In accordance with statutes, the FEDE – « Fédération Européenne Des Ecoles » – « Federation for Education in Europe », is based obligatorily in Switzerland. Its various provisions are subject to the Laws of this country. Hence, this necessarily requires the presence of at least one member from the “Confédération Helvétique” – “Swiss Confederation”, on the Executive Board of the Institution. Said must have a managerial position in the school, teaching or training.
The FEDE is by vocation, according to the statutory provisions, to foster the exchange of programs, experiences, create encounters between school directors, teachers, and young from several countries, to set up competitions, certificates, examinations (with an obligation in all cases to provide for examinations of a European nature and language…). Briefly, its action as a whole is to create an overall climate that facilitates the nature of the European spirit of development and to promote the concept of “European citizenship”, ambitions, which must be achieved with the highest quality.
Likewise the FEDE must keep tight ties with the European institutions, the European Union and the Council of Europe, in particular to benefit from the contributions of these institutions in the educational domain as well as benefit its members of this experience.
During the probationary period, the affiliated members, not yet full members, shall not have the status of “FEDE members”, among others, in terms of publicity, because their situation is provisionary.
They can hold no responsibility, not in the organization of competitions or examinations, not at the level of chairman of the commission, not any activity of power. Non-respect of these provisions shall bring about serious sanctions and could go as far as a definitive rejection of admission of the contravener.
Full members who are inaugurated to the committee, the Executive Board or even commissions, must respect strict ethics and conform to the spirit of the FEDE. Contrarily, not applying the most elementary rules of professional deontology or fraternity, runs the risk of being heavily sanctioned, or being excluded from the FEDE, whose image could be tainted by their inconsiderate acts.
The same rules apply to observing members.
Honor members and qualified members participate as of right in the general meeting and the committee. However, their opinion is not consultative: they may be called on to play the role of advisor for the FEDE. Only an honor president, former president of the FEDE, by reason of his/her experience, and exceptional service given in the past, is authorized to take part in voting, for example, in the General Meeting elections every 4 years.
Furthermore, members of groups, associations, unions and various organizations, members of the FEDE, may mandate their president or a representative to the General Meeting, to explain in their name and even eventually solicit a position of responsibility. This latter has but one vote for any election.
Finally, being that the FEDE is European by very nature, only schools registered in member countries of the European Council can aspire to become full members.
This provision therefore excludes schools dependant on other continents from the category of full member, apart from all the overseas territories dependant on a European state. Schools dependant on another continent can apply in the quality of an observing member. These schools from another continent must be attached to a full member.
Observing members may elect among themselves observing-full members who will have the right to attach themselves to full members.
In order to alleviate the impact on countries in the European Federation but outside the European Council, the following distribution is provided:
1. An observing-full member is eligible by the observing members, as from 20 observing member adherent schools from the same country; if this number of 20 is not achieved, it is proceeded by a “grouping of countries outside the European Council” by “geographic sector” that appoints one candidate.
2. A maximum of 8 observing-full members is eligible by country or grouping of countries.
3. Only one observing-full member by country or grouping of countries can be elected to the Committee.
4. This observing-full member is elected during the General Meeting by the countries or groupings of countries from which he/she comes.
5. The observing-full members sitting on the Committee cannot represent more than 30 % of the total members on the Committee.
6. The positions of the President, General Secretary and Treasurer on the Committee are held by members from countries in the European Council.
The procedure of affiliation and admission is herewith specified:
1. All requests are transmitted to the presidency.
2. A response in the best time (8 to 10 days) is addressed to the applying candidates with:
• A questionnaire to complete
• Information about the FEDE (various brochures)
• The statutes in one of the official languages (English, French), as well as, the Bylaws
• Indication of inscription fees and annual dues
• Description of the admission procedure
3 The requesting school answers the questionnaire and returns it to the presidency, and all the useful documents and inscription fees to the treasurer. Once payment is confirmed, the applying school receives an acknowledgment letter. The request is then examined by the Executive Board, which has all the necessary information. If the Executive Board judges it recommendable, it appoints a FEDE member, known for his/her competence and impartiality to visit the establishment and give his/her opinion. However in the end it is the Executive Board that gives the following decisions: “favorable” – “unfavorable” – “supplementary enquiries”. To take effect, the next Committee must accept the decision.
4 In the case of a favorable decision from the executive board, the applying school receives notice of affiliation for a probationary period until certification by the sovereign Committee. The provisional affiliation is published in the FEDE journal.
5 A general list of full member schools is published in the “bulletin” before the Committee or by default, is subject to a general communication to FEDE.
6 The establishment having applied for its adhesion may only present candidates for FEDE examinations after its admission is definitive by the Committee. The same applies at election time for new adherents wishing to assume responsibilities on the committee or the executive board. They can only do this after having definitive admission.
7 The Executive Board fixes admission but the candidature does not become definitive until the Committee gives approval and after the annual dues are received by the treasurer.
