendment, and then on the amendment next furthest removed until all the amendments maintained have been put to the vote. The Presiding Officer shall have the power to determine the order of voting on amendments under this Rule, subject to Rule 18.
A proposal or an amendment may be withdrawn by the proposer unless an amendment to it is under discussion or has been adopted.
Amendments shall be voted on before the proposal or amendment to which they refer. When all amendments have been disposed of, the original proposal, as modified by adopted amendments, shall be voted on.
A Representative Speaker may request that parts of a proposal, document or amendment be voted on separately. If objection is made to the request for division, the request for division shall be voted upon.
Permission to speak on the request for division shall be given, at most, to two speakers in favour and two speakers against. If the request for division is accepted, those parts of the proposal, document or amendment which are approved individually shall subsequently be put to the vote as a whole.
During the discussion of any matter, a Representative Speaker may propose the postponement of the debate to a specified time. Such proposals shall not be debated, but shall immediately be put to a vote.
A Representative Speaker may propose at any time the adjournment or the suspension of the Assembly.
Such a proposal shall not be debated, but shall immediately be put to a vote.
A Representative Speaker may at any time propose the closure of the debate, whether or not any other Representative Speaker has signified a wish to speak. Permission to speak on the closure of the debate may be accorded to not more than two Representative Speakers both opposing the closure, after which the proposal shall be immediately put to the vote.
The following proposals shall have precedence in the following order over other proposals before the Assembly:
a) to suspend the Assembly;
b) to adjourn or to close the Assembly;
c) to adjourn the debate on the item under discussion;
d) to close the debate on the item under discussion;
e) to discuss a point of order (see Rules 20, 21, 22 and 28).
After the Presiding Officer has announced that voting has begun, no one may interrupt the voting, except on a point of order concerning the manner of conducting the vote. The Presiding Officer may permit Representative Speakers to explain their vote, either before or after the count, except in cases where a secret ballot (see Rule 48) is held. The Presiding Officer shall not permit the delegate raising the point of order to explain his vote.
If for any reason the President resigns or is unable to carry out his functions, the Vice-President shall have the same powers and duties as the President. If no other Officer of the EMS is present at a General Assembly, it has no quorum (see Rule 14).
Persons with a financial or personal interest in the outcome of any debate should declare it to the Assembly and neither speak nor vote in that debate. The Executive Secretary shall normally leave the meeting when her/his employment, conduct, personal emoluments and conditions of service are being discussed, though this should normally be overridden if the debate includes similar matters for staff for whom the Executive Secretary is responsible. Decisions – but not an account of the debate – taken in the absence of the Executive Secretary shall be announced to the Executive Secretary before the end of the Assembly by the Presiding Officer, and shall be included in the minutes of the Assembly prepared by the Executive Secretary.
Publicity of the General Assembly
Unless otherwise decided, the General Assembly of the EMS shall be held in private. On decision of an Assembly, the whole or part of that or a subsequent Assembly may be held in public or in camera.
In case of a session to be held in camera, the session shall be strictly restricted to Representative Speakers and to those persons whose presence the General Assembly as a whole has agreed to.
Public statements on behalf of the EMS as a whole upon the proceedings and conclusions of a General Assembly shall be issued only by the President, a person authorized by the President, a person authorized by the Council or a person specifically authorized for a particular occasion by the General Assembly.
General Rules for Voting
Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or these Rules of Procedure, all decisions of a General Assembly of the EMS shall be determined by a simple majority of the votes cast for and against.
The number of votes needed to constitute a simple majority shall be the next integer immediately above half the votes cast for and against.
Financial matters shall be decided by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast for and against.
If an equal number of votes is cast for and against a simple-majority proposal the Presiding Officer shall have a casting vote.
In instances when a Representative Member is prevented from participating in a vote by force majeure, the Member concerned shall if possible so notify the Executive Secretary or the President of the EMS.
In instances when a Representative Member has notified the Executive Secretary or President of the EMS that it has been prevented from participating in the vote by force majeure as stated in rule 40, and the force majeure was accepted as stated in rule 42: In case the result of a vote could have been reverted by one additional vote, the decision shall be postponed.
For the purposes of Rules 40 and 41, it shall be decided by a simple majority what constitutes force majeure (see Rules 36, 37 and 38) .
The Presiding Officer shall decide which matters are financial (see Rule 38).
Voting at the General Assembly
At the beginning of each General Assembly, the Presiding Officer shall examine whether the number of accredited Representative Members represented constitutes a quorum as defined in Article 5.1.2 of the Constitution and Rule 14 above .
Voting shall normally be by show of hands of Representative Speakers, and its summary results shall be recorded in the minutes of the Assembly. However, any Representative Speaker may request a vote by roll-call, which shall be taken in alphabetical order of the full names of the Member Societies in the English language as used by the Executive Secretary in correspondence. If a vote by roll-call takes place, the vote or abstention of each Representative Member Society shall be recorded in the minutes.
Voting by Correspondence
A vote by correspondence is a ballot in which votes are cast through electronic communication means; it can be called by the President at any time between sessions of the General Assembly at the request either of at least two Representative Member Societies or of a majority of the EMS Bureau provided that the matter has been discussed in Council and the minutes have been circulated.
