EUROPEAN MYCOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
What format should a European-level organization of mycologists take?
How should it be funded?
What should its activities be?
Should it hold meetings other than, say, the Congress and, if so, what sort?
Should it produce publication(s) and, if so, what sort?
A little later, Dr Reinhold Pöder prepared a draft text setting out some of the main issues to be addressed. The present paper is derived from that draft text and the responses to the e-mail. We thank all who contributed their views.
A little over 10% of those contacted replied to the e-mail. Replies were received from Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain, UK, and from the following mycological societies: British Mycological Society, Bulgarian Mycological Society, German Mycological Society, German Society for Mycology & Lichenology, Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Lithuanian Mycological Society, Rumanian Mycological Society. The British Mycological Society indicated that it wished to express its views directly at the XIV Congress. Notable replies included views from the Presidents of the Bulgarian, German and Lithuanian Mycological Societies, the President of the German Society for Mycology & Lichenology and the President of the Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain, the Secretary of the Rumanian Mycological Society, the Director of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (Netherlands), the Editor of Mycological Research (the now retired Director of the former International Mycological Institute) and the Editor of Mycotaxon.
A European mycological association should be established
Those who replied to the e-mail were universally in favour of the idea of a European mycological association. Most expressed strong support and a sense of urgency about realizing this sooner rather than later. Many emphasized the infrastructural need for such an association, if mycology is ever to be treated on a par with, for example, botany and zoology. There was a clear preference to define Europe in broad geographical terms rather than through restricted political entities such as the European Union. Here are some examples of their responses:
I generally support the idea to establish a European Mycological Association (Reinhard Agerer, President of the German Mycological Society).
Many thanks for your suggestion for a European mycological association. I wish to support such activities (Otto Baral, Germany).
We surely need a European Society (Francois Buscot, President of the German Society for Mycology & Lichenology).
Consequently the preliminary opinion of the Bulgarian mycologists concerning the idea for European Mycological Association is an entirely positive one (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
Thank you for your message in regard to the proposal of creating a Mycological Association at a European level. If we wish to have a louder voice and be more effective in forwarding issues and ideas this is the only way.... I think it is a splendid idea (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
The creation of a European society would certainly be a good thing (André Fraiture, Belgium).
Thank you for your initiative. CBS will probably not be represented at the Crimea meeting but we have great sympathy for your action (Walter Gams, Netherlands).
I am supporting absolutely the need for establishment of a European level organization of mycologists and especially a European Mycological Association (Melania Gyosheva, Bulgaria).
The endeavour is much needed and timely (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
I would agree with an idea to create European mycological association (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
I fully support the initiative (Lena Lange, Denmark).
Thank you very much for your email concerning establishment of an European Mycological Association. I think it is high time to do that, particularly at a time where fungi and mycology become more and more important for many aspects of human life and where in contrast mycology - at least in Europe - becomes more and more neglected in higher education and funding for teaching and research (Peter Molitoris, Germany).
Very good idea (Wieslaw Mulenko, Poland).
I would like to inform you that Armenian mycologists including myself would be glad to join you for discussions in these initiatives (Siranush Nanagulyan, Armenia).
I agree with a European mycological society and as for me the society should be created at the next meeting (Antonio Portugal, Portugal).
In my opinion, a European Mycological Association should be a useful tool to exchange and discuss different views, and to spread mycological learning among people (E. Sanjust, Italy).
We consider a European Association of Mycology as necessary (Catalin Tanase, Secretary of the Rumanian Mycological Society).
Mixed opinions as to how a European level organization of mycologists should be organized
Opinions varied as to a suitable structure for the association. Membership. Some preferred a European-level society of individuals, others a federation of national societies, and a few a mixture of both. Many countries do not have a national mycological society and several respondents cited this as a reason for supporting individual membership. Scope. Most preferred a broad society dealing with all aspects of mycology, some strongly so, emphasizing that the trend of Congresses of European Mycologists to reflect those broader interests should continue. Others, probably a minority, preferred a society limited to systematics and conservation of larger fungi (the traditional scope of the Congresses of European Mycologists), and expressed concern that these endangered disciplines might be swamped in a more widely defined society. Structure. The only structure proposed was to have elected representatives, perhaps from each country, perhaps with some appointed by federated national societies, forming a body with executive powers between congresses, and a smaller steering council. Language. No-one raised the question of what language(s) should be used by the society. The language of Congresses of European Mycologists has always been English. English is used by the African, Asian and Australasian Mycological Congresses, by the Mycological Society of America, and the International Mycological Congresses. The Latin-American Mycological Association uses Spanish, Portuguese and English in parallel. Responses. Here are some examples of the responses:
There are two possibilities for a European association. The first – which I do not recommend – is an association of the many independent European societies, as realized in IMA. Such an organization is too inflexible and unproductive. In addition, such a hierarchy inhibits close co-operation and contacts of the mycologists. I would definitely prefer an individual membership of European (better: worldwide) mycologists. But in this case we possibly have to set up several sections, for instance, for medical mycology – phytopathology – systematics and biodiversity, etc. (Reinhard Agerer, President of the German Mycological Society).
