By-Laws of the ESCV

By-Laws of the ESCV

(ESCV was founded on January 1, 1997)

The European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) is the successor of the European Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis (EGRVD) and the European Association against viral diseases (ESAVD), which merged into the ESCV on January 1, 1997. The ESCV is open to anyone interested in viruses as causes of disease in humans and animals, either as a (general) physician, pediatrician, veterinarian, infectious diseases specialist, (clinical) virologist or microbiologists, pure or applied, or just out of curiosity.

a) General

1) Origin
The European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) is the successor to the European Group for Rapid Viral Diagnosis (EGRVD) and the European Society against Virus Diseases (ESAVD) which have merged to form ESCV on 1 January 1997. There is an official logo of the ESCV and a website ( and

2) Charity
The ESCV was registered as a “Company Limited by Guarantee” (No 4620455) in 2002 and entered in the Central Register of Charities in England and Wales (No 1099537) in 2003.

3) Constitution
The “Memorandum and Articles of Association” of the Company Limited by Guarantee is the official Society’s Constitution. The present By-Laws are a shortened version of the official constitution and are intended to be used for the daily management of the Society.

4) Practice
The “Practice of the Society” is a separate document describing in more detail:

  • The tasks of the Officers of the Society.
  • Instructions for the organisation of ESCV business meetings and ESCV scientific meetings.
  • Rules for the selection and presentation of winners of Awards and Honours
  • Composition of various committees

The “Practice of the Society” is regularly updated, and should always comply with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the ESCV and with the ESCV By-Laws.

b) The purpose and aims of the Society

To bring together scientists and clinicians throughout Europe and to promote Public Health and advance education, particularly medical education, in Clinical and Basic Virology by:

  1. Improving the knowledge of viruses, particularly as it relates to the diagnosis and management of viral diseases, their pathogenesis, natural history and prevention;
  2. Improving diagnostic methods;
  3. Keeping and improving high standards in laboratory viral diagnosis through promotion of quality assessment (QA) activities and education;
  4. Facilitating the exchange of reference reagents;
  5. Interaction with relevant organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), other official organisations, other virological societies and groups and between members.

c) Benefits for ESCV members

  1. The opportunity to attend at a reduced registration fee regular scientific meetings organised by the Society.
  2. To influence both the contents of these Meetings and the activities of the Society as a whole.
  3. Eligibility for the Society’s awards.
  4. The opportunity to hear the Annual Gardner Lecture given by an invited scientist who is internationally known for his/her work in the field.
  5. Reduced personal subscriptions for the Journal of Clinical Virology. The fee is negotiated from time to time by the Executive.
  6. Support for travel expenses to specialised meetings provided circumstances require financial support.
  7. Access to training grants (number limited).

d) Organisation of the society

This is intended to give individual members in a number of countries in Europe a chance to contribute to its management. This aim will be met by a three-tier structure


Membership is open to all scientists and clinicians who share the Aims of the Society. Individuals may complete an application Form and after approval by the Council, will become ESCV Members on payment of the current Membership Fee. Those working for commercial organisations become members as individuals and do not represent their company.

Honorary Members and Corresponding Members are nominated by the Executive and elected by the Council. Both have all the benefits of an ESCV Member for life, without paying the membership fee. Honorary members should be chosen from ordinary members for their eminence in Clinical Virology and/or for long term work for the Society. Corresponding Members are chosen for their eminence in virology.

In each country with more than FIVE Ordinary and Honorary Members, the members elect one or more Members of the Council. They are elected for a term of five years and will normally not be re-elected more than once (i.e. total of not more than ten years). The number of Council Members from each country depends on the number of Members in it at the end of the year: 5-20 Members, one Council Member; 21-50 Members, two Council Members; more than 50 Members, three Council Members.
If there are more than one Council Member in a country, their year of election should be different in order to encourage continuity. Council Members who become Officers of the Society should be replaced by an election for the rest of their term.

