Constitution of the EFBS

The constitution of the EFBS can be downloaded as pdf file.

 

Constitution of the European Federation of Building Societies

Article I - Name and Legal Domicile

(1) The European Federation of Building Societies is an association of credit and other institutions promoting and supporting housing finance.

(2) The legal domicile of the Federation shall be Brussels. The office of the Secretariat of the Federation shall be domiciled at such place as the Council of Management shall from time to time decide.

Article II - Objectives

(1)  As Europe moves towards political and economic integration, the Federation shall

1.    promote the idea of home ownership,

2.   represent the interests of its members in the European Union,

3.   ensure that its members are kept informed about progress in European unification and about the measures taken to this end by the bodies of the European Union and

4.   support and intensify mutual information and exchange of experiences among its members in the fields of housing finance and housing policy.

(2) In order to achieve these objectives, the Federation shall hold discussions at congresses and other fora. The details shall be decided upon by the General Assembly at the proposal of the Council of Management.

Article III - Membership

(1)  The Federation shall have participating and corresponding members.

(2) Participating members, in addition to the institutions that were participating members on the effective date of this amended Constitution, may be credit and other institutions of the kind described in paragraph 1 of Article I above or their associations domiciled in a Member State of the European Union, a signatory state of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or in a state having applied for membership of the European Union.

(3)  Corresponding members may be institutions domiciled in one of the countries mentioned in paragraph 2 of this Article, countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea and countries in Eastern Europe. Institutions whose national associations are participating members of the Federation shall only be permitted to become corresponding members.

(4)  The Council of Management shall upon a proposal of the majority of the participating members of the respective country — decide on admission as participating or corresponding members after having satisfied itself that the applicants meet the criteria established in paragraph 1 of Article I and paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article.

(5)  Members intending to leave the Federation shall declare this intention in writing to the President of the Federation. Such declaration shall come into effect at the beginning of the year following the date on which the declaration to leave was made provided that it has reached the President or the Secretariat of the Federation not later than the end of the third quarter of the year in question.

(6)  Institutions which have failed to pay their annual membership contributions for two successive years shall lose their status of member. The loss of membership shall come into effect at the end of the second consecutive year for which the membership contributions due have not been paid up, provided that the President has informed the member in writing about the legal consequences stemming from such failure.

(7)  Membership shall be terminated where for an important reason the Council of Management so decides with a two-thirds majority of the votes of the members present or represented by proxy.

Article IV - General Assembly

(1)  The General Assembly shall define the general principles of the policy of the Federation. It shall alone have power to decide on all matters on which the Council of Management has been unable to reach a decision. Furthermore, it shall have exclusive power to decide on amendments of the Constitution, on the dissolution of the Federation and on its amalgamation with any other Federation and/or association.

(2)  The General Assembly shall consist of all participating and corresponding members. Only participating members shall be entitled to vote.

(3)  The maximum number of votes to which each country shall be entitled is as follows:

Country max. no. of votes in EFBS
Austria 3
Belgium 3
Bulgaria 3
Croatia 2
Cyprus 2
Czech Republic 3
Denmark 2
Estonia 2
Finland 2
France 5
Germany 5
Greece 3
Hungary 3
Ireland 2
Italy 5
Latvia 2
Lithuania 2
Luxembourg 2
Malta 2
Netherlands 3
Poland 4
Portugal 3
Romania 3
Slovak Republic 2
Slovenia 2
Spain 4
Sweden 3
United Kingdom 5

Exercising the right to vote shall be conditional upon previous payment of the country’s membership contribution. The voting rights shall be exercised by delegates whose appointment shall be agreed upon by the participating members domiciled in the country concerned. The Managing Director shall be informed in good time of the appointments made. Where a country has more participating members than voting rights, the members shall agree among themselves as to which of them shall exercise the voting rights at the meetings of the General Assembly. Member States who are not in the European Union shall have the two voting rights by exercising the participating membership. The voting rights shall be adapted by entry in the European Union.

