EBCOG is the Board of the Section of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the Union Européenne des Médecins Specialistes (UEMS). As such, the functions of EBCOG are bound by the statutes of UEMS, by national regulations, and by the relevant European Economic Area directives. The European Board of
Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBGO) and the European College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ECOG) had similar objectives, with a membership open to all countries in Europe. The new Constitution combines the strengths of both organisations. In accordance with UEMS statutes, the Articles of Association will not be registered.
Under the name of the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a Board (hereinafter referred to as a Council) is hereby established, to be governed by this Constitution. The headquarters of EBCOG will be based in the UEMS building 20 Avenue de la Couronne, B-1050 – Brussels.
The aims and objectives of EBCOG are to improve the health of women and their babies by seeking to achieve the highest possible standards of training and care in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology (referred to hereinafter as O & G) in all European countries.
2.1 The objectives shall be achieved as follows:
i) Recommend the standards required for the training of specialists and the means of maintaining those standards.
ii) Examine the content and quality of training in all countries of Europe.
iii) Recommend the criteria to which the specialist training centres should conform.
iv) Make proposals for unifying the training programmes to achieve specialist status.
v) Ensure that knowledge and skills of specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists are maintained and updated at regular intervals.
vi) Develop, with the sub-specialities in O & G, a system to assess and recognise the quality of training and practice.
vii) Promote research relevant to the health of women and their babies.viii) Facilitate the exchange of specialist trainees between training centres throughout Europe to harmonise and improve the quality of training.
2.2 Council has a responsibility to ensure that these objectives are pursued and to regularly review what has been achieved.
EBCOG shall have the following bodies:· The Council which is the governing body of EBCOG. The Executive Committee which is the administrative body of EBCOG. The General Assembly which is the advisory body of EBCOG.
Composition and Functioning of EBCOG
4.1 Any European country is entitled to membership of EBCOG providing the requirements laid down in the Constitution and By Laws are fulfilled.
4.2 The Council of EBCOG shall comprise two delegates from each member-country. One delegate will be nominated by the National Scientific Society or Universities; the other will be one of the two national delegates to the Section. The mandates of all delegates must be endorsed by the National Medical
Association which is recognised by UEMS.
4.3 Membership of EBCOG shall be granted to any European country which is a member of UEMS. However, the representatives of European countries that are not members of the EEA may join in debates but are not entitled to vote on matters designated by the President to be of specific concern to the EAA, nor may their representatives become Officers of EBCOG. Members of working groups and experts may come from any European country.
4.4 Voting rights of members of Council are described in the By Laws.
4.5 EBCOG shall be administered by an Executive Committee comprising 4 Officers – a President, a Vice-President, a General Secretary and a Treasurer, assisted by 5 Councillors. All of them are elected by the Council. The term of office of the President and Vice-President will be three years and they will not be eligible for immediate re-election to the same office, but to the same office only after the completion of 3 years out of office. The term of office of the General Secretary and Treasurer will also be three years but they will be eligible for re-election for a further term of three years. One of the Officers of EBCOG shall be an Officer of the Section of O & G. The election of Officers and of the Executive Committee is described in the By Laws.
4.6 Officers may take part in Council debates but may not vote. If a vote in Council is indecisive, the President may make the deciding vote.
4.7 Experts and representatives from collaborating organisations, which includes any organisation for trainees in O & G, may be co-opted as nonvoting members by Council as described in the By Laws. However, EAPM, ESGO, ESHRE and EUGA each has the right to nominate a delegate who shall have a substantive vote.
4.8 EBCOG may form working parties as described in the By Laws.
4.9 The Permanent Working Group of Junior Hospital Doctors (PWG) and the European Network of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ENTOG) both have the right to nominate an O & G delegate who shall have a substantive vote.
The Executive Committee of EBCOG
5.1 The Executive Committee shall be responsible for:
– The management of the affairs of EBCOG.
– The establishment of the yearly budget and the use to be made of the available funds.
– The submission to Council of proposals for the establishment of standing and ad hoc working groups necessary for the activities of EBCOG and for receiving the reports from these groups.
– The preparation of Agendas for Council meetings.
– Ensuring that the Constitution and the By Laws are correctly adhered to.