ESCV Members or other individuals may be invited to become a co-opted members of the council to provide a particular expertise or links to other organizations. Co-option will be for as long as the expertise is desirable. Co-opted members have no right to vote.

The elected Council advises the Executive and approves the long term strategy of the Society. The Council will meet during the Society’s scientific meetings but at least once a year. One such meeting will be called the Annual Council Meeting. If no elected Council Member from a country is able to attend, a non-voting representative may attend as an observer and may express the members’ views from that particular country. The Council is quorate if more than half of the elected Council Members are present.

The Officers of the Society form the EXECUTIVE which has the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Society, and report to the COUNCIL during the regular meetings. All Officers are also “Company Members” of the Company Limited by Guarantee and “Trustees” of the Charity.
The Officers forming the Executive are the following:

  • President, to serve for a term of three years.
  • Past President, to serve for a term of three years.
  • Two Vice Presidents, serving for a term of three years, but may be re-elected once.
  • General Secretary, to serve for a term of five years, but may be re-elected once.
  • Treasurer, to serve for a five year term, but may be re-elected once.
  • Meetings Secretary, to serve for a five year term, but may be re-elected once.
  • Publication Officer, to serve for a term of five years, but may be re-elected once.
  • Accounts Officer, for keeping the UK accounts when none of the other Officers is residing in England or Wales. The Accounts Officer serves for a term of three years and may be re-elected twice.

The Executive will usually meet twice a year, but at least once a year. One meeting is called the “Annual General Meeting”. It is inquorate if less than half the officers are present

Election of Officers
The Officers of the Society are normally chosen from the Council but exceptionally may come from outside it. At least six weeks before the date of the Annual Council Meeting the Executive nominates individuals to fill a prospective vacancy among the Officers or as an additional Officer. New Officers are formally elected in a secret ballot by the Council. The ballot papers must be returned to the General Secretary not less than one week before the date of Annual Council Meeting. The nominated individuals with the most votes will be elected, with the President having a casting vote in the event of a tie. Additional Officers may be co-opted to the Executive as necessary to provide particular knowledge or expertise, or to fulfil a specific task on behalf of the Society. The maximum number of Officers is ten. New Officers will take up their task on the 1st November of the year of their election.

Temporary Committees
Temporary Committees may be formed by the Executive, which will define their remit and approve the rules of any Committee. The Chairman of any Committee of the Society reports to the EXECUTIVE and may be co-opted to the EXECUTIVE during their period in office.

e) Membership fee

Members should pay an annual membership fee. A renewal notice will be sent out by the treasurer in January each year. The size of the fee for the following year is set by the Executive on advice of the Council. A person ceases to be a Member after two years in arrears.

f) Accounts

The Society is a non-profit making organisation and the assets are held for the benefit of the Charity.

The accounts are kept by the Treasurer who will arrange the annual audit. Two auditors will be appointed at the Annual Council Meeting for this purpose. They will report, in writing, to the next Annual Council Meeting. The accounts and Membership Fee will be in the currency most suitable to the Treasurer and held in an established and recognised Bank in the appropriate country. The Treasurer is responsible for giving appropriate advice to the Executive to maintain the Society in solvency.

g) Annual ESCV Assamblea (AEA)

This is held during the Annual Scientific Meeting and is open to all Members. It will be chaired by the President or a Deputy appointed by the Executive in his/her absence. During the AEA the Executive will discuss recent developments and new strategies with all ESCV Members.

h) Language

The language of the Society is English.

i) Changes

Changes in the ESCV By-Laws may be proposed by Members of the EXECUTIVE or Members of the COUNCIL . The proposal must reach the General Secretary in writing at least five months before the next Annual Council Meeting, to allow the Members of the Council to be informed on the proposal beforehand. The proposal will be accepted if TWO-THIRDS of those present at the Annual Council Meeting vote in favour. In exceptional circumstances (to be decided by the Executive) a postal ballot may he carried out, and the proposal accepted if at least 50% of the Council Members respond and two-thirds of responders vote in favour. Changes of the By-Laws should always comply with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the ESCV