The European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL) is the voice of European soldiers on an international level. Its core mission is to promote the professional and social interests as well as the fundamental rights and freedoms of European soldiers.
The Presidium is composed of the Board and one appointed delegate per member association. It meets twice a year. The Presidium approves the policy of the Board and provides impetus for the prospective further development of EUROMIL policy. It decides on the accession of member associations and approves the budget.
The Board conducts the business of EUROMIL, prepares the meetings of the Presidium and implements its resolutions. The Board has the responsibility to manage the budget. In addition, it shall perform representative functions, coordinate the activity of the advisory bodies (ad-hoc committees, lead associations, partnerships) and shall be responsible for recruiting new member associations, cooperating with the national associations and supporting them.
The Brussels Office is the central management body of EUROMIL. It is responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Board and for the coordination of the work and co-operation between the EUROMIL bodies and the member associations. The Brussels office is the central contact partner for the member associations. The Brussels office guarantees the day-to-day business and the internal and external communication of the organisation.
§1 – Name and registered office
(1) The name of the organisation is “European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions” Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif (EUROMIL (aisbl); in the following: EUROMIL).
(2) Military associations represent the professional and social interests of active and former military personnel and their families.
(3) The organisation has its legal registered office in Brussels or surroundings. The seat of the organisation is located at the following address: Rond-point Robert Schuman, 6, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.
§2 – Purpose and mandate
(1) EUROMIL is an organisation of free democratic military associations and Trade Unions. In this Charter both referred to as military associations.
(2) The purpose of the organisation is:
a) to promote the fundamental rights and fundamental freedoms in the armed forces of the countries of Europe;
b) to promote European social policy so as to include military personnel;
c) to promote the general, non-material, social and professional interests of active and former military personnel, their families and surviving dependents;
d) to represent the interests of the member associations vis-à-vis supranational institutions and authorities, and to support them in matters of their concern within their national sphere;
e) to cooperate with other international organisations and trade unions provided that this is in the interest of EUROMIL;
f) to foster the regular exchange of experience between the member associations;
g) to promote understanding and friendship between the member associations.
h) to organise seminars, congresses and other meetings in order to promote the goals of EUROMIL;
i) to promote scientific research and studies connected with EUROMIL’s purposes.
(3) In the exercise of its functions, EUROMIL shall adhere to the following principles:
a) Maintenance of religious and party-political impartiality;
b) Non-interference in the internal affairs of the member associations.
§3 – Membership
(1) Membership shall be voluntary. Any military association established on a free and democratic basis and which endorses the purpose and mandate of EUROMIL may become a member of EUROMIL.
(2) Military associations which support the objectives and mandate of EUROMIL may be granted observer status for a limited period without voting rights.
(3) Accession to EUROMIL shall require the submission of a written membership application. The charter of the acceding association shall be attached to the said application in the original language together with a certified translation in English. Further details which come along with the accession shall be laid down by rules of procedure decided on by the Presidium upon proposal of the Board.
(4) The Presidium shall decide on the accession of new members by a majority vote upon the proposal of the Board. In the event of membership being refused, an appeal may be lodged with the Board within eight weeks and put on the agenda of the next Presidium Meeting.
(5) All member associations shall be obliged to represent and promote the interests and objectives of EUROMIL and to comply with EUROMIL’s resolutions. This shall include the notification to EUROMIL of the precise number of members in the association by 1 July each year, and punctual payment of the membership contribution. In the event of non-compliance with payment obligations or the notification of an obviously inaccurate number of members, voting rights in all EUROMIL bodies shall be suspended. The Board can open an investigation in case of doubts about the precise number of members. Member associations will cooperate in a transparent way granting the Board with the requested information in order to complete this investigation.
(6) Membership shall terminate
a) through the dissolution of the member association,
b) through resignation.
Resignation shall be notified to the Presidium in writing and shall only take effect at the end of the calendar year. Notification of resignation must be submitted six months before the end of the calendar year.
c) through exclusion.