The initiative for a European organisation comes from the participants of the CEM, mainly people working on taxonomy, ecology and conservation of macrofungi. I remain worried about the recognizability of these disciplines within a broad organisation. I always feel a little lost at International Mycological Congresses because of the very broad scope of mycological disciplines and little attention paid to subjects that are interesting for my research area. I hope that the congress in Crimea will seriously discuss the alternative of a “European Society of Field Mycology”, possibly with Field Mycology as its adopted journal (Eef Arnolds, Netherlands).
We surely need a European Society, which should group all aspects of the mycology, not only Taxonomy (Francois Buscot, President of the German Society for Mycology & Lichenology).
A European level Organization of mycologists should congregate National Societies of Microbiology/ Mycology and eventually individual persons working in the area. It should have a strong link with FEMS (Manuela Carolino and Margarida Barata, Portugal).
The European level organization of mycologists should be a society (Pedro Crous, Netherlands).
The European Mycological Association should represent European scientists who are studying all aspects of all groups of fungi. We agree with the proposal... [for] ...individual membership of European (better: worldwide) mycologists... ...with several sections, for instance, for medical mycology – phytopathology – systematics and biodiversity, etc. (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
It should embrace not only the existing National Mycological societies but also individual mycologists. Do not forget that there quite a few countries without any Mycological society. There should be one representative from each country (general assembly) which will elect a 5-7 member council. Important matters can be discussed at the Congresses but decisions should be made by the general assembly (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
The European level organization of mycologists should be a federation of existing societies possibly leading to a Union (Roland Fox, UK).
The European association should not be confined to mycologists working with macromycetes, as they are mainly represented in the European congresses, but it should represent all scientifically working mycologists (Walter Gams, Netherlands).
What format should a European level organization of mycologists take? The great doubt!! There is already a very important mycological society in Europe, the BMS with many non-British members (Susana Gonçalves, Portugal).
An old idea was that the CEM should develop as a regional association affiliated to the IMA in the same way as the Asia, Latin American, and African groups. There was some discussion of this at the Kew CEM in 1992 I recall. I think the new body should operate like FEMS (Federation of European Microbiological Societies) and be its counterpart for mycology... ...This would fit in with MycoAction Plan concepts. The Council of the new body, I would suggest, might be made up like the IMA’s with a mixture of elected members and ones appointed by at least the major societies. The make-up of the first Council can give very strong signals about subject coverage and so will need some care in planning. Who runs the next CEM and where will also be watched anxiously. (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
A European level organization of mycologists could include various organizations (national societies, institutes, laboratories) and individuals (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
A European level organization of mycologists should be an association (Pavel Lizon, Slovakia).
A European level organization of mycologists should... ... be a Federation or Confederation (Miquel À. Pérez-De-Gregorio i Capella, President of Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain).
If the European Association is organized as a federation of National Associations, maybe a more efficient holding of local (national) meetings could take place (E. Sanjust, Italy).
In my opinion the European Mycological Association should have a Scientific Committee with delegates from Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Europe (Giuseppe Venturella, Italy).
A range of sources identified for possible funding
The main sources of funds proposed were membership fees paid by individuals (only possible if the association has individual members), and membership fees paid by federated national societies (only possible if the association permits federation by national societies). Another view commonly expressed was that funds from international bodies (the European Union, the IMA, the United Nations etc.), and sponsorship from commercial organizations (none specifically named) should also be possible. There was recognition that it might be necessary to have more than one level of membership fee. Here are some examples of the responses:
The association should be funded by membership fees, which possibly have to be scaled with respect to ‘country-groups’. Meetings have to funded by fees for attendance and by grants obtained from IMA as presently realized. The membership fee should include the price for the association’s journal (Reinhard Agerer, President of the German Mycological Society).
It should be funded by the referred societies and by the associated individuals members (Manuela Carolino and Margarida Barata, Portugal).
