You will find hereunder the complete Constitution of the ESSFN.
You can also download the whole document "Constitution & by-laws" as a PDF by clicking here.

Art.1 Name and Seat

This society shall be named, known and styled as the European Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery with its seat at the Université Paul Sabatier - Faculté de Médicine Toulouse Rangueil - 133, route de Narbonne - 31062 Toulouse Cédex 4 - France.

Art. 2 Object and Purpose

The principal objectives of this society shall be:

  1. To study and to teach methods of stereotactically introducing electrodes, instrumentation and/ or other therapeutic agents (medications, transplants, radiation, ...) into the human nervous system, as well as to promote scientific investigations in connection with these endeavours. 
  2. To investigate the etiology and mechanisms of diseases of the nervous system and their treatment and to teach and promote the investigation of the functioning of the nervous system and its components by the methods set forth in Article 1 above.
  3. To establish scholarships for educational training in these fields.
  4. To promote scientific and medical research in these different areas.
  5. To promote, sponsor or solicit assistance for all related activities. 

The society shall strive to achieve its objects in particular through:

  1. Congresses, lectures and practical courses as well as scientific publications.
  2. Personal contacts and close relationships among the members themselves and with physicians and paraclinical scientists in all specialized fields related to stereotactic and functional surgery of the nervous system.
  3. This society shall be non-profit and shall thus serve the public interests. Any profits may be used only for purposes defined in the Constitution and By-Laws.

Art. 3 Procurement of Funds

The necessary funds to achieve the object stated above shall be raised by means of:

  1. membership fees
  2. donations, endowments, bequests and other gifts
  3. profits from events held for the benefit of the society including conferences, courses and publications.

Art. 4 Membership

There shall be five kinds of membership in the society: active, associate, resident, honorary and benefactor.

A person may become an active member on the basis of his or her education and his previous work concerning the theoretical and practical application of stereotactic and functional surgery of the nervous system. A candidate must have completed university training or comparable professional training. Candidates for active membership must have been fully trained in neurological surgery.

Associate membership can be granted to any physician or basic scientist involved in theoretical and practical aspects relevant to the speciality.

Resident membership can be granted to any resident in training in neurosurgery on the recommendation of his/ her chairman or tutor.

Honorary membership may be granted to persons of outstanding importance in the neurosciences. Designation of honorary members must result from a 2/3 majority of members at a general session of the society on the basis of unanimous proposal by the Council.

The title of member benefactor may be granted to any person making donations to the society in the form of annual dues or a bequest.

Active or associate members of the ESSFN will automatically be enrolled as active or associate members of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN).

Art. 5 Commencement and Termination of Membership

With the exception of honorary members, acceptance in the society is on the basis of a written application accompanied by a curriculum vitae submitted to one of the officers of the society.

The candidate must be sponsored by one active member of his own choice.
The secretary will notify the treasurer of the acceptance of the applicant and of his coordinates.

In case of rejection, the matter should be submitted to the council.

Membership expires:

  • a. upon death
  • b. by resignation
  • c. upon expulsion

Expulsion from the society may result:

  • a. When a member fails to pay his or her membership fees for three successive calendar years despite two notices of payments outstanding.
  • b. When a member loses his or her academic degree or the right to practice his profession on the grounds of a valid judicial decision.
  • c. When a member's behaviour in or outside the society is detrimental to it, when he or she consciously works in opposition to its purposes.

The motion for expulsion can be made only by a member of the Council or at least 1/ 10 of active members.
The resolution for expulsion must be passed by the Executive Committee with reasons in writing; a 2/3 majority vote is required for passage of the resolution.
The member who is to be expelled shall be given a period of two months in which to justify himself. The expelled member may appeal the decision on expulsion to the Executive Committee within four weeks after its receipt. The Executive Committee shall then make the final decision on the expulsion without the voting participation of the members of the Council.

Retiring members are no longer liable for membership dues. Reasons for the retirement must be made in writing to the Council at least three months before the date of the next scheduled General Meeting. Membership fees must still be paid for the balance of the society' s fiscal year despite earlier withdrawal.
Retiring members cannot be elected as member of the council.

Art. 6 Rights and Duties of Members

Members are entitled to participate in all events of the society, as far as not otherwise designated, and are entitled to use all facilities of the society to the extent which opportunity permits. The society nevertheless reserves the right to set a fee for participation in the events held.

Active members have voting rights and shall be entitled to vote at General Meetings of the society and to be elected to the Executive Committee or to the Council.

Members should maintain and support the interests of the society to the best of their ability, to respect its constitution and should make use of their rights according to the constitution whenever possible.

Active, associate and resident members are to pay a membership fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the Council for a period of two fiscal years of the society, and ratified by the General Meeting. This fee is inclusive of the membership dues of active and associate members for the automatic membership of the WSSFN, which dues shall be transferred from the ESSFN to the WSSFN.

Members are required to inform the Council immediately concerning any changes involving their profession.

Art. 7 Organisation of the Society

This society shall have the following organization:

  1. General Meeting of active members
  2. Council
  3. Executive Committee
  4. Other committees

Art. 8 The General Assembly

General Assembly of the society shall take place usually every two years and at least every four years on the occasion of the meeting of the European Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, or the European Congress for Neurosurgery or another congress.

Upon occasion the Council may also call a meeting of the members outside of these events.
A written invitation to the meeting shall be sent to each member at least three months before it is held.