5.2 The day to day management of the affairs of EBCOG shall be the responsibility of the President and Officers.
5.3 The Executive Committee will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant communications from EBCOG shall be transmitted for consideration by the Section of O & G and subsequently to the Executive Bureau of UEMS. The Executive Bureau of UEMS is entrusted with communicating all recommendations from the Sections and their Board to the Standing Committee of Doctors of the EU and the Advisory Committee for Medical Training for transmission to the Commission of the EEA.
6.1 The General Assembly will be the advisory body of EBCOG.
6.2 Individual fellows of EBCOG will have the right to attend the General Assembly.
6.3 The General Assembly will be governed by the Council of EBCOG and administered by the Executive Committee of EBCOG.
6.4 The President of EBCOG will chair the General Assembly; the Secretary- General will prepare the agenda.
6.5 The Council can determine what further benefits might be open to individual fellows.
7.1 Each member country shall pay a joint yearly contribution to EBCOG and the Section as recommended by the Treasurers and agreed by Council each year. Details of payments and the consequences of non-payment are in the By Laws.
7.2 The Treasurer is the officer responsible for the collection of fees from individuals.
7.3 The Treasurer will present the accounts to Council at the annual general meeting of EBCOG.
7.4 The financing of EBCOG is governed by its internal regulations and is not a responsibility of the UEMS Management Council.
7.5 An annual fee will be set by Council for individual fellows and collected by the Treasurer.
Amendments to the Constitution and By Laws
8.1 Any proposal for an amendment to the Constitution must be submitted to the Executive Committee by at least one quarter of voting members of Council. Once passed by Council it must be forwarded to the Section of O & G and then to the Management Council of UEMS.
8.2 Any proposal for an amendment to the Constitution shall be circulated in writing to all voting members of Council at least six months before a Council meeting at which the amendment is to be discussed. The voting can be in person or by post as described in the By Laws. At the meeting, when the amendment is discussed, there must be a majority of two-thirds of Councillors for the amendment to be passed; the two-thirds majority to include postal votes as well as representatives present at the meeting. If the majority is not reached, the amendment shall fail.
8.3 A By Law may be changed only if it has been placed on the Agenda in time for the next meeting of Council. A change of a By Law requires a simple majority vote in favour by Council.
Dissolution of EBCOG
9.1 A decision to dissolve EBCOG shall be taken by a meeting of Council specially convened for the purpose and composed of at least two-thirds of Councillors who may vote. Should this quorum not be reached, Council shall be reconvened within the time limits prescribed by the By Laws. This second Council meeting in extraordinary session may make a valid decision irrespective of the number of Council members present.
9.2 In no case may EBCOG be dissolved unless there is a two-thirds majority of those voting members of Council present who are in agreement. In the event of EBCOG being dissolved under the above provisions or as a result of a legal or judicial process, the Council shall appoint two or more commissioners charged with the liquidation of the assets of EBCOG.
9.3 The Council shall determine the use of the net assets of EBCOG.
9.4 The liquidation shall be final only after approval of the liquidation accounts by the members of EBCOG and with the agreement of the Section of O & G and of the Management Council of UEMS.
BY LAWS OF CONSTITUTION OF EBCOG
1. Duration or office, timing of nomination or Councillors, and deputising
1.1 Councillors will normally have a term of service of three years with the right of re-nomination for a further three years, making a maximum of six years.
1.2 Councillors must be in active clinical practice at the time of nomination.
1.3 A member state may change its representative providing the General Secretary of EBCOG is given notice before the next meeting of Council.
1.4 In the event of a Councillor being appointed as an Officer of EBCOG, the member country of that Councillor may appoint a replacement.
1.5 A member of Council who is unable to attend a meeting of Council must inform the General Secretary before the meeting. The councillor may nominate a deputy who for that meeting of Council has the right to vote.
2. Voting Rights of Members of Council
2.1 When a vote is taken, each member country has one vote only.
2.2 If a member country is in arrears of the annual subscription by more than six months from the end of the relevant year, that country will lose its vote on Council. This is dependent on the Treasurer of EBCOG having made at least two requests for payment to the General Secretary of the organisation responsible for payment.
2.3 A member country can only have its vote restored by payment of all arrears and dues for which it is responsible.
3. Suspension of Membership of EBCOG
3.1 Any member country that is more than one year in arrears of payment of the subscription to EBCOG will have its membership withdrawn unless there are extenuating circumstances agreed by Council. Normally, to regain membership, all arrears must be fully paid up.
