We are in social network:

ERNA Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference
for the European Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Network on HIV/AIDS and TB (ERNA)



Since 1987 the International Federation of Red Cross and Red CrescentSocieties has been engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The decisions of theGeneral Assemblies in Rio 1987, Budapest 1991 and Birmingham 1993 have been theguiding policies for the interventions of the Federation in the control andprevention of HIV/AIDS, in caring for the infected and affected persons andfamilies and in the promotion of Human Rights and prevention of discriminationand stigmatization of persons infected with HIV.
At the European Regional Red Cross Red Crescent Conference that took place in2002 in Berlin, National Societies decided unanimously to focus both on theHIV, AIDS and TB, and strengthen the network to support these activities.

At the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona 2002, Senior IFRCManagement staff who participated in the conference reiterated their commitmentto further strengthen the fight against HIV and AIDS.

AIDS is one of the major public health problems In Europe. There is acritical need for fostering preventive measures, psychological support and carefor persons living with HIV, AIDS and their families and promotion of HumanRights and dignity. The involvement of NSs in the fight against HIV and AIDSmust be intensified. Innovative approaches must be promoted- concerted effortsby pooling resources, knowledge, skill, experiences and best practices are required.Collaborative interventions must be promoted. These could be achieved throughregional networking strategy.

The work so far performed by the Working Group on HIV, AIDS andSubstance Abuse of the European Social Welfare Network of NSs of the EU membercountries gives inspiration for the initiation and implementation of theaforementioned measures. The establishment of a body that can co-ordinate thesharing of experiences, transfer of best practices and the promotion ofcollaborative efforts among NSs of the European region was imperative. Thisorgan which can be recognized as a working group could be organized in aNetwork form and it can operate based on networking strategy. An effort alongthis line was initiated at the end of 1987 when the North American and someEuropean National Societies formed a Task Force on the prevention and controlof HIV/AIDS, which was operational up to 1992 and later gradually phased out.Thus, the current efforts are directed towards revitalizing it by involvingEuropean National Societies. In 1997 the IFRC created European Network of RC/RCon HIV and AIDS (ERNA).



ERNA was created as an informal working group composed of NationalSocieties. Any European National Society (defined as such by the IFRC) has astanding invitation to join this Network.



to encourage participation and to help strengthen National Societies’operational capacity in the field of HIV, AIDS, TB and other communicablediseases by gradually developing activities at the community level,particularly in the areas of prevention, care, treatment, control, harmreduction, psychosocial support, legal support, reduction of stigma anddiscrimination social integration and other community activities targeted atthe most vulnerable people; to help NS’s advocate for the circumstancesenabling dignified life of PLHIV and people living with TB and provide themwith access to full medical treatment.



The following are the objectives of the Network:

General objective

To contribute to the reduction of the spread of HIV, AIDS, TB and othercommunicable diseases principally among the most vulnerable people

Specific objectives

  • To strengthen and promote the exchange of experiences, information andbest practices among member NSs, with other stakeholders and NSs from otherregions
  • To promote the setting up of (innovative) new initiatives and to reproducethem in other NSs by adapting them to the need of local beneficiaries
  • To promote and facilitate concerted collaborative actions in the fieldof HIV, AIDS, TB and other communicable diseases with UN agencies, EU,non-governmental organizations, Global Fund (to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria),other international and national organizations and with existing Federation’sNetworks
  • To involve PLHIV and other vulnerable groups in ERNA work at all levels
  • To give technical support and assistance to member NSs (upon expressedneed) in areas where a gap in knowledge and skill exists with motivation andtrainings organization or by enlarging their operational capabilities
  • To render technical support and assistance to NSs in countries intransition and developing countries through common projects of European NSs



The European HIV, AIDS and TB Network is a multi-disciplinary groupcomprising National Societies from Europe and Central Asia. Each member NSshall appoint one person as its representative in the Network.



ERNA Board consists of a President and two Vice-Presidents.

President is elected for three years at the General Meeting (GM). He/Shetakes over his/her mandate and replaces the former President – right afterGeneral Meeting. He/She can be reelected for the same position once (two termson the same position).

One Vice-President represents the country which hosts the Secretariatand is automatically appointed following selection of his/her NS.

