Statutes (Revision 2018) 

Article 1      Name and logo

The foundation is named “The European Society for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery”. It is further referred to as ESPRAS. It is a nonprofit confederation of National Societies or National Associations of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (PRAS) of countries belonging to the Council of Europe.

Article 2         Legal status and location

a. ESPRAS was founded in 1967 in the Netherlands. Since 2020 the society is located in the municipality of Basel, Switzerland, and is constituted in conformity with Swiss Law.

b. In these statutes:

– ESPRAS Congress means the quadrennial European Congress.

– UEMS means Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes.

– EBOPRAS means European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

– EURAPS means European Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Article 3 Purpose of ESPRAS

The purpose of ESPRAS is

a. to promote the field of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery in Europe by supporting education, training and research as well as humanitarian activities.

b. to encourage the exchange of knowledge and ideas between Plastic Surgeons in all European member countries.

c. to facilitate the cooperation between the national member societies and European as well as international organizations.

d. to promote ethical behavior in all aspects of practice, education and research.

Article 4 Language

The official language of ESPRAS is English.

Article 5      Membership

ESPRAS is composed of all the National scientific Societies of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons in the member countries of the Council of Europe, one society from each country.  

Article 6    Organization

The business of ESPRAS shall be conducted by an Executive Committee, a Council of Delegates and the General Assembly.

Article 7      Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (further referred to as ExCo) shall consist of ten voting members chosen from the five main geographical regions (Northern, Western, South-western, Central and Eastern, and South-eastern Europe – see appendix III for division) and the organizer (President or Chair of the Organizing Committee) of the next ESPRAS Congress, who shall participate in the ExCo business meetings, with the same voting rights as the other ten ExCo members.

Following officers are appointed by the ExCo: a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary-General, and a Treasurer from amongst them. The ExCo members shall be elected and, if necessary, suspended or dismissed by the Council of Delegates. These actions should be approved by the General Assembly.                      (See appendix I – Election procedure)

  1. The members are elected for one period of two years, only renewable once for a further two years period.
  2. The President, the Vice-President the Secretary-General and the Treasurer may hold office for a maximum of two years.  No member can hold office for more than four years.
  3. Representatives of UEMS/EBOPRAS and EURAPS, one representative each, shall be admitted as observers to the meetings of the ExCo with no voting capacity.
  4. The ExCo shall supervise all the affairs of ESPRAS between the quadrennial meetings of the Council of Delegates. The ExCo shall inform the national delegates of their business in an annual electronic report.
  5. The ExCo shall represent ESPRAS and its Council of Delegates.
  6. The ExCo shall ensure holding the quadrennial ESPRAS congresses according to the Statutes; it shall oversee and assist its organization and implementation.
  7. The ExCo shall do the same for so-called ESPRAS-appointed meetings (article 8b) in collaboration with national European Societies who will host them.
  8. The ExCo shall appoint such committees as are required to conduct the business of ESPRAS.
  9. All ExCo actions and the minutes of its deliberations shall be presented to the Council of Delegates for approval and ratification
  10. The ExCo shall recommend to the Council of delegates the level of dues to be paid by the affiliated National Societies
  11. The ExCo shall assess scientific events related to PRAS granting endorsement, thus ensuring quality and educational value.
  12. The ExCo shall nominate a Fellowship committee to prepare the announcement and selection of potential ESPRAS fellows.

ExCo officers are responsible to ESPRAS and no longer to their National Society.

The ExCo shall meet at least once a year and in any case on the occasion of the ESPRAS -Congresses.     