Exceptional meetings can be called by the Council in urgent cicumstances and it is obliged to do so on a motion made by 1/4 of the members. A two months' notice shall be given before an exceptional meeting of the society is held.
The General Assembly shall have an agenda. Proposals for inclusion in the agenda must be made in writing to the Council at least 2 months before the meeting. A copy of the agenda should be sent out to all active members at least two weeks before the General Assembly.

The General Assembly is entitled to pass decisions providing 1/4 of the members are present.
Otherwise, upon decision of the Council another meeting may have to be called within tree months at which decisions can be passed without regard to the number of members present.

It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to decide upon:

  1. The acceptance of the Statement of Accounts and Treasurer's Report.
  2. The authorization of the proposed budget for the period extending to the next General Assembly.
  3. The election of members of the Council and Executive Committee.
  4. The election of the members of the Auditing Committee.
  5. Changes in the Constitution and By-Laws.
  6. Disbandment of the society.
  7. Matters submitted to the General Assembly for decision by the Executive Committee or by the Council.
  8. Proposals for inclusion in the agenda.
  9. Proposals of an urgent nature can also be made at the General Assembly but only on a motion of at least two-thirds of the members present at the meeting.
  10. A Nomination's Committee shall be formed at each General Assembly concerned with the election of members of the Council and Executive Committee and for such other elections that shall be deemed necessary to have such a committee by the President and Council.

The General Assembly shall be conducted by the President or Vice-President or by a person designated by the President or the Vice-President.

As a rule elections shall be by secret ballot but may also be conducted using a hand vote, should only one candidate be proposed for the office under consideration.

Election shall be determined by a simple majority of votes cast at a General Assembly meeting. A second ballot shall take place in case of an equal vote. Should a second tie occur, the election shall be decided by the President.

At each General Assembly meeting minutes are to be kept in such a way that they also record the results of debates and above all the decisions made. The minutes shall be signed by the members of the Council.

Art. 9 The Council

The society's Council shall consist of:

  1. the President
  2. the Vice-President
  3. the Secretary
  4. the Second Secretary
  5. the Treasurer

The Council shall handle the current affairs of the society when not otherwise designated in the constitution, and in particular matters connected with the monies and the property of the society. It is empowered to set up a permanent business office with fixed address for this purpose. The treasurer should be the representative of the permanent business office.

The President shall represent the society externally. In dealings with third parties, however, he must have the consent of the Secretary. This consent may also be given subsequently in urgent cases. The President heads the sessions of the Council and he may call these sessions at his own discretion. Upon the motion of two members of the Council, he is required to call in a session of the Council.

The Vice-President shall represent the President in case of the latter's absence or other indisposition.

The Secretary is responsible for assisting the President in his administrative duties, and shall be represented by the Second Secretary in case of his indisposition.

The Treasurer is responsible for the economic and budgetary administration of the society.
He is the only person who is authorised to sign financial matters regarding the Society. He acts on the written request of the President. Further assignments of responsibility for internal business matters shall be regulated by the Council itself.

A simple majority is required for decision-making at sessions of the Council. In case of an equal vote, the President's vote shall be the determining factor. In case of the withdrawal of a member of the Council, they may designate a replacement until the next regularly scheduled General Assembly meeting.

Terms of office:
The President and Council members are elected for a 4-year term for a specific position. An exception may be made in the offices of Secretary and Treasurer.

Art.10  The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of the members of the Council and if possible of one active member from each European country and of the honorary presidents as long as they are active in the field. They shall be elected at the regularly scheduled General Meetings of the society to serve for a period of one or several terms. A term shall comprise the period encompassing two scientific meetings.

The Executive Committee shall have the following duties:

  1. To confer and decide upon fundamental questions dealing with the society.
  2. To maintain contact with the national societies in the home countries of the individual members.
  3. To coordinate the administrative and scientific wishes of the members' native countries.
  4. To make appointments to the Auditing Committee, Scientific Program Committee and other special Committees.
  5. To decide upon appeals of expulsion from the society.

One session of the Executive Committee should take place usually every two years at the occasion of the General Meeting of the Society. The meetings of the Executive Committee are chaired by the President. A session of the Executive Committee should be called upon written request of three of its members. If the President or Vice-President cannot attend a meeting, the members of the Executive Committee shall choose among themselves a Chairman, who is empowered to call in the Executive Committee for decision-making in case of necessity.

Decisions are made in the Executive Committee on the basis of a simple majority of votes cast. In case of a tie, the chairman shall have the deciding vote.

In case of the withdrawal of an Executive Committee member, the Committee may appoint a substitute.

Art.11 The Committees

The society shall have the following standing committees:

  • The Auditing Committee, which shall consist of at least two members, who are independent of the Council and of the Executive Committee and are elected by the members at a General Assembly Meeting.
  • A Nominating Committee consisting of two members nominated by the Executive Committee and approved for two terms by the General Assembly.
  • Additional committees may be appointed by the Executive Committee to aid and to advice the Council.

Art.12  Disbandment of the Society

The voluntary disbandment of the society can result only on the basis of the written request of at least 1/2 of the active members and must be seconded by at least 3/4 of the members present and voting. Should the disbandment of the society be decided by the General Assembly under the conditions metioned, then the General Assembly shall also decide upon the final deployment of the society's property and monies at that time and name three persons responsible for liquidating its funds. In case of disbandment of the society, the property and monies are to be used for organizations carrying tax privileges. Plans for future use of the funds must be approved by the revenue office.

Art.13  Adoption of the Constitution and By-Laws

The constitution and By-Laws were approved by the General Assembly on October 10, 2000, in London, and by the Council at meetings on October 25, 2001, in Amsterdam, on October 10, 2002, in Toulouse, and on December 2, 2002, in Lausanne.