Funding should be through membership dues (Pedro Crous, Netherlands).
The membership fee must depends on the gross national product (GNP) of the country of each member (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
This is the hardest issue. There could be a subscription like the MPU or the BMS but as an International organization it could draw funds from the United Nations, the FAO, International Environmental agencies etc. (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
It should it be funded by a surcharge on members of existing societies (Roland Fox, UK).
How should it be funded? Fees from members, specialized consultancy, publications,... (Susana Gonçalves, Portugal).
I think the new body should operate like FEMS [which] is funded by the societies that are affiliated to it (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
How should it be funded? Membership fee, grants, etc. (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
How should it be funded? It should be supported both by European Commission and member societies (via membership fees) (Pavel Lizon, Slovakia).
How should it be funded? Via memberships and private sponsors, as any scientific organization of this type (Fernando Pelaez, Spain).
How should it be funded? The ideal would be to count on aids and subventions of the European Union, as well as of other public or derived organizations. The quotas of the members would not have to be the main financing (Miquel À. Pérez-De-Gregorio i Capella, President of Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain).
The society should be funded by fees paid on congresses, workshops, publicity and fees paid for admission and maintenance within the society (enrolment fees) (Antonio Portugal, Portugal).
How should it be funded? We believe that all the Mycological Societies of the European countries should support the Association (Catalin Tanase, Secretary of the Rumanian Mycological Society).
As regards funds the new Association should be helped by membership fees. The new Association could also ask all European scientific organizations which are interested in mycology to be included under the umbrella of the European Mycological Association. The European Mycological Association could be the scientific interlocutor of each mycological organization with the European Community to obtain funds for research. A percentage of the funds obtained could remain with the European Mycological Association for support of its different activities (Giuseppe Venturella, Italy)
Many potential activities identified
A wide range of potential activities was identified by those responding to the survey, broadly similar to those of national societies, but on a larger geographical scale. Those mentioned most frequently or otherwise seeming to be most important were (in no particular order): organization of future Congresses of European Mycologists; organization of specialist meetings, workshops and courses; acting as an advisory body for mycology within Europe; establishing and maintaining a website; promoting recording, mapping and conservation of fungi; publishing works on mycology; helping to set up other national mycological societies; facilitating funding for mycological research; functioning as a forum for mycologists; education. Here are some examples of the responses:
The main benefit of such an association would, in my mind, be financial support or similar help for taxonomists. What taxonomic mycology especially needs is people regularly working on their groups, exchanging their observations by e-mail, internet, or on CD (Otto Baral, Germany).
Its activities could be organization of international courses and meetings, publicising events, and courses for graduates and postgraduates (Manuela Carolino and Margarida Barata, Portugal).
My own field is phytomycology. Given the new impetus to global trade, also trade in Europe, quarantine is of the utmost importance. Phytomycology should thus form a crucial component of this society, and also feature in its goals - granted it’s closer to plant pathology that pure mycology, but this is an important niche (Pedro Crous, Netherlands).
The European Mycological Association should help mycologists from this region of Europe to take part in joint research projects with suitable financial support from the EC or other European organizations (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
What should its activities be? 1. Conservation of biodiversity. This is an issue which must be approached simultaneously by all European states. EMA would be in a position to indicate methods, motivate funding through international organizations and successfully coordinate such an effort. 2. Protection of Europe from introduced pathogens. The EU has enforced legislation on the subject to all member states. What about the non-member states though? Recommendations made by a strong and united European scientific community on the matter would have to be seriously considered by international organizations, Brussels, as well as by governments of European states. Recently, I found out that in the new (2002) Greek legislation on phytosanitary measures taken against introduction of quarantine pathogens, which took into consideration recent EU Directives, is lacking the fungus Fusarium circinatum which causes pitch canker disease to pines such as Pinus halepensis and P. brutia. These two species are major indigenous species in Greece and I am terrified with the idea that one day sooner or later I will be asked to fight them. There are already unconfirmed reports of its presence in Italy and Spain. What shall I do? EMA can definitely intervene in such cases and warn governments about the potential risk (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
Its activities should be regional to Europe (Roland Fox, UK).
The first question to answer is: what shall we call “mycology”. In your e-mail, you say that “a future European mycological association has the potential to represent European scientists who are studying all aspects of all groups of fungi”. That will say that our future Society would include scientists working in phytopathology, medical mycology, industrial mycology (biotechnology) and microbiology (partly). Is that really necessary? Can we really work in common? I agree that it is interesting to exchange ideas with people working in very different fields but I doubt that it would really be useful (and even feasible) to “push by force” all those people into the same organization. I’m convinced that, if we do that, then the “frontiers” will come back inside the group. We will organize a common congress but with separate sessions for systematics, phytopathology, medical mycology... (André Fraiture, Belgium).
