Governance: EHFF is initially constituted as a company limited by guarantee but aims to move to full charity status. Four executive directors are the legal partners and have clearly identified areas of responsibility. Operational decisions are agreed via Skype meetings, usually weekly, and are minuted. The Board is completed by a non-executive Chairman and two other non-execs who have been actively involved in setting the strategy for the entity to provide for proper governance. At least two more non-executive Board members will be sought in the coming months. Dr Buiting, our Chair, is the CEO of NVTZ, the Netherlands Association of non-executive directors in healthcare.
Structure: according to its mission and values, EHFF is an open source organisation built on a network of networks. There is therefore a potential conflict inherent in the expectation by the Commission of having a formal membership. This seems to arise out of a historical expectation that European NGOs should be umbrella organisations with members in most or all of the EU states, such as CPME, HOPE or EPF. Fundamentally EHFF has strong network relationships built up over the last ten years with bodies and individuals across the EU based on working relationships and common aims.
To demonstrate the EU coverage, friends (mainly organisations) from 19 countries have agreed to be founder members as they are all interested in the mission and potential involvement in activities. In addition there are further networks of educationalists, futurists, related EU NGOs, potential commercial partners and others.
1. Eligible organisations or individuals would be European-based
2. Would operate in the field of societal health, whether healthcare, education or business and organisations would be non-governmental but otherwise be of a variety of types; Research Institute, NGO, private company, consultancy etc.
3. Would agree to broadly support and endorse the Mission of EHFF as set out in the charitable objects of its Constitution/Articles of Association (published on the website)
4. Such organisations or indeed individuals would be expected to fulfil the recognised professional and ethical criteria expected in the field
5. To this end they would be expected to meet basic standards for openness, transparency and governance.
For EHFF, rights and obligations are closely linked. The primary criterion is that of involvement and engagement. Therefore, members will be specifically consulted over operational and strategic evolution of the organisation at regular intervals and their views considered and publicly acknowledged in decisions made by the made by the Board on the above matters.
Obligations of members
Each year members will individually be approached to ask them to make an annual commitment to the work of EHFF.
This might be notional, or on the other hand, depending on the member’s circumstances and the evolution of EHFF’s activities, it might be: an offer of involvement of EHFF in one of the member’s projects, an offer to send one member of staff to one EHFF event that year, an offer of a secondment by a staff-member of the member organisation to work within EHFF for a year, to publish a paper of some sort on the EHFF website or any other form of exchange.