TITLE I: NAME, REGISTERED OFFICE, LEGAL BASIS, AIMS
The Association is established under the name „Association of Former Members of the European Parliament“, hereinafter referred to as “Association”.
Its founders are:
BALFE Richard – 31, Lyndewode Road Cambridge CB1 2HN, United Kingdom
Lord PLUMB Henry – Maxstoke, Coleshill, Warwickshire B46 2QJ, United Kingdom
SCHLEICHER Ursula – Backoffenstrasse 6, D-63739 Aschaffenburg, Germany
The Association is a non-profit-making organisation (association sans but lucratif, a.s.b.l) registered under Belgian law and governed by, in particular, the Companies and Associations Code (CAC) of 23 March 2019.
In view of its specific relations with the European Parliament, it is also subject to any specific rules laid down by the latter which apply to it, such as the European Parliament Bureau Decision of 14 January 2008 governing financial contributions to parliamentary associations.
The Association has its registered office on the premises of the European Parliament, rue Wiertz, 1047 Brussels, Brussels arrondissement, Belgium.
1.The Association shall be established for an indefinite term.
2.The purposes of the Association are:
- to bring former Members together and to provide for them a forum for meetings, discussions and cultural, scientific and social events,
- to facilitate the exchange of information and news between former Members of the European Parliament,
- to foster the relations between former and current Members of the European Parliament by establishing and using an information network,
- to use the experience of the former Members to strengthen parliamentary democracy and to serve European unity,
- to promote contacts between similar organisations in Europe and elsewhere, for example Former Members’ associations at national level, and, in particular, the European Parliamentary Association,
- generally, to promote the debate on the development of the European Union in the political field as well as in public opinion and to study its consequences on institutions, local authorities and citizens.
3. The Association may develop activities which contribute directly or indirectly to the achievement of the disinterested purposes set out above and which constitute its aims.
The regular activities which the Association intends to pursue include:
- Developing and participating in educational programmes;
- Organising conferences and activities of cultural, scientific and social interest on topical European issues to promote and disseminate the activities of associations, including editorial activities such as newsletters, bulletins and other publications;
- Organising activities for the promotion of political dialogue and support for parliamentary democracy;
- Informing its members and the general public through its website, quarterly bulletin, newsletter, social media, etc.;
- Strengthening cooperation and partnerships with other organisations and institutions which can help it achieve its purpose;
- Managing the ‘bureau de passage’ made available by the European Parliament to former Members in Brussels and Strasbourg.
TITLE II: MEMBERSHIP
- The minimum number of Members shall be three.
- Members of the European Parliament, whose term of office has ended and who are interested in joining the Association, may apply in writing. Their Membership will be approved by the Managing Committee.
- Admission shall require members to endorse these statutes and undertake to comply with them and the rules of procedure drawn up by the Association.
- Persons who were deprived of their mandate or who belong to an association violating the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union cannot be members of the Association.
- A list showing, in alphabetical order, the surnames, first names, addresses and nationalities of the members of the Association must be lodged at the registry of the civil court of the registered office of the Association within one month of the publication of the articles of association. In addition, if the members are not of Belgian nationality, the fact that they are entered in the population register must be indicated, if appropriate. The list shall be supplemented each year by an indication in alphabetical order of any changes which have occurred amongst the members. Any person may inspect this list free of charge.
- The association shall acquire legal personality.
 Belgian law of 28 June 1984, Article 9 (came into force on 16 August 1984).
 Consolidated Law of 19 December 1939, Article 20, Title IV, (v).
1. The membership of the association is ended by:
2. In the case of resignation members have to send their request in writing to the Managing Committee.
3. Membership can also be terminated by expulsion because of:
(a) serious misconduct,
(b) infringing the statutes of the Association,
(c) damaging the Association’s reputation.
The General Assembly decides on expulsion – after having given the member concerned the opportunity to justify himself – by a two-third majority of Members voting in person or represented by written proxy (Art. 9 ).
4. Membership is suspended:
(a) for the duration of the mandate in case of re-election to the European Parliament,
(b) as long as the annual membership fee (Art. 7  ) remains unpaid.
5. The Managing Committee may suspend a member’s participation in the Association’s activities and meetings until the date of the next General Assembly if he/she has adopted a position that is incompatible with the values of the Association and those of the European Parliament or has seriously harmed the interests of the Association or of its members.
