IPA Newsletter March 2019 - Word of Introduction

05 Mar 2019


Dear friends,

Over the last few years I have frequently been asked the following question:

‘Why can IPA members not choose freely which section they want to be a member of?’

Along the same lines, I have been asked whether an IPA region of one section could become a member of another section, rather than their own. Taking this one step further, I have received requests for the creation of a ‘neutral’ section, directly under the management of the International Executive Board, which any IPA member could join.

Those who propose these changes point out that in some international organisations, it is possible to choose freely which member state they would want to join. Others emphasise that in today’s borderless world, and especially within the European Union, the principle of free movement should apply - for individuals, but possibly also for a whole region. Furthermore, it has been suggested to me that the International Executive Board should provide help for those who are experiencing trouble within their own sections, by welcoming individual members into a ‘neutral’ section, led by the IEB.

I have of course brought all these questions and proposals to the attention of the IEB. It is important to challenge and question ourselves about the functioning of the association and to consider potential positive changes.  We have come to the conclusion, however, that these questions and proposals are not compatible with the current ideals of the IPA.

In every case, we could see that disputes were the reason for the questions raised, most of the time between the person asking the question, and their national section. The most important aspect of our association, however, is FRIENDSHIP. Forming part of our motto, it is in my view its most important concept and is fundamental for our association. How could a dispute possibly generate good new rules? I don’t believe it can, and neither does the IEB.  We are certain that the current principle requiring individuals to be members of their own national section remains the best solution to ensure a friendly co-existence of all national sections. It would be counter-productive to enable members to potentially escalate their own troubles by enrolling in a different section.

It is the duty of the IEB to ensure that the IPA develops in line with the true spirit expressed by our founder and the IPA’s pioneers. I am certain it is more constructive to come to a good understanding and find a peaceful solution within a section, rather than exporting conflicts to other sections, or creating an entirely separate section.

May the IPA stay away from troubles, and may its members ensure FRIENDSHIP at all levels. This is the only way to stay true to our motto. 

Servo per Amikeco,

Pierre-Martin Moulin, IPA President