Duties of elected offices by the ExCo

The duties of the President are:

a)    Representation of ESPRAS in general

b)    Conduct the day to day affairs of ESPRAS

c)    Chair the ExCo, the Council of Delegates and the General Assembly

d)    Appoint ex-officio officers and “ad-hoc” committees for a specific reason and with the approval of the ExCo or the Council of Delegates

The duties of the vice President

a)    To assist the President in his/her duties

b)  To replace the President in his/her absence

The duties of the Secretary General are:  

a)    To keep up-to-date records of:

  1. National Societies and their ExCo
  2. List of members of National Societies
  3. Correspondence

b)   To organize the meetings of ExCo, Council of Delegates and General Assembly

c)   To maintain the Archives of ESPRAS (Minutes, Agendas, and Statutes etc.)

d)   To edit the “Newsletter” and ESPRAS webpage

The duties of the Treasurer are:

a)    To supervise and manage all the finances of ESPRAS

b) To report to the ExCo on any financial matter and prepare the yearly balance report  (Expenses of more than 1000 Euro must be approved by the ExCo).

c) To present an annual financial report to the National Delegates (Audit Committee) and the General Assembly when in session.

Article 8     Council of Delegates

The Council of Delegates shall be the main decision making body of ESPRAS.

The ESPRAS Council of Delegates shall be composed of one delegate from each of the affiliated National Societies. The delegates are nominated by the respective National Societies for tenure of four years renewable once. The delegate is the spokesperson for the National Society to ESPRAS and vice versa if a national society is represented in the ExCo it shall nominate another member as its delegate to the Council. All ExCo officers are full members of the Council of Delegates with voting rights.

If a delegate is unable to attend, he may transfer his right to vote to another person who has been designated by the national society, with the consent of the prevented delegate.

National delegates may not participate in the discussions and debates of the Council of Delegates nor may they vote, if their National Society is in arrears in payments of its dues by more than 12 months. This should be controlled by the Treasurer.

The Council shall meet in session at least once every four years, in conjunction with the ESPRAS Congress. The meeting shall be chaired by the President. The Council of Delegates has the following responsibilities:

  1. To receive reports and recommendations from the ExCo and comments from the General Assembly and to discuss these and to take the necessary actions;
  2. To receive and ratify the minutes of meetings, financial reports and budgets and expenditures, and the actions of the ExCo;
  3. To approve new ExCo member appointed by the five regions of Europe;
  4. To approve or disapprove the applications of National Societies for ESPRAS membership;
  5. To decide which member country should be invited to host and organize the next ESPRAS Congress after hearing presentations by the prospective host countries and the recommendations of the ExCo;
  6. To review the finances of ESPRAS from the Audit Committee report (article 11);
  7. To approve the level of the dues to be paid by affiliated National Societies at the recommendation of the ExCo.
  8. To decide on urgent or extraordinary issues by electronic vote at the discretion of the ExCo.

Article 9 General Assembly

The General Assembly shall consist of all members attending the ESPRAS quadrennial congress and members of an affiliated National Society.

  1. The General Assembly shall meet at each quadrennial congress. The agenda for the meeting shall be sent to the members of ESPRAS at least six weeks before the meeting.
  2. The General Assembly shall receive reports of the ExCo and the Council of Delegates.
  3. These reports shall include an overview of current ESPRAS affairs; finances of ESPRAS; proposals for future congress sites; proposals for elections.
  4. The General Assembly shall make recommendations to their respective national delegates on appropriate actions to be taken in or by the Council of Delegates.
  5. The General Assembly shall receive proposals from the Organizing Committees of the cities that are candidates to host the next congress.

Article 10a      ESPRAS Congress

The ESPRAS Congress shall be held every four years in a city of a European country whose National Society is affiliated to ESPRAS.

A National Society wishing to propose a host city for the Congress must apply in writing and must include the names of the members of the Organizing Committee elect. The applications must be in the hands of the ExCo no later than one year before the Congress immediately preceding the one to which the application refers. Any promotional material should be sent exclusively to the ExCo through the ExCo Secretary-General and not to the membership at large. The applicant country must have paid its membership dues to ESPRAS before the application.

The site of the quadrennial congress shall be selected by the Council of Delegates after recommendations by the ExCo. Selection of the host city shall be determined by simple majority of a secret vote. In the case of more than two nominees, after each secret ballot the nominee with the smallest vote count shall be eliminated.