The agenda for the next General Assembly shall include an item relating to the situation of that member, with a view either to expelling him/her or to restoring him/her to the full exercise of his/her rights.
6. Members who have been expelled and legal successors of a deceased Member shall not have any claim on the assets of the Association.
1. Members of the association are required to pay an annual membership fee. Payment of the annual membership fee is due no later than seven days before the General Assembly of each calendar year. Members who have not paid by the due date will be lapsed and no longer entitled to the benefits of membership.
2. The amount of the annual membership fee shall be fixed each year for the following year by the Ordinary General Assembly by simple majority.
3. The Association shall be free to accept financial, administrative and other support from the European Parliament.
4. By decision of the Managing Committee, the Association shall be empowered to accept gifts inter vivos, legacies gifts, donations, subscriptions or subsidies, etc. from former or current members or from other persons or bodies.
5. Members shall not incur any personal liability by virtue of the commitments entered into by the Association.
TITLE III: BODIES OF THE ASSOCIATION
The bodies of the Association are the General Assembly and the Managing Committee.
1. The Association may communicate with members electronically.
Both the website address and the email address may be modified at any time by the Managing Committee. Notification of any modification shall be sent to members either at their postal address or at any email address they have given for that purpose.
2. Members may provide the Association with an email address at any time for the purpose of communicating with it. Any communication to that address shall be deemed to have been validly effected. The Association may use that address until the member concerned provides a different email address or states that he/she no longer wishes to communicate by email.
3. The members of the Managing Committee and, if necessary, the auditor may provide an email address at the start of their term of office, for the purposes of communicating with the Association. Any communication to that address shall be deemed to have been validly effected. The Association may use that address until the person concerned provides a different email address or states that he/she no longer wishes to communicate by email.
1. The General Assembly is convened at least once a year on the premises of the European Parliament.
2. The General Assembly consists of all Members of the Association. It is chaired by the president of the Managing Committee or, if he is unable to attend, by its Vice-President.
3. Invitations to the General Assembly meeting are sent, together with the draft agenda, at least two month prior to the date fixed. Amendments to the draft agenda need the approval of the majority of the members present.
4. The tasks of the General Assembly are in particular:
(a) to receive and to approve, by separate votes, the annual and financial reports and the budget submitted by the Managing Committee, together with the report of the auditors,
(b) to fix the amount of the membership fee for the following year (Art. 7 ),
(c) to amend the statutes (Art. 16),
(d) to elect the Managing Committee. Such election shall be by secret ballot. To fill the number of vacancies contested, candidates with the highest number of votes shall be elected. The electoral system shall be proportional representation with single transferable vote, as has been in use since 2001.
5. Each member shall have one vote. Unless otherwise provided in law, the General Assembly shall take decisions by a simple majority of the members voting or represented by written proxy. The number of proxies that any one member may hold shall be unlimited. A member who appoints another member or the Chairman of the meeting as his proxy may specify in the proxy form how he wishes the vote to be cast. This decision shall be binding on the member acting as a proxy.
6. Unless otherwise provided in law or in the statutes, the General Assembly shall have a quorum only if at least 50 members are present or represented. If there is no quorum at an initial meeting, a further meeting shall be convened one hour later which shall have a quorum irrespective of the number of members present or represented.
7. Minutes of the ordinary General Assembly meetings are drawn up by the secretary of the Association and forwarded to all members within two months.
8. The Managing Committee may make provision for members to attend the general meeting remotely by means of an electronic communication facility provided by the Association.
As regards compliance with conditions regarding quorums and majorities, members attending remotely shall be deemed to be present at the place where the General Assembly is being held.
The Association must be able to verify the status and identity of members by means of the electronic communication facility used.
1. The General Assembly shall appoint two members of the Association as auditors who will examine the accounts and submit a report to the General Assembly.
2. The General Assembly shall also appoint a professional firm of auditors acceptable to both the General Assembly and the European Parliament who shall complete each year an audit of the Association’s accounts and submit a report to both the European Parliament and the General Assembly via the Managing Committee.
An extraordinary General Assembly shall be convened – in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 9 – by the president or his replacement:
- if the Managing Committee deems it necessary or one fifth of the members of the Association has requested it;
- to decide on the dissolution of the Association (Art.17).
The General Assembly shall be convened within 21 days and shall be held no later than 41 days later.