What should its activities be? Workshops, training courses, exchange information web site, publication of books, lab manuals... (Susana Gonçalves, Portugal).
I would see the focus as... ...encouraging the development of mycological societies in countries that do not have them. Also, think about prizes for e.g. best talks/posters for mycologists under 30 years or so at CEMs, or one for the best PhD submitted in Europe in mycology. Both things to help spur the subject on. The new body would be well-placed to strive for EEC funds for topics such as a European checklist... (OPTIMA made quite good progress on this for Mediterranean countries’ lichens) (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
What should its activities be? Sharing information, initiation of joint projects in various fields of mycology, short time education (workshops, etc) (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
What should its activities be? Organizing general congresses and conferences (such as CEM) and co-organizing specialized events (Pavel Lizon, Slovakia).
What should its activities be? As usual, organizing meetings, surveys, and producing a publication, and being a network and a communication forum for mycologists working in Europe (Fernando Pelaez, Spain).
What should its activities be? Much importance would have to be given to protection of habitats of fungi, to contribute to conservation of threatened species. However, to protect something, it must be properly known, for this reason it would be necessary to prioritize studies in neglected regions (Miquel À. Pérez-De-Gregorio i Capella, President of Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain).
The society should promote workshops in some European countries, seminars and organize the future Congresses of European mycologists. It should also promote publication of research articles, reviews and short notes of the associated members (Antonio Portugal, Portugal).
The European Mycological Association should be a useful tool to exchange and discuss different views, and to spread mycological learning among people. Many other European scientific associations already exist and have proven their usefulness (E. Sanjust, Italy).
In my opinion the new Association should mainly host all the European mycologists who work on conservation and systematics of larger fungi. These two arguments are the main goals of numerous European scientific organizations (European Council for Conservation of Fungi, British Mycological Society, Organization for the Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of Mediterranean Area, Confederatio Europaea Mycologia Mediterranea, Planta Europa, Working Group for Mycology of the Italian Botanical Society etc.) which work on projects devoted to the assessment of fungal diversity, conservation of fungi, mapping and red-listing of macromycetes at regional and/or national level, identification of Important Fungus Areas. There are also many mycologists working on molecular biology to clarify the systematics of different groups of fungi. I have often pointed out that actions of European mycologists inside different organizations should be better co-ordinated. In particular many of us are members of different scientific organizations which work on the same projects, with the same (or very similar) objectives but with different methodologies. It creates a lot of confusion. One of the most evident negative results is that lists of endangered fungi at European level do not include at all Mediterranean species or vice versa (Giuseppe Venturella, Italy).
General support for congresses and other meetings
There was widespread agreement that the society should supervise organization of future Congresses of European Mycologists, and that those Congresses should be broader in scope. Adoption of such a view would bring the Congresses of European Mycologists in line with the International Mycological Congress, the African, Asian, Australasian and Latin-American Mycological Congresses, and the main meetings of the Mycological Society of America, effectively the North American continental-level society. There were different views as to a suitable frequency for European-level congresses, the two most favoured options being to have one congress timed more or less midway between each International Mycological Congress, or to have a European-level congress every two years. A majority also favoured the organization of additional specialist meetings, workshops and courses. No-one considered the possibility of electronic meetings via the internet, though these have been organized by other continental-level mycological societies with some success. Here are some examples of the responses:
The activities should include the organization of regular meetings [Congresses of European Mycologists], staggered with IMCs. The intervals for the meetings should not exceed four years but should not be more frequent than every third year. As the IMC is held every fourth year (with the exception of every third congress, because of the necessity to prevent a coincidence with the IUMS congress), I suggest to organize the European congresses always two years after each IMC. Additional meetings may be workshops of different sections. But this should be in the sections’ responsibility (Reinhard Agerer, President of the German Mycological Society).
Meetings: bi-annual congress (Manuela Carolino and Margarida Barata, Portugal).
Meetings? A congress once every two years (Pedro Crous, Netherlands).
Meetings on particular taxonomic or conservation problems will be very helpful (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
The Congress is definitely essential for all members but it is my feeling that there should be teams of experts called in by the EMA council willing to gather any time they are needed to discuss problems and propose solutions (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
Should it hold meetings other than, say the Congress and, if so, what sort? No the Congress should be the site of the main meeting (Roland Fox, UK).
