By-laws of the European Association of Plastic Surgeons

Name and logo, purpose, scope, methods

Section 1 The name of the Association is “European Association of Plastic Surgeons” (EURAPS). The logo of the Association shall be a figure of a Greek dancing man pointing at a circle of stars in front of him, symbolizing the European countries. The Association is a non-profit scientific organization.

Section 2 The purpose shall be:
A. To promote excellence in Plastic Surgery in Europe;
B. To furnish an annual Forum for the best scientific works from the European countries;
C. To stimulate research on a high international level as well as to increase the knowledge of plastic surgery and stimulate interactions between the various forms of teaching that are available;
D. To preserve the unity of Plastic Surgery by illustrating its different aspects;
E. To afford recognition to those who have contributed to excellence in Plastic Surgery by extending to them membership of the Association.

Section 3 Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is that specialty in Medicine which deals with acute and non-acute conditions, congenital or acquired, as a result of trauma, disease, degeneration or ageing in patients of both sexes and all ages. Its aim is the restoration or improvement of function, appearance and well-being.

Section 4 Methods:

  1. Annual scientific meeting;
  2. Endorsed courses and meetings;
  3. Affiliation with the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (JPRAS) as the official journal of the organization;
  4. Affiliation with the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS);
  5. Scholarships and Fellowship;
  6. EURAPS Research Council.

ARTICLE II

Membership

Section 1 There shall be five classes of Membership in the Association: Active, Senior, Corresponding, Senior Corresponding and Honorary.

Section 2 Membership of the Association is by application. Membership is a privilege and not a right, and it is contingent upon continuing compliance with the by-laws of the Association. No person shall be elected or remain a member of the Association unless he or she is of good moral character and adheres to accepted principles of medical ethics.

Section 3 Membership in the Association shall be limited to plastic surgeons of a defined level of scientific and clinical excellence.

Section 4 Active members :

A. QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Shall be full members of their National Society of Plastic Surgery, which is a member of the International Confederation of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS).
2. Shall be officially qualified in plastic surgery.
3. Shall have been in active practice of plastic surgery for a minimum of three years after completion of training.
4. Shall have published significant papers on the subject of plastic surgery.
5. Under exceptional circumstances, like internationally recognized outstanding clinical practice, the above requirements can be waived by a two-third majority of the Executive Council.

B. RIGHTS and DUTIES
1. May vote, hold offices and serve on committees of the Association.
2. May use the name and logo of the Association after obtaining authorization from the Secretary General.
3. Shall pay the Annual dues.
4. If absent for three consecutive meetings they shall be dropped from the membership roster, unless the absence is excused by the Officers and the Council.

Section 5 Senior members:

QUALIFICATIONS:
Senior members shall be those Active members who have completely retired from the practice of plastic surgery and related disciplines. This class of members must be conferred by the Executive Council and approved by the General Assembly.

  1. May participate in the General Assembly but may not vote or hold an Association office.
  2. Shall not be required to pay dues or attend meetings. However, they shall pay the same registration fee as active members for the meetings which they attend.
  3. Are obliged to notify the Association if they resume active practice or if their status changes in any other way. In this case eligibility lapses automatically.

Section 6 Corresponding members:

A. QUALIFICATIONS:
Corresponding members shall be those who reside and practice in countries other than Europe, who are full members of their National Society of Plastic Surgery, itself a member of the International Confederation of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS).
1. Shall be officially qualified in Plastic Surgery.
2. Shall have at least two years training in Plastic Surgery at a program recognized by the Association.
3. Shall have been in active practice of Plastic Surgery for a minimum of three years after completion of training.
4. Shall have published significant contributions in the field of plastic surgery.
5. Under exceptional circumstances, the above requirements can be waived by the Executive Council.

B. RIGHTS and DUTIES
1. May not hold offices, may not vote but shall have the rights and privileges of the Association.
2. If absent for three consecutive meetings they shall be dropped from the membership roster, unless the absence is excused by the Officers and the Council.
3. Shall pay the Annual dues.
4. When they retire completely from active practice they may, upon request, become Senior Corresponding members. This class of membership must be conferred by the Executive Council and approved by the General Assembly. Senior Corresponding Members are not required to pay dues or attend meetings. However, they shall pay the same registration fee as active members for the meetings they attend.

Section 7 Honorary members :

QUALIFICATIONS:
Honorary members shall be individuals whom the Association deems worthy of special honor because of notable contributions in the field of Plastic Surgery or because of long activity in the interests of the Association. This class of membership must be conferred by the Executive Council and approved by the General Assembly. They are not required to attend Meetings or pay dues. However, they shall pay the same registration fee as active members for the meetings which they attend.

Section 8 Election of members :

Active and Corresponding members:
1. A candidate for Active or Corresponding Membership must, as a basic requirement, have presented personally a paper to an Annual Meeting of the Association.

2. A candidate for Active or Corresponding membership can apply for membership, when she or he is seconded by two full members of EURAPS, one of them belonging to the same country as the candidate. This last requirement does not apply for countries which have no active members.

3. Each candidate for Active or Corresponding Membership must submit the following items to the Secretary General:
a) The membership application form signed by the two sponsors
b) Certificate of registration as a specialist in Plastic Surgery
c) Evidence of full membership to the National Plastic Surgical Society
d) Curriculum Vitae, submitted according to the Membership Application Guidelines
e) One copy of a regular CV
f) Evidence of the European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (EBOPRAS) examination, if taken.

4. The Secretary General shall ascertain that the requisite items of the application are complete. He/She shall forward the complete application package to the Chair and the members of the Membership Committee. The Executive Council shall consider the slate of candidates as recommended by the Membership Committee and approve each Member on the basis of his/her qualifications. The General Assembly shall vote on the list of Members to be elected.
5. The names of candidates for election will be published by the Secretary General and circulated to all members two months prior to the General Assembly. Members are entitled to send confidentially to the Executive Council and the Chair of the Membership Committee any reason or objection to the election of a particular candidate. Such information needs to be received by the Secretary General, not less than 14 days prior to the meeting of the Executive Council.

Section 9 Application for Membership

Completed applications for active and corresponding membership must be submitted to the Secretary General by the 31st of December of the year preceding the Annual meeting, usually the following May.

Section 10 Notification of Members

All new Members will receive a certificate of Membership signed by the President and Secretary General and a copy of the by-laws of the Association.

ARTICLE III

Officers and Council

Section 1 Officers:

The Officers of the Association shall be the President, the President Elect, the Secretary General, the Secretary General Elect, the Treasurer and the Treasurer Elect.

A. No Member shall be eligible for Office who has not been an Active Member of the Association for at least three years.
B. A term of Office shall begin at the close of the next Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee will be the responsible entity to submit the new slate of officers to the Secretary General and the Executive Council.
C. The Secretary General and the Treasurer are proposed by the Nominating Committee and approved by the Executive Council and voted upon by the General Assembly. They are elected for a period of three years and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms in the same Office.
D. The list of nominated candidates has to be approved by the Executive Council and voted upon by the General Assembly.
E. Election of Officers shall be by ballot of the voting Members in attendance at the General Assembly and a majority shall elect.
F. The President and the President Elect are elected for a period of one year, and are not eligible for re-election in that function.
G. At the EURAPS meeting one year before the end of the term of office of either the Secretary General or Treasurer a replacement shall be elected. The Nominating Committee that will propose such candidates will initiate this process. The slate is presented to the Executive Council for approval. Final vote of the approved slate will take place during the General Assembly. The Secretary General Elect and the Treasurer Elect will be fully involved in the work of the Secretary General and the Treasurer in their last year, but decisions and responsibilities are completely staying with the Secretary General and the Treasurer until the end of their term.
By December 31st of the year preceding the Annual Meeting, the Secretary General shall inform all the voting Members of the Association about all the vacancies. Members wishing to serve the Association on one of these positions are requested to put forward their names to the Secretary General by January 31st of the year of election. The Secretary General forwards the list of candidates to the Chair and members of the Nominating Committee. After the Nominating Committee considers all candidates they submit a slate to the Executive Council for approval and afterwards to the General Assembly for a vote. Additional nominations may be made from the floor during the General Assembly. Election of Officers shall be by ballot of the voting Members in attendance at the General Assembly and a majority shall elect.
To avoid the terms of the Secretary General and Treasurer finishing at the same meeting, the term of the Treasurer may be extended by one year.
H. No Officers of the Association should serve more than six consecutive years.
I. In case of any vacancy in the Executive Council by death, resignation, disqualification or any other cause, the remaining members of the Executive Council by affirmative vote of the majority thereof, may appoint a member to fill such vacancy until a qualified successor is duly elected.
J. Functions attributed to the officers:

1. The President:

  1. Shall preside at the Annual Scientific Meeting;
  2. Shall make motions but will not ordinarily vote. In the event of a tie vote on any question, the President shall cast the deciding vote;
  3. Shall have direct supervision of the affairs of the Association;
  4. May appoint additional Committees for the transaction of certain business if so proposed by the Executive Council;
  5. Shall be the Association’s liaison to international and other plastic surgery groups.