3.2 A member country may withdraw from EBCOG. The national association of that country must give notice of at least six months of its intention to the General Secretaries of EBCOG, and of the Section of O & G.
3.4 Membership of countries unable to pay the subscription
Council recognises that a country applying to join EBCOG may be unable, for acceptable reasons, to pay the subscription. Such a country can become a voting member of EBCOG only on the decision of Council following a recommendation by the Treasurer who, at the time the application is considered by Council, will present the reasons for non-payment. Membership of EBCOG by such a country is dependent on the understanding that payment of all or part of the annual subscription will commence at the earliest opportunity. Whenever considered appropriate the Treasurer may raise the issue of payment with the Councillors of that country or national society responsible for the payment.
5. Election or the Officers of EBCOG
5.1 Any officer of EBCOG must have been a member of Council and come from a country that is a member of UEMS. A nomination(s) can be made by any member of Council to the General Secretary of EBCOG.
5.2 Voting is secret and election is by a simple majority. If there are more than two candidates after the first vote, the two with the highest number of votes will go forward for a second vote. In the event of a tie, there will be a further vote to achieve a result. If the result remains tied, lots will be drawn by the outgoing President for one of the two remaining names.
5.3 The President and the Vice-President cannot be re-elected for a next term. The Secretary-General and the Treasurer can be re-elected for a next term.
5.4 For all these positions nominations must be in the hands of the Secretary- General three months before the election. The nominee must agree by written reply that he or she accepts the position.
6. The Executive Committee
6.1 The Executive Committee will be made up of the Officers of EBCOG and five Councillors.
6.2 Councillors will normally be appointed to serve on the Executive Committee for a maximum of three years. Executive members can be reelected for a next term.
6.3 Nominations for members of the Executive Committee will be called for by the General Secretary at the Council meeting before an outgoing member(s) of the Executive Committee is/are due to retire. Nominations must be received at least 3 months before the next meeting of Council.
6.4 Councillors must take note of the need for regional representation when nominating for membership of the Executive Committee. Council may refuse to accept a nomination(s) if this principle is not adhered to.
6.5 The system of voting used for election to the Executive Committee shall be the same as that used for the election of Officers. (see By Law 6.2).For all these positions, nominations must be in the hands of the Secretary-General three months before the election. The nominee must agree by written reply that he or she accepts the position.
7. Experts and Representatives of Collaborating Organisations and Experts Invited onto Council
7.1 Experts are individuals whose knowledge and views are essential to the effective working of Council. They may be invited to attend Council. They will usually be chairman of major working committees of EBCOG who are not members of Council, although any individual whose expertise is considered by Council as essential to its deliberations is also eligible. Council may invite a maximum of five experts. Invited members of Council may take part in debates of Council but may not vote. However, EAPM, ESGO, ESHRE and EUGA each has the right to nominate a delegate who shall have a substantive vote.
7.2 Council may also invite any organisation with consultant status, defined as one that has interests allied to those of EBCOG, to send a representative who will have the same status as a co-opted expert. There is no limit to the number of such individuals Council may invite.
7.3 The delegate of the Permanent Working Group of Junior Hospital Doctors and the delegate of ENTOG both have full voting rights (see article 4.9 of the Constitution).
8. Working Parties
8.1 A working party and standing committee may be set up on the recommendation of the Executive Committee and with the agreement of Council.
8.2 A brief for any working party and standing committee, its composition including the name of the Chair and its budget, must be agreed by Council.
8.3 The budget of a working party and standing committee must be discussed with the Treasurer before the proposal is submitted to Council.
8.4 Once a working party and standing committee has completed its brief, and a final report has been made to Council, it shall be dissolved.
8.5 The minutes of a working party and standing committee must be sent to the General Secretary in good time for circulation to the next meeting of Council.
9. Meetings of the Executive and Council of EBCOG
9.1 Normally meetings of Council will occur at least every year and will be preceded by a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Officers may at any time request an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee and/or Council.
9.2 Regular meetings of the Executive Committee and Council must be preceded by the circulation of an Agenda and of the minutes of the previous meeting by the General Secretary of EBCOG to reach members at least 3 weeks before the date of the proposed meeting.