The other Vice-President is elected for three years at the GeneralMeeting. He/she should be a representative of his/her National Society. Theother Vice-President takes over his/her mandate and replaces the formerVice-President – after the General Meeting. He/She can be reelected for thesame position once (two terms on a same position ). If for any reason thePresident cannot execute his/her mandate, the elected Vice-President assumeshis/her responsibilities and takes over the mandate of a President till thenext elections.

European Youth Coordination Committee (EYCC) of the Red Cross and RedCrescent European Youth Network is invited to nominate one representative to bea permanent advisor at the Board for one year, at the ERNA annual GeneralMeeting. This reflects ERNA’s commitment, in line with the IFRC Youth Policy,to the active participation of youth in decision making processes at thenational and international level, promotion of youth leadership and exchange ofconcrete ideas, innovations and activities.



Each member National Society identifies one person to whom it delegatesthe right to vote on its behalf. Each member National Society has one vote. Themembers of the Board have right to vote only in case when they officiallyrepresent their National Societies.

The elections of members of the Board shall be by secret ballot unless acandidate has been acclaimed. In the case of upcoming elections, NSs areinvited to present their candidates to the Board and send CVs 1 month beforethe General Meeting. The quorum needed is defined by number of member NationalSocieties participating in the General Meeting (altogether with valid mandatesfrom absent NSs) For adoption of the result of voting the simple majority ofthe defined quorum is needed (i.e.- one half + one)

The candidate for President/Vice-President present themselves during theGeneral Meeting and who gets majority of votes becomes a newPresident/Vice-President of ERNA Network.

National Society, which is not present at the General Meeting canofficially transfer the right to vote to any participating National Society.One National Society can receive the right to vote from other two NationalSocieties maximum, and represent these at the GM.



For its functioning ERNA disposes a Secretariat hosted by a memberNational Society with a Coordinator appointed by the host National Societyassuring its continuous work.  The host of the ERNA Secretariat is electedone year after the elections of the ERNA Board and can be reelected.

The NS hosting the Secretariat of the Network commits to assign officespace and supporting staff who will assist in executing the day to dayactivities of the Network such as correspondence, compilation and write-up ofreports, financial administration etc. The salary of the Coordinator shall becovered by the core budget of the Network.

The working languages of the Network are English and Russian. With aview to greater efficiency, training seminars requested by certain NationalSocieties can be conducted in the appropriate language.



ANNEX 1: ERNA Secretariat Key Tasks and Responsibilities

The role of the ERNA Secretariat is to support the ERNA Board inchairing the network and member NSs in fulfilling ERNA mission. The ERNASecretariat is an operational body of the network, in charge of puttingdecisions by the General Meeting and the Board into practice. It is the linkbetween ERNA Board and members with the IFRC representatives as well as withother representatives from the Movement and external stakeholders.


Key tasks of the ERNA Secretariat

  1. Organization and technical support of the ERNA Board meetings, including logistical arrangements.
  2. Preparation of the report of the Board meeting within 2 weeks, with clearly written agreed actions to be taken by each member.
  3. Liaising with the IFRC ERNA contact person and sharing of information in regular and transparent way.
  4. Maintenance of ERNA website, with constant provision of updated information about upcoming Board meetings, publication of Board meeting minutes and other relevant documents, collection and editing of relevant issues and news decided by Member NSs and the Board itself.
  5. Regular update of the list of ERNA NSs contact persons.
  6. Use of group emails of all ERNA NSs contact persons, always CCing to Board members.
  7. Promote the visibility of the ERNA activities;
  8. Support the organization of ERNA General Meeting:
    • Sending invitation to NSs
    • Sending invitation to guests as decided by the Board
    • Supporting host NS in logistical arrangements (through visits prior tothe meeting if necessary)
    • Selecting a person in charge of minutes taking  during the GeneralMeeting
    • Finalizing the report of the General Meeting not later than onemonth  after the meeting
    • Arranging the financial transactions to the host NSs in agreement withthe NS and respecting the time-frame for bank transfer
  9. Management of ERNA annual budget, preparation of financial reports every two months in the most advanced software available in the Secretariat NS.
  10. Preparation of the drafts of annual Plan of action, Budget and reports to be reviewed by the Board.
  11. Representation of ERNA as assigned by the Board.


