Rules of Procedure of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)


I. Election of the Presidium

The election of the Executive Committee takes place in odd-numbered years. Nominations from among the members, which must be signed by at least 10 full members, must be received by the President at least 14 days before the General Meeting. As a rule, the office of 2nd Vice President is assumed by the current President. If there is more than one nomination for election, the election must be conducted by secret ballot. The newly elected Executive Committee takes office on the day after the election.
II. Election of the Advisory Board
Three of the six members of the Advisory Board are elected in each of the years with an odd number of years. The Executive Board names the specialisations from which Advisory Board members are to be elected and makes nominations. These can also be submitted from among the members to the Secretary 14 days before the General Meeting; they must be signed by three members. All proposals are communicated verbally at the General Meeting and subsequently to the voters there. The election shall take place on a ballot paper containing the names of the nominees, separated according to the named specialisations. No more than one name from each specialisation may be ticked. The ballot papers are counted in the presence of two members of the company. Ballot papers are invalid if more than one nomination is ticked within a specialisation. The valid votes are counted. Those who have received the most votes in their specialisation are deemed to have been elected. In the event of a tie, the election is decided by drawing lots. If the elected candidate declines the election, the candidate who has received the next highest number of votes in the same specialisation is deemed elected. The newly elected members of the Advisory Board take office one week after the votes have been counted. In the event of the death or resignation of an Advisory Board member, the person who received the next highest number of votes at the time of their election shall take their place. Re-election is permitted.
III Honorary membership
Persons who have promoted the Association and its field of activity in an outstanding manner may be proposed as honorary members by the Board of Directors by unanimous resolution. The members decide on this proposal online with a simple majority. Honorary members have all the rights of ordinary members, but are exempt from paying membership and conference fees.
IV. Members' obligations
Members are obliged to pay the fixed annual membership fees on time and free of charge for the Association. 
As a rule, membership fees are paid by direct debit if a valid direct debit authorisation is available. If the member chooses a different method of payment, the Executive Committee may charge an appropriate processing fee in addition to the membership fee. Any disadvantages and costs incurred due to late or missing notification of changes shall be borne by the party responsible.
V. Establishment of specialist groups
Members of the Society with particularly specialised professional interests may form specialist groups within the Society. The application for the establishment of a specialised group must be supported by at least 25 full members and must be addressed to the President. The General Assembly decides on the establishment of specialised groups for four years by simple majority. An extension of the duration for a further four years is possible upon justified application by the Executive Board. The specialist groups can hold symposia and represent their speciality at VAAM conferences. External representation of the speciality groups is a matter for the VAAM or its Presidium. The Specialist Groups are provided with a fixed amount for their activities as determined by the Presidium, which can be carried over to the following year with the approval of the Treasurer. At a general meeting or online, the members of the specialist groups elect a spokesperson for the group and his/her deputy from among their number for a term of two years, which must be confirmed by the VAAM Executive Committee. Re-election is permitted twice. The spokespersons of the specialist groups report on their activities to the Executive Board and in the members' journal or in the proceedings of the VAAM annual conference.
By resolution of the general meeting of a specialist group and upon justified request of at least 25 full members of an existing specialist group, this group can be transferred to a joint specialist group with a thematically similar specialist group of another specialist society. The Executive Board of the VAAM decides on this application by simple majority. The members of the Joint Specialist Group elect a spokesperson of the group and his/her deputy from among their number at a general meeting or online - in each case for 2 years, whereby both specialist societies should be represented. The spokesperson and deputy spokesperson must be confirmed by the VAAM Executive Committee. If necessary, further members of the specialist group can be elected to the leadership. Joint specialist groups otherwise have the same rights and obligations as the other VAAM specialist groups.
VI Organisation of symposia
In addition to the annual conferences, the Society organises symposia on request. Applications for symposia must be approved by the Executive Board at least one year before the date of the event. The Board of Directors commissions a member with the preparation, realisation and scientific management. The scientific director is free to design the programme, but must obtain the approval of the Executive Committee, whereby the financial framework requires the specific approval of the Treasurer.
VII Membership in umbrella organisations
The Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) can join national and international umbrella organisations as a specialist society. It shall be represented on their committees by one or more delegate(s) appointed by the Executive Board. If the agenda of an association meeting contains items of particular importance to the VAAM, the delegates shall act in agreement with the Executive Committee, whose opinion they shall obtain in advance.
The General Assembly shall decide on the commencement or termination of membership in an umbrella organisation by a two-thirds majority on the proposal of the Executive Board.
VIII. Motions from members
Motions from among the members which are to be discussed and decided on at the General Meeting must be dealt with at the General Meeting if they have been submitted to the President in writing at least two months in advance. The President may defer motions received at a later date if he is of the opinion that the resolution must be announced in writing and in good time as a special item on the agenda.
IX. Amendments to the Articles of Association
Members must be notified of the wording of motions to amend the Articles of Association together with the invitation to the General Meeting. The General Meeting may amend the wording of the amendment to the Articles of Association to be voted on by a simple majority prior to the vote.

X. Entry into force of the Rules of Procedure

These Rules of Procedure supplement the Articles of Association. They may be amended by the General Meeting by simple majority at the request of the Executive Board or a group of at least 10 members. If contradictions arise between the Articles of Association and the Rules of Procedure, e.g. as a result of an amendment to the Articles of Association, the Rules of Procedure shall cease to apply until the contradiction has been resolved by amending the Rules of Procedure.