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– Statute –

modified version / approved 15. February 2018

§1 Name, Place of business

(1) The name of the Association shall be “European Network of Research Ethics Committees (EUREC)”. The Association shall be listed in the register of associations (“Vereinsregister”).

(2) The place of business of the Association shall be Bonn.

(3) The business year shall be the calendar year.

§2 Purpose

(1) The EUREC Association pursues exclusively and directly non-profit purposes in the sense of the “Tax Relief Purposes (Steuerbegünstigte Zwecke)” section of the tax code. The purpose of the Association is the promotion of science and research in the realm of bioscientific and medical research ethics. As an umbrella organization, EUREC guaranties this furtherance through the cooperation among national representatives of European research ethics committees, such as national networks. This serves to assist in the harmonization of the multidisciplinary ethical reviews of medical research purposes that are carried out on humans as well as materials or data extracted from them. Thereby, the protection of participants of research projects and the quality of research at the European level shall be promoted. The statutory purpose will be fulfilled, in particular, through:
Development and maintenance of a website to make the issues and discussions available to the public

  • Regular conferences of members to discuss current ethical and legal issues of medical research with an ensuing adoption of recommendations to proceed
  • Development and provision of educational materials for the members of ethics committees
  • Execution of the training and further education of such members
  • Cooperation with European institutions in the area of medical research
  • Furtherance of the public discourse about issues of medical research

For this purpose the Association shall collaborate with the EUREC Office and will use it for its administration. The EUREC Office shall be located in Bonn.

(2) The Association acts unselfishly; it does not follow primarily its own financial purposes. Only the statutory purposes can be pursued by the Association. The members of the Association do not receive financial contributions through the Association; they can, nevertheless, be compensated with an expense allowance.

(3) No person shall be compensated for expenses for purposes alien to the Association or for disproportionately high reimbursement for expenses. 

(4) In the event of the dissolution of the Association or of the cessation of the pursuit of tax relief purposes, the remaining assets of the Association shall fall to the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE) of the University of Bonn, which shall use it directly and exclusively for non-profit purposes.

§3 Charges

Membership shall be free of charge.

§4 Membership

(1) Only a national network of research ethics commissions or a national research ethics committee can become an Ordinary Member. Proof of national representation in accordance with the corresponding national law as well as the independence of and freedom from commercial and other conflicts of interest is required. In addition, the Member must be recognized as a non-profit organisation by their country of origin or be comparable to a non-profit organization recognized by German law. The aforementioned admission requirements must be proven by the Members regularly as well as on command of the Board.

(2) Where the requirements of paragraph (1) are not satisfied persons in question can become Associate Members. In addition, Associate Membership shall be open to other interested bodies. Associate Members must give a written undertaking of independence from commercial or other conflicts of interests.

(3) The Board shall decide about applications for Membership according to paragraph (1) and (2).

(4) Membership according to paragraph (1) and (2) shall be voluntary, and may be terminated by a written statement addressed to the Board at any time. If not terminated before, Membership of natural persons shall end upon death. If the requirements of paragraph (1) are no longer fulfilled the Membership expires; paragraph (2) remains unchanged.

§5 Rights and Obligations

All Members are obliged where possible and appropriate to promote the purposes of the Association and to implement its policies. All Ordinary Members have the right to vote in the General Assembly. This right is exercised by correspondingly authorized natural persons.

§6 Organs of the Association

Organs of the Association are the General Assembly and the Board.

§7 General Assembly

(1) The General Assembly shall meet on at least one occasion per year. It shall consist of all Ordinary and Associate Members of the Association. All Members have the right to submit proposals and to take part in the discussions of the General Assembly.

(2) The tasks of the General Assembly shall include deciding upon

  1. Changes of the Statute
  2. Election and deselection of Board Members
  3. Discharge of a Board Member
  4. Exclusion of a Member
  5. Dissolution of the Association.

(3) The General Assembly is quorate if at least one-third of the Ordinary Members are present. In principal, decisions require the agreement of the majority of the Ordinary Members that are present. For decisions regarding changes of the Statute, changes of the purpose of the Association and upon the dissolution of the Association a three-quarter majority of the Members that are present is required.

(4) The Chair or the Vice-Chair of the Board shall preside over the meetings of the General Assembly.

(5) The voting process shall be open unless an Ordinary Member requests a secret ballot. Every Ordinary Member has one vote. In principal, the General Assembly shall seek to operate on the basis of consensus between the Ordinary Members. However, where a consensus cannot be achieved, a simple majority of Ordinary Members that are present shall suffice; paragraph (3) remains unchanged.

(6) The ordinary meetings of the General Assembly shall be called by the Board in writing at least 8 weeks before the meeting date. The invitation to the General Assembly is in the form of a written letter. It can also be sent by fax or e-mail in text corresponding to § 126b BGB. The agenda and all items to be decided shall be circulated at least 4 weeks before the meeting date.

(7) An extraordinary General Assembly will take place under one of two conditions:

  • At a request of at least 10% of the Ordinary Members. Such a request from the Ordinary Members shall be made to the Board. The Board shall notify the Members of the Association of the request and the date of the meeting immediately and shall schedule the extraordinary meeting in not more than 4 weeks from the notification.
  • At the instigation of the Board. Again, the Board has a duty to notify the Members of such a meeting and to arrange it in a timely manner.

(8) It is the responsibility of the Board to take Minutes of each General Assembly, to prepare transcripts of decisions taken by the General Assembly and to circulate these to the Members within 4 weeks of the meeting. Minutes and transcripts must be signed by the minute-taker.

§8 Board

(1) The Board shall be composed of the Chair, the Deputy Chair, the Secretary General (Head of the EUREC Office) and three other Ordinary Members. Except for the Head of the EUREC Office, the Members of the Board are elected for terms of 3 years. Re-election to a different role is possible, but only twice for the same position. Only nominated representatives of Ordinary Members may be elected to the Board.

(2) The Association shall be legally represented by two Members of the Board, and at least one shall be either the Chair or the Vice-Chair.

(3) The Board is responsible for the daily work of the Association, prepares and chairs the General Assemblies, takes care of the information, and informs the Members about its work.

(4) Unless otherwise stated, the Board shall seek to operate on the basis of consensus. However, where a consensus cannot be achieved, voting shall be on the basis of one vote per Board Member and on a simple majority. The chair has casting vote.

§9 Working Parties

The Board or the General Assembly may set up working parties under such conditions as it sees fit.

§10 Elections of the Board

(1) The chairman and deputy chairman of the Board are elected in different ballots. The election of the remaining three Members of the Board ensues jointly except where one of the Ordinary Members demands a separate election.

(2) The elections are supervised by representative of an Ordinary Member who is not a candidate himself.

(3) The elections are conducted in a secret ballot. The simple majority suffices.

(4) In the event of the retirement of a Board Member a post-election for the Member’s remaining term shall ensue immediately.

(5) Board Members can be voted out by a 2/3 majority of the Ordinary Members present.


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Contact: eurec@eurecnet.org