Responsible person

The ERNA Secretariat is managed by the ERNA Secretariat GeneralCoordinator: a full time officer charged with the above listed duties, whofacilitates achievement of the ERNA Mission.



Financial support for all ERNA Secretariat related costs is provided bythe ERNA members through voluntary contributions.



The Network is an informal group which mainly works on the principle ofconsensus. If unanimity cannot be achieved, voting procedure shall be used.

Member National Societies shall get together once a year at a GeneralMeeting. The Network shall execute and co-ordinate its actions through plannedworkshops and visits.

The GM agenda shall be developed and sent to NSs no later than six weeksahead of time. Workshops on selected topics based on identified and/orexpressed needs will be arranged in conjunction with the General Meetings.
The report of the proceedings of the meetings and workshops and othertechnical documents shall be compiled by the Secretariat of the Network andsent to member NSs and relevant IFRC structures. In order to motivate all NSsof the region, reports of the meetings shall be available to non-member NSs aswell. Exchange of experiences and best practices will be facilitated throughside visits and other feasible mechanisms. If necessary, the Network can inviteexperts or representatives from international and national organizations toparticipate in its meetings as observers and/or for exchange of experience andknowledge as well as exploring means of collaboration. Similarly, theFederation representatives can participate in the Network events as observers.



The core budget needed for the salary of the coordinator and forprograms shall be prepared by the Board and submitted to the General Meetingfor approval. The endorsed core budget shall be sent to NSs with a view toreceive contribution. In addition efforts shall be exerted to mobilize additionalfunding from other possible donors. The International Federation of RC/RCSocieties shall facilitate potential funding




ERNA comprises members of National Societies from Europe and CentralAsia.

Each Member NS has to appoint its representative at the ERNA Network –ERNA contact persone: it is desirable that the NS representative at the ERNANetwork stays committed to cooperation with ERNA for at least two years.

The ERNA representative must fulfil the following obligations:

  • to be a focal point for  ERNA at NS level
  • to actively contribute to ERNA and advocate on behalf of its mission
  • to actively participate in the ERNA General Meetings
  • to be commited to fulfillment of the Statement of the General Meeting
  • to co-operating with other members , the ERNA Secretariat and Board to fulfil the ERNA Mission and implementing effective communication and networking with other  ERNA members  and external stakeholders
  • to submit regular reports and answeri the requests of the ERNA Secretariat when  required
  • to sharing news and good practices from his/her NS with the ERNA Secretariat through mail and the ERNA web-site

If a representative does not meet these obligations or is unable toaccomplish ERNA related key tasks the National Society must assign anotherperson for the Network.

New members nominated by their National Society need to send theofficial letter to ERNA Secretariat.

Membership of National Societies in ERNA is permanent as long as theymeet their obligations as an ERNA member; however, a National Society alsoretains the right to withdraw from the network if desired, by giving notice atan ERNA meeting or in writing to the ERNA Secretariat.




Following the General Meeting recommendation the Board develops a yearPlan of Action, identifying the needs of National Societies and developingrelevant and effective strategies to address those needs. Besides, every twoyears a Strategic Plan shall be developed. Both these two documents, in a draftversion, will pass through a consensus process with all the ERNA members,before being finalized and shared with all RC/RC European NS with IFRC officesin Geneva and in Budapest (ERO) for a wider awareness and fundraising.

The Board shall be committed to punctual following the approved PoA,putting it into action, monitoring and evaluating its effectiveness.

The Board shall being permanent contact and productive inter-exchangewith the ERO.

The Board shall meet face to face minimum twice a year and viaSkype conference – three times a year or more if necessary.

All related expenses for the Board members shall be covered only by theERNA budget if they are not able to be met by the budget of their NationalSocieties.

If a Board member does not meet the above key tasks and responsibilitiesobligations of participation or is unable to contribute to the tasks, a newmember shall be appointed to replace her/him until the next ERNA GM.

The ERNA Board members define the participants to be invited to theBoard meetings: representatives of the ERO, National Societies, partnerorganizations, ERNA Secretariat.


ERNA President
Dr. Massimo Barra

Partners Of The Network