(4)  The General Assembly shall meet at least once a year. It shall be convened by the President or, if he is not available, by the Vice-President, or by one quarter of the participating members at least 21 days prior to the scheduled date. The President shall preside over all meetings of the General Assembly. In his absence, the Vice-President shall take his place. If the President and the Vice-President are not available or decline to preside over the meetings, the delegates present or represented by proxy shall elect from among themselves a delegate who shall chair the meeting.

(5)  The General Assembly shall elect from among the delegates sitting on the Council of Management a President and a Vice-President for a term of office of three years. Re-election shall be permissible.

The President and the Vice-President shall also function as the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Council of Management. The General Assembly may also elect from among the delegates and the observers of the Council of Management a second Vice-President who shall assist the President and the Vice-President in discharging their functions. The members represented by the President, the Vice-President and the second Vice-President shall carry on their principal activities in different countries.

(6)  The General Assembly shall elect a Managing Director for a term of office of three years. His re-election shall be permissible. He may be called to the General Assembly at any time. The General Assembly shall grant the Managing Director full authority in respect of the affairs conducted by him.

(7)  Any participating member may, for any given meeting of the General Assembly, authorize any other participating member as proxy to vote in his place. Such authorization shall be in writing. The members so authorized shall be permitted to vote separately.

(8)  The General Assembly shall not commence business or take decisions unless as many participating members or their proxies are present as represent at least one half of the aggregate number of votes attributed to all participating members. The decisions of the General Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes of the participating members present or represented by proxy. If there is no majority, the President shall have the casting vote. A two-thirds majority of the participating members present or represented by proxy shall be necessary for amending the Constitution, for dissolving the Federation and for amalgamating it with any other Federation and/or association.

Article V - Council of Management

(1)  The affairs of the Federation shall be conducted by a Council of Management which shall be responsible for defining the objectives to be achieved according to the Constitution of the Federation and to take the measures necessary to this end.

(2)  The Council of Management shall be composed of the delegates entitled to vote and of those to be appointed by the participating members and of the observers not entitled to vote and of those to be appointed by the corresponding members within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article III. The appointments made shall be notified to the Managing Director in good time. The number of delegates shall be governed by the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article IV.

(3)  The Council of Management shall not commence business or take decisions unless at least half of the delegates are present or represented by proxy. The decisions shall be taken by the majority of the votes of the delegates present or represented by proxy. If a member is unable to attend a meeting of the Council of Management, paragraph 7 of Article IV shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(4)  The meetings of the Council of Management shall be convened by the President or, if he is not available, by the Vice-President or by one quarter of the participating members at least 21 days prior to the scheduled date of the meeting. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Council. If he is not available, the Vice-President shall take his place. If the President and the Vice-President are not available or decline to chair the meeting, the delegates present or represented by proxy shall elect a chairman from among themselves.

Article VI - Technical Committees

(1)  Points of detail shall be studied by the Technical Committees. A "Legal Affairs Committee" a "Financial Affairs Committee" and a "Housing Policy and Marketing Committee" shall be set up as standing committees. The Council of Management may assign further tasks to the committees and set up further committees as required.

(2)  The participating members shall be authorized to appoint one delegate entitled to vote to each of the Technical Committees. The corresponding members shall be authorized to appoint one observer to each of the Technical Committees.

(3)  The Council of Management shall appoint the chairmen of the Technical Committees and their deputies. The chairmen or, if they are not available, their deputies shall report to the Council of Management on the activities conducted by the Technical Committees.

Article VII - Consultative Members

The Council of Management shall be authorized to appoint individual as consultative members for a fixed period of time who shall advise the bodies of the Federation on political and technical issues.

Article VIII - Contributions

The Federation shall meet its administrative expenses from annual membership contributions. The details shall be governed by Contributory Regulations to be adopted by the Council of Management.

Article IX - Working Languages

The working languages of the Federation shall be French, English and German. Changes in the working languages shall be decided upon by the General Assembly at the proposal of the Council of Management. A definitive copy of this Constitution shall be drawn up in the French, English and German languages, all three texts being equally authentic.