The thought behind forming this new Society arose from the successful European Concerted Research Action (COST 855) on Animal Chlamydioses and Zoonotic Implications that was funded by COST from 2003-2008, and the desire to keep together and build on the active and productive scientific community that arose from this Action in the form of biennial European meetings on animal and zoonotic aspects of chlamydial research (European Meetings on Animal Chlamydioses or EMAC). This constitution was drafted by the group of scientists that were originally involved in the initiation, establishment and running of COST 855 and actively involved in subsequent EMAC meetings, and was presented to conference at the fourth EMAC meeting on Thursday 14 September 2017 that took place in Zagreb, Croatia and subsequently approved by the said scientists for ratification at the fifth EMAC meeting in Odessa, Ukraine that took place on 3-5 October, 2018. At this meeting the Office Bearers were elected to office by conference, and the first Executive Council of this new society agreed.

Article I. Name

Section 1.

The name of the society shall be the European Society for Animal Chlamydioses and associated Zoonoses, designated by the acronym ESACZ and herein referred to as ESACZ or as the Society.

Article II. Objectives

Section 1.

The purpose of the Society shall be:

  1. To promote and encourage cooperation in all aspects of animal chlamydial research, including biology, pathogenesis, immunology, epidemiology, typing, diagnostics and vaccinology, as well as zoonotic aspects, particularly in keeping with a One Health approach.
  2. To encourage exchange of information among scientists as well as engagement with industry, facilitated through the organisation of biennial meetings.
  3. To encourage inter-laboratory exchanges and collaboration between scientists, as well as with the commercial sector.
  4. To engage with stakeholders, governments, public bodies and organisations, providing advice on best practice and policy, providing disease and product gap analysis and disease control strategies, influencing disease and health-related legislation, as well as lobbying for increased awareness and funding opportunities.
  5. To publish proceedings from biennial meetings on latest research, produce position papers and reviews on specific topics promoting the work of the Society.
  6. To encourage and promote the active participation, development and training opportunities for young scientists in the field through Society meetings and activities.

Section 2

The Society has been formed exclusively for the aforementioned scientific and educational purposes and no part of its assets, income or profit shall be of benefit to the members of Council, Executive Council or other Society members. Furthermore, the Society will not engage in propaganda activities, nor participate/intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Section 3

The Society administers and promotes its activities, including admission to membership, without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age or handicap.

Article III. Membership

Section 1

Membership to the Society shall comprise three categories: (i) Standard, (ii) Trainee and (iii) Emeritus Honorary.

  1. Standard/Standard Retiree. Any persons interested or engaged in research on animal chlamydial infections or zoonotic aspects are eligible for Standard Membership. All Standard Members shall be required to pay any established membership fee, if applicable (at the time of initiation of the constitution no fee will be due, but subject to change by the Executive Council at a future date), and additionally, any registration fees when attending Society meetings. Standard Members will receive all communications and will be eligible to vote on any matters pertaining to the Society. Standard Members are eligible for election to Office as specified in the constitution. Retired Standard Members (Standard Retiree) will be eligible for reduced membership dues (at the time of initiation of the constitution no fee will be due, but subject to change by the Executive Council at a future date; see Article V: Section 1) and reduced meeting registration fees (see Article VI: Section 3), and will have full voting privileges.

  2. Associate. Any matriculated pre-doctoral student engaged in research relevant to the Society aims and objectives shall be eligible for Associate Membership. Associate members will receive all communications but will be ineligible to vote on matters pertaining to the Society. Associate members are eligible for serving on the Executive Council as Standard Members as specified in the constitution (Article IV: Section 2).

  3. Emeritus Honorary. The Society may grant lifetime Emeritus Honorary Membership to persons who have made a significant contribution to the activities of the Society and/or to the field of animal chlamydial research but have now retired. Names of potential candidates can be submitted at any time to the Society Secretary for consideration by the Executive Council with the granting of Emeritus Honorary Membership taking immediate effect. Emeritus Honorary members will have full voting privileges and will be exempt from any membership dues (see Article V: Section 1) or meeting registration fees (see Article VI: Section 3).

