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Statute of the Welfare and Social Fund

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					                   Statute of the
             Welfare and Social Fund

1. Aims of the Welfare and Social Fund

   The Welfare and Social Fund is the financial instrument that the Researchers' Representatives
(Reps) of the European University Institute (Florence) administer in order to promote the welfare
and social life of all the Researchers.

The Fund has two aims:

A.      As a first priority, the Welfare and Social Fund supports EUI researchers who are in
financial difficulties, when these difficulties hamper the normal continuation of research. While it is
impossible to list every situation which would qualify for help from the Fund, examples of the
situations eligible for Welfare and Social Fund support include:

           Medical costs in the case of serious or prolonged illness;
           Help with travel costs in the case of unexpected family and personal problems;
           An aid in case of suspension of grant due to pregnancy/giving birth in the cases of
            grants which do not provide maternity allowance.
           Contributions towards research related activities, when the costs are exceptionally
            high and all other funding sources have been exhausted.
           Computer-related problems which are costly and which lead to a suspension of the
            researcher’s work.

B.      Inasmuch its prioritary welfare functions are adequately satisfied, the Welfare and Social
Fund provides also financial support to particularly deserving social events and activities organised
by researchers within the European University Institute. Additionally, the Fund supports deserving
social activities at the Departmental level organized by the respective Departmental
Representatives.

C. Beyond the above Welfare and Social aims the Fund shall also cover the normal administrative
expenses of the Reps.




2. Organisation of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee

2.1. Composition and nomination of the Welfare Fund committee


a. The Welfare and Social Fund Committee is the body that all the EUI Reps delegate for the
ordinary administration of the EUI Welfare and Social Fund. The Committee is composed of 4
members:


               1 History and Civilisation Rep
               1 Social and Political Science Rep
               1 Law Rep
               1 Economics Rep

b.     Each member of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee is nominated by the elected body
of the Representatives (Reps) of each department.

c. The members are nominated each year not later than two weeks after the election of the Reps.
Their term lasts until the new Welfare and Social Fund Committee members are appointed.

d. In order to ensure continuity, the members get engaged in the Welfare and Social Fund
committee for their entire term as Reps.

e. The 4 members of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee will divide tasks among them in
order to ensure that everyone is equally responsible for the management of the Fund.
In particular

     1. They will appoint one among them as Reps Treasurer. S(he) will have personally access to
        the bank account of the Welfare and Social Fund and can make transfers in accordance with
        the decision made by the Welfare and Social Fund Committee. S(he) will take care of
        recording on the Welfare and Social Fund Budget (an Excel file) all the movements on the
        Welfare and Social Fund Account.
        In order to have an external control, a member of the Academic Service has also a direct
        access to the bank account.
     2. Another member of the Committee will be appointed Archivist of the Welfare and Social
        Fund. S(he) will be in charge of keeping any paper document related to the activities of the
        Committee. This member will also take care of drafting the reports to be submitted to all the
        Reps and to the EUI Researchers' Community.
     3. The other two members will act as Tutors of the applicant (see § 3.5). The Treasurer and the
        Archivist will also perform the functions of Tutor if necessity requires it.

The members of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee, as well as all the Reps, commit
themselves to maintain the confidentiality of the Researchers' personal data they may come to know
while performing their functions for the promotion of the researchers’ welfare.




2.2. Dissolution of the Welfare and Social Fund

a.     For severe reasons, the Reps who are not members of the Welfare and Social Fund
       committee reserve the right to dissolve the Welfare and Social Fund committee. The decision
       has to be taken by the majority of all the Reps.
b.     The nomination of the new committee follows the ‘normal rules’ (see the section entitled
       ‘composition and nomination of the Welfare and Social Fund committee’)
3. Rules of functioning

3.1. Financing of the fund

a. The EUI makes an annual contribution per researcher inscribed (20 € per researcher per year, to
be paid in two allocations, ¼ in October and the remaining ¾ in February) and donate the revenues
of the Summer Ball.

b. The Welfare and Social Fund does not have to pay back the EUI if all money is not allocated.

c. Buffer clause: the Fund has to be in surplus.




3.2. Application

a. Who can apply: all researchers pursuing an EUI degree.

b. The applicant must:

− Submit an application to the Welfare and Social Fund enclosing the Welfare and Social Fund
  application form.
− The application can only be submitted via e-mail to the Welfare and Social Fund address
  (welfarec@eui.eu).
− In case of welfare applications, the applicant must provide documentary evidence to support
  her/his application (in the form of bills, letters, etc.). The applicant shall also provide evidence
  of her/his household’s income and family status (married, children, etc.). All the information is
  taken into account in the WF decision.
− When approached by researchers personally, members of the WF shall instruct the researcher to
  send an application via e-mail without giving any indication as to the prospects of the request’s
  success.


