Internal Rules 2018

Internal regulations of the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA)

The new wording of the Internal rules has been adopted in February 2018.­­



1. Objective
2. Confidentiality
3. Structure
4. Membership
5. Voting Procedures
6. Payments, expenses and procedures
7. Rules and sanctions


1. Objective

1.1 To further clarify and complement certain parts of the Statutes of Association

1.2 To set out general, fixed rules for steering and governing of ELPA, as well as to set out general, fixed rules to determine ways and procedures for participating in ELPA activities.

1.3 To set out procedural guarantees for the benefit of members, Board members, employees, volunteers and external contractors.

1.4 Any other general proposal, made known to everyone in writing, will be considered as an addition to these regulations and will have the same force. It will then be included when these regulations are next updated.

1.5 These regulations will be presented to each new member, Board member, employee, volunteer and external contractor when they join ELPA, and will be officially displayed on ELPA website.

1.6. Every member, employee, volunteer, external contractor, as well as ELPA Governance, have to read and accept these rules prior to the start of collaborating with ELPA. 

1.7. These rules, together with the Statutes of the Association, ensure legitimacy and legality of ELPA procedures.


2. Confidentiality

2.1 Any information, in the widest sense of that term, concerning ELPA is considered confidential and no member, Board member, employee, volunteer or external contractor may divulge its existence or its content. The members of the Board must respect the principle of confidentiality in any matters in which ELPA is involved as well as in voting and internal decisions.

2.2 ELPA’s internet, intranet, fax and email facilities may be used for personal reasons, provided they are used sparingly and in good faith.

2.3 Use of the internet must respect security procedures and legal constraints, notably regarding copyright, libel, misinformation, abuse and provocation.

2.4 Activities that contravene operational rules could result in disciplinary action.


3. Structure


The President represents ELPA in all its work and is given all the powers necessary to do so.

3.1.1. In such situation that the position of President becomes temporarily vacant, for example because of significant unavailability or a long illness, Board will decide with the vote which of the Vice Presidents will fill the position.

3.1.2. In the event that the position of President becomes permanently vacant, for example because of resignation or death, a new President will be elected following the procedure set out in Article 16 of the Statutes of Association. President elect remains in his/her position for four years, if no other changes occur. Upon the end of the mandate,

3.1.3. President will take over the role of the advisor to the new President and will remain in that position for one year. Such procedure takes place in order to ensure effective transition of responsibilities and tasks, as well as ongoing activities to the new President.

3.2. BOARD

ELPA Board is comprised of legitimately elected members by General Assembly, following the procedure set in the Statutes of the Association.

3.2.1. All Board members serve as Vice Presidents in charge for specific area of ELPA’s interest. Areas of interest are defined on the first Board meeting after the new Board or Board member has been elected. One of Board members/Vice Presidents serves as the Treasurer.

3.2.2. The Vice Presidents permanently assist to the President. They are charged by the President and they carry out specific duties in line with the goals of ELPA, as well as the specific area of ELPA’s interest that they cover.



The Treasurer holds ELPA’s funds. His/her responsibilities include, but are not limited to: collecting fees, subscriptions, grants and other revenues of ELPA, making all payments authorised by the President, keeping double-entry accounts according to established accounting rules, presenting an annual report on ELPA’s financial position with supporting accounts to the President and Board at least 7 working days before the annual General meeting(the Board must then submit it to the General meeting for approval), making financial reports and presenting them to the  Board during Board meetings, preparing the next year’s budget and presenting it to the Board before the annual General Assembly.

3.4. ELPA Board can name Honorary members. Honorary members are esteemed individuals or organizations and internationally recognized professionals working with liver health or any other sphere of ELPA’s interest. 

3.5. ELPA Board reserves the right to name Honorary Board members. Honorary Board members can be former Presidents of association or former Board members. Honorary Board members have no voting rights and are seen as advisors to the current Board. They are not participating in Board meetings and are invited when their expertise and advices are needed. ELPA is obliged to invite its Honorary Board members to all solemn manifestations of association.

3.6. Both Honorary members and Honorary Board members have to accept regulations presented in ELPA Internal rules, Statutes of Association and Codes of conduct. Any breach of those regulations may result in losing the title of Honorary member or Honorary Board member at the next Annual General Meeting.

3.7. ELPA Board can name Advisors to the Board. Advisors are esteemed individuals and internationally recognized professionals working with liver health or any other sphere of ELPA’s interest.  Advisors are contacted and invited when their expertise and advices are needed.

3.8. ELPA Board can name Observers to the Board. Observers are esteemed individuals and organizations internationally recognized for their work on liver health or any other sphere of ELPA’s interest. 

