7.1 Annual budget:
Rob explained the balance sheets he had distributed. He said that mostly because of the late recompensation for travel and accomodation costs for meetings in Brussels it often occurred that the OIFE had to spend money that was only refunded months later, sometimes even in the following year, what makes bookkeeping quite complicated.
As to the financial plan, Rob pointed out once more that it was still provisional, but that the final paper would probably be not very different. He referred to the expenditures on representation that had been higher than expected and to the problem of the different currencies.
As it was very important for the EC to meet not just once a year at the AGM, Rob proposed to increase the amount for the ”meeting costs”, 200 ECU were not enough, because already travel costs were higher than that. Everybody agreed.
Rob explained again that it looked rather bad with subsidies on EEC-level because Helios II would end this year. Decisions on ”social affairs” were blocked by the German government that pretended to be unable to decide upon this, because social affairs in Germany were under the responsibility of the ”Lander” and not of the Federal government.
Answering David’s question, Rob explained that the amount for AGM 1997 on the plan was just the estimated total for the travel costs.
7.2 Yearly fee:
Rob said that the EC proposed to leave the fee as it was at the moment (400 ECU). He referred to the rule that it is possible to pay a lower, but yearly increasing fee for three years for member-societies with smaller financial budget and that in two cases this time would run out next year. This could lead to the loss of full members, but on the other hand it would of course not be acceptable to have just some members pay for the others. Should the time of the 3 years be changed to 4 or more years or should the article in the by-laws be changed completely?
After a break the Italian delegate strictly demanded that we should keep to the rule that full members pay the whole fee. Rob suggested to keep the rules as they are, but to open the possibility for a member to apply for a subsidy from the OIFE for that part of the fee that they could not pay. Such a proposal would have to be done well in advance to the EC, which would than put it on the agenda of the next AGM for the Board to decide. He suggested to put this issue on the agenda for next year, so we could than take a vote upon it. This suggestion was accepted by all delegates exept one.
7.3 Signing authority for treasurer:
Rob suggested to go up to the amount of 1000 Dutch Gilders (500 ECU). Everyone agreed. A second signature will be required for higher amounts.
7.4 Fund raising committee:
This question was a very important one, Rob said, as every Board meeting already costs about 5000 ECU and we really need a regular, independent source of money, but he had not had time for this unfortunately. He asked all delegates to put this question to their boards as well. Jos offerd to look into this matter as well and said he already had some ideas about it.