Code of Conduct


General Information

The term “European Forum Alpbach” (“EFA”) in this document includes the European Forum Alpbach non-profit association (EFA association), the European Forum Alpbach non-profit private Foundation (EFA Foundation) and the European Forum Alpbach Network (FAN). If some rules are applicable for just one of the institutions, it is mentioned explicitly.

Established in 1945, the European Forum Alpbach is an interdisciplinary platform, which brings together the most innovative minds from politics, business, civil society, culture, science, and the younger generation to engage in and contribute to our mission of shaping a stronger Europe for the good of all.

The EFA promotes core values of democratic societies such as inclusion, equality, intercultural understanding, fairness, integrity and respect. It aims to strengthen the diversity of the European Union and to integrate the sustainable development strategy.

The rules contained in this Code of Conduct are not meant to replace any applicable legal rules. The EFA institutions and persons acting on their behalf must respect applicable legal provisions in Austria as well as in the partnering countries.

The rules contained in this Code of Conduct apply to all persons that participate in the European Forum Alpbach, namely:

  • the executive boards of EFA,
  • the staff of the European Forum Alpbach association and the European Forum Alpbach Foundation,
  • the Forum Alpbach Network Board,
  • the IGs and Clubs of the Forum Alpbach Network and their scholarship holders,
  • the scholarship holders from the European Forum Alpbach Foundation,
  • the contributors, participants and partners of the European Forum Alpbach.

Professional behaviour and appropriate conduct are required at all times with event staff, event members and contractors inside and outside the event’s premises as well as during regional meetings, roundtables or other events organised by the EFA.


Rules of conduct

The EFA cooperates with (other) people without any distinction in terms of gender, marital status, skin colour, religion or world view, culture, education, social origin, disability, age, sexual identity or nationality.

Respect, honesty and confidentiality are the basic values of our daily work. We expect these basic attitudes from our staff members, partners, participants and scholarship holders. We strongly condemn any kind of discrimination.

The rules of conduct are as follows:

  1. Watch out for each other. Maintaining a respectful and safe community is everybody’s responsibility.
  2. Treat other people as they would like to be treated. If you do not know how, ask them.
  3. Respect chosen names, pronouns and genders.
  4. Respect others’ personal space and possessions.
  5. Act from an assumption of mutual respect and goodwill. Clarify misunderstandings and apologise for harm caused.
  6. Harassment is not tolerated. Offensive physical actions and/or verbal comments related to sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, race, religion or class status are not tolerated.
  7. Any interactions with a person after they have made it clear that further interaction is unwelcome are not tolerated. Accept an answer of “No” without arguing.
  8. Mobbing, bullying, intimidating or threatening communication, whether verbal or in writing (e.g. email, online platforms etc.) is not tolerated.
  9. Leading EFA staff members are expected to take a leading role concerning appropriate behaviour and in ensuring the effectiveness of this code of conduct.


Compliance

  1. The Forum does not tolerate any form of bribery or corruption and actively supports international efforts to fight bribery and corruption.
  2. Due to its independence and intellectual integrity, the Forum as an organisation does not contribute funds or resources to any religious group or political parties, elected officials or candidates for public office in any country.
  3. Personal data is treated as confidential and in accordance with data protection laws. Personal data includes data or information relating to any identified or identifiable legal or natural person that is protected by applicable law and covers without limitation personal data of the Forum, Forum Members, Network Members, Staff, Directors, contractors and suppliers and any participants in Forum events and activities. You must comply with applicable legal requirements and Forum IT policies as they relate to the processing, collection, storage, use, revision, disclosure, archiving or destruction of personal data. The necessary measures must be taken to maintain all personal data securely and confidentially. This includes storing personal data where it can be accessed only by authorised Forum Staff. The EFA Staff must give prior authorisation to the provision of personal data to any third party.
  4. The EFA maintains secrecy towards unauthorized parties about matters concerning the forum, its partners and other third parties that have come to the attention through EFA’s work. The obligation to maintain secrecy also applies after the termination of a contract. It does not apply to information that is in the public domain or which in terms of significance does not require secrecy.
  5. Fundraising activities such as competing for grants and donations, sponsoring work and PR activities are transparent and reported truthfully in the annual reports. The fundraising activities of EFA are to be described openly, as well as the utilisation of the fundings. The necessities of the grant givers shall be respected.

The EFA ensures the presence of an ombudsperson, who provides support and assistance in cases of discrimination and breaches of the rules stated above. The ombudsperson mediates disputes and assesses all reported cases during the annual European Forum Alpbach event and throughout the year.


Netiquette

We ask users of the event platform of the European Forum Alpbach to respect the Forum’s core values. We kindly ask that you follow the rules of conduct also when interacting with other participants digitally.

Behind Every Name There is a Person

In cyberspace, it is often easy to forget that behind every account, there is a human being.

  1. Respect what other persons are writing in the Chat or what they are contributing to the discussion.
  2. Ask other persons for clarification if you find a discussion posting offensive or difficult to understand.
  3. Avoid sweeping generalisations. Back up your stated opinions with facts and reliable sources.
  4. Understand that we may disagree and that exposure to other people’s opinions is part of the learning experience.
  5. Be respectful of each other. We are all in this together. Before posting a comment, ask whether you would be willing to make the same comment to a person’s face.
  6. Keep in mind that everything you write, indeed, every click of your mouse is recorded on the network server. On the internet there are no take backs.

Online Communication

  1. Be aware that typing in all capital letters indicates shouting.
  2. Be careful with humour and sarcasm. Both can easily be misunderstood!
  3. Review all discussion postings before posting your own to prevent redundancy.
  4. Check your writing for errors before sending it.
  5. Acronyms (LOL etc.) and emoticons (smilies) are commonly used online – be careful not to overuse them, but they might also help deliver a nuance to what you want to say.
  6. Do not post or share content that would be deemed inappropriate according to common sense.
  7. Do not post any third-party links into global chats.
  8. Be careful who you share your data with, what information you want to include in your profile and what you want to share publicly or in private conversations.

Should it be deemed necessary, the EFA reserves its right to ban a user from the application.


Consequences of violation of the rules of conduct

The EFA encourages every participant, scholarship holder, partner of the forum and every staff member to report any concern about a breach of the rules stated above and to bring questions, suggestions and concerns to the EFA’s attention.

When raising a concern, you are encouraged to identify yourself to facilitate communication; however, you may also choose to remain anonymous. The EFA will guarantee to protect your identity towards third parties.

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, or if you feel that someone may have broken the Code of Conduct, please contact the ombudsperson: ombudsperson@alpbach.org

Assessment of the case and consequences

The ombudsperson will assess each case and determine whether this Code of Conduct might have been violated. If the matter cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved or if the ombudsperson assumes a breach of the rules of conduct/compliance, the ombudsperson will take the case to the managing directors and/or boards of the EFA association and the foundation. These EFA institutions will assess the case and take appropriate corrective action. These actions can consist of disciplinary action, e.g. termination of employment, an exclusion of participants or scholarship holders for future events, as well as an exclusion of a Forum Alpbach Network member.