(c1) Exclusion shall be effected by the Presidium upon the application of the Board or a member association, if a member association acts in contravention of EUROMIL’s interests or the EUROMIL Charter, damages the reputation of the organisation or fails to comply with its payment obligation, despite a formal warning, for more than 12 months.
(c2) The Presidium shall decide on the exclusion by a two-thirds majority of votes.
(c3) The member association concerned shall be given a hearing before the Presidium makes its decision.
(c4) The member association shall be given written notification by the Presidium of its reasoned decision relating to the exclusion.
(c5) An appeal to the Congress against this decision may be lodged within eight weeks of notification thereof.
(c6) The appeal shall not have any postponing effect. It shall be submitted, with reasons, to the next Congress for a final decision.
(7) Honorary membership
a) Honorary membership may be conferred on individuals who have rendered outstanding service to EUROMIL.
b) The member associations and the Board of EUROMIL shall be entitled to nominate individuals, stating the reasons, for the conferral of honorary membership. The nomination must be submitted in writing.
c) The Presidium shall decide on the accession of an honorary member, by a majority of votes, upon the proposal of the Board.
d) Honorary members shall not be required to pay membership fees.
e) Honorary members may withdraw from honorary membership in writing at any time.
f) The Presidium shall be entitled to withdraw honorary membership at any time due to serious causes. This decision shall require a majority of votes.
§4 – Contributions
The level and the payment date of contributions, as well as the scale of assessment, shall be determined by the Presidium. The scale of assessment and the formula governing the allocation of delegates resulting therefrom shall reflect the number of members and national comparative price levels established by Eurostat.
In the event of non-compliance with payment obligations, voting rights in all EUROMIL bodies shall be suspended.
§5 – Financial year
The financial year shall be the calendar year.
§6 – Bodies
EUROMIL’s bodies are:
a) the Congress
b) the Presidium
c) the Board.
§7 – The Congress
(1) The Congress is EUROMIL’s highest authority. It shall decide on the policy guidelines and shall have responsibility for all fundamental questions relating to the organisation.
(2) The Congress shall normally meet every four years. It shall be convoked by the Board by means of written notice to the representatives of the national Boards in the EUROMIL Presidium three months prior to the congressional session.
(3) The Congress shall meet in extraordinary session:
– upon the resolution of the Board;
– upon the application of at least one-third of the member associations.
A minimum period of three weeks must be allowed for the convocation of an extraordinary congressional session.
(4) Notice of the agenda must be given when an ordinary or extraordinary congressional session is convoked.
(5) The Congress shall consist of:
– the delegates;
– the members of the Board;
– the delegates, without voting rights, from member associations and associations with observer status, the number of whom shall be determined by the Board.
(6) Voting rights are exercised by member associations in accordance with the formula governing the allocation of delegates (§ 4). The number of votes held by a member association corresponds to the proportion of contributions made by that association pursuant to § 4, expressed in percentage terms and rounded up to the nearest percentage point. Nevertheless, no member association shall have more than 35 % of the total number of votes to be allocated to the member associations in accordance with the formula for the allocation of delegates. Votes allocated to a member association shall be transferred by that association to one or more delegates.
(7) The Congress shall be able to pass resolutions if it has been properly convoked.
(8) The resolutions of the Congress shall be adopted by a simple majority, unless the provisions of this Charter state otherwise. A two-thirds majority shall be required for any amendment of the Charter.
(9) The right to vote shall be assignable. The assignment must be made in writing.
(10) The sessional Presidium shall be responsible for chairing the congressional session. It shall consist of a Chairman and two Presidium members who shall be elected by the Congress.
(11) The agenda for an ordinary congressional session must contain at least the following:
a) Report of the Board on the expired term of office.
b) Discharge of the Board;
c) Election of the members of the Board (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and no more than six other members);
d) Auditors’ report;
e) Election of two Auditors and two Deputy Auditors;
f) Discussion of the motions tabled by the member associations and the Board; the motions must be submitted to the member associations no later than 4 (four) weeks prior to the beginning of the Congress.
