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Bylaws - English Version


Article 1

A non-profit company known as the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF THE ASSOCIATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL CONGRESS ORGANISERS, abbreviated as EFAPCO, is hereby established.

This Federation is regulated by the provisions of title III of the Belgian Law of 27 June 1921 for non-profit associations, international non-profit associations and foundations, as amended by the Law of 2 May 2002.

Article 2

The headquarters of the Federation will be in Brussels at 40, Washington Street, 1050 Brussels.
The Executive Committee has the power to create representative offices of the Federation in other European countries.

The headquarters of the Federation may be transferred to anywhere within the Region of the Brussels-Capital by a simple decision of the Executive Committee to be published as an annex of the Belgian Monitor.

Article 3

The purposes of the Federation, which has no profit motive, are as follows:

• to secure governmental and institutional awareness for European PCOs
• to monitor, advise, propose and lobby on all European Union directives which affect the Meetings Industry
• to protect and promote the interests of all EFAPCO members – PCOs and associated service providers
• to raise and maintain high professional standards across the Meetings Industry to ensure the delivery of consistently high service standards – providing education and training opportunities in collaboration with other institutions
• to improve communication and networking between all the Federation members, as platforms for exchange of business opportunities, knowledge and personnel
• to further develop partnerships with fellow associations and institutions operating in the European and Global Meetings Industry
• to help establish national associations of PCO’s in the European countries where these do not exist
• To initiate various subcommittee projects presented by the Federation’s Board Members to further support the Federation's goals and objectives

In any event the Federation’s scope is confined to international activities and, in no way, has the objective of taking on the activities of national association members.


Article 4

4.1. The Federation is composed of Full Members, Associate Members (Included and Direct), Affiliate Members and Partners.

Full Members:

- National associations in European countries, representing professional congress organizers
- Local or regional associations of PCOs and the PCO chapter within another professional association may be also accepted as a full member, if there is no national association in the country.
- If a National Association from that country becomes a member of the Federation, the latter automatically loses its full membership status.
- The acceptance of a Full Member will be submitted to the Executive Committee which has the power to determine the conditions of membership including the admission fee.

Associate Members:

- PCOs (professional congress organizers)

There are two categories of Associate Members:

- an Included Associate Member is a PCO company which is also a member of an EFAPCO Full Member association.

The acceptance of an Included Associate Member will always depend upon the agreement of the National Association to which it belongs.

To be considered an Included Associate Member, PCO companies must be a member of a National Association which is in turn a Full Member of EFAPCO, strictly follow the EFAPCO membership procedures and pay the respective fees.

- a Direct Associate Member is a PCO company located in an European country where there is no national association.

The acceptance of a Direct Associate Member will be submitted to the Executive Committee which has the power to determine the conditions of membership and the admission fee.

A PCO company that operates in a country where there is a National Association that is a Full Member of EFAPCO has to be a member of that association in order to be an EFAPCO member.

The membership fees are subject to yearly evaluation and approval by the General Assembly.

Affiliate members:

- audiovisual companies, congress, training or exhibition centers, interpretation services companies, hotels with meeting facilities, transport companies, catering firms, CVBs, and all other established companies connected with the Meeting Industry.


The following may become partners of the Federation:

- Governmental bodies
- Academic institutions
- International associations
- Trade companies or organizations
- Media companies

Members of any category which candidature is subject to evaluation.

4.2. Members in any category are free to withdraw from the Federation at any time by sending their resignation in writing to the President of the Executive Committee. A Full, Associate or Affiliate member who has not paid his membership fee during the year it refers to, is considered resigned.

The exclusion of a Full, Associate or Affiliate member may be only decided by the GA by proposal of the Executive Committee, who may also suspend members guilty of serious infringements of the Bylaws and the Country or the European Laws.

4.3. In all cases the Executive Committee is sovereign in deciding with regard to the present status, whenever acceptance of membership is contested, or in respect to which category the member belongs.

Article 5

Members pay an admittance fee to be decided by the EC and starting from the civil year subsequent to its entrance, an annual fee. The value of both fees is fixeby the Executive Committee at the beginning of every fiscal year.

In the event of exclusion or resignation of a member, the paid up fees remains wholly owned by the Federation. The member who has been excluded or has resigned forfeits all rights to any fees paid up.


Article 6: The Board and the General Assembly

The Federation members meet in two governing bodies, the Board (Full Members) and the General Assembly (Full Members plus the Associate Members and the Affiliate Members) to deliberate on matters which, in accordance with the present bylaws, are within their scope of authority.

Article 7: The Board

1. Composition

The BOARD is made up of representatives of all the Full Members, 2 per country.

2. Scope of authority

- The appointment of any and all working groups
- The selection of the venues for the EFAPCO Congresses and the General Assemblies
- The promotion of the EFAPCO in the media and on the website
- The nomination and dismissal of the members of the Executive Committee
- The nomination and dismissal of the administrators
- The decision to attend fairs, exhibitions and congresses

2.1. The Board is chaired by the President elected bi-annually from among the Full Members.

2.2. Meetings calendarization
The Board meets statutorily twice each year, usually in May and November. The Board meets also whenever convened by the President of the Board or by one third of its members.

Article 8: General Assembly

1. Composition

The General Assembly is composed by the Full Members, the Associate Members and the Affiliate Members.

2. Scope of authority

The General Assembly has authority over matters which, under the present bylaws, do not belong to other Federation governing bodies as it is the case of
- Changes to the by-laws
- The voluntary dissolution of the Federation
- The exclusion of members
- The approval of budget and accounts

3. Working procedures

The General Assembly is presided by the President of the Board.