9.3 Any member of Council may place an item for discussion on the Agenda of Council. A member may not raise an item for discussion without having given prior warning of intention to the General Secretary.
9.4 At the start of a meeting of Council, the President will indicate starred items on the Agenda which are for discussion. Non-starred items will be automatically approved without discussion unless a Councillor requests at the start of the Meeting that he/she wishes the item to be discussed by Council.
9.5 The working languages of EBCOG are English and French. Meetings of EBCOG Council will be attended by an interpreter only if necessary. Written and spoken translations into any other language, and the cost of such translations, must be agreed by the Officers of EBCOG.
10 Subscriptions from Member Countries
10.1 A single contribution will be made annually by the national associations of member countries, payable to the Treasurer of the UEMS Section Obstetrics & Gynaecology. In the first year of EBCOG all contributions from member countries will be made into an account held by the UEMS (permanent Secretary – Mr Paul) managed jointly by the Treasurer of the Section of O & G and the Treasurer of EBCOG. The total amount received will be divided between the Section and EBCOG according to prior agreement between the two. The Treasurer of the Section will make the payment to the Treasurer of EBCOG as soon as possible.
11. Amendments to the Articles of Association, By Laws and Dissolution
11.1 Voting by a councillor for an amendment to the Constitution or By-Laws, or dissolution of EBCOG is normally achieved by attending the meeting of Council at which the subject is on the Agenda for debate. It is mandatory for all member countries to vote on an amendment to the Constitution. If neither councillor representing a member country is able to attend the meeting of Council, they must inform the General Secretary so that a voting slip can be sent to them. Postal votes, the contents of which shall be kept secret, will be aggregated with votes cast in Council.
12.1 EBCOG will hold a Congress known as the European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (The European Congress) regularly. The Congress to be held in venues of EBCOG member countries.
12.2 Individual fellows of EBCOG will be entitled to reduced registration at the Congress as determined by the Congress Management Committee.
13. Awarding of Honorary Fellowships
EBCOG can from time to time confer Honorary fellowships to distinguished individuals.
14. Diplomas and Fellowships
14.1 EBCOG may award individual obstetricians and gynaecologists diplomas following assessment in a structured review programme by EBCOG. The review programme is determined by the Council of EBCOG.
14.2 Holders of diplomas can apply to become Fellows of EBCOG. Council will be the body which will consider the applications.
14.3 The Council may also award Fellowships of EBCOG at its discretion.
14.4 All Fellows (except Honorary Fellows) of EBCOG will pay an annual subscription.
14.5 The annual subscription will be determined by the Council and payable on the first day of January each year.
14.6 All paid-up Fellows of EBCOG will be entitled to attend the General Assembly of EBCOG which will be held at the time of the Congress.
03 June 2010
Memoranda of understanding between EBCOG and national societies
1.1 EBCOG was established in 1996 in order to coordinate the work of the national societies of obstetricians and gynaecologists within European countries. Its objective is: ‘to improve the health of women and their babies by promoting the highest possible standards of care in all European countries.’ EBCOG seeks to meet this objective by facilitating understanding of services, education and clinical effectiveness amongst individual European countries.
1.2 Each of EBCOG’s member countries is entitled to two seats on the EBCOG Council. An annual fee, calculated using the UEMS formula, is payable by each country. Voting rights on Council are dependent upon payment of the annual fee.
2.0 Activities of EBCOG
2.1 In order to achieve its objective, EBCOG has established a Standing Committee on Training and Assessment (incorporating Continuous Professional Development) and a Standing Committee on Hospital Recognition. It has formal links with the four major European Subspecialist organisations (the European Association of Perinatal Medicine [EAPM], the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology [ESGO], the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology [ESHRE] and the European Urogynaecology Association [EUGA]) as well as with the European Network of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology [ENTOG]. All of these organisations send representatives to EBCOG’s Council and Executive meetings.
2.2 In collaboration with these organisations, EBCOG is responsible for the biennial European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It has also collaborated in publishing activities.
2.3 As well as this scientific and academic work, EBCOG has a role in representing the professional interests of obstetricians and gynaecologists in Europe. It is constitutionally the Board of the Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes [UEMS]. Representatives of the Section attend its Council meetings and the officers of EBCOG have been elected as officers of the Section.