(12) The conduct of the Congress shall be governed by rules of procedure which shall be prepared by the Presidium and adopted by the Congress.
(13) Minutes shall be kept of the resolutions of the Congress, which shall be signed by the Chairman and the President of EUROMIL.
(14) The overall guidelines for EUROMIL’s activities will be submitted for approval through the newly elected Board to the Presidium at the first Presidium Meeting following the Congress.
§8 – Election procedure at the Congress
The election procedure shall be governed by electoral rules which shall be adopted by the Congress.
§9 – Presidium
(1) The Presidium shall be composed of:
a) the Board;
b) one representative appointed by name by each of the member associations.
(2) Invitations to the ordinary Presidium meetings, which generally take place twice a year, shall be issued by the President.
(3) The Presidium shall meet in extraordinary session:
– upon the resolution of the Board;
– upon the application of at least one-third of the member associations.
(4) a) In the event of the resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall take over the functions of the President and the Congress shall convene in extraordinary session within one year in order to elect a new President.
b) In the event of the resignation of the Vice-President, the Treasurer or other members of the Board, the Presidium shall elect a substitute for the period until the next Congress.
(5) Voting rights shall be exercised by the representatives appointed by name by the member associations in accordance with the formula governing the number of delegates (§ 4).
(6) Further details may be set out in rules of procedure which shall be adopted by the Presidium.
§10 – Functions of the Presidium
The Presidium shall approve the policy of the Board and provide impetus for the prospective further development of EUROMIL policy. The Presidium shall decide on a yearly activity plan on proposal of the Board and will evaluate the progress of the activity plan. It shall decide on the accession of member associations, set the budget, administer EUROMIL’s assets and decide upon the level and the payment date for the membership contributions as well as the formula governing the allocation of delegates pursuant to § 4. It shall rule on the appeals of excluded members of the Board.
The Presidium may establish advisory bodies.
§11 – The Board
(1) The Board shall be composed of:
a) the President, who shall represent the political leadership of EUROMIL and ensure that its policy objectives are implemented. He shall conduct the office, the meetings of the Presidium and the Board
b) the Vice-President, who shall represent the President in all matters if the latter is unable to act.
c) the Treasurer, who shall monitor the income and expenditure as well as the general financial transactions of EUROMIL, establish the draft budget and keep the Presidium and the Board informed about the financial position on an on-going basis.
d) no more than six other members.
Each member of the Board shall have one vote.
(2) Invitations to the Board meetings, which generally take place every two months, shall be issued by the President.
(3) A member association shall not hold more than one office on the Board.
(4) The members of the Board shall represent the general interests of EUROMIL.
§12 – Functions of the Board
(1) The Board shall conduct the business of EUROMIL. It shall prepare the meetings of the Presidium and implement its resolutions. The Board shall be responsible for managing the budget. In addition, it shall perform representative functions, coordinate the activity of the advisory bodies (ad-hoc committees, lead associations, partnerships) and shall be responsible for recruiting new member associations, cooperating with the national associations and supporting them.
(2) The President and the Vice-President or another member of the Board shall represent EUROMIL in legal proceedings and with regard to third parties.
(3) The Presidium shall provide rules of procedure for the Board.
(4) The Board may appoint ad-hoc committees to perform functions for a specified period of time.
(5) Amendments to contributions or other cost-intensive organisational measures shall be submitted to the Presidium for a decision only upon the proposal of the Board after consultation with the Treasurer.
(6) If any member of the Board contravenes the Charter or harms the interests of the organisation, the Board shall be entitled to relieve the Board member from his duties by written notification, stating the reasons. The Board member who is to be relieved of his duties shall be given a hearing prior to the decision. A two-thirds majority of the members of the Board shall be required for such a decision. An appeal to the Congress against this decision may be lodged within eight weeks of notification thereof. The appeal shall not have any postponing effect.
§13 – Office
(1) EUROMIL shall maintain an office as its central management body. The Board shall determine the location in the Brussels area and inform the Presidium.
