Constitution and Memorandum on Membership
- There is hereby formally established the European Consortium for Sociological Research.
- The general purpose of the Consortium shall be to promote sociological research in Europe: in particular by encouraging co-operation between research centres, by improving the resources and facilities available to sociologists in Europe, by increasing contacts among them, and by facilitating collaborative research and training programmes.
- Any University Faculty or Department of Research Institute, Centre or Unit, or any comparable institution (not necessarily affiliated to a University) which is located in Europe and which undertakes sociological research may apply for membership of the Consortium. Applications for membership will be considered by the Executive Board of the Consortium and decisions to accept or reject applicant institutions as members will be made by the Board, acting on the basis of criteria established by the council of the Consortium. Notwithstanding these criteria, the Executive Board has the right to reject applications on other grounds, and is not required to give reasons for its decisions.
- Once its application is accepted, an institution shall be known as a Member of the Consortium until it resigns or its membership is withdrawn or lapses. Each year a member shall pay, by an appointed date, a membership fee to the Consortium. The membership of any institution more than two years in arrears in the payment of this fee shall be deemed to have lapsed.
- All Members shall enjoy equal rights of representation on Council and of access to all facilities and activities arranged by the Consortium.
- Each Member is entitled to designate one person, and one alternate to that person, to serve as its representative on the Council of the Consortium.
- The Council shall meet in regular session at least once in every three years at such time and place as may be determined by the Executive Board. The Council shall be responsible for the general policy of the Consortium, including financial policy and the state of its accounts. It shall confer upon the Executive Board appropriate authority to carry out the programme of the Consortium and to direct its affairs during the periods between Council meetings.
- A special meeting of the Council may be convened by the Executive Board and shall be convened by the Board on request from one third of the Members of the Council. Reasonable notice of any special meeting shall be given.
- Each Member shall have one vote in Council, exercisable in propria by its designated representative or his or her alternate. Subject to this, Council may adopt its own rules of procedure.
The Executive Board
- The Executive Board and its Officers, numbering in total not more than ten persons, shall be elected by the Council. Elections shall take place at least every three years. The officers of the Board shall include a Chairperson and a Secretary. All those elected must at the time of their election be persons designated to represent Members on Council or their alternates. The Chairperson of the Board has the right to exercise a casting vote.
- For the election of the Board the acting Board of ECSR appoints a 'selection committee' which consults widely among ECSR members and proposes several names for election to the Board. These may include the names of existing Board members who wish to serve another term and proposed new members (up to 10 persons in total). These names are sent, by email, to the contact person in all member institutions of good standing (that is, institutions which have paid their membership subscriptions for the year in which the election is held or for the previous year if the election is held between January and June). Within one month, each institution will be able to add not more than two names to the list of people willing to serve. The final list of names, together with the name of who has proposed them, will then be sent to each institution's contact person by mail. Each institution will be asked to vote for not more than 10 candidates. Only institutions in good standing will be entitled to vote. The contact person of each institution is responsible for ensuring the participation of his or her institution in this process.
- Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall take place once a year. Special meetings may be convened by the Chairperson or at the request of a majority of Board Members. Reasonable notice of a special meeting shall be given.
- The Officers shall prepare an annual report on the activities of the Board and an annual statement of accounts and budget, which, after approval by the Board, shall be distributed to all Members. Otherwise, the duties of its Officers shall be as determined by the Executive Board. The Board may establish its own rules of procedure and may delegate authority to its Officers.
- The Executive Board shall have the power to appoint committees, to receive and expend monies, to enter into contracts and to undertake any other form of activity consistent with the purposes of the Consortium and subject to decisions or policy made by the Council.
- In special circumstances, the Executive Board may consider applications from institutions for Associate Membership of the Consortium and allow such membership on conditions to be determined at its discretion, except that Associate Members will have no right of representation on the Council.
Revision of the Constitution
- At some time not less than three nor more than five years from the date of acceptance of this Constitution, the Executive Board shall make proposals to Council for constitutional revision, having first solicited the views of all Members on this matter. Full powers rest with the Council for determining procedures to deal with any proposals that may be made by Members for constitutional amendments prior to this revision.
Adopted March 23, 1991.
Memorandum on membership
- All institutions represented at the meeting at which the ECSR is formally established are deemed to be Founding Members, subject to their confirmation.
- Applications for membership from other institutions will be examined by the Executive Board and decisions will be made in the light of the following considerations and criteria.
- Membership of the Consortium should be as wide as possible, consistently with the aim of including only those institutions which
- engage in sociological research as a substantial part of activities; and
- enjoy complete intellectual independence and autonomy in pursuing such research, and control over data produced and the dissemination of results; and
- have the resources, in terms of personnel, facilities and finance, to enable them to participate actively in the work of the Consortium; and
- have a demonstrated capacity to achieve and maintain high standards in all relevant aspects of the research process.
- Certain more specific criteria that could be applied in considering the suitability of an institution for membership would include the following (without any implication that each would have to be met for an application to succeed, and where (institution) refers also to its staff considered severally):
- the institution has already engaged to a significant degree in collaborative research with an institution or institutions already Members of the Consortium, which would be ready to support its application;
- subject to legal and financial constraints, the data bases formed in the course of the institution's work are normally and in due time made publicly available - as, for example, by being deposited in data archives or distributed on request;
- at least some part of the work undertaken by the institution leads to publications in refereed sociological journals or independent publications;
- the institution's practices in data collection, data analysis etc. are open to scrutiny and reveal an awareness of currently available techniques.