Home Circle Charter and Addendum




Cercle Féminin d’Amitié  Européenne Saint Cloud

Place Silly, 10; 92210  Saint Cloud  -   FR 10 - Île de France, France

Frauenkreis für Europäische Freundschaft Bad Godesberg

Troschelstrasse, 8; 53115  Bonn, Deutschland

Maidenhead Women`s Group for European Friendship

Holbrook, The Binghams, 31; Maidenhead SL6 2ES, Great Britain

Circolo Femminile di Amicizia Europea Frascati

Via Annibal Caro, 4; 00044 Frascati (RM); Italia

Dameskring voor Europese Vriendschap Kortrijk-Marke

Flandrinastraat, 14; 8510 MARKE; België

Frauen für Europäische Freundschaft, Salzburg

Traunstrasse 18 A; 5026 Salzburg; Österreich



The signatories of this Charter denominated as indicated above and thereafter called National Circles[1] are non profit Organizations, entirely inclusive, non politically partisan and non sectarian.

The idea of a Circle of Women’s Friendship Groups developed out of the post-war European movement of town twinning. After Saint Cloud and Bad Godesberg became twin towns the Deputy Mayor of Saint Cloud, Madame Honorine Clément, together with Frau Else Ammermann from Bad Godesberg founded the first Circles in 1963. Later, local Circles were established in the twin towns of Maidenhead, Frascati and Kortrijk. In 2004 Salzburg joined the women’s groups.

In order to coordinate and harmonize the activities of the National Circles at international level, a general Charter was signed by the Presidents of all the National Circles in Bad Godesberg on 7th May 1974. The present Charter is the updated version of that agreement[2] and applies to all National Circles, hereafter globally defined as the European Circle.

Article 1 - Aims of the European Circle

The general aims of the European Circle  - in line with those of the National Circles - are to contribute to:

  • Fostering and strengthening friendship and mutual understanding among the women of Europe
  • Encouraging and developing mutual knowledge in a changing Europe
  • Developing a sense of European identity, based on common values, history and culture
  • Bringing together people from local communities across Europe to share and exchange experiences, opinions and values, to learn from history and to build for the future
  • Exploring cross-national common issues at local and EU level
  • Focusing on gender mainstreaming issues
  • Promoting inter-cultural dialogue and respect for cultural diversity
  • Disseminating this respect, friendship and understanding through the families of the memberships and their communities, so that all work for permanent Peace throughout Europe.

Article 2 - Regulation of the National Circles

2.1 Organization

Each National Circle is formed according to the legislation of its own country. Each National Circle is free to decide its own national Constitution and organisation, within the broad framework of this Charter.

Each National Circle should keep all other National Circles informed of:

  • Programmes
  • Membership lists, to be used only for internal purposes
  • Constitution

Any formal changes in National Circle affecting the European Circle.

2.2 Programmes

Each National Circle is free to decide its annual internal programme, which will be focused on the general aims of the European Circle.

In particular:

  • Each National Circle will take into due consideration the annual priorities set by the EU
  • Each National Circle will participate to the international activities of the European Circle.

Article 3 - Regulation of the European Circle

3.1 Organisation

The international activities of the European Circle are regulated by the present Charter. These activities include:

  • Exchange visits
  • European Meetings
  • Presidents’ Meetings.

3.2 Exchange Visits

Each town will receive and send visitors every year on a rota basis so that within each cycle every National Circle will have visited and received a visit from each of the other National Circles.

3.2.1  Aims

Since the creation of the National Circles, hospitality in families has proved to be a very effective way of fostering friendship and mutual knowledge. It contributes to pulling down linguistic barriers and generates long-lasting ties. During the social events, European basic values can reach citizens in their every day life.

3.2.2 Procedure

  • Exchange visit dates to be decided by hosts and guests
  • Guests:  10 - 16
  • Duration: 4 nights/5 days - either Monday/Friday or Thursday/Monday
  • Members to stay only twice with the same person on ‘official’ visits
  • Each guest should have own bedroom, shared bathroom acceptable
  • The host National Circle to provide a social programme of meetings, meals and visits
  • Guided tours in visitors` own language if possible
  • Inclusion of family members is possible if wished
  • Exposés: These are seen as a gift from the visitors to their hosts and may take any   form the visiting group prefers.  Let the National Circle host know in good time the   presentation format, title and any equipment requirements.