Article IV. Office Beareres and Council Members

Section 1.

ESACZ Council shall comprise three elected office bearers: President, Vice-President and Secretary. Their duties shall be those usually performed by such officers, including the appointment of the four Executive Council Standard Members from the general Standard Membership (see Section 2 below), maintaining records of membership (privacy will be subject to EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)), developing and maintaining the website for the Society. Standard Members will be elected to office by the membership through electronic voting via the website (elected by majority vote) and ratified during the Business section of the biennial (or as otherwise determined) meetings (see Article VI: Section 4). The only exception to this is the election of the Founder Office Bearers, which took place at the Fifth European Meeting of Animal Chlamydioses and associated Zoonoses, in Odessa, Ukraine on 5th October 2018. Officers shall take up their elected position at the conclusion of the Society meeting at which their appointments were ratified and serve until successors have been elected and installed in office at subsequent meetings (designated a โ€œtermโ€ of office). The President and Vice-President will normally serve for a single two year term, taking office at the end of one meeting and serving until the end of the subsequent meeting. At the end of this period the Vice-President will automatically succeed to the post of President. The Secretary will be elected to serve for two consecutive terms, usually four years or until the end of the second Society meeting. In the event of resignation or being unable to fulfil the duties of the post of President, the Vice-President will immediately assume the role and duties of this position. If, due to a vacancy, the Vice-President succeeds to the office of President twelve months or more before the end of the normal term of two years, that individual shall relinquish the new office at the end of the meeting which follows. The then interim Vice-President will then become President through to the following meeting. The resignation or incapacitation of any other of the elected Office Bearers will result in an election and ballot of the current membership by electronic voting through the website (by majority vote).

Section 2

The Executive Council will comprise the three ESACZ Council elected Officers, the immediate past-President and four appointed Standard Members (see Section 1). The Executive Council will act as the Nominating Committee for the selection of candidates for office to Council. Suggestions and self-nominations from the Society Membership will be accepted up to 3 months in advance of the next Society Meeting, to allow a ballot of the membership to take place prior to the meeting through the Society website. Appointments of Office Bearers will then be ratified during the Business section (see Article VI: Section 4) of the Society Meeting. In the event of a tie for a particular position, the second preference vote will be taken into consideration and failing that the Executive Council will make the final decision by majority vote.

The Executive Council will make the final decision for the location and dates of the biennial Society Meetings. Bids should be made to the Executive Council (addressed to the Secretary) at least 1 month in advance of the next Society Meeting so that a decision can be made during the Executive Council meeting (see Article VI: Section 4) of the conference and subsequently announced during the conference. If no advance bids are forthcoming then late bids or suggestions can be considered during the conference for consideration by the Executive Council and subsequently announced to the current Society Membership by e-mail and posted on the website once a decision has been made. Similarly if multiple bids are received, then candidates will be requested to present their bids to the Executive Council meeting, following which a decision will be made. The Executive Council will work with and assist the host organising committee, including help in seeking sources of funding to support the meeting. They will additionally investigate opportunities for special editions on specific topics to coincide with the Society meetings.

Some of the main aims of this Council are to encourage the participation of Members in the running of the Society, to promote the ideals and direct the future direction of the Society, to plan and implement policies and activities, as well as to organise any promotional events.

Article V. Membership dues

Section 1

Membership dues, if applicable, will be payable on a biennial basis. At the time of initiation of the constitution no fee will be due, but is subject to change by the Executive Council at a future date. The Executive Council will establish the amount of membership dues to be paid by Standard, Standard Retiree and Associate Members and these will be posted on the Society website following approval during the Executive Council meeting. Payment of such dues will enable membership for a two year period, usually the period leading up to the next meeting, or as determined by the Executive Council. Emeritus Honorary members will be exempt from any dues or meeting registration fees, unless otherwise agreed by any future majority vote of the Executive Council. Only Standard, Standard Retiree Members will be eligible to vote (exemption for Emeritus Honorary members), to be elected to office and participate in the Executive Council.