2. The President Elect shall be vested with all powers and shall perform all the duties of the President in the event of the latter’s inability to act, resignation, or otherwise and shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Executive Council.
The President Elect shall automatically assume the duties of the President when the President completes his/her one (1) year term of office. The President Elect shall be in close contact with the President and Executive Council to guarantee efficient continuity.

3. The President and the President Elect are elected for a period of one year, and are not eligible for re-election in that function. The President together with the President Elect will be responsible for external relations of the Association.

4. The Secretary General shall be responsible for the running of the Association and:

  1. Shall be the principal executive officer of the Association;
  2. Shall preside at the General assembly and at all meetings of the Executive Council;
  3. Shall ensure that general charge and custody of the books, papers, records and archives of the Association are kept;
  4. Shall keep and distribute the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Council and the General Assembly;
  5. Shall generate all correspondence appropriately;
  6. Shall maintain the updating of the web site;
  7. Shall send all notices of meetings of the members and of the Executive Council;
  8. Shall communicate all notices of Annual and/or Special Meeting to each member along with the program;
  9. Shall notify all members of their status as Active, Corresponding, Senior, Senior Corresponding or Honorary Members and see that an annual membership list is maintained;
  10. Shall announce the names of all who ceased to be members since the last Annual Meeting at each Annual Meeting;
  11. Shall circulate the names of candidates for election as potential members to all members two months prior to the General Assembly.

5. Secretary General Elect:

  1. Shall be elected for the last year of the term of the Secretary General;
  2. Shall be in close contact with the Secretary General and the Executive Council to guarantee efficient continuity;
  3. Shall be vested with all powers and shall perform all the duties of the Secretary General in the event of the latter’s inability to act, resignation, or otherwise and shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Executive Council;
  4. Shall automatically assume the duties of the Secretary General when the Secretary General completes his/her term of office.

6. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial affairs of the Association, including:

  1. The funds, receipts, and disbursements of the Association;
  2. Collection of all dues, fees, and other demands owing to the Association;
  3. Maintenance of the books of account, showing receipts and disbursements;
  4. Check writing and orders for the payment of money, pay out and dispose of the same as the Executive Council and the Secretary General shall direct;
  5. Provide a full report of the financial affairs of the Association at each Annual Meeting;
  6. Two members of the Executive Council will be appointed annually to check the Treasurers financial report.

7. Treasurer Elect:

  1. Shall be elected for the last year of the term of the Treasurer. The election will be initiated by the Nominating Committee and the slate will be submitted to the Executive Council for approval and then voted upon by the General Assembly;
  2. Shall be in close contact with the Treasurer and the Executive Council to guarantee efficient continuity;
  3. Shall be vested with all powers and perform all the duties of the Treasurer in the event of the latter’s inability to act, resignation, or otherwise and shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Executive Council;
  4. Shall automatically assume the duties of the Treasurer when the Treasurer completes his/her term of office.

8. Historian:

a. Shall be proposed by the Executive Council and voted upon by the General Assembly.
b. Is responsible for maintaining the archives of the Association;
c. Is appointed for a period of three years and may serve more than two consecutive terms.

Section 2 Council:
A. The Council is composed of one representative per European nation that has at least five Members in the Association. The Council Members are appointed for a two year period, and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
B. A new Council Member is proposed by the national representative who finishes term, after consultation with its own National Plastic Surgical Society. This proposal, after approval by the Executive Council, is voted upon by the General Assembly, and a majority vote of those present shall elect.

Section 3 Executive Committee:

A. The Executive Council shall consist of the President, the President Elect, the Secretary General, the Secretary General Elect, the Treasurer, the Treasurer Elect, the National Delegates and the representative of the AAPS. The Historian, the Chair of the EURAPS Research Council, the coordinator of the European Section of IPRAS (ESPRAS), the representatives of the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS) and EBOPRAS, and the two representatives on the editorial board of JPRAS shall have the right to attend personally, or by means of a delegate, the meetings of the Executive Council in a non-voting capacity.
B. The Executive Council shall serve as the administrative authority of the Association and shall consider all its activities and determine its policies.
C. The Executive Council shall be empowered to accept, reject or defer an application for Membership in the Association.
D. In a case a ballot vote in the Executive Council shows an equal number, the President’s vote decides.
E. The term of the representatives of the AAPS, the UEMS and EBOPRAS are defined by their period of function in the AAPS, UEMS and EBOPRAS.
F. The two representatives of EURAPS on the editorial board of JPRAS are proposed by the Executive Council and voted upon by the General Assembly. Their term is for three years and they are not eligible for re-election.