3.3. Support given by the Welfare and Social Fund

 The Welfare and Social Fund gives its financial support in the form of grants, loans, or a
combination of both.


3.4. Criteria for the judgment of a support request

a) Admissibility:
− The application must fit the aim of the Welfare and Social Fund.
− The Welfare and Social Fund must be the last resort for the applicant.
− In case of applications in order to solve welfare problems, these must be acute and urgent.
− In case of applications for social activities or events, these must be outstanding, particularly
   deserving, organised by researchers within the European University Institute, and giving to all
   researchers a chance to participate or benefit.
− In case of applications for Departmental activities Dep Reps shall be entitled to allocate an
   amount not exceeding euros 500 per annum per Department.
b) Guiding criteria:
− Each request shall be judged on its own merits, while consistency with previous cases shall be
    maintained in the course of each yearly management of the Fund.
− The Welfare and Social Fund must judge with fairness, equity and proportionality.
− In case of welfare applications, the financial situation of the applicant and the extent to which
    the applicant is directly affected by the problem at hand shall be duly considered
− The fund should never be totally depleted. It should be managed in such a way that allows to
    deal with all cases until the renewal of the budget.
− The members of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee are entitled to investigate whether the
    information provided by the applicant correspond to truth.


Note on the criteria to determine the amount and nature of the support

   Priority order for the allocation of financial support is:
1. In cases regarding health care/pregnancy, especially in case of serious or prolonged illness, a
   grant shall be favoured. However, a combination of grant and loan can be considered.
2. Regarding the financing of travel costs, in the case of unexpected family and personal
   problems, a combination of grant and loan shall be considered depending on the case at hand.
3. The financing of Social activities and events of outstanding merit should be through grants.
4. Other issues



Purchase of computers and other electronic equipment

a. Concerning the purchase of any kind of electronic equipment that might be necessary to a
doctoral thesis, such as personal computers, audio recorders, cameras, etc., the Welfare and Social
Fund provides only loans; no grants are allocated.
b. In no case the Welfare and Social Fund will provide loans above 500 Euros for the purchase of a
computer.. The actual amount of the loan will be decided taking into account the financial position
of the applicant.

d. The researcher who applies for a loan to purchase a computer has to sign a paper declaration in
which (s)he asserts that s(he) hasn't got already any laptop in working conditions.

e. In case s(he) declares that her/his laptop is out of order or plainly broken, s(he) has to submit
documentary evidence of the alleged problem. This evidence can be produced by a recognized
technician or by the IT experts appointed by the Reps as their assistants in the Research Computing
Committee.


3.5. Decision-making: general rules



In order to facilitate communication and approximation of positions, decisions should be taken
normally in the framework of personal meetings. The WF decides on the regularity of such
meetings. E-mail communication can be arranged when availability of members is limited or the
nature of the cases is uncontroversial.
− As soon as an application will reach the account welfarec@eui.eu, the members of the Welfare
  and Social Fund Committee shall have 3 days to appoint the Tutor of the application.
− The Tutor will get in touch with the applicant within a week after the application has reached
  the Welfare and Social Fund account. E-mail communication with the applicant shall be
  exclusively from the account welfarec@eui.eu.
− After all the relevant documents, concerning an application, have been collected the members of
  the Fund shall start the discussion of the case.
− The members of the Welfare and Social Fund shall reach decisions by consensus through the
  approximation of positions.
− In cases where a consensus cannot be reached, then the decision shall be taken on the basis of a
  majority vote. No member disposes of a veto.
− To ensure that a timely decision is agreed upon,WF members have to notify each other about the
  duration of absences in cases of leave/ holiday periods
− Principle of continuity: Decisions must be consistent all throughout the year of Reps
  management of the Welfare and Social Fund Committee.
− If necessary, the members of the Welfare and Social Fund will also refer to cases of the
  previous years recorded on the account welfarec@eui.eu.


3.5.1. Decision making: special rules for applications for social events and activities
        In case of applications for social events or activities, the Welfare and Social Fund
Committee will inform by e-mail all the other Reps suggesting them, on the basis of a position
reached by consensus if possible, otherwise by majority, whether and to which extent a financial
support should be provided. A majority of 12 Reps belonging to all the four Departments is required
in order to allocate funds to social events or activities.
Decisions on spending for social activities at the Department level, within the bound specified
above (par. 3.4.a), shall be taken by the respective DepReps.