8 It is reminded that for all intents and purposes it is forbidden for all schools with a provisionary status to advertise using the FEDE emblem or invoking its adhesion to this Institution. A contrary behavior will naturally give rise to serious sanctions, which could lead to definitive non-admission to the concerned establishment.
9 The new adherent must attend one of two General Meetings, which follow its admission. To be made definitive by the Committee and to present its activity. The non-respect of this procedure authorizes the Executive Board to exclude the new adherent as part of Article 10 of the Statues.
The “diploma” confirms that the school has the quality of a full member of the FEDE and is sent only if it is a member holder and its dues have been paid up. The provisory situation of an “affiliated member” can only be given an Attestation form but in no case a diploma.
In the event of deregistration for reasons other than non-payment of dues, a school may appeal to the president of the Executive Board. The Committee will exam the appeal according to the terms of Article 26 of the Statues. The committee will make a final decision by a simple majority vote. In the case of equal votes, the President has the decisive vote. He/she may ask for a report from an expert or an ad hoc commission before ruling.
In regards to elections of a position of responsibility: general presidency, executive board, committee, auditor, commission presidency or other, national FEDE representation in a member country may only be taken into account if the applications are received by the general secretary of the FEDE at least one month before the general meeting (proof of date as per postmark).
This clearly signifies that there may not be unsolicited applications, submitted a few days before or at a general meeting. All solicited applications sent after the delays are therefore rejected and there shall not be any overriding measures. Furthermore, it is forbidden for an applicant to hold several positions of responsibility at the same time. At least in which concerns the presidency, the executive board, and the committee. For more clarity on this subject, it is stated that an elected member to the executive board is a non-voting member of the committee.
Consequently, the election candidates, which takes place every 4 years in the ordinary general meeting (or exceptionally in an extraordinary general meeting), must decide on a specific position to the executive board or a place on the committee in the time required but they may not apply for double candidature. Non-respect of this provision will bring about a rejection pure and simple of the candidates in question.
Therewith to prevent all precipitated or fanciful allusions of candidates to positions on the committee, the executive board and above all the presidency, all applications are subject to the obligation of at least two years of presence in the FEDE, the probationary period included.
On principle, the non-professional auditors are elected for two renewable years, except if in the general meeting it is decided otherwise and carries to 4 years for example, by mandate.
The decisions subject to voting are taken either by “raising of hands” or by “secret ballot”. In terms of this regulation, it is stated that for a “secret ballot” to take place, it must be requested by half of the attending members.
The distinctions between the two voting types are:
• Those that concern new provisions of more or less great importance, no matter what the structural nature or relative life and current functioning of the FEDE: the “raised hand” vote is prescribed unless overridden. Exceptional cases of a serious character may be presented or on an explicit request from at least half the members present, the “secret ballot” may be solicited. It could be during the application of a provision, pure and simple.
• Those relative to divers elections: in the absence of clear indications and specified in the statutes it is wiser to take the following actions:
– if only one candidate solicits a position of responsibility subject to an election, on principle, the vote is taken by raised hand unless the candidate himself/herself requests a “secret ballot” for personal reasons;
– if two candidates or more are in line for a position subject to election, the vote by “secret ballot” is obligatory.
The secretaries of at least 4 different nationalities, non-candidates, are appointed and chosen among the youngest participants of the meeting. They assure the organization of votes, the counting and confiding of the results to the president who makes an official proclamation.
It is stated that the counting of votes will take place obligatorily in the meeting room.
The absentee vote is on principle exceptional and occurs when a double condition is fulfilled: a serious condition and an urgency of the consultation. In conducting this delicate operation in more ways than one it must be ensured that in spite of the inherent difficulties in this type of consultation, anonymity nevertheless be respected.
Regarding representation of different nationalities on the committee, it is important to obtain the best balance possible.
It is strongly recommended, consequently that each country or default “group of countries” constituted by a geographic sector be represented by a member.
In the case of the absence of a voluntary candidate, the president and the executive board can under cover of the general meeting, co-opt a provisionary member who will have to of course give up his/her position at the arrival of an elected successor.
Furthermore in order to alleviate the influence of one country in relation to another, the following distribution is stated:
1 Each nationality is obligatorily represented from 5 adherent schools; if this number of 5 is not reached, it is proceded that a “grouping of countries” by “geographic sector”, which will appoint a candidate. So in order to do this, there is essentially one committee representation for 10 adherent members in the geographic sector concerned.
2 Each fraction of more than 10 schools brings about a supplementary representation up to 50. Over 50, the fractions are as 50.
3 Each country cannot be represented by more than half of its committee members.
Number of Schools Number of representations
From 5 to 10………………………………………… 1
From 11………………………………………………. 2
From 21 ……………………………………………….3
From 31………………………………………………. 4
From 41 ……………………………………………….5
From 51 ……………………………………………….6
From 101…………………………………………….. 7
Given the importance of the committee in the life of the Federation, it appears opportune to clearly indicate that a member of a committee absent more that 3 times consecutively, without a legitimate reason be automatically radiated from the committee. A letter to confirm this radiation is addressed to him/her by the President.