The association should hold meetings around specific topics (Susana Gonçalves, Portugal).
...a much broader CEM covering ALL aspects of mycology, plus workshops on special topics funded from outside agencies (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
The association should organize the European mycological Congress and meetings on specific topics (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
Workshops and similar meetings will be welcome (Pavel Lizon, Slovakia).
A congress like the one currently organized is OK, but I wish it could address more aspects of mycology, not being so much focused on macromycetes. It should have such a periodicity that would not overlap with the International Mycology Congress. Other minor “ad hoc” meetings on specific subjects would be OK. The association should integrate somehow the National Mycological Societies, so that joint meetings could also be organized if desired (Fernando Pelaez, Spain).
Aside from the Congress, periodic meetings of study commissions... ...for example (Miquel À. Pérez-De-Gregorio i Capella, President of Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain).
We consider that a good form of organising meetings of the Association may be the Congress (Catalin Tanase, Secretary of the Rumanian Mycological Society).
A new newsletter or magazine, and adoption of an existing journal favoured
While some respondents favoured establishing a new European mycological journal, most did not believe a new journal was necessary and were concerned about the financial load it might impose on the new society. There was much wider support for adopting an existing journal, and Mycological Progress was the one cited most frequently as an ideal candidate, and some support for the view that the new society should help establish new national journals. There was also support for establishment of a new newsletter or magazine, and for establishment of a website. Here are some examples of the responses:
...the association’s journal... ...I would recommend Mycological Progress (Reinhard Agerer, President of the German Mycological Society).
This society should have an international Journal for general mycology. This function could be taken by Mycological Progress which is a unique and till now successful attempt to create an international Mycological Journal on continental Europe (Francois Buscot, President of the German Society for Mycology & Lichenology).
Publications: it should select one or two reviews of the area (Mycology, Mycological Research, Mycologist, Mycotaxon and Botanica Marina) to support and divulge (Manuela Carolino and Margarida Barata, Portugal).
I would prefer it to adopt a journal - e.g. Mycological Progress. We can then all support it... - yet another new journal would be counterproductive (Pedro Crous, Netherlands).
Should [the association] produce publication(s) and, if so, what sort? The idea... ...about Mycological Progress is interesting... ...but if the European Mycological Association [provides additional support for] the richest journals what about other mycological journals? For example it is a real battle to start a new mycological journal in our region which means at first great financial difficulties (Cvetomir Denchev, President of the Bulgarian Mycological Society).
The question is if we actually need more publications. If we do, then the next question is the funding. If there are funds, a periodical which describes the activities and the achievements of EMA might be enough. My feeling is that there are already enough scientific publications at national and international level (Stephanos Diamandis, Greece).
Should it produce publication(s) and, if so, what sort? No unless there is an existing journal or journals that could be upgraded (Roland Fox, UK).
The new journal Mycological Progress would be an ideal publication organ for such an association (Walter Gams, Netherlands).
Perhaps not to publish a new journal but to be associated with one international journal... (Susana Gonçalves, Portugal).
I would not support a new scientific journal as there are plenty of those and they would be an enormous financial burden on the new body (David Hawksworth, UK / Spain).
Should it produce publication(s) and, if so, what sort? Yes. First of all, a newsletter (Ernestas Kutorga, Chairman of the Lithuanian Mycological Society).
The association should maintain a web site and probably publish a newsletter (Pavel Lizon, Slovakia).
This would be a great opportunity to create a European mycological journal covering all aspects of mycology (Fernando Pelaez, Spain).
A magazine type publication, although of annual production, would be very interesting (Miquel À. Pérez-De-Gregorio i Capella, President of Joaquim Codina Mycological Association, Spain).
[The association] should also promote the publication of research articles, reviews and short notes of the associated members in a new journal sponsored by the society (Antonio Portugal, Portugal).
We believe that the Association should indeed produce a publication. This we think is necessary as a mycological journal which will publish articles on all aspects of mycology but with the special regard to the mycological investigations of fungal diversity of Europe: inventories of fungi; mycocoenological observations; conservation of rare or threatened species and monitoring (Catalin Tanase, Secretary of the Rumanian Mycological Society).
The idea to... ...create a new scientific journal of mycology is also welcomed (Giuseppe Venturella, Italy).