3.5.2. Decision making: special rules for applications concerning welfare problems

In case neither consensus nor majority can provide a decision on a application determined by
welfare problems, any of the members of the Committee is entitled to refer the matter back to all the
Reps. The final decision is taken by majority vote by all the Reps. Such decision shall be based on
the documents given by the applicant after having considered the positions of all the members of the
Welfare and Social Fund Committee. The resort to all the Reps should remain exceptional and
only after consultation of the applicant. The same rules of confidentiality apply to all the Reps.

− Applicants may ask for the reconsideration of her/his application if s(he) is able to provide new
  elements supporting her/his case.


3.6. Accountability and transparency of the decisions

− The Welfare and Social Fund should give a written answer to the applicant, no oral answer is
  valid. The answer has to be communicated to the applicant by e-mail.
− After a decision is taken all the communications must be made through the Welfare and Social
  Fund e-mail account bearing only the Welfare and Social Fund signature.
− The Welfare and Social Fund is accountable to all the Reps.
− Every three months the Welfare and Social Fund Committee will provide to all the Reps a
  thorough report of all the cases that have been treated and the decisions that have been taken. In
  the case of application made to address welfare problems, no names will be included in this
  report, but only univoque symbols like letters and/or numbers.
− In case any serious doubt will be raised by at least 4 Reps concerning the management of the
  Welfare and Social Fund and the fairness of the decisions taken by it, all the Reps will be given
  full access to all the personal data contained even in the applications made in order to address
  welfare problems.
− In case a member of the Welfare and Social Fund needs to file a welfare application to the fund
  she(he) is asked to resign before any discussion on the case starts. S(he) is replaced by a Rep of
  her/his same department or in absence of this by any other Rep.
− The WF has to keep written records of each case: an electronic version should be kept on the
  G-drive of the Welfare and Social Fund account (welfarec@eui.eu).

The file of each case should include:
− The application form with all the documents given by the applicant (not necessarily in electronic
   version).
− The written decision in which it must be specified:
   − The nature (loan/grant) and amount of the support.
   − The nature of the decision (consensus or vote, with the anonymous specifications of the
        votes).
   − The justification of the decision notably referring to the criteria established in the section
        “criteria for the judgment of requests”.
− Concerns about the administration of the Welfare and Social Fund and the decision-making
   process can be addressed to the Reps by any researcher of the European University Institute.



3.7. In case of loans granted by the Welfare and Social Fund


       1. The loan has to be paid back at a date specified in the agreement between the Welfare
          and Social Fund and the researcher. The agreement will take the form of a written paper
          document signed by the applicant and the Tutor appointed by the Welfare and Social
          Fund. A copy of the document will be handed over to the Administration (Mrs. Françoise
          Thauvin).
       2. If the researcher has not paid back by that time, the researcher has to notify the Fund the
          reasons of the delay and, if needed, a renegotiation of the terms of the loan will take
          place.
       3. The Welfare and Social Fund decides upon a request for such a postponement within
          two weeks and notifies the researcher immediately of the decision made.
       4. If the decision is negative, the researcher must pay back the loan within three weeks of
          this notification.
       5. If a researcher has not paid some monthly instalments of her/his loan on time and has
          not contacted the Fund to renegotiate the delay, the Welfare and Social Fund will send a
          last e-mail notice to the researcher and after 3 working days will proceed to set a
          deadline for the repayment of the said instalments, taking into account the history of
          each loan. The communication of the deadline will be provided by an e-mail and a
          transcript of the e-mail in the pigeon hole of the researcher.
          In case no response will be received on the account welfarec@eui.eu before the deadline
          is expired, the Welfare and Social Fund Committee will take all the appropriate
          measures to collect the due amount. This may involve asking the Administration of the
          EUI for support in order to enforce the repayment of the debt.
           In case no other solution will be available, the Welfare and Social Fund Committee will
           ask the Academic Service of the EUI to postpone the award of the doctoral degree to the
           repayment of the loan that a researcher refuses to honour.

           Once the Welfare and Social Fund Committee has been compelled to inform the EUI
           Administration, the confidentiality clause (§3.1) cannot be invoked against the
           enforcement of the payment of the loan.

       6. A researcher accepting a loan from the Welfare and Social Fund consents to these rules.

3.8. Communication to the EUI community

a. At least twice a year, in January and September, the Welfare and Social Fund should send an e-
mail to all the researchers in order to inform them about the Welfare and Social Fund (aims, and
ways to apply).

b. In the e-mail of November, the Welfare and Social Fund must join the balance sheet of the
previous academic year including the following elements:

   Type of request     Number of cases          Loan in euro              Grant in euro
   Ex: medical
   Ex: computer

c. These information should also be posted on the Welfare and Social Fund webpage.



4. Final Disposition

This Statute abrogates the WF Statute approved on the 13th June 2006.




                                                                        Florence, 14th February 2008

                                                            Approved unanimously by all the Reps

				
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