Section 4 EURAPS
Research Council (formerly the ECSAPS):

A. The EURAPS Research Council (EURAPS RC) comprises the research section of EURAPS and holds an annual meeting directly prior to the annual EURAPS meeting. Its goal is to promote the experimental research activities in European Plastic Surgery and to assure a scientific platform for young investigators in this field.
B. The EURAPS Research Council consists of a Chair, a Secretary, two members and the EURAPS Treasurer ex-officio. Each national society represented in the EURAPS Council can nominate a national delegate who is personally involved in actual basic research projects to the EURAPS Research Council. Nomination is for a term of two years and the representative cannot serve more than one term.
C. The administrative meeting of the delegates is on occasion of the annual scientific meeting of the EURAPS Research Council. It is organised and conducted by the Chair of the EURAPS Research Council.
D. The Chair of the EURAPS Research Council is the national delegate who organizes the EURAPS Research Council meeting and is elected for a term of one year and cannot be re-elected. The Chair of the EURAPS Research Council is the administrative coordinator of the Research Council, a member of the EURAPS Executive Council in a non-voting capacity and works in close relationship with the EURAPS Research Council Secretary.
E. EURAPS ensures infra structural support. The Chair of the EURAPS Research Council maintains continuous contact with the Secretary General and the Treasurer of EURAPS.
F. The annual meeting of the Research Council is organized, after a vote at the General Assembly of the EURAPS Research Council, preferably by a national delegate of the country where the EURAPS annual meeting takes place.
G. The EURAPS Research Council is its own entity. The EURAPS treasurer however collects the annual dues and registration fees of the EURAPS Research Council meeting in collaboration with the EURAPS Research Council Secretary. Depending on the balance of EURAPS itself the costs of the EURAPS Research Council meeting may be covered partly by EURAPS to keep it in the frame of a low budget meeting with low registration fees. By that young researchers and basic scientists should get easy access to the EURAPS Research Council meeting without financial hindrance.

ARTICLE IV

Committees

Standing committees are:

A. Scientific Program Committee: The Scientific Program Committee consists of five members. The Secretary General as the Chair, the President, the local host and two reviewers. The Secretary General invites, in consultation with the President, two of the annual 18 reviewers to the Committee. The Scientific Program Committee will be responsible for the preparation of the Scientific Program of the Annual Meeting. Every year, for each of the scientific topics (Aesthetic, Clinical (General), Clinical (Cleft/Cranio), Clinical (Hand/Nerve), Clinical (Microsurgery), Research), three reviewers are proposed by the Secretary General to the Executive Council and presented to the General Assembly the year before the Annual Meeting.
The scientific abstracts are submitted to the Secretary General, who forwards these to the reviewers. The ranking list of the anonymous/blind evaluation of the reviewers is the definite basis of the final program. The Secretary General, the President, the local host and two reviewers arrange the schedule of the scientific program. At least 80% of the selected abstracts have to be from European countries.
The topic of the panel is elected and moderated by the President, who invites the speakers of the panel.
B. Membership Committee: The Membership Committee consists of six members. Four members are proposed by the Executive Council and voted upon by the membership present at the General Assembly. They will serve for three years and are not eligible for re-election. The Chair of the Membership Committee is the President-Elect. The Secretary General participates ex-officio. The members of the Membership Committee investigate the contents of each application and score the contents according to the Guidelines Application Form.
C. Nominating Committee: The Nominating committee is composed of six members, among whom the last three Past Presidents. Two members are proposed by the Executive Council and voted upon by the membership present at the General Assembly. They will serve for one year and are not eligible for re-election. The chair of the Nominating Committee is the immediate Past President. The Secretary General participates ex-officio. Nominations for all vacant positions of Officers shall be made by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will be the responsible entity to submit the new slate of officers to the Secretary General and the Executive Council.
D. Scholarships/Fellowship Committee: The Scholarships/Fellowship Committee is composed of four members, one of them from the USA. They will serve for three years and are not eligible for re-election. The members are chosen by the Executive Council based on a shortlist proposed by the Secretary General. In case the Scholarships/Fellowships are sponsored by the Industry, a representative of that firm is included in the Committee. The Secretary General participates ex-officio. The members of the Scholarships/Fellowship Committee investigate the contents of each application and propose the candidates for five Scholarships and one EURAPS/AAPS Fellowship to the Executive Committee.
E. Hans Anderl Award Committee: The Hans Anderl Award Committee is composed of five members, four from different European countries and one from Austria. They are appointed for a two-year period and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. The members are elected on recommendation by the Executive Council. The Chair is elected by secret ballot among the five members every two years. The members of the Hans Anderl Award Committee investigate the contents of the peer reviewed papers published by EURAPS members over a period of five years (January 1st till December 31st) prior to the upcoming annual meeting and propose the candidate for the award as a recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