The organizing committee of the host National Society shall assume all responsibility for the administration of the congress including scientific programme, administration, execution, and finances. The organizing committee of the host National Society will have the financial risk and eventual profit of the congress.The scientific programme shall be assumed in collaboration with the ESPRAS Scientific sub-committee. The ESPRAS congress organization cooperates with the organizing committee concerning venue, budget, social programme and organizing committee framework.

The President or Chair of the Organizing Committee of the next ESPRAS Congress shall participate in the ExCo business meetings with right to vote.

Before announcing the ESPRAS congress, the host National Society shall submit a general draft of the congress scientific programme, the site, hotel space, social activities, travel arrangements, budget and organizing committee framework to the ExCo at least nine months before the congress date. This programme shall allocate time for the ESPRAS lecture, business meetings of the ExCo, the Council of Delegates and the General Assembly of the Congress. The host organizing committee shall invite the members of all affiliated National Societies to participate in the scientific programme presented at the ESPRAS congress. At least nine months before congress, preliminary information should be sent to each individual member of the affiliated National Societies. The official language of the quadrennial congress shall be English and all scientific contributions must be presented in English. Exceptions from this are only acceptable if simultaneous translation into English is available.

Article 10b      ESPRAS-appointed and ESPRAS-endorsed meetings

An “ESPRAS-appointed Meeting of the Year” will normally be appointed by ESPRAS in each of the years between the quadrennial congresses. This is a National Society’s scientific meeting, to which members of all European National Societies are eligible to participate on the same terms as members of the National Society. The meeting shall be endorsed by the ESPRAS ExCo according to the regulations of endorsement as they have been decided by the ExCo (see appendix 2).

Other Scientific events can be endorsed by ESPRAS with a decision taken by the ExCo according the Endorsement Rules as they have been decided by the ExCo.

Article 11      Congress Membership

All members of affiliated National Societies are eligible to register and, upon payment of a registration fee, attend the scientific congress.

Plastic Surgeons and members of other specialties who are not members of a National Society cannot be registered for these meetings and are not allowed to participate, unless invited by the host society organizing the congress.

Congress members, including trainees, family members and guests, shall pay a fee to be determined by the organizing committee of each congress.

Article 12      Votes and Rules

 All votes in the Council of Delegates and the ExCo shall be decided by a simple majority, except revisions of the statutes which shall be by 2/3 majority vote. Tie votes shall be decided by a vote cast by the President. Votes by written or electronic mail may be utilized to decide on business by the ExCo and the Council of Delegates; all such mail ballots shall be ratified by the Council of Delegates at its next meeting. Delegates may only vote, if their National Society is not in arrears in payments of its dues with more than twelve months.

Notice of a suggested change in the Statutes shall be given by a National Society officer to the ExCo through its President at least three months before the Council meeting. A report on all the proposed changes shall be made by the ExCo to the Council of Delegates. To change the Statutes at least two thirds of the delegates must be present at the Council meeting or respond to an electronic voting (Quorum)-  Deciding vote shall be a 2/3 majority of the votes cast (qualified majority). A change of Statutes needs to be recorded by a notary public under penalty of nullity. Each ExCo member is individually allowed to pass the notarial deed.

 Article 13    ESPRAS fellowship

ESPRAS FELLOWSHIP programmes will be announced each year as funds allow. The purpose of the ESPRAS fellowship is to provide the fellow with the opportunity to study the art, science and skills of Plastic Surgery from excellent teachers and mentors.

A Fellowship committee of three ExCo members nominated by the ExCo will prepare the announcement and the selection according to rules previously approved by the ExCo. The selection will be approved by the ExCo. The selected fellows will have their name posted on the ESPRAS webpage.

Article 14      Dues and Finance

The funds of ESPRAS shall consist of an annual subscription fee levied on each European National Society on a per capita basis of total active membership for the current year. Dues shall be paid on a yearly basis, in advance, in the first quarter of the calendar year.

The level of dues shall be determined by the Council of Delegates on proposal of the ExCo at the immediately preceding congress for each ensuing four year cycle. The dues are to be paid to the Treasurer of ESPRAS.

National Societies in arrears of payments of their dues with more than twelve months shall have no right to vote in the ExCo and the Council of Delegates meetings. Furthermore, ESPRAS fellowship cannot be awarded to candidates from that country.  The ExCo reserves the right to delete the name of that Society from the website.