The mailout was based in the first place on those attending the XIII Congress in Spain. Although some efforts were made to broaden the scope, for example by contacting national mycological societies, the list used was not undoubtedly not representative of all aspects of mycology: industrial and medical mycologists, yeast experts, and mushroom cultivators, for example, were under-represented. They may already have their own European level organizations, some with microbiologists, and may not be interested in involvement with a new European level organisation. A little over 10% of those contacted replied to the e-mail. This was very much the level of response expected, but it does mean there were only about 35 reactions. It should be remembered that the opinions received may therefore not be properly representative of views within European mycology. In particular, there may be a bias of those in favour of establishing a European organisation.
Among those responding, there was clear and widespread agreement that mycology should be recognized among Life Sciences as an independent discipline, being just as important and complex as, for example, botany or zoology. So far, this recognition has not been forthcoming, even although the socio-economic and scientific impact of mycology cannot be overestimated: fungi play a key role in the environment, in human nutrition and health, and are indispensable model organisms in basic research. The historic position of mycology among classic biological disciplines has been somewhere between botany and microbiology, and this has hampered its world-wide development. At present, in many countries science is suffering from cuts in funding and resources. If mycology is to develop and successfully compete, it needs to be properly co-ordinated and promoted internationally.
Based on analysis of the results of the survey, the following recommendations are put in front of the XIV Congress of European Mycologists:
A European Mycological Association should be established by the XIV Congress.
The objective of the Association should be to promote all aspects of mycology within Europe.
The term “European” should be defined geographically and not politically.
The working language of the Association should be English.
The Association should have a Constitution defining its powers and, separately, a set of Rules defining how it should be governed.
In furtherance of its objective, the Association should supervise organization of future Congresses of European Mycologists, and organize and other specialist meetings, workshops and courses as appropriate.
In furtherance of its objective, the Association should publish mycological information. To do this, the Association should establish a website and a new newsletter (provisional title, The European Mycologist), and adopt an existing scientific journal, if one is available, perhaps Mycological Progress.
In furtherance of its objective, the Association should also promote mycological research, develop a public relations policy (public profile) that supports the interests of professional mycologists at European and national levels, promote proper ethical and scientific methodological standards for mycological work, co-operate with other organizations or institutions with similar aims, act as an advisory body on all issues relating to mycology in Europe, and other appropriate activities.
Membership of the Association should initially comprise the founder members, i.e. those present at the meeting where the Association is established. Further membership should be in conformance with the Association’s Constitution & Rules, but should include categories for individual and corporate membership.
The Association should be a fully democratic body, with three Officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer), a General Council and an Executive Committee elected by the membership. The Executive Committee should comprise the three Officers and a number of ordinary members drawn from the General Council.
The General Council should comprise the three Officers and members representing different countries of Europe. As the Association grows, it may be necessary to recognize additional positions, such as the webmaster, newsletter editor and special interest secretaries, and for them also to be admitted to the General Council and, perhaps, Executive Committee.
Funding should be by membership fees paid at levels determined by the Association’s General Council.
Founder members should appoint an initial Executive Committee comprising a President, Secretary and Treasurer, and a number of ordinary members, to consult, then draft a Constitution & Rules, to circulate those drafts to founder members and modify them in the light of comments received, and finally to organize a democratic vote by post and electronically to ratify the first Constitution & Rules.
To enable the Association to be established, the following proposals, based on those recommendations, are set before Congress. These represent, in our opinion, the minimum necessary to enable the Association to begin to function.
This Congress resolves to establish the European Mycological Association.
This Congress resolves that the objective of the Association will be to promote all aspects of mycology within Europe by organizing periodic Congresses and by other means as will from time to time be determined.
This Congress resolves that the Association will have a Constitution and the powers to make Rules for governance of the Association.
This Congress resolves that the initial membership of the Association shall be the founder members, namely those present, and that other members may be admitted subsequently in accordance with the Association’s Constitution and Rules.
The founder members appoint [name] as President, [name] as Secretary, [name] as Treasurer, and [names] to form an initial Executive Committee charged with preparing a draft constitution and rules.
The founder members instruct the initial Executive Committee without delay to consult founder members, European national mycological societies, international mycological societies and other bodies, as appropriate during preparation of the drafts, then to circulate the drafts to the founder members, modify the drafts in line with comments received, circulate the modified drafts, and seek adoption of those modified drafts by democratic voting. The founder members accept that a system of postal and electronic votes may be used to ratify the first constitution and rules.
Document prepared by Tetiana Andrianova [Ukraine], Dave Minter [UK] & Reinhold Pöder [Austria], 9 September 2003