The European Federation of National Institutions for Language ("the Federation") is a body consisting of the central or national institutions for research, documentation and policy relating to the officially recognised standard languages within the states of the European Union ("EU"), called Federation Members.
The purpose of the Federation is
- the collection and exchange of information about the officially recognised standard languages of the EU;
- the provision of expert advice about language policy in the EU;
- the preservation of linguistic diversity within Europe;
- the promotion of plurilingualism amongst the citizens of the EU states.
The Federation also maintains an interest in the minority and regional languages of Europe.
To this end, the Federation seeks to engage in:
3.1 Projects relating to the description and analysis of the current linguistic situation within the EU as well as implications for longer-term linguistic development;
3.2 Scientifically based analysis of cross-state language problems and questions of language policy;
3.3 Consultation services in the field of language policy for political decision-makers of the EU institutions and member states;
3.4 Propagation of the cultural and practical benefits of European linguistic diversity and plurilingualism through relevant actions and publications;
3.5 All other activities which contribute to its aims.
The organisational structures of the Federation are as follows:
- The General Assembly of the members
- The Executive Committee
- The Secretariat
The General Assembly
5.1 The General Assembly of the members consists of representatives of the language institutions of the EU states: two representatives from each member state, each with a right to vote.
If a country does not have a central or nationally supported language institution, it may be represented by two representatives from relevant academic fields. In order to meet particular needs or circumstances more delegates can be added with the status of observers without a right to vote.
5.2. Representatives of European states which are not members of the EU can be accepted by the General Assembly as Associate Members. In this case, the country is represented by one member with the right to vote. International, supranational collaboration bodies can also be Associate Members without a right to vote.
5.3 The General Assembly advises and decides on important matters relating to the Federation and its activities. Amongst its activities it elects the other organisational structures of the Federation, decides on membership fees and other contributions, establishes the text of the Constitution, accepts or rejects candidate Federation Members, establishes the work programme, action lines and projects, approves the financial budget, balance sheets and all other financial accounts. It will meet at least annually, usually in connection with a thematically designated conference. General Assembly decisions are based on a simple majority of the votes of the delegates.
The General Assembly elects from the representatives a President and a Deputy President for a three-year term of office.
The Executive Committee
The day-to-day affairs of the Federation are managed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of the President, the Deputy President, and up to four additional members who are also elected for terms of three years by the General Assembly. The Executive Committee meets as required.
The Executive Committee reports to the General Assembly, submits an annual report on the Federation's activities, a work programme, a financial budget and a financial account.
The Secretariat of the Federation supports the Executive Committee. The duties of the Secretariat include coordinating the activities of the Executive Committee, handling correspondence, and administering the finances of the Federation.
The Secretariat reports regularly to the Executive Committee and at least once a year to the General Assembly. It is responsible for the preparation of documents such as the work report and work programme, the financial budget, accounts and balance sheet on behalf of the Executive Committee.
The General Secretary directs the Secretariat and normally attends all the meetings of the Executive Committee.
The General Secretary is appointed by the President from among the Executive Committee Members and in agreement with them.
The member institution which the General Secretary represents is mandated by the General Assembly to administer and account for all the resources of the Federation (contributions or subsidies of the member institutions, subsidies of the EU states and EU institutions, and private donations) on behalf of the Executive Committee.
If necessary or preferable the Secretariat can delegate administrative and/or financial tasks to other member institutions that will act under the supervision of the General Secretary and under the coordination of the Secretariat. If the delegation concerns the financial administration and payments, the Executive Committee may appoint a representative of the delegated institution as treasurer of EFNIL, even if this person has not been elected as a member of the Executive Committee. In the latter case, the treasurer will attend the meetings of the Executive Committee and have advisory function, without the right to vote.
The representatives of Federation Members can propose the establishment of working parties. The Executive Committee accepts, refuses or modifies the proposals.
The coordinator of each working party prepares an annual schedule of the activities of the group and draws up a written report on them for the Executive Committee.
Amendments and Implementation
Only the General Assembly is entitled to modify or review the text of the constitution. Modifications shall be approved by at least two thirds of the member countries. The Executive Committee can submit proposals for modification and review to the General Assembly.
The present Constitution comes into force as soon as it is accepted by the General Assembly.
The Federation may be dissolved by the General Assembly with a two-thirds majority of the member countries. The General Assembly sets the practical details of the dissolution. As a general rule all financial assets of the Federation will be divided among the Members, unless the Assembly decides otherwise. Debts and all other financial obligations are also divided among the Members.
As adopted by the General Assembly of the European Federation of National Institutions for Language, during its foundation meeting at Stockholm, Tuesday 14 October 2003.
With the amendments of Article 5.2 and Articles 7 as adopted by the General Assembly at Budapest, Friday 26 October 2012.