3.9. Advisors to the Board and Observers are appointed every two years by Board.

3.10. ELPA can form specialised working groups for ELPA members whose participation is regulated in ELPA working group systemisation and operating instructions.


4. Membership

4.1. In order to become a member of ELPA, candidates must be:

  1. non-for-profit organisations recognised as such in their respective countries
  2. organisations whose principal objective is the support and care of people with liver diseases
  3. organisations ready to cooperate with other organisations sharing the same aims
  4. organisations unaffiliated to governments, political parties, economic pressure groups or pharmaceutical companies
  5. organisations working in the voluntary sector
  6. organisations with a majority of patients or their representatives

4.2. Member organization shall accept and abide by the Statutes, Code of Conduct and Internal Rules of ELPA.

4.3. All organizations wishing to apply for membership in ELPA, shall present their candidature to the Board of ELPA in writing via e-mail or post, enclosing the following documentation:

  1. Letter stating that the organization wants to join ELPA (on official letterhead of the organization);
  2. Decision of the organization’s governing body that the organization wants to join ELPA and that it accepts ELPA’s Statutes, Code of Conduct and Internal regulations;
  3. Legal status: Copy of certificate of registration;
  4. Copy of Statutes (in national language and English);
  5. List of Board members, specifying their liver patient status (more than 50% must be patients who have or have had a chronic liver disease);
  6. Copy of the audited accounts for the year preceding the year of application.

4.4. Based on Board recommendation, organizations that have applied for ELPA membership and presented all necessary documents will receive the status of Member Candidate. Member Candidate will have opportunity to present themselves at the General Meeting.

4.4.1. Every association will have the status of a Member cCndidate for a period of one year.

4.4.2. During the status of Member Candidate ELPA Board will assess the work of the member candidate and will issue their opinion when the period of one year exceeds.

4.4.3. Following the positive opinion from ELPA Board, at the next AGM members will vote on accepting the new member.

4.4.4. Member candidate status officially ends once the majority of AGM votes for admission to the membership.


5.  Voting procedures

5.1 Only the President of a member organisation can represent that organisation and vote at the General Assembly.

5.2 If the President is unable to attend, a member organisation may designate another of its members as its representative, provided they have a duly authorised, written permission to do so.

5.3 In the absence of such permission, member organisation will be considered absent and may not vote or claim reimbursement of expenses incurred while attending the General Assembly.

5.4 During voting at the General meeting each full member has one vote.

5.5 At meetings of the Board each proposal must be put to the vote and decisions will be taken by a simple majority.

5.6 Each member association has one vote. Each member association can be a candidate for the Board, provided that there are no more than 2 associations from the same country. In voting at a Board Meeting, the votes of one single country cannot count for more than 25% of the total votes.


6. Payments, expenses and procedures

6.1 ELPA will reimburse to existing members, to its employees and external contractors the costs incurred while executing activities for ELPA.

6.2 ELPA will reimburse travelling and accommodation expenses in line with ELPA reimbursement policy, upon presentation of the original receipts and correctly filled reimbursement form. ELPA employees and Board, along with the receipts and reimbursement form, also must present their travel reports. 

6.3. ELPA will reimburse travelling expenses upon presentation of the original receipts on the basis of the lowest available price for public transport or on the basis of a fixed amount per kilometre determined by the Steering Committee

6.4. In order to get the reimbursement, all claims must be submitted no later than 30 days after the end of the meeting/conference/travel.


6.5 General meeting expenses

  1. ELPA will pay for meals
  2. Whenever possible, ELPA will organize General Meetings so that they take place during one day without the necessity for staying over a night. However, a night’s accommodation will be reimbursed for those whose total travelling time (there and back) exceeds 10 hours.

6.6 Expenses will be reimbursed only to one person per organization, except where the Board decides otherwise.

6.7. The President has the right to singly approve payments and costs up to 5000 EUR. Amounts that exceed 5000 EUR need to be approved by ELPA Board.


7. Rules and sanctions

7.1. Members, employees, volunteers and external contractors must act in accordance with directives given by the Board. In all circumstances, they have the right to represent ELPA but may only do so with the prior written consent of the Board.

7.2 Any behaviour contrary to the interests of ELPA or in breach of legislation in force may, depending on its nature and seriousness, result in disciplinary action.

7.3 The following sanctions are available:

  1. a verbal warning from the President or his/her representative
  2. a written warning from the Board
  3. a summons by the Board  to discuss the alleged behaviour,
  4. ELPA will cover costs of travelling will be paid  to the member that is summoned
  5. the exclusion of the summoned member

7.4. ELPA reserves the right to break off any partnership with any organisation if ELPA believes that that organisation does not conform to ELPA’s ethos as set out in Article 7 of the Statutes of Association.