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12 Administrative Concepts

(Item #67)

The Right of Appeal: The right all members of EA have to complain about what they consider an unfair decision or situation decided by our leaders. This right aims to protect minority views and assure that they are read.

The Right of Petition: The right all members of EA have to request that EA leaders do a particular thing. This right aims to protect minority views and assure that they are read.

The Right of Decision: The right or the authority the leaders of EA have to make decisions on their own, without overdue criticism, since they are trusted servants. It is also the right all members of EA have to make decisions through their group conscience and the voice of their leaders.

The Right of Participation: The right all members of EA have to take part in EA meetings in accordance with the guidelines of the fellowship. It is also their right to take part in the management of EA affairs through their group conscience and the voice of their leaders.

CONCEPT I — Responsibility

The ultimate responsibility and authority for Emotions Anonymous International (EAI) services belong to the EA groups.

Authority comes from group conscience and responsible group leaders. As long as there is balance of responsibility and authority in our groups and the groups’ representatives in service, EA will continue to give hope and help to those who need it.

CONCEPT II — Representation Accountability 

The EA groups have delegated complete administrative and operational authority to its elected representatives. 

The fellowship of EA is guided and directed by the Board of Trustees and delegates to the annual convention. These representatives are chosen by the members, and they are accountable to the membership. The Board of Trustees is entrusted with the authority to make decisions for fellowship world services and to oversee operations at the International Service Center. 


The right of decision makes effective leadership possible. 

Being allowed to make appropriate decisions, to act freely without being hassled or second-guessed, gives dignity to the person who is doing a job. This freedom to exercise judgment, and the trust which permits it, is the core of Concept III. 

We trust our group leaders to decide when to handle group affairs and when to ask for guidance. We trust the Board of Trustees to decide when to act on its own responsibility and when to ask the membership for direction. We trust members of the EA staff in positions of responsibility to decide when to act wholly on their own and when to refer a problem to the next higher authority. It is our duty to carefully choose for every position those who will serve us and then trust them to do the job without interference or undue criticism. 

CONCEPT IV — Respect 

Participation is the key to harmony. 

In the structure of EA service, each member and group of members contribute to the whole. Recognizing a spiritual need to belong, the principle of participation has been built into our whole service structure. Respectful, self-disciplined consideration of every other member and group of members will give everyone the right to participate in the service of EA, and so assure harmony. 

CONCEPT V — Equality 

The rights of appeal and petition protect minority views and assure that they are heard. 

Consideration of others and courteous regard for the views of all is the basis of strength, unity, and cooperation. This Concept assures protection of the views of  minorities and of the entire fellowship. 

Through the Right of Appeal, minority views can be heard. Members with minority views have a duty to present a minority report to the membership when they believe that a wrong decision could seriously affect EA. When minorities speak out, they help preserve the fellowship.  By compelling a thorough debate, they are a chief defense against uninformed, misinformed, hasty, or angry action. 

The Right of Petition gives members the right to petition those in authority to consider an alternative that may differ from their point of view. The right of petition also allows a member or staff member to carry a complaint direct to the Board of Trustees without fear of reprisal. 

CONCEPT VI — Trusteeship/Authority/Responsibility 

We acknowledge the primary administrative responsibility of the trustees. 

The Board of Trustees is expected to spearhead the formulation of EA policy in accordance with EA principles and is accountable for its proper dissemination. To provide efficient and balanced leadership, the trustees must be chosen for their special talents, 12-Step experience, and sound judgment. Their great responsibility requires a large grant of authority. The trustees are the active guardians of our Twelve Traditions and are charged with upholding and applying these principles. As they administer the business prudently, there is no need to choose between good business and good EA practice, since there is no conflict between the two. 


The trustees have legal rights, while the rights of the membership are traditional.

Concept VII defines the balance of powers between the membership and the trustees. The trustees bear legal responsibility for EA’s funds, services, and actions. The membership is the conscience of EA with traditional rights. There need never be a clash or testing of these rights, the legal and the traditional, as long as the trustees and the membership work together in good faith. 

CONCEPT VIII — Delegation

The Board of Trustees delegates full authority for routine management of the EA International Service Center to its Executive Committee.

In our service structure we need vision to address policy questions, supply leadership, meet financial obligations, strengthen the interrelationship of groups, and carry the message of EA around the world. With this responsibility in mind, the EA Board of Trustees delegates authority to its Executive Committee. 

CONCEPT IX — Leadership Qualities

In a field of world service the Board of Trustees assumes primary leadership.

Leadership qualities are defined as being responsible, tolerant, stable, flexible, having good judgment, vision and the ability to be tactful. Being responsible includes being motivated by principles and setting an example that inspires others to follow. When these qualities are applied in our service structure, they generate a caring and selfless spirit.

CONCEPT X — Balance 

Service responsibility is balanced by service authority.  Thus, we avoid "double-headed" management.

Responsibility and authority must be equal. If an imbalance should occur, there are the safeguards of Right of Decision, Right of Appeal, and Right of Petition to correct this. There must be a final authority, and in our fellowship, that is the EA groups. When there is mutual trust and respect, authority can be delegated from the groups to the delegates, then to the trustees, and then to the committees and EA staff.

CONCEPT XI — Administration 

The administrative arm of EA is composed of standing committees, executive committee, and staff members. The committees and staff members share with trustees the responsibility for preserving the unity of EA and spreading its message to all those in need of its help.  

All are vital to EA to deal with policies, the budget, institutional work, international coordination, literature, nominations, public information, publication of The EA Connection and administration of the International Service Center.  

In order to coordinate these functions and assure cooperation,  we need three principles. 1) Quality: A good executive acting without favor or partiality, dealing with fairness and equality, consulting with those affected by new plans, being open to hear and respect constructive criticism. 2) Fairness: This principle declares that fair recompense in salary and appreciation is essential for efficient service. 3) Full participation of paid workers: They should in all ways be considered respected members of the team. The dependence of workers on their salaries should not be used to limit their freedom to voice their views.

CONCEPT XII — Principles 

The spiritual principles for EA world services are contained in the spirit of our organization as a whole. 

Our personal spiritual awakening is the result of the Twelve Steps. Applying spiritual principles is also the goal of EA service. Through spiritual practice we find the freedom to live courageously and joyously. Four main principles or points are of use in our continuing world service: Point one gives specific direction on prudent financial management. Point two protects each member from absolute authority and reinforces the Right of Participation. Point three expresses deep respect for the spirit of freedom in our fellowship. There is regard for the views of all and the directive that all decisions are reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, unanimity. Point four reaffirms the high value we set on our liberties and restates the democratic nature of our fellowship.

In EA the individual members and groups hold extraordinary democratic power. It is through their prudent, responsible, and loving exercise of their liberties that the fellowship of EA can continue to grow, bringing comfort and hope to millions more in need of its help.


© 2005, revised 2012 Emotions Anonymous International — Item #67