EAEPE is governed by and functions according to the following Constitution.

1. Name

1.1 The name of the Association shall be the "European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy", hereafter referred to as "the Association".

1.2 The term "Evolutionary" in 1.1 is utilised in the general sense of a comprehensive theoretical approach which focuses on change and transformation rather than statics or equilibrium.

1.3 The term "Political Economy" in 1.1 is utilised in the sense of an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the economic behaviour of social agents within socio-economic systems, developing the term in the manner that it was originally used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

2. Purposes and Functions

2.1 The Association is a non-profit, research and educational body of economists and other social scientists devoted to the promotion and development, within Europe and elsewhere, of an evolutionary and institutional approach to economic theory and policy, defined in terms of the "Theoretical Perspectives" outlined in Section 3.

2.2 The primary functions of the Association will be to bring together European economists and other social scientists for the purposes of theoretical research and policy development along the lines mentioned in Clause 2.1. The Association will organise conferences, seminars, information networks, research groups, websites, newsletters and other publications for these purposes.

2.3 The Association is not wedded to any one partial political theory or ideology, or type of political theory or ideology.

3. Theoretical Perspectives

Evolutionary political economy provides an analysis of economic phenomena in the following terms:

3.1 The approach to analysis is based on successive, critical abstraction of relevant tendencies and linkages in actual economic systems - instead of a methodology which sanctifies fictions and diverts attention from the difficult task of analysing real world phenomena.

3.2 The analysis is open-ended and interdisciplinary in that it draws upon relevant material in psychology, sociology, anthropology, politics and history, as well as economics itself - instead of a definition of economics in terms of a rigid method which is applied indiscriminately to a wide variety of social, political or economic institutions.

3.3 The conception of the economy is of a cumulative and evolutionary process unfolding in historical time in which agents are faced with chronic information problems and radical uncertainty about the future - instead of approaches to theorizing which focus exclusively on equilibria.

3.4 The concern is to address and encompass the interactive, social process through which tastes are formed and changed, the forces which promote technological transformation, and the interaction of these elements within the economic system as a whole - instead of a theoretical framework that takes individuals and their tastes as given, technology as likewise exogenous, and with production separated from exchange.

3.5 It is appropriate to regard the market itself as a social institution, necessarily supported by a network of other social institutions such as the state, and having no unqualified nor automatic priority over them - instead of an orientation which takes the market as an ideal or natural order and as a mere aggregation of individual traders.

3.6 It is recognised that the socio-economic system depends upon, and is embedded in, an often fragile natural environment and a complex ecological system - instead of a widespread tendency to ignore ecological and environmental considerations or consequences in the development of theories and policy recommendations.

3.7 The enquiry is value-driven and policy-orientated and recognizes the centrality of participatory democratic processes to the identification and evaluation of real needs - instead of a utilitarian outlook which separates considerations of means from those of ends, and judgements of fact from those of value, and which ignores social relations, conflicts and inequalities between the agents.

3.8 The Association accepts the relevance of writers as diverse as John Commons, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, Nicholas Kaldor, Michal Kalecki, William Kapp, John Maynard Keynes, Alfred Marshall, Karl Marx, Gunnar Myrdal, François Perroux, Karl Polanyi, Joan Robinson, Joseph Schumpeter, George Shackle, Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen and Max Weber to institutionalist and evolutionary thought.

4. Main Language

4.1 The main and official language of the Association shall be English, although every member has the right to use his or her own language in written or verbal communication, and multi-lingual meetings and conferences may be organised if desired.

5. Membership and Membership Fees

5.1 Membership of the Association shall be open to any person, resident in Europe or elsewhere, sympathetic to the Theoretical Perspectives, and willing to abide by the Constitution and Rules, and shall be valid upon receipt of the Membership Fee, or upon election as Honorary President (see 12.4 below) or upon the award of life membership (see 12.5 below).

5.2 The Membership Fees shall determined annually by a resolution proposed and seconded at a Membership Meeting and duly processed under the provisions of Clauses 16.2 and 16.3 below.

5.3 In the event of a failure of a resolution concerning Membership Fees to gain an overall majority under the provisions of Clauses 16.2 and 16.3 below, the preceding fees shall remain operative.

5.4 Payment of the membership fee brings rights of membership for the twelve months after the date the payment is received.

5.5 A member may resign by written notification to the General Secretary. There shall be no reimbursement of donations or membership fees in the case of resignation.

5.6 Every member has the rights as provided herein and the additional rights to know the names and addresses of all other current members of the Association and to inspect its accounts.

6. Membership Sovereignty and Membership Meetings

6.1 The membership of the Association is the sovereign body governing its activities and organisation, as expressed by majority vote at a quorate Membership Meeting according to Clauses 6.2,6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7 and 16.2 below, and as ratified by a majority in a recorded ballot of the membership according to Clause 16.3 below. In regard to amendments to the Constitution and Rules, ratification shall require a 55 per cent majority as outlined in Section 17 below.

6.2 A Membership Meeting may be called by a majority at a preceding and quorate Membership Meeting, or by a majority of the Secretariat, or by a majority present and voting at a meeting of the Council, or by a majority of the members of the Council, or by at least 25 per cent of the membership expressing their wish to the General Secretary in writing.