(2) The office shall be headed by the President.
(3) The functioning and the composition of the office shall be decided on by the Board.
§14 – Regions
Regions may be established within EUROMIL. The details shall be laid down by the Presidium in rules of procedure.
§15 – Partnerships
Member associations or associations interested in becoming members may be given material and non-material support within the framework of partnerships. Partnerships shall be decided upon by the Presidium upon the proposal of the relevant member associations. The details shall be laid down by rules of procedure adopted by the Presidium upon the proposal of the Board.
§16 – Advisory and technical bodies
(1) The Presidium may establish advisory
or technical bodies.
(2) Particular technical issues may be assigned to member associations, which have specific expertise and experience in these issues.
(3) The details shall be laid down in rules of procedure adopted by the Presidium upon the proposal of the Board.
§17 – Auditors
(1) The Congress shall elect, for a term of four years, two Auditors as well as two Deputy Auditors of different nationalities.
(2) The Auditors shall carry out their activities independently and may not belong to the Board or be employees of EUROMIL.
(3) The Auditors shall be entitled to audit EUROMIL’s finances, budget and accounts in accordance with formal and substantive principles at any time. They shall be obliged to do so once a year. The audit shall take place on the basis of the Charter and of any resolutions, procedural rules and provisions which are significant with regard to the finances, budget and accounts. The Congress shall decide rules of procedure for the Auditors.
(4) The Auditors shall prepare audit reports for the Board, which shall comment thereon. The Auditors shall report to the Presidium and the Congress about their activities.
§18 – Travelling expenses
(1) All travelling and accommodation expenses for delegates attending the Congress, all travelling and accommodation expenses of members of the Presidium, the Board and the other committees shall be paid by the delegating associations.
(2) The first paragraph does not apply to the costs of the President related to the execution of his functions and following the rules foreseen in the travelling expenses regulation.
(3) If an official trip is undertaken by members of the Board, the Auditors, or employees of the Office on behalf of the Board or the President, the EUROMIL travelling expenses regulations shall apply.
(4) The travelling expenses regulations shall be adopted by the Presidium. The travelling expenses regulations shall also apply when representatives of the member associations act on behalf of the Board.
§19 – Language
The working language of EUROMIL shall be English. The Charter and changes of the latter shall be submitted to the authorities in French.
§20 – Dissolution of EUROMIL
A two-thirds majority of Congress members who are present and entitled to vote shall be required for dissolution of EUROMIL.
In case of dissolution the Congress shall decide about the destination to be given to the net assets of EUROMIL in accordance with its social goals. The possible net assets after liquidation shall be assigned to a particular non-profit corporation with a similar .
In case of dissolution the Congress shall elect up to three liquidators. Eligible are only Board members responsible for EUROMIL’s daily business.
The Congress shall determine how the liquidators have to execute their tasks. The liquidators shall only be responsible to the Congress.
§21 – Place of jurisdiction
The place of jurisdiction of EUROMIL shall be the court at EUROMIL’s legal seat.
Originally founded in 1972, the Organisation includes 21 countries from Romania in the East to Ireland in the West, and from Sweden in the North to Cyprus in the South; EUROMIL is a truly European organisation.
It is the main Europe-wide forum for cooperation among professional military associations on issues of common concern.
Through the international secretariat in Brussels, EUROMIL facilitates the exchange of information, experiences and best practice among member associations.
The organisation, moreover, strives to secure and advance the human rights, fundamental freedoms and socio-professional interests of military personnel of all ranks by monitoring and advocating on the European level.
EUROMIL promotes the concept of “Citizen in Uniform”. As such, a soldier is entitled to the same rights and obligations as any other citizen. It particularly calls for recognition of the right of servicemen and -women to form and join trade unions and independent associations and for their inclusion in a regular social dialogue by the authorities.
Funded exclusively by membership fees, EUROMIL keeps to strict non-denominational and politically independent policies.