3.2.3 Financing

The visiting National Circle to pay their own travelling costs and the host National Circle to pay all other expenses connected with the hospitality.

3.3 European Meetings

The European Meetings will take place in the year following each cycle of Exchange visits.

3.3.1 Aims

In addition to the aims described in 3.2.1, the European Meetings represent an opportunity to meet simultaneously members from all the other National Circles and to promote transnational experiences. As far as possible the European Meetings should be focused on cultural topics or events particularly connected with the aims of the European Circle as specified in Article 1.

3.3.2 Procedure

  • No further Exchange visits will take place in the year of the European Meeting
  • Each National Circle to host the European Meeting in turn, in the order of the creation of the National Circles
  • Dates to be decided by host and guests one year in advance
  • The participants to be hosted in private homes
  • A social programme to be provided by the hosts
  • Duration: 3 nights / 4 days
  • Number of participants to be decided by the host National Circle (maximum: four  from each National Circle) including at least one member of the Committee.

3.3.3. Financing

The visiting National Circles to pay their own travelling costs and the host National Circle to pay all other expenses connected with the hospitality. Each National Circle to contribute to the expenses, the amount of contribution to be decided by the host National Circle.

3.4 Presidents’ Meeting

At the half-way-stage between each European Meeting, a Meeting of Presidents and Vice Presidents will take place.

3.4.1 Aims

The aim of the Presidents’ Meeting is to take decisions, to exchange ideas and information for mutual benefit and to share experience and practice regarding the working of the National Circles in the interim. Common actions of the European Circle inspired by the EU Guidelines are to be planned mainly on this occasion.

3.4.2 Procedure

The Presidents’ Meeting will be hosted by National Circles in order of creation

  • Dates to be decided by hosts and guests one year in advance
  • Duration: 2 nights/3 days
  • Guests to be hosted in private homes
  • Agenda to be decided by the host National Circle upon proposal of all other Circles
  • The proposed Agenda should have reached the host President at least six months prior to the Meeting
  • Final Agenda to be sent at least four months in advance
  • Meeting to be chaired by the President of the host National Circle

The Agenda to consist of two sections:

  • A plenary session, open to all members of the host National Circle where the Presidents will give a Report of their Circle’s activities since the previous Presidents’ Meeting
  • A working section only for the delegates

Minutes to be taken and sent to all participants. These will be kept in the archives of each National Circle. All National Circles at the Presidents’ Meeting to have equal status and all decisions to be arrived at according to the voting procedure specified below.

3.4.3 Financing

The visiting National Circle to pay their own travelling costs and the host National Circle to pay all other expenses connected with the hospitality.

Article 4  - Voting Procedure

  • One vote for each National Circle
  • Voting by show of hands
  • In case of parity, the vote will be repeated once, after an interruption of procedure for discussion
  • Voting by majority decision.

Article 5 - Language

  • The working language of the European Circle is English
  • On official occasions of particular relevance or public visibility involving the European Circle an effort should be made to assure the same status to all languages (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian)
  • Activity Reports to be presented by all Presidents in their own language
  • Each Report will be sent two months in advance
  • Each National Circle will translate the official documents into their own language
  • At Presidents` Meetings and European Meetings the host National Circle will propose the modality of the discussion, in order to assure the most direct and rapid communication among participants.
  • The host National Circle will be responsible for the minutes; the cooperation of foreign delegates may be requested.

Article 6 - Amendments

This Charter may be amended on the occasion of a Presidents’ Meeting.



Saint Cloud, Catherine Fischer

Bad Godesberg, Karin Weiß

Maidenhead, Rita Ashmore

Frascati, Vincenza Reali

Kortrijk, Anne Van Dorpe and Jacqueline  Van Dorpe

Salzburg, Elfriede Faber

Frascati 23/09/2010


[1] The National Circles are listed in order of creation.

[2] Many items were  in the meantime ratified at the Congress held in Maidenhead in 2004.

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