6.3 The precise time and place of all Membership Meetings shall be designated by the Council or by the Secretariat. No Membership Meeting shall be held more than 3100 kilometres from Brussels.

6.4 In any consecutive sequence of three Membership Meetings no more than one Membership Meeting shall be held in the same country.

6.5 The Secretariat shall ensure that no less than one Membership Meeting shall be called in any calendar year.

6.6 The date, time and venue of any Membership Meeting will be communicated in writing by the Secretariat to all members at least 3 months in advance.

6.7 The quorum at a Membership Meeting shall be 20.

6.8 In the interim period between Membership Meetings the business of the Association shall be conducted by the Secretariat, and be subject to the approval of the Council.

7. Officers and Other Members of the Council

7.1 The Officers of the Association shall be the Honorary President(s) plus the members of the Secretariat.

7.2 All nominees or candidates for election to the Secretariat or membership of the Council must have been members of the Association for at least one year, at the time of nomination. All serving officers and members of the Council must be current members of the Association. If a member of the Secretariat or Council ceases to be a member of the Association, then his or her membership of Secretariat or Council shall be terminated immediately.

8. Composition and Functions of the Secretariat

8.1 The Secretariat shall consist of the following:

  • President
  • General Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Research Area and Scientific Development Coordinator
  • Web and Publicity Officer

8.2 The Secretariat is responsible for the general welfare of the Association, its finances, the processing of membership applications, the maintenance of the membership lists, accounts and other records, the production of EAEPE publicity, and the organisation of conferences and seminars. The Secretariat shall appoint auditors and present a financial and administrative report to at least one Membership Meeting during each calendar year.

8.3 Members of the Council who are not members of the Secretariat have the right to attend and speak at meetings of the Secretariat, but without a vote.

8.4 The quorum for meetings of the Secretariat shall be three, discounting Honorary Presidents and members of the Council which are not members of the Secretariat.

8.5 The President shall have a casting vote only.

9. Composition and Functions of the Council

9.1 The Council shall consist of the Secretariat, plus five Ordinary Council Members, all elected by recorded ballot, plus up to 2 Co-opted Members.

9.2 The Council may co-opt up to 2 Co-opted Members with the right to vote at Council meetings. The period of co-option must be specified, with a maximum of 2 years, and with no more than 2 Co-opted Members serving at any given time.

9.3 No meeting of the Council or Secretariat shall be held more than 3100 kilometres from Brussels. The Council or Secretariat has the right to impose a maximum limit on travel expenses for these meetings that may be claimed by any member of the Council or Secretariat.

9.4 The function of the Council shall be to receive reports from the Secretariat and to monitor or direct its activities as required.

9.5 The Secretariat may organise consultative recorded ballots of the Council on organisational matters as required.

9.6 The quorum for meetings of the Council shall be 6, discounting Honorary Presidents.

9.7 The President shall have a casting vote only.

10. General Elections to the Secretariat and Council

10.1 With the exception of co-opted members (whose service is limited by their specified period of co-option), the entire Council shall be elected at least once in each two consecutive calendar years by recorded ballot of the entire membership, hereafter referred to as a "general election".

10.2 The Secretariat or Council shall announce a due date for nominations, a circulation date by which the ballot shall be circulated, a ballot closure time and date by which ballots are to be returned, and an inauguration date by which the elected Council members are to be inaugurated on the Council. The circulation date and the day of ballot closure shall be respectively 21 days and 49 days after the due date for nominations. The inauguration date shall be within four calendar months of the due date for nominations.

10.3 The main place and country of residence of each candidate, and the position(s) sought, shall be made clear upon nomination. 

10.4 A candidate may be nominated for more than one position, but may be elected to no more than one. The position to which he or she may be elected shall be determined by processing the elections in the following order: Honorary President(s), President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Web and Publicity Officer, Research Area and Scientific Development Coordinator, Ordinary Council Members.

10.5 If the number of valid and remaining nominations is less than or equal to the number of vacancies for any position or positions then every voter shall be asked to indicate either "approve" or "disapprove" for each unopposed nomination. If the total number of ballots with 'disapprove' exceeds the number with "approve", for any candidate, then that candidate shall not be elected to that position and the position shall be declared vacant. 

Candidates disapproved cannot be co-opted to the Council elected.

If at least the Secretariat and two other members of the Council are elected, the Secretariat may call for a by-election, under existing rules, with new nominations to fill any vacant position. Otherwise the previous Secretariat has to call for new General Elections.

10.6 In the case of contested elections to the Secretariat, each position shall be elected according to the alternative vote system, with candidates with the lowest number of first preferences being eliminated one by one, and the next valid preferences of those eliminated being progressively added onto the vote of the remaining candidates, until one candidate has more than 50 per cent of the votes.

10.7 In the case of a contested general election for Ordinary Council Membership, each member of the Association shall be asked to vote for up to five candidates, by placing a single cross by the name of each one selected.

11. By-Elections to the Secretariat and Council

11.1 In the event of unfilled vacancies on the Council, or of vacancies caused by resignation, then the Secretariat may call a by-election if desired and shall do so if instructed by a majority of the Council.

11.2 In the case of a by-election Clauses 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 shall apply, and members already holding office in the Association shall be barred from nomination. If a ballot is required then Secretariat by-elections shall be run according to the alternative vote system as in Clause 10.6, and for by-elections for Ordinary Council Membership all members of the Association will be asked to vote for a number of persons equivalent to the number of vacancies, marking the name of each chosen candidate with a cross.

12. Honorary Presidents

12.1 In addition to the members of the Council, there shall be up to six Honorary Presidents, elected by a recorded ballot of all members. No more than two additional Honorary Presidents shall be elected in any one calendar year and the membership shall be asked either to endorse or to reject each nominee. A nominee shall be elected if the number of endorsements exceeds the number of rejections that are received by the due date.

12.2 Elections for Honorary President(s) shall be called as deemed appropriate by the Secretariat, or as instructed by the Council.

12.3 Candidates for election to the position of Honorary President shall be nominated by the Council.

12.4 All Honorary Presidents are elected for life and shall be ex-officio life members of the Association.

12.5 The Council or a Membership Meeting may award Honorary Life Membership to any member of the association. In addition, if appropriate rules are established by a duly processed resolution of the members under the provisions of Clauses 16.2 and 16.3 below, life membership may be granted on receipt of an agreed subscription. A life member is not required to pay any further membership fees and his or her membership terminates only in the cases of death or resignation.

13. Sub-Committees and EAEPE Research Groups

13.1 The Secretariat or Council may direct the appointment of Sub-Committees to deal with the programmes, finances, elections, administrations, research activities and publications of the Association as deemed necessary, on a national, European or other basis.

13.2 Each Sub-Committee shall report to, and be under the jurisdiction of, the Secretariat and Council.

14. Supporting Organisations

14.1 An academic institution, organisation or department shall become a Supporting Organisation of the Association upon payment of a Supporting Organisation Registration Fee.

14.2 In the calendar year in which it obtains status of Supporting Organisation, it shall be entitled to receive the same information and announcements as the individual members of the Association, and this entitlement may be renewed upon payment of a Supporting Organisation Renewal Fee in subsequent calendar years.

14.3 The Supporting Organisation Registration and Renewal Fees shall determined annually by a resolution proposed and seconded at a Membership Meeting and duly processed under the provisions of Clauses 16.2 and 16.3 below.

14.4 In the event of a failure of a resolution concerning Supporting Organisation Registration or Renewal Fees to gain an overall majority under the provisions of Clauses 16.2 and 16.3 below, the preceding fees shall remain operative.

15. Finances and Assets

15.1 All funds of the Association shall be at the disposal of the General Secretary and Treasurer, who shall make disbursements thereunder as directed by the Secretariat, and as regularly monitored by the Council.

15.2 The accounts of the Association shall be open to the inspection of all members and shall be submitted to each Membership Meeting and Council Meeting. The statement of accounts to at least one Membership Meeting in any given calendar year must be audited.

15.3 The assets of this Association shall be permanently dedicated to the purposes specified in Section 2 above. In the case of the dissolution of the Association, the remaining assets shall be utilized for the purchase of books and materials in economics; such books and materials to be contributed to educational institutions in Europe as designated by the Secretariat.

16. Statements and Resolutions

16.1 Members may not make any written or verbal statement in the name of the Association except by the approval of a duly constituted meeting of the Secretariat, Council or Membership.

16.2 A resolution or statement may be introduced at a quorate Membership Meeting by the Secretariat, the Council, or by a petition signed by at least four members of the Association. In the case of a petition, at least two of the signatories must be present at the Meeting. Amendments may be voted upon if accepted by the chair and proposed and seconded at the meeting.

16.3 If adopted by a majority of those present and voting at the Membership Meeting, the General Secretary shall publish a copy of the proposed (amended) resolution and it shall be circulated to all members together with a ballot within 21 days of the Membership Meeting. This ballot should be returned to the General Secretary. At the forty-ninth day after the Membership Meeting, at noon Central European Time, the vote shall be closed. The amendment shall be incorporated upon the receipt of two-thirds or more of returned and non-abstaining ballots in its favour.

17. Constitutional Amendments

17.1 A constitutional amendment may be introduced at a quorate Membership Meeting by the Secretariat, the Council, or by a petition signed by least four members of the Association. In the case of a petition, at least two of the signatories must be present at the Meeting. There may be no amendment to a proposed constitutional amendment.

17.2 If adopted by two-thirds or more of those present and voting at a quorate Membership Meeting, the General Secretary shall publish a copy of the constitutional amendment and it shall be (electronically) circulated to all members together with a (electronic) ballot within 21 days of the Membership Meeting. This ballot should be returned (electronically) to the General Secretary. At the forty-nineth day after the Membership Meeting, at noon Central European Time, the vote shall be closed. The amendment shall be incorporated if it receives more than 55 per cent of returned and non-abstaining ballots in its favour.

Last amended: 20 January 2014