Military associations entirely respect and abide by the chain of command, and neither condone or support insubordination and mutiny. Associations do not intend to comment on strategic or operational matters.
Governments and society owe a duty of care towards their military personnel. Soldiers are called upon to make sacrifices, risking health and life in the service of the nation and the international community. Servicemen and -women deserve in return fair treatment, respect and to be valued as fellow citizens.
The fact that some men and women have chosen to serve their country by wearing a uniform does not negate their fundamental rights.
Therefore, EUROMIL strives to secure and advance the human rights, fundamental freedoms and socio-professional interests of soldiers at European level.
EUROMIL requires of governments to lift all existing restrictions rights of soldiers which are not an inevitably and proportionate result from the military assignment.
Therefore, EUROMIL recommends:
1. That political mandates best reflect the reality of the theatre and the mission, that the number and effect of national caveats are minimised, and forces operate according to common rules of engagement.
2. That adequate pre-deployment training – including the use of identical types of combat gear, equipment and systems as in the mission area – is provided to enhance the skills, effectiveness and safety of the individual soldier and the unit.
3. That appropriate instruction is provided on international law, language skills and cultural awareness during pre-mission training.
4. That combined pre-deployment training of multinational troops occurs in order to optimise the co-operation and interaction of different national contingents in theatre.
5. That priority is given to the provision of appropriate personal combat equipment and to ensuring that the standard of armour protection of vehicles is commensurate with the mission, and that logistic supply structures are effective and appropriate.
6. That the families of soldiers are automatically involved in all support and adaptation programmes in each deployment stage.
7. That appropriate physical and psychological medical care is ensured during military operations.
8. That long-term medical surveillance and treatment of returning soldiers and veterans is guaranteed through military medical facilities and/or the civilian health care system. PTSD should be recognised as an occupational sickness of peace-keeping veterans.
9. That vocational and retraining schemes are established which facilitate the employment of veterans in the public administration or civilian labour market.
10. That employment and training schemes are established which permit seriously injured veterans to be employed by the public/military administration or civilian labour market.
The seven goals of EUROMIL are laid down in § 2 of its charter:
Yes, but not in all European countries.
A well-structured social dialogue currently takes place in some European countries. This is the case for instance in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
The right of association is a fundamental requirement / prerequisite for the establishment of social dialogue. Without professional associations or unions representation of professional and social interests of employees is impossible.
Soldiers are highly skilled employees who have the same legitimacy to promote their social and professional interests as other employees do.
The rapidly advancing technical development of armed forces and increasing sophistication of modern weapon systems set growing educational and training demands on the soldiers of today. European soldiers are also expected to serve in increasingly challenging crisis management operations. This demands from all ranks (officers, non-commissioned officers and privates) language skills, cultural awareness as well as capacity for independent situational judgement and constructive interaction with civilian actors. Besides traditional fighting skills, soldiers are expected to function as mediators and even social and development aid workers with highest moral integrity and sensibility. To put it short: military people are more educated and specialised than many of our fellow citizens are aware of. And educated, highly specialised experts tend to demand a say in their employment conditions.
First, professional military associations and trade unions provide a realistic view and high value information about personnel and material problems in the armed forces – information that normally would not easily reach the military leadership through the hierarchical structure. This gives the leadership valuable insight, and also benefits the political decision-makers by helping to give them a realistic picture of the state of the national defence forces.
Secondly, staff associations lobby for adequate working conditions. This helps to ensure that governments and the military leadership have the means to recruit motivated and qualified staff in direct competition with the civilian labour market. A military career is nowadays becoming indistinguishable from alternative, and more traditional, lines of employment.
Thirdly, most European armed forces are currently undergoing significant transformations. Trade unions are able to encourage co-operation with the authorities and mediate to make transformations the least harming and socially acceptable by supporting affected soldiers.
Despite these clear advantages to the political and military leadership, some European countries still significantly restrict the coalition and collective bargaining rights of their military personnel. In these countries the associations representing military personnel are still struggling for recognition.