Article VI. Society Meetings

Section 1

The name of the Society meetings will be European Meeting on Animal Chlamydioses and Zoonoses, designated by the acronym EMAC.

Section 2

Society meetings will be held on a biennial basis, unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Council. The locations and dates of these meetings will be decided by secret ballot of the Executive Council following bids by prospective local organisers or following suggestions by the Executive Council. The decision will be based on: (1) invitations received from sponsoring countries or institutions; (2) geographic location; (3) sites of prior meetings; (4) an adequate concentration of local ESACZ members to form an organizing committee; and (5) other contributing factors. It is the intention of the Society to keep the meetings in an easily accessible and affordable location to ensure the widest participation of Society members, as well as to encourage and allow the participation of trainees.

Section 3

The amount of the registration fee for participating ESACZ members and non-members will be determined by the Executive Council in consultation with the Local Organising Committee hosting the meeting. Emeritus Honorary members will be exempt from any meeting registration fees. Accompanying person charges for the conference dinner and any other organised conference events will be agreed between the Executive Council and the Local Organising Committee.

Section 4

All meetings will have an Executive Council closed meeting that will take place in advance of the scientific programme, at which the ratification of Office Bearers will take place, and Standard Members, Emeritus Honorary memberships, current membership fees and the location and dates of the next meeting are agreed and approved for announcement at the conference. Minutes will be taken of this meeting by the Secretary and posted on the website once approved by the Executive Council.

Section 5

English shall be the official language of the Society meetings, as well as for published proceedings and any other publications emanating from the work of the Society. The Society may grant permission to reprint official publications in languages other than English on the proviso that any required funding to enable this has been secured.

Section 6

The proceedings of Society meetings shall be published in electronic form and on the website. Printed copies may be made available to registrants as part of the registration fee, subject to agreement with the Local Organising Committee.

Article VII. Website

Section 1

The organisation hosting the website for the European Society of Animal Chlamydioses and associated Zoonoses will be agreed with the Executive Council. Initially the website will be hosted by the University of Murcia, but may be subject to change.

Section 2

All Society activities and meeting information will be posted on this website. Members should provide information to be included on the website, which will be regularly updated. Prospective members will be able to join the Society with details of current membership fees through this website. Electronic voting for election of members of the various committees will be carried out via this website in advance of the Society meeting, in accordance with Article IV: Section 1. The website will provide a forum and enable discussion groups on specific topics, posting of collaborative publications by Society members, posting of agreed minutes of the Executive Council, publicising events and upcoming meetings, as well as a mechanism for identifying potential partners and collaborators, etc. No member specific details will be posted on the website without prior written approval from the member and all information will be subject to EU GDPR rules and regulations.

Article VIII. Amendments

Section 1

Any proposed amendments to the Constitution can be presented in writing at any time by any member of the Executive Council. They can also be presented by any Standard Members provided that they are supported and signed by at least 10 such members and submitted direct to the Secretary for consideration by the Executive Council. All proposed amendments shall be presented to the Executive Council for a vote and will be approved or otherwise by majority. If approved, amendments shall be communicated to all the current membership and posted on the website for ratification by electronic ballot. The amendments shall be considered adopted if they receive approval by a majority vote.

Article IX. Dissolution

Section 1

If applicable, upon dissolution of the Society, the Executive Council, after paying or making provision for any liabilities, will distribute any remaining assets exclusively to charitable, scientific, literary or educational organizations, which qualify as an exempt organisation under the Internal Revenue Code of the countries in which they operate.

Last modified 21 December 2018. The constitution was approved by the Executive Council and ratified by conference at the 5th Society Meeting in Odessa on 4 October 2018.

European Society of Animal Chlamydioses and associated Zoonoses

Universidad de Murcia Hosted by Universidad de Murcia

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