4. Meetings calendarization

The General Assembly meets statutorily once each year at the beginning of the fiscal year and whenever convened by its President or by one third of its members.

Article 9: The Board and the General Assembly

Functioning conditions

The Board and the General Assembly meet under the following conditions:

1. Quorum

If two thirds of the members of the Federation (with voting rights) are not present at the General Assembly at the day and time scheduled, another General Assembly shall be convened for the same day and the same place, 30 minutes after the time initially scheduled.

This Assembly will decide on the agenda by the same majority of two thirds of votes, regardless of the number of members present or represented.

2. Call for the meeting

The members must be convened at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the date fixed for the meeting. The agenda must clearly indicate the place, date and hour of the meeting and the following methods of convening are accepted: simple or registered mail, fax, electronic mail.

The Full and the Associate Members are free to add any item to the agenda, so long as it is submitted at least 20 (twenty) days prior to the Board or the General Assembly meeting.

3. Deliberations

Except in specific cases provided for in the present by-laws, resolutions are adopted by simple majority of members present or represented and are made known to all the members.
Each member is entitled to one vote, independently of the number of its country representatives.

4. General Rules

After the meeting, the Secretary General will write the minutes with a detailed description of the items discussed and also the adopted deliberations.

The President will approve the minutes and send them by email to all the participants.

5. Rules of the General Assembly

In the General Assembly Full Members and Associate Members have the full right of vote.

Affiliate Members and Partners are observers who can only intervene when permitted to do so by the President of the General Assembly.

The General Assembly cannot approve motions which are opposed by half the number of the Full Members attending the General Assembly.

6. Representation
Members may be represented at the General Assembly by another member in possession of a special nominative proxy. No member may hold more than two proxies.

Article 10: Deliberations to change the Bylaws and dissolve the Federation

Without prejudice to articles 50 paragraph 3, 55 and 56 of the Law of 27 June 1921, any proposal aimed at amending the by-laws or dissolving the Federation must be made by one third of the members.

The General Assembly shall decide upon the manner of dissolution and liquidation of the Federation. The assets resulting from liquidation of the Federation shall be donated to an unrelated entity.


Article 11

The Federation shall be administered by an Executive Committee of five members: a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary general and a treasurer which will be chosen from the Board.

The president should be elected by the Board Members for a term of two years and has the right to select the other Executive Committee members.

Article 12

Should a position become vacant in the Executive Committee, a new member may be nominated by the President.

If the President steps down before the term of his/her mandate, the Executive Committee is dissolved and a new President must be elected. Outgoing members may be re-elected.

In the event that there is no candidate for President at the end of a mandate, one of the Vice Presidents will act as President until a new candidate is found.

Article 13

The Executive Committee meets when convoked by the President or two members of the Committee. It cannot take place unless the majority of its members are present. Its decisions are taken by an absolute majority of three votes. The President or his/her substitute has the deciding vote in the event of stalemate.

The members of the Executive Committee must be convened at least fifteen days prior to the date fixed for the meeting. The following methods of convening are accepted: simple or registered mail, fax, electronic mail.

Article 14

The Executive Committee (or the Board) has extensive powers to administer and manage the Federation. Among its duties: make and receive all payments and require receipts therefore, make and receive all deposits, acquire, exchange or alienate all movable and real property and enter into and transfer a lease for more than nine years, accept and receive all private and official subsidies, accept and receive all gifts and donations, enter into and conclude all business and sales contracts, contract all loans with or without guarantee, agree to and accept all sub rogations and securities, mortgage company buildings, contract and effect all loans and advances, surrender contractual and real rights as well as all personal guarantees, discharge, before or after payment, all preference or mortgaged shares, entries, seizures or other impediments, appear in all courts as plaintiff or defendant, execute all judgments, carry out transactions, enter into agreements.

Article 15

The Executive Committee may delegate the day-to-day management of the Federation, by granting power of signature pertaining to this management to a designated administrator chosen from among its members or not, and whose powers and salary or compensation it will determine.

Article 16

The Executive Committee shall appoint and discharge, either by itself or by a mandatory, all agents, employees and members of staff of the Federation. Also determines their duties and remunerations.

Article 17

Acts or documents which bind the Federation, other than those which pertain to daily management, are signed by a special delegation of the Executive Committee which may be either the President, the Secretary or the Treasurer who are not obliged to justify their powers to third parties.

Article 18

Legal actions, as either plaintiff or defendant, shall be initiated or conducted on behalf of the Federation by the Executive Committee.

Article 19

The members of the Executive Committee, as a result of their function, do not contract any personal responsibility and are not responsible for anything other than the execution of their mandate for which they receive no compensation.


Article 20

The fiscal year begins on January 1 and ends December 31.

The Executive Committee is required to submit to the approval of the Board and the General Assembly the accounts of the year ended and the budget of the following year.

Article 21

The Executive Committee may decide to constitute a reserve fund and establish the amount and procedures for contribution to this fund by each member.


Article 22

Except where required by law, the General Assembly may designate an auditor (whether or not a member), to audit the Federation’s accounts and to present an annual report. It will determine the length of his/her term of service.

Article 23

If the Federation is dissolved, the General Assembly will designate the liquidator(s), determine their powers and indicate the use to be made of the association's net assets.

Article 24

Any matter not explicitly addressed in the present Bylaws regulated by the Law of 27 June 1921 on international not-for-profit associations.


Article 25

Federation regulations should be presented by the Executive Committee to the General Assembly. Changes to these regulations may be made by the Executive Committee by a decision by a simple majority of members present or represented.

This version amends the previous version of the EFAPCO Bylaws and has been produced in Lisbon on October 2013.



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