Functioning

General operational rules

1. Synergies in Geopark activities

All activities undertaken by Geoparks have to be in a spirit of complimentarity with the other members of the European Geoparks Network. Especially in the fields of common geotourism packages and the creation of new by-products linked with geological heritage, all European Geoparks have to work together in order to improve their common image as special, sustainable tourist destinations and attractions.

2. Use of EGN logo and EGN Map

2.1. EGN Logo

Each member will be entitled to use the European Geopark logo and name in it’s communications, thereby contributing over time to creating a common image of quality, linking enhancement of geological heritage and sustainable development.

An EGN Institutional Member is entitled to use the logo of the EGN in its promotional material and is entitled to call itself a European Geopark. The EGN logo must only be used on products produced directly by the geopark management. All geoparks are required to check the regulations regarding the use of these logos and guidance may be sought from the EGN Cellule. Each member will be entitled to use the European Geopark logo and name in it’s communications, thereby contributing over time to creating a common image of quality, linking enhancement of geological heritage and sustainable development.

Only an EGN Institutional Member is entitled to use the logo of the EGN in its promotional material and is entitled to call itself a European Geopark. The EGN logo must only be used on products produced directly by the geopark management or by official PR collaboration partners and may not be given to so called “third” partners or contractors. All geoparks are required to check the regulations regarding the use of these logos and guidance may be sought from the EGN Cellule.

2.2. EGN Map

The EGN map reproduced in the EGN magazine has been produced by the Petrified Forest of Lesvos European Geopark and is available to all EGN members. Any inaccuracies regarding geopark location on this map should be referred directly to the team of Lesvos Global Geopark who will be happy to make any changes for the members.

3 Meetings of the EGN

The CC of the EGN meets at least two times each year (once in association with the open annual meeting). It is obligatory to attend all these meetings. An explanation for any anticipated absence from a CC meeting should be provided to the EGN Cellule and EGN Coordinators. It is obligatory that both official representatives attend all meetings of the CC. If, for some reason, one of the official representatives cannot attend then the officially nominated substitute from that Geopark may attend. In this instance, the EGN Cellule and EGN Coordinators must be advised in advance of any CC meeting. Furthermore, two members from each Geopark are obliged to attend, even if one of them is the substitute. However, in no instance can three representatives of any one Geopark attend a meeting of the CC, unless there is a special invitation from the EGN AC or EGN Coordinators.

4 Reports

4.1 Progress Report

A short progress report should be submitted one month prior to each meeting of the CC summarising activities made in that geopark over the previous period. The reporting period is the period of time between meetings of the CC or, for new members, the period of time between the awarding of their membership and their first CC meeting. The report should detail activities about their work within the network, for example on common projects, as well as specific events, activities and projects in their own geopark.

The report should be sent by email to nominated by EGN CC, Catalyst and the collective report should be distributed to the EGN members.

4.2 Annual Reports

Every March, EGN members submit an Annual Report which includes the main achievements of the previous year and is published through the EGN website.These reports will be published at the EGN and GGN website.

5 Agenda

Prior to each meeting, a draft agenda and registration form will be circulated by email. It is the responsibility of each member to react to these emails and to take part in any discussions that might arise from them.

For the structural and other important decisions on the operation of the Network, a written proposal has to be circulated to all members at least one month before the meeting of the CC. No discussion or decision on such items can be undertaken unless it has been included on the meeting agenda.

6 Minutes

The minutes of the CC meeting include the decisions agreed by the CC and as such constitute the official documents of the EGN. The draft minutes of the previous CC meeting should be circulated to all of the CC members within a month after the meeting and will be formally adopted during the next EGN CC meeting.

Each new member should familiarise themselves with the minutes of the previous CC meeting so that they will be in a position to understand the discussions within the network and to be able to make a positive contribution at their first CC meeting.

EGN Coordination Cellule

The EGN coordination cellule is the official contact office for the EGN. The cellule coordinates the distribution of information on the network and acts as the initial contact point for new and aspiring members.

Internal Committees / Working Groups

An Internal Committee / Working Group may be authorised by the EGN Coordination Committee to implement programmes and activities, and to serve as a channel of communication between members of the EGN with similar scientific and professional interests.

1 Catalysts and Working Groups

At meetings of the EGN CC working groups may be set up to advance a working paper or project on a particular item of discussion. Typically, such working groups consist of 5 or 6 members of the CC who have volunteered to take part in this work. Catalysts may also be selected to advance work on a particular topic. These are individuals who have voluntarily agreed to coordinate some discussion or activity within the network. Working groups and catalysts are crucial to the strengthening of the network and it is the responsibility of all members of the EGN CC to actively take part in these positions.

2 Thematic networks

Thematic networks within EGN have been formed in response to the need to strengthen collaboration between Geoparks on issues of common interest. The themes of these networks are based on the geological characteristics of each Geopark, which can become a basis for the development of common activities of the group members. An important issue should be the connection between the place (landscape, geoforms and geosites) and human activities (culture, local tradition, food, etc). Every thematic network will meet during EGN CC meeting and will present a report to the CC the second day of each EGN CC meeting.

For each thematic network one member of the Coordination Commission will be nominated as Catalyst. The catalysts should have the necessary experience on EGN operation. This means that they should have at least 3 years with EGN CC.

All of the above positions are totally voluntary and are financially supported from within each individual’s own institute.

National Geopark Fora / Committees

A National Geopark Forum or Committee, including all the members of the EGN resident in a State, is working to promote Geoparks at the national level. It may be authorised to organise activities of the EGN/GGN in that State.

