Frequently Asked Questions


What is the ETUCE Special Conference?

    Held every four years, the ETUCE Special Conference is a governing body of the European Trade Union Committee for education. It is heldtwo years after each ordinary Conference to consider and decide on matters related to ETUCE policies on education and employment.

     

    Who can take part in the ETUCE Conference?

      ETUCE Committee members are entitled to attend the Special Conference. Other participants are nominated by ETUCE member organisations. Member organisations can send up to 2 delegates and 2 observers, provided that no dues payments are outstanding. The Secretariat advises each member organisation of the number of delegates and votes allocated on the basis of the dues paid. Regular updates are published on the Conference webpage.

      What is the difference between delegates and observers?

        Delegates are the official representatives of member organisations. They are entitled to participate in the formal debates and to vote. The number of delegates to which an organisation is entitled is determined by the average amount of dues which it has paid for the years between the Conferences. The Secretariat advises each member organisation of the number of delegates and votes allocated on the basis of the dues paid.

        Observers are entitled to attend all of the Conference sessions, but they are not entitled to speak in the formal debates or to vote.

        What are Conference Resolutions?

          Resolutions are proposals for policy or action, or both, which are put before the Conference for adoption. They often contain a declaration of principle as well as the demand for action or a change of policy. They should be positive, clear and concise. Resolutions for debate at the Conference must be submitted by affiliated organisations or by the ETUCE Committee to reach the Bureau at least one month prior to the opening of the Conference (i.e. by 25 October). These resolutions are then circulated to affiliated organisations.

          Urgent resolutions on matters which arise between the deadline for the submission of resolutions (25 October) and the Conference may be submitted up to the opening day of the Conference. The Bureau will determine whether or not such resolutions meet the criteria for urgent resolutions. If the Bureau accepts a proposed resolution as an urgent resolution it will be listed for debate at the Conference and amendments may be proposed to it from the floor of the Conference.

          How does the Conference discuss themes and resolutions?

            The Special Conference holds debates on resolutions which are presented to it by the ETUCE Committee or by member organisations.

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            How does the Congress adopt resolutions?

               

              Draft resolutions are submitted in one of ETUCE’s official languages at least one month prior to the opening of the Conference by member organisations or by the ETUCE Committee. During the plenary sessions, the Conference debates the proposed resolutions and any amendments and adopts or rejects them by voting on them. Voting may be by show of voting cards by the delegates present in the Conference hall or by roll call vote (see below). These resolutions then form the basis for the activities and programmes implemented by ETUCE over the following years.

               

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              When may a delegate speak?

                The rules of debate are clear and simple: a delegate or member of the Committee shall speak only once in a debate, unless otherwise agreed by the Committee or Conference. The presenter of a report or mover of a motion, however, shall have the right of reply. The time limit applicable to all speakers is five minutes. Debates may be interrupted at any time by a point of order or a motion of procedure, in which case the time limit for each speaker is three minutes. When under time pressure, the President or Chair may propose to the Conference, however, that it reduce these limits. When given the floor, Conference delegates should always first state their name, and the name of their organisation and country. Words are translated simultaneously into several languages, therefore, people must speak clearly and not too quickly. Requests to speak must be made in writing to the Chairperson. “Request to Speak” forms may be obtained from the Greffier’s Desk. Completed forms must be returned to the Greffier, who passes them to the President or Chair.

                What are the Voting Procedures?

                   

                  Each member organisation designates a principal delegate who may vote on behalf of the organisation’s delegation in a roll call vote. The name and status/title of the principal delegate must be advised two weeks prior to the opening day of the meeting in the on-line registration system, in writing to the secretariat, or to the Greffier at the beginning of Conference, prior to the distribution of voting or ballot papers.

                   

                  There are two different kinds of voting in the Special Conference:

                   

                  Standard voting
                  Voting on resolutions or other propositions put for decision to the Conference by the President is normally by show of voting cards. Voting cards are included in the Conference packages which the delegates receive upon on-site registration. The President determines the outcome of the vote. Tellers can be appointed by the President prior to the Conference. In the event of a close vote the President may call on the Tellers for advice about the outcome or to count the votes.

                  Roll-Call Vote
                  It is provided under the ETUCE By-laws that at least twenty member organisations may demand a vote by full delegation voting strength on an issue. To facilitate such a vote at the Conference, the principal representative of each organisation will be supplied with voting cards and a card identifying the organisation and its voting strength. The three voting cards will provide the voting options “For”, “Against”, and “Abstain”. The result is available immediately through an electronic counting mechanism. The call for a roll call vote must be made before the matter is put to a vote. At least fifty per cent of the total voting entitlements or organisations registered for the Conference must be used for the outcome to be valid.

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                  What is the Greffier?

                    The ConferenceGreffier assists the President. The Greffier distributes the request to speak forms which delegates must complete if they wish to intervene in the debates. The Greffier also collects the completed forms and passes them to the President or Chair of the session. The Greffier also maintains a record of the proceedings of the Conference. The ConferenceGreffier’s Desk is located in the main conference room near the podium. During the plenary sessions of the Conference, the “Request to Speak” form can be obtained from the Greffier’s Desk.

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                    What interpretation is provided?

                      Interpretation is available in all five of ETUCE’s official languages, namely English, French, Spanish, German and Russian. For this edition, Hungarian interpretation will also be available.

                      Where do delegations sit?

                        Delegations are free to choose their seats. However, in order to avoidthat participants from the same delegation are spread throughout the room, attendees are asked not to leave open seats in between delegations.

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                        Who receives financial assistance to attend the Conference?

                           

                          ETUCE grants financial assistance to member organisations in countries whose GNI per capita is below a certain margin. Assistance is granted to one delegate per member organisation.

                           

                          Assistance includes:

                           

                          1.     full payment of airfare within the limits of the authorised fares published on the webpage of the Conference

                           

                          2.     hotel accommodation (including breakfast)

                           

                          3.     other meals during their stay

                          Conference assistance does not include other expenses related to travel, e.g. visa costs, overnight stay while in transit, etc. These have to be borne by the traveller or his/her organisation. Member organisations eligible for assistance will have to introduce a request using the appropriate form available on the Conference webpage not later than 1st  October 2014.

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                          Do I need a visa to enter Austria?

                             

                            Citizens of the following countries need international passport and/or visa to travel to Austria : Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine..  For further information, please check the following webpage :http://www.bmeia.gv.at/aussenministerium/buergerservice/pass-und-visum/visainformation-englisch.html

                            Feel free to contact the secretariat for further assistance.

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