3.0 Activities of member societies
3.1 The national societies represented on EBCOG’s Council vary in size and complexity. Some are large multinational organisations, with members in other European countries and outside Europe. Many organise national congresses and produce publications.
3.2 National societies have important roles in liaising with political leaders in their countries, providing advice on the development of policies and helping to implement them. Many have responsibilities for specialist postgraduate medical education and also produce guidance for clinicians. Some have important links with patients and with those representing women’s interests
3.3 Professional societies may have a role in negotiating terms and conditions of service and remuneration for their members.
3.4 Some national societies collaborate with others in these activities, acting within a multinational grouping, especially for organising meetings or joint publications.
4.0 Need for a memorandum of understanding
4.1 There are several areas where the roles of EBCOG and national societies overlap. It is essential to avoid confusion if steady progress is to continue in Europe. It could be helpful to delineate clearly the relative roles of the organisations.
4.2 National societies are autonomous and it is important, if they are to be influential locally, that they remain so. EBCOG’s role is to provide support for them when they request this.
4.3 However, there are supranational issues about which EBCOG should be able to develop a position and use its influence, especially in relation to the health of women in Europe. In such circumstances, it is important that EBCOG’s policies are endorsed by its members. Until now, it has been possible to secure unanimous endorsement of EBCOG’s policies but this will not always be the case. There is therefore a need to set out clearly how EBCOG handles issues where there are a dissenting opinion is held by only a small minority of members but where the majority feel strongly that EBCOG should have a view.
4.4 Some member societies of EBCOG attract members from other European countries. It is important that this is not perceived as undermining the authority of the national societies of these countries. There needs to be clarification about the advantages to individuals of such arrangements and, conversely, the advantages to them of membership of their own national society.
4.5 Bilateral meetings have been arranged between national societies from a number of European countries, in order to discuss matters of mutual interest. These discussions may result in agreements which would be of interest to other European societies. It might be helpful if EBCOG were to be informed of the outcomes of such meetings.
5.0 Draft memorandum of understanding
5.1 A draft document is presented in the Annex to this report. It will be discussed at the Council meeting in November 2008. W Dunlop November 2008
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
between The European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBCOG) and The National Society of ……
Whereas the roles of the EBCOG and national societies may overlap, the following principles are agreed in order to avoid potential misunderstanding in the future: Primary activities of EBCOG
- Working for the benefit of women throughout Europe
- Supporting national societies in professional and academic work in their own countries
- Progressing initiatives suggested by national societies
- Monitoring policy issues and informing national societies about developments at European level
- Facilitating the exchange of information between its constituent members
- Receiving reports from national societiesDisseminating information via newsletters, annual reports and the EBCOG website
- Collaborating with European subspecialist organisations
- Supporting the European Network of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ENTOG)
- Organising the European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Harmonising the principles of postgraduate training in Europe
- Training European trainers
- Encouraging the development of hospital visiting by national societies
- Representing the specialty within European institutions such as UEMS
- Liaising with European politicians
- Developing and recognising programmes of continuing professional development
- Enhancing the collection of relevant European health data
- Advising in the development of European clinical performance indicators
Primary activities of a national society
- Working for the benefit of women in its country
- Working with relevant national political leaders
- Collaborating with other national specialist societies
- Collaborating with national subspecialist organisations
- Liaising with national societies in other clinical disciplines
- Facilitating postgraduate training
- Contributing to the professional development of its members
- Liaising with other European specialist societies
- Disseminating information about the development and organisation of specialist activities
- Encouraging effective postgraduate training
- Encouraging effective clinical practice
- Enhancing the collection and dissemination of clinical services and their outcomes
- Developing clinical, professional and scientific networks
Information about EBCOG’s activities, including copies of the minutes of Council, the Executive and the Standing Committees will be placed on the EBCOG website and will be disseminated to national societies. It is agreed that EBCOG and individual national societies will share information which could usefully be disseminated to all constituent members of EBCOG. EBCOG will provide links from its own website to the websites of national societies if requested to do so. Collaboration between individual national societies is encouraged by EBCOG. Relevant information about the outcomes of such collaboration will be reported to EBCOG Council. Decisions taken by EBCOG Council will usually be by consensus. When a national society is in disagreement with a decision of Council, that disagreement will be noted in the minutes of the meeting.