ARTICLE V

Meetings

1. An Annual Meeting of the Members of the Association shall be held at the time and place designated by the General Assembly. The Annual Meeting shall consist of a Meeting of the Executive Council and a Meeting of the Members with scientific, business and social programs.
2. Special Meetings: Special Meetings may be called by the President and the Officers and Council and notices must be sent by mail to all members at least 30 days prior to the date of the Meeting. Business to be transacted at a special Meeting will be stated in the notice.
3. Quorum: At least 25% of Members eligible to vote constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a General Assembly Meeting.

ARTICLE VI

Dues and Fees

1. Annual dues for Members are determined by the Executive Council upon proposal by the Officers and collected by the Treasurer. The business year is the calendar year.
2. The Treasurer shall notify all Members in areas of dues. Members delinquent of more than three years may be dropped from Membership by action of the Officers and Council. A letter advising them that they will be dropped if they do not pay must be sent to them by registered/certified mail at least three months prior to effectiveness of this decision.
3. Guest fees and registration fees for the Annual Meeting shall be determined by the Treasurer in consultation with the Local Host.
4. Changes of dues must be proposed by the Executive Council and must be approved by two-thirds of the General Assembly before it can be levied on the Members of the Association.

ARTICLE VII

Ethics and discipline

1. All disciplinary action against any Member (i.e. Active, Corresponding, Senior, Senior Corresponding and Honorary), or candidate for Membership shall be by the Executive Council, which may censure, reprimand, suspend, expel or otherwise discipline a Member.
2. A Member may be disciplined for any of the following reasons:
a) A failure to comply with the reprimands contained in the by-laws of the Association.
b) Unauthorized use of the Association’s name, logo, or other symbols on stationary, publications, symposia advertisements, printed material or in any other manner.
c) Immoral, dishonorable, or unprofessional conduct considered prejudicial to the best interest of Plastic Surgery, or inconsistent with the purpose of the Association.
3. Complaints and procedure:
Any complaint against a Member, or Members, or all requests for disciplinary action against a Member, or Members, shall be made in writing, and addressed to the President of the Association who shall submit such complaints to the Executive Council of the next scheduled Meeting.
a) If fewer than three fourth of the Executive Council at such Meeting vote in favour of investigation of the charges for disciplinary action, the complaining Member should be notified that no action will be taken and the matter will be closed.
b) If at least three-fourths of the Executive Council present at the Meeting vote in favour of the investigation of the charges for disciplinary action, a date shall be sent to consider those charges and the Secretary should notify the Member in question by registered/certified mail of the charges against him/her and shall specify the date, place and time of the Meeting when the charges will be considered.
c) Any such hearings may be conducted in a formal or informal manner as the Executive Council in their sole discretion decide and they may limit the amount of time allotted to any person appearing before it.
d) If at least three-fourths of the Executive Council present at the hearing vote in favour of disciplinary action, the Secretary General shall notify the Member, within five days of the disciplinary action to be taken by registered/certified mail.
The Membership status of any person involved in a disciplinary hearing shall not be altered during the pendency of the proceedings.

ARTICLE VIII

Resignations

Any Member may withdraw from the Association after fulfilling all obligations and giving written notice of such intention to the Secretary General. This notice shall be presented to the Officers and Council at the first Meeting following its receipt.

ARTICLE IX

Dissolution

In the event of dissolution or final liquidation of the Association, all of its assets remaining after payment of its obligations have been made or provided for shall be distributed to, and among such corporations, foundations, or other organizations operated exclusively for scientific and educational purposes consistent with those of the Association, and shall be designated by the Officers and Council. ^

ARTICLE X

Amendments

Section 1 All proposed amendments to the by-laws must be signed by three voting members and submitted in writing to the Secretary General of the Association at least six months prior to the next Annual Meeting.

Section 2 The Secretary General must notify the voting Members by mail of the proposed amendment at least three months prior to the next Annual Meeting.

Section 3 The by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the voting Members present at the annual General Assembly by secret ballot.