In the same spirit on the executive board, there is as wide as possible representation of nationalities. The same country shall not hold more than half of the positions.
Furthermore, the delegate general appointed by the President and within his/her authority participates in the meetings of the executive board without voting rights. The veritable director of the cabinet of the President, the delegate general rules over current affairs of the FEDE and is in constant contact with the various members of the executive board and the committee and in this plays a fundamental role for the good functioning of the Institution.
Finally, it is advisable but not obligatory that the meetings of the executive board sometimes expand to members of the committee and for the reasons of expediency these meetings take place in different venues from one board to another in the limits of budgetary provisions. The President may convoke these delegates with specific responsibilities; experts and various important figures for one or another executive boards without voting rights.
The work of the commissions, which is chosen by their president and their recording secretary are subject to meeting minutes of sessions punctually remitted to the General Secretary and to an annual report remitted to the Secretary General at least two months before the General Meeting recalling the statement of activities and the decisions taken. It is necessary that the commissions be composed of members of at least three nationalities. They function within the paragraphs a, b, c, d, and e of Article 18 of the Statutes.
The number and types of Commissions are not fixed. They are created based on needs expressed by members of the FEDE and their role is to reflect and/or examine and submit their conclusions.
The FEDE fund of divers origins must be best placed for the interests of this Institution but there are allowances dignified for a certain number of supplementary expenses and commitments.
The role of the auditors is to examine the accounts at the end of each period and verify the mathematical accuracy of the results as well as closely watch to assure a good use of the elements from a healthy management and alert the President and the Executive Board in the case of duly verified anomalies.
In the matter of dues, a vigilance of the treasurer is in effect. The notice to late payers must be carried out in at least 3 reminders: normally in May, September and December of each year. Fees and interest charges for late payments may be requested.
In the absence of a response and a fortiori in the case of a refusal to pay the teaching establishment (or a legal entity) must be considered as a resigning member and be deregistered. This however, after the Executive Board has attempted one last appeal to the defaulting member.
An establishment leaving the FEDE for whatever the reason and may wish to return, need not undergo the probationary period but must however pay anew the current registration fee.
Furthermore it is stated, in all intents and purposes, that a school dependant on a group (even if it does not function in the same city) must regularly pay its annual dues, but however, is exempt from paying the registration fee because of the tight link between this school and the group already registered. There is in effect, in this case, common rules in functioning of the two organizations. It is the same if there are several schools belonging to the same network.
On the contrary, if it is a franchised school where it is administratively and financially independent of the main establishment, which has its own methods of budgetary organization and pedagogy, in short, if it has not established a subordinate link, the previously defined rule does not apply. The school in question must pay the registration fee and the annual dues just as an independent establishment.
This provision does not have a retroactive effect.
It is stated that FEDE members do not assume responsibility for commitments taken by this Institution, they must therefore in return and with reciprocity forbid all personal initiative in whatsoever nature to commit unduly acts here in. In this domain, an appeal could be made to the disciplinary council and for serious misconduct and civil proceedings for compensation – on a penal level – could be considered.
The FEDE needs to develop its public relations. To do this it disposes of the obvious means, given its international character and its European renown enjoying its European Council participating statute. It should intensify its action by a quasi-systematic contribution to international events, conferences and view didactic, cultural or professional expositions chosen for their interest.
It is not excluded that the FEDE organize to create its own meetings of a European nature aimed at its objectives and achievements by emphasizing thorough measures undertaken among the young on the work of the enterprise giving preference to the spread of languages, European culture and the affirmation of the concept of European citizenship
A budgetary fund may be constituted and allocated for this international opening.
In the same spirit, the FEDE must develop “communication” which can be expressed in diverse manners (flashes, press releases, dinner-debates) and above all through its publications presented in two languages (French and English). This does not exclude national representatives from other countries in carrying out translations in their own languages if the need should arise.
FEDE communication must equally develop due to modern means such as the Internet and its equivalents.
The extraordinary general meeting called urgently in the case of dissolution, obeys all the same rules that are set out in Article 13.1 of the statutes. The only difference lies in the fact that it is obligatorily declared to an absolute majority and 2/3 of paid up members.
If this majority is not achieved the first time, a second meeting is called a minimum of one month later conforming to the spirit of the statutes; a simple majority becomes sufficient to declare dissolution.
Bearing in mind that the purpose of these internal rules of procedure is to complete or develop the articles of association, in any unforeseen circumstances, before referring to the minutes of the meetings of the committee or of the general meeting, and even before consulting the Swiss Civil Code, it would be reasonable to give consideration to the foregoing rules of procedure, being normally adopted by a general meeting.