Voting by correspondence shall be conducted by the Executive Secretary. Any proposal submitted to a vote by correspondence shall be arranged so that independent questions are voted upon separately.
Votes by correspondence must be received exclusively by the Executive Secretary within 30 days of the date on which the invitation to vote was sent to Member Societies. Votes received after that date, and votes circulated to others than the Executive Secretary alone, shall be considered invalid.
The quorum for voting by correspondence shall be the same as that required for a General Assembly. If the number of replies received by the Executive Secretary during the 30 days’ period specified in Rule 48 does not reach the required quorum, the proposal shall be considered to be rejected. It may, however, be re-submitted at the next General Assembly, or submitted for a decision of the Council.
Each Member Society shall designate a person authorized to vote in a vote by correspondence. A deputy for this purpose shall also be designated. The names of these persons shall be communicated to the Executive Secretary. After this notification, this designation of particular individuals shall continue until the Executive Secretary is notified otherwise.
In addition to the provision of Rules 2 and 50, when a State has more than one Member Society, the Member Societies in that State shall each communicate to the Executive Secretary the name of the Representative Society which shall designate a person authorized to vote on behalf of the Member Societies of that State in a vote by correspondence.
A statement certifying the results of the voting by correspondence shall be established by the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall retain the votes in the form they were cast until the end of the subsequent General Assembly.
The Executive Secretary shall communicate the results of a vote by correspondence to all Member Societies, in the form of numbers of votes cast for and against and the number of abstentions, and a list showing the votes of individual Representative Member Societies.
Minutes and Documents
The Executive Secretary shall ensure that all documents distributed during, and intended for consideration at, a General Assembly shall normally be sent to participants at least three weeks before the Assembly. Only urgent matters may be raised in papers made available at the beginning of the Assembly.
The Executive Secretary shall prepare a list of decisions and the minutes, giving the substance of the discussion and the decisions taken at each session of the General Assembly. The decisions and the minutes shall be distributed as soon as possible, certainly within three weeks, to all Member Societies and other participants in the session, who may suggest amendments in writing to the Executive Secretary within thirty days following the date of distribution. Any disagreement on the subject of these proposed changes shall be settled by the President, after consultation with the Society or participant concerned. Those decisions and minutes to which no objection has been made within thirty days of its despatch in the English language shall be held to be adopted. Where objections have been received, the relevant parts of the minutes or decisions shall be held to be adopted, in their amended form if appropriate, once the President has decided on the text. The text of any amendment shall be distributed to all Member Societies and other participants in the session.
The Executive Secretary shall distribute the finally approved Minutes as rapidly as possible to all Member Societies and other participants in the Assembly. The texts of all resolutions and recommendations made by the Council, and a list of decisions, shall be annexed.
The Council established under Article 5.2 of the Constitution shall report to an annual General Assembly.
Approved minutes of the General Assembly and of sessions of Council shall be distributed to all Member Societies and members of the Council at the same time.
The Council, under Article 5.2 of the Constitution shall establish and record its own Rules of Procedure. These shall, however, be consistent with the Constitution and with these Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly.
The Council is authorized to establish subsidiary bodies as it sees fit, subject to overall financial constraints decided by the General Assembly, and to approve the Terms of Reference of these subsidiary bodies. Bodies subsidiary to the Council shall, whenever possible, carry out their work by correspondence.
Travel and subsistence expenses of persons attending the General Assembly, and of meetings of bodies established by it and by Council, shall normally be borne by their own Societies. Deviations from this rule should be agreed to in advance by the establishing Council or General Assembly.
Council, and any other bodies established by the General Assembly, shall submit annual reports, including adequate financial reports, to the General Assembly.
Bodies established by the Council shall submit annual reports to the Council.
Unless otherwise specified by the body setting it up, the Rules of Procedure applicable to the General Assembly apply to the proceedings of any bodies set up by the General Assembly, and the Rules of Procedure applicable to the Council apply to the proceedings of any bodies set up by the Council.
In carrying out the functions assigned to him by Article 5.5.2 of the Constitution, the Executive Secretary shall be assisted by other members of the Secretariat whose posts have been authorized by the General Assembly under Articles 5.5.1 and 5.5.2 of the Constitution. The functions of the Secretariat shall be to:
(a) uphold the Constitution, carry out the duties assigned to it by the Constitution and by the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and of the Council, and carry out any other tasks the General Assembly or the Council may assign to it, having taken account of time, financial and capacity constraints on the secretariat;
(b) execute the day-to-day management of the accounts;
(c) organize scientific conferences, seminars and other events of Europe-wide scientific importance;
(d) prepare and distribute the documentation for items on the agenda of the General Assembly, sessions of the Council and subsidiary bodies set up by either, at the discretion of the General Assembly;
(e) make arrangements for the General Assembly and sessions of the Council;
(f) organize and perform the secretarial duties at the General Assembly and sessions of the Council;
(g) maintain files of correspondence arising from all matters concerning the EMS; prepare and distribute the summarised minutes in accordance with Rules 54, 55, 56 and 57; provide any public information service that the Council may consider necessary for the EMS;
(h) if agreed with the President, act as the Society’s interface with its legal advisers in any legal matters which may arise.