National Geopark Committees may also include:

  • 1 representative of the Government body in charge of Geoparks;
  • 1 representative of the national geological organization or survey;
  • 1 representative of the national environmental/protected area organization;
  • 1 representative of the national cultural heritage body;
  • 1 representative of the national tourism organization;

Additional members may be included as seen appropriate to fit the particular national context.

All National Geopark Fora / Committees in Europe shall submit an Annual Report of Activities to the EGN.

EGN Internal organization

The EGN is a network with no administration positions such as president, secretary-general, treasurer etc… The rational behind this is to encourage all members of the network to be equally active within the network for the benefit of the network. It is to encourage an equal division of responsibilities within the network and to avoid spending time in unnecessary administrative duties that would require some financial support from within the network.

EGN Financing

1 – The cost of members travelling to, and accommodation during, the meetings of the co-ordination committee is born by individual members themselves. The Coordination Committee meets 2 times each year and participation of two representatives of each geopark at all meetings is obligatory.

2 – The host territory of a meeting pays for all official representatives subsistence. On one occasion each year a meeting of the co-ordination committee coincides with the open Annual Conference of the European Geoparks Network which gives all members the opportunity to welcome new members and to discuss with and advise potential candidates.

3 – Each member has also to cover an annual promotional fee for the publication and distribution cost of the EGN magazine and other EGN promotional activities. Each member will receives copies of the magazine

4 – Each member has also to cover the cost of travelling, accommodation and subsistence for the two experts who will carry the revalidation mission of the territory every four years (or two in case of yellow card).

Communication

1  EGN Internal Communication

Outside the 2 meetings per year of the EGN CC, the life of the network is continued largely through email correspondences. Email correspondence between and among the EGN members is considered in all cases to be confidential and therefore must not be forwarded or copied to anyone not on the official EGN email list.

Great care must be taken that the EGN email list used is always up-to-date. All members of the EGN CC will be notified immediately of any changes in this email list.

2  EGN website “www.europeangeoparks.org”

EGN website is the main communication tool of the Network. The EGN website provides all information concerning the Networks functioning and operation through members progress and annual reports and links to all members websites as well as to the applications of new members. All members should link their website to the EGN website www.europeangeoparks.org. All members are responsible for the improvement of the common EGN web site by updating their presentation and communicating their activities and news.

3. EGN Newsletter

An electronic Newsletter is published twice a year and distributed electronically to the EGN members and the Geopark community.

EGN  promotion and common publications

1 – Communication activities

All members should communicate and promote the EGN activities and achievements, especially to local society, and participate in EGN common promotional activities. Each member is responsible for the promotion of EGN activities and members through media, publications, exhibitions, publications, etc.

2  EGN magazine

EGN magazine is the main promotional tool of the network and is published annually.  EGN members should provide all necessary contribution and support for the creation of common promotional tools (i.e. submitting articles for the EGN magazine, providing photos, contributions for books or leaflets ) as well as for their distribution and promotion.

The EGN Magazine Editorial Board consists of three individuals, elected every 2 years by the EGN Coordination Committee.

A representative of the Editorial Board is attending as external advisor the EGN AC meetings.

3 Geoparks Corner

All members are responsible to present the Network and all other members through the “Geoparks Corner” which should be organized in the main tourism centre (museum, interpretation centre, etc) of each Geopark. A Geoparks Corner is a promotional display providing information, images, leaflets, products etc… of all EGN members.

16  EGN Common activities

All members should participate in EGN common activities. All members should also participate in EGN proposals for the realisation of common activities through European Union funds.

1  European Geoparks Week

EGN week is the annual festival organized in all EGN members during summer to promote Geoparks.  The submission of the EGN programme and the report on the results is obligatory for all members.  While most members will organise EGN week during the same period as most other members, some geoparks, for local reasons,  may wish to hold it at a different time during the period May 1 – August 31.

2  Annual Conference

The Annual Conference is hosted every year in a different EGN member and is the main outreach activity of the EGN.

Each member should contribute to the Annual open conference of the network by presenting an oral or poster communication about geopark’s achievements, activities and experiences

3  Members collaboration

All members should collaborate with each other at a bilateral or multilateral basis,  through the organization of common activities, exchange of know how, twinning agreements, common publications, presentation of geotourism initiatives and local products etc.

17 Languages

1. Official Languages

English and French shall be the official languages of the EGN.

English will be used as the working language at EGN meetings and for working documents.

2. Other Languages. The Coordination Committee may adopt other languages provided the costs of doing so are met by the Members.

Policies and Rules of Procedure

1. Adoption of Policies.

The Coordination Committee shall adopt, and may amend, such Policies and Rules as are required to give effect to the provisions of these Rules.

2. Rules of Procedure.

The Coordination Committee shall adopt, and may amend, its own Rules of Procedure.

Relations with Other Organisations

1 Partners.

The EGN has establish working relations with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the International Union of Geological Sciences and other international organisations as may be deemed appropriate.

2. Participation of Other Organisations.

The EGN CC may invite representatives of international organisations with which it has established official relations to participate in its ordinary CC Meetings and other workshops and activities.

Validation and Amendment

1. Implementation.

These EGN Rules of Operation shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the EGN Coordination Committee.

2. Amendments.

EGN Coordinators, EGN AC and EGN members may propose amendments to these Rules of Operation. The Coordination Committee decides on the amendments to these Rules of Operation at it’s next meeting, after the one in which amendments were presented and discussed.