To be eligible for full membership, an MS organisations will:

  • provide reliable and evidence-based information and advice to the MS community
  • be independent of, and institutionally separated from, government, political parties and private companies
  • adhere to MS International Federation guidelines on non-funding relationships with healthcare companies
  • work nationally – representing (whether directly or indirectly) all regions and/or major towns and cities in the country, ideally incorporating a network of local or regional chapters/branches/offices/clubs
  • represent people affected by and interested in MS through a structure of individual membership (in exceptional circumstances, organisations without an individual membership structure will be eligible to apply for full membership, provided they meet all the other criteria)
  • be legally incorporated and registered with the relevant national authority (where such exists) as a not for profit (charitable, voluntary, public welfare or similar) organisation with a suitable governing document (constitution /byelaws/memorandum and articles of association/charter/statutes or similar) (Not for profit means not returning profits to the board, staff or members but ‘investing’ surplus funds back into the activities of the organisation)
  • keep accurate annual records of its income and expenditure, and have the records open for inspection by an independent auditor and available to the MS International Federation
  • work to a professional standard – employing at least one paid staff member devoted to the day-to-day management of the organisation
  • be self-governing and elect a board of trustees that will meet regularly and be responsible for the constitutional operation of the organisation
  • involve some degree of voluntary participation which includes having a committed volunteer board of trustees
  • have a medical and scientific board or equivalent comprised of leaders in the MS field, including the country’s recognised neurologists and scientists. This board may also include representatives of other disciplines concerned with MS
  • accept and abide by MS International Federation’s Articles of Association.
  • ensure regular availability of an English-speaking person, with access to email and telephone/Skype, to ensure full communication with the MS International Federation and other member organisations.
  • make a contribution to the MS International Federation’s annual budget through the payment of membership fees.
  • acknowledge their active support of, and willingness to participate in, the fulfilment of the MS International Federation’s vision, mission, aims and objectives. All member organisations are responsible for assuring their cooperation and support for agreed joint projects and programmes of mutual benefit to the MS International Federation and its members.
Woman with MS in a car park in Napoli, Italy

Napoli, Italy, 03/2012. At present, Stefania Salzillo has no mobility problems; but she can see how poor infrastructure affects people who are more disabled. “There are very few parking lots for disabled, and most public and private buildings do not have the appropriate access facilities,” she says, leaving the Court of Justice in Napoli. “This forces disabled people to isolate themselves: they stop working, they give up their social life and even sports.” Credit: Walter Astrada. Published on this website by kind permission of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform.

Woman with MS walking her dog next to some cars

Thessaloniki, Greece, 10/2011. In May 2011, loss of balance forced Pangiotta Tsinoni (44) to give up her career as an oncologic surgeon specialising in breast cancer. Now, even though she does physiotherapy to improve balance and wears a prosthetic brace on her leg, the fear of falling in the street keeps her close to home. She takes her dog, Nino, for daily walks but never strays far from home. Credit: Maximiliano Braun. Published on this website by kind permission of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform.

Page Tags: