Accepted on December 11, 1995
Revised on September 18, 2003
Revised on May 29 2015

I. Objectives and composition

  • Article 1. The official name of the organisation is the European Culture Collections? Organisation (acronym: ECCO) and the address is that of the Secretary.
  • Article 2. The mission of ECCO is:
  1.   to support the interests of European collections of microorganisms (including microorganisms, viruses, plant, animal and human cells, as well as replicable parts of these such as genomes, plasmids, cDNAs);
  2.   to support culture collection users (private and public);
  3.   to support the improvement of scientific and technical standards related to culture collection activities, in close collaboration with the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC)
  • Article 3. The objectives of ECCO are to:
  1.  establish effective liaison between persons and organisations involved with culture collections in Europe and between them and users of cultures;
  2.  establish official means of communication among European culture collections, their personnel, their users, and related organisations;
  3.  collaborate with networks of data services concerned with the location of, and information about, microorganisms maintained in culture collections;
  4.  attempt to provide for the perpetuation of important collections of microorganisms (as defined above in Article 2a) and services;
  5.  promote the establishment of new special reference collections and services in Europe;
  6.  organise conferences and symposia of common interest to members and users;
  7.  encourage the study of procedures for the isolation, culture, characterisation, conservation, and distribution of microorganisms and to publish those procedures;
  8.  promote the training of personnel in the operation of culture collections;
  9.  attempt the solution of problems concerning distribution of cultures of microorganisms that may arise through postal regulations, quarantine rules, patent laws, public health problems, and other factors of international importance.
  • Article 4. ECCO gives such support as it can to other organisations and initiatives which help fulfil the objectives of ECCO or the WFCC.
  • Article 5. Members are based in European countries that are affiliated to the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS). There are four categories:
  1. Individual Members, open to scientists.
  2. Corporate Members, open to public or private entities. Culture collections which apply for Corporate Membership must additionally:
    1. be registered with the World Data Center (of WFCC);
    2. produce a catalogue of holdings;
    3. supply cultures to the scientific community.
  3. Sustaining Members, members that make financial donations additional to annual membership subscriptions are acknowledged as Sustaining Members;
  4. Honorary Members, open to individuals. Can be nominated by any member but must be approved by the Board followed by agreement of members at the AGM.

Applications for Membership are made to the Secretary. The new members are accepted by members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The candidate members (or Secretary, if not present) introduce themselves at the AGM and their membership is determined by majority vote. The AGM can discontinue the membership of Members that have not paid the annual fees for two consecutive terms by majority vote.

II Administration

  • Article 6. Final authority in administration of the Organisation lies with the General Assembly exercised collectively by the Individual Members and the Corporate Members.
  • Article 7.
  1. The business of ECCO is conducted by its Members through an Executive Board which includes a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Scientific Officer, a Collection Officer and up to three Additional Members. The Board may consist of 5-8 persons.
  2. Members may suggest candidates for specific posts to the Secretary or at the AGM.
  3. All Board Members are elected at the AGM by simple majority of votes.
  4. Members have one vote each; for Corporate Members it usually is the curator, but the Corporate Member may name any person for voting purposes.
  5. The term of Office of Board Members is three years.
  6. Board Members can be elected for a maximum of three consecutive terms.
  • Article 8. Signatures on contracts, legal documents, cheques or other such materials are the responsibility of the Board.
  • Article 9. The Board must arrange an Annual General Meeting (AGM) once a year, open to all Members. AGM business is limited to receiving Officers’ Reports and items proposed by Members or the Board (agenda).
  • Article 10. Common Interest Groups may be formed by Members, providing these advance ECCO objectives, have a nominated Member for liaison with the Board, they report to members via the Board, and do not have any separate funding.

III. Finances

  • Article 11. Annual fees are agreed at AGM. There are two categories, 50 € for Individual Members and for noncommercial Corporate Members (collections) with 1-4 fixed full time positions, and 200 € for noncommercial Corporate Members with 5 or more fixed full time positions, for commercial Corporate Members and for Sustaining Members. The membership fees are invoiced every second year for two years at a time.

IV. General

  • Article 12. All Members are permitted to participate in all affairs of ECCO (except Board Meetings), to exercise voting rights, and (subject to costs) to receive such printed or otherwise published material of ECCO. Members are not permitted to utilize Membership for personal or corporate gain.
  • Article 13. Proposed Amendments to Statutes must be supported by at least two Members, and submitted in writing to the Secretary three months prior to an AGM, where they may be discussed. Amendments require a majority of votes. A quorum of 2/3 of the Membership is required in the first round; if this is not reached, a second round will take place at the AGM, and then a majority of the votes will decide: no quorum is required.
  • Article 14. The main devices for communication between members are Email and the ECCO web site