Additional funds may be obtained by donations, bequests, shares of profits of quadrennial congresses, sponsorship or subsidies from various sources.

The finances of ESPRAS shall be independent of the finances of the ESPRAS Congress.ESPRAS shall use its funds only to accomplish the purposes specified in article 3 of these statutes.

An Audit Committee shall be charged with a review of the financial affairs of ESPRAS. The Audit Committee shall consist of two members of ESPRAS appointed by the ExCo. The Audit Committee shall present its report annually to the Council of Delegates.

Article 15      Subcommittees

The President and the ExCo may appoint such subcommittees as it deems necessary or desirable.

Article 16     Dissolution

1. In the event of the dissolution of ESPRAS, the ExCo, acting with the authority of the Council of Delegates, shall, after satisfying all liabilities of ESPRAS, distribute all remaining assets to such organization(s) operated for one or more of the purposes contained in article 3 of these statutes, or to such charitable, educational, and/or scientific organizations as shall qualify.

2. ESPRAS shall continue to exist after its dissolution as long as will be necessary for the settlements of its assets.

3. During the settlement the articles of these Statutes will remain effective.

4. After execution of the settlement the accounts and documents of the dissolved ESPRAS shall rest for a period of ten years with a person to be designated by the executors of the settlement.

Appendix I


The Executive Committee (further referred to as ExCo) shall consist of ten elected members representing national societies and the president or chair of the next ESPRAS Congress.

–  Each National Society can nominate one colleague for the ESPRAS Executive Committee (ESPRAS ExCo) to represent the region as follows: one member from Northern, three members from Western and two members from each of the remaining geographical European regions: South-western, Central and Eastern, and South-eastern Europe – see appendix III  for division).

–  The nominations should reach the Secretary General (SG) within a month from the date of the announcement for the elections.

–   Once the slate of candidates has been released from the SG, one month is given for the National Delegate (ND) of each Society to send a letter (or Email) to the SG with his/her vote.  The ND from Northern region can cast one vote, the ND from Western region can cast three votes and the ND from the remaining regions can cast two votes for candidates from their own region.

–   The power of the votes is different for each ND and is depending on the number of members in the National Society. Up to 500 members gives the power of 1, from 500 to 1000 gives the power of 2 etc.

– In cases of a tight vote the ESPRAS ExCo decides who will be the elected person. The ExCo shall make the decision by simple majority of a secret vote.

– The term of office starts on the first of January of the following year.

Appendix II


  1. It can be offered to any National Congress organised by a National Society Member of ESPRAS
  • In case of two candidatures for the same year, the issue is put to a vote in the Executive Committee, or in the Council of Delegates.
  • All plastic surgeons of E.S.P.R.A.S should be invited. The participation fee for national and foreign participants should be the same.
  • English translation should be provided for all round table and plenary lectures, if not held in English. Simultaneous translation for other sections of the programme is not obligatory but desirable. The Slides in the presentations should be in English or with English subtitles.
  • All financing issues are the responsibility of the Organizing National Association or Society.
  • Advertising is also the responsibility of the Organizers – The meeting should be announced on the ESPRAS website.
  • A short report should be presented to the ESPRAS Executive Committee within six months after the meeting.
  • The fee for this appointment is 300 euro per day of congress payable to the ESPRAS treasurer
  • The organizers undertake the responsibility to display the ESPRAS Logo in all printed material (Programme, Certificates of attendance, etc.). Unlawful use of the logo may lead to legal implication.
  1. The names of the ESPRAS Executive committee should appear on the programme of the Congress.  A member of the ESPRAS ExCo should be invited and should address the participants at the opening ceremony of the Congress.

Appendix III

  North (one delegate) (5 countries)
  West (three delegates) (6 countries)
United Kingdom   
  South-west (two delegates) (4 countries)
  Central and East (Two delegates) (10 countries)
Czech Republic
  South-east (two delegates) (15 countries)
Bosnia and Herzegovina