This letter is to inform
you about the decisions taken by the Executive Committee of the
IEHA during its meeting in Buenos Aires from March 25th to 28th
Firstly, the committee
discussed the preparations for the XIIIth Economic History World
Congress, organized in Buenos Aires on 22-26 July 2002. The first
brochure has been distributed among the member associations and
full information about the congress and the approved ses-sion proposals
has been made available on the internet: http://www.eh.net/XIIICongress.
In Buenos Aires, the committee inspected the site where the congress
will be held. We found out that it is an excellent location near
the city center with all the necessary facilities for a congress
of this size.
The Executive Committee
decided to distribute a second call for session proposals, which
you will find attached to this letter. The deadline for this second
call is April 30th, 2001. I would like to remind you of the fact
that all sessions are in principle open to all participants. Thus,
participants have the right to ask the organizer of a particular
session to present a paper about their research during this session.
It goes without saying, however, that the organizer has the final
responsibility for the program of his or her session.
Secondly, the executive
committee discussed a new set of statutes which has been prepared
by the Reform Commission (installed by the General Assembly in 1998
in Madrid). After making a number of modifications - partly the
result of legal advice received by the secretary general - this
new set of statutes has been accepted by the executive committee.
The proposed changes of the statutes will be on the agenda of the
meeting of the next General Assembly in Buenos Aires in 2002.
As you might be aware,
a two-third majority of the delegates present at the General Assembly
is needed in order to change the statutes of the IEHA. To be able
to prepare the discussion in Buenos Aires in 2002, we would like
to have your opinion on the new statutes. Moreover, the executive
committee will propose to the General Assembly to have one vote
about the integral set of statutes, and not several votes about
every single article. The reason is that the different parts of
the proposed new statutes are closely interrelated. But again we
would like to know your opinion about this procedure. The vote on
the new statutes at the General Assembly in 2002 will conclude the
reform process which began in 1998. The executive committee will
organize a separate meeting at the world congress in 2002 at which
the Reform Commission reports back to the membership of the IEHA
(and to all who are interested in the proposed changes) and at which
the executive committee explains its position concerning the reforms.
Thirdly, the executive
committee has discussed the 2006 congress. The call for host cities
for this congress, issued last year, has resulted in three bids
- Helsinki, Sydney and Strasbourg - which will be further explored
in the meeting of the executive committee in 2001. You will learn
from the proposed changes in the statutes, that the position of
the 2006 organizer will be different from the present situation.
Under the new statutes the vice-president will organize the world
congress. He or she will then, at the meeting of the General Assembly
that is organized at the end of his or her congress, 'normally'
be elected the new president (see article 8 of the new statutes).
Thus the selection of a vice president for the next committee (2002-2006)
is related to the choice of a venue of the 2006 congress.
This brings me to the
fourth issue of this letter: the nomination of new officers and
sitting members of the executive committee. In the new statutes
the nomination procedure for new officers and sitting has been made
more transparent and democratic. As a result of these changes the
executive committee is now in the position to ask the member organizations
to nominee persons for the following positions:
a PRESIDENT for the
term 2002-2006 (this will be a rather 'unique' presidency, because
it is now possible to select a president who, as a result of the
switch to another system in which the vice president organizes
the world congress, will not organize a world congress; this may
be taken into account when proposing candidates for this vacancy);
a TREASURER for (in
principle) the two terms 2002-2010;
a SITTING MEMBER for
(in principle) the two terms 2002-2010 (at least seven new sitting
members can be appointed in 2002; each member organization is
according to the new rules allowed to nominee one person; perhaps
it may be taken into consideration that in 2006 the secretary
general will end his second term, and that a new secretary general
may be selected from the sitting members of the executive committee).
We would like to invite
you to nominate three persons - not necessarily persons from your
own country or organization - eligible for the three positions mentioned.
Candidates for the presidency and the treasury may come from outside
or within the present executive committee. These nominations should
be sent to the secretary-general by November 30th 2000. Please include
all relevant information of the persons that you wish to nominate.
This should include the position they hold in their respective countries,
a list of published books and articles, and information about governing
positions held within their university or other institutions.We
would like to add that, according to the new statutes, the executive
committee has to reflect "the diversity of scholars of all countries
interested in economic history in its broadest sense". This we interpret
also to relate to a more balanced composition of the committee in
terms of age groups and sex.
n accordance with the
proposed new statutes (concerning this matter not in conflict with
the old ones) the executive committee will prepare a slate of endorsed
nominees for the available positions from the persons that were
nominated by the member organizations. For further details about
the nominating procedure, I refer to the proposed new statutes.
As far as the secretary-general is concerned, the executive committee
will propose to the General Assembly that the current secretary
general (appointed in 1998) serves another four-year term.
Finally the executive
committee paid some attention to the state of affairs concerning
the world congress that was organized in 1998 in Madrid. It was
acknowledged that the volumes of the congress have now been distributed
to all persons who had paid for them. No news of the legal proceedings
between Gabriel Tortella (or his foundation) and Proconsur was received.
The executive committee reluctantly concludes that it cannot take
any further steps. Moreover, the committee finds it regrettable
that it is unable to obtain additional information about the accounts
of the Madrid organization.
Jan Luiten van Zanden,