1. The Managing Committee shall have full powers to administer and manage the Association, in accordance with its aims. The only acts which fall outside its competence shall be those reserved by law or by these Statutes for the General Meeting. The members of the Managing Committee shall not incur any personal liability in respect of the Association’s obligations. The Managing Committee may call upon the services of external specialists to assist in the management and administration of the Association.
2. The principal role of the Managing Committee shall be to ensure the general functioning of the Association between meetings. It prepares the proceedings of the Members‘ Assembly and implements its decisions. The Association may, if it deems it necessary, employ permanent staff for the day-to-day management of the Association, acting under the control of the Managing Committee. The Association may delegate the day-to-day management of the Association, including the related power of signature. The Managing Committee may likewise delegate all powers of signature. Legal action, whether as plaintiff or defendant, shall be instituted on behalf of the Association by the Managing Committee, represented by its President. Managing Committee Members shall not incur any personal liability by virtue of their office and shall only be liable in respect of the performance of their official duties.
3. The Managing Committee shall represent the Association in dealings with third parties, public and private bodies and acts in the name of the Association. The Managing Committee may delegate such representation.
4. It shall be responsible for properly implementing the purpose and aims of the Association (Article 4).
5. At each Ordinary General Assembly the Managing Committee shall present a draft programme of activities for the forthcoming year. Following any amendment and approval it should be circulated to Members of the Association.
6. Individual Members not serving on the Managing Committee can be appointed by the Managing Committee to undertake a specific task or role.
7. The Managing Committee consists of ten Members elected for a period of two years. Following their election they shall from amongst their number elect a President, a Vice-President, a treasurer and a secretary.
8. The College of Quaestors of the European Parliament shall appoint two of its Members to serve as non voting Members of the Managing Committee and decide on their term of office.
9. At the inaugural meeting ten Members shall be elected to the Managing Committee. The five receiving the lowest vote shall serve for a term of one year. At the end of the first year and subsequently five Members of the Managing Committee shall be elected each year.
10. Members of the Managing Committee can be dismissed by the General Assembly by majority vote.
11. Meetings of the Managing Committee are convened by the president at least 2 times a year. The management body may meet remotely, by videoconference or telephone conference, by means of an electronic communication facility provided by the Association.
The Association must be able to verify the status and identity of members by means of the electronic communication facility used.
12. Decisions are taken by majority of the members of the Managing Committee present or represented. In the event of a tie, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
13. Decisions of the management body may be adopted by unanimous decision of all directors, given in writing.
TITLE IV: BUDGET AND ACCOUNTS
1. The financial year shall begin on 1 January and end on 31 December.
2. The accounts for the preceding financial year and the budget for the following year shall be submitted to the Ordinary General Meeting annually for approval.
3. With the exception of expenses directly linked to the performance of their duties members of the Managing Committee shall receive no remuneration. In any case the direct cost of Managing Committee members’ activities shall not exceed 15% of the association’s annual budget.
4. The Managing Committee shall submit to the General Assembly the professionally and lay audited accounts, the financial report and the budget of the following year.
5. Once approved by the General Assembly the professionally and lay audited accounts, the financial report and the budget shall be transmitted to the European Parliament via the College of Quaestors.
TITLE V: RESOURCES / INFRASTRUCTURE
The Association’s resources shall be drawn from:
- Membership fees of its members,
- Funding and contributions provided by public or private bodies,
- Annual subsidies and contributions provided by the European Parliament.
1. In accordance with the Bureau Decision of 12 April 1999 on facilities granted to former Members of the European Parliament, Members of the Association shall have the right to use the following facilities:
(a) a ‘bureau de passage’, to be used by Former Members on an occasional basis, with telephone facilities for local calls in each of the three working places of the European Parliament,
(b) computer equipment, installed in the ‘bureau de passage’, which is provided with free
access to internet and intranet,
(c) an own association web site linked to Parliament’s homepage,
(d) remote access to intranet facilities – insofar as it is possible -,
(e) the Members’ (only) bar.
2. All Former Members of the European Parliament shall have the right – on production of
their former Member’s badge which they may obtain on request – to access to:
(a) Parliament’s buildings in the three working places and to Parliament’s information
offices in the Member States,
(b) Parliament’s garages in the three working places,
(c) Parliament’s libraries in the three working places,
(d) Parliament‘s restaurants and cafeterias in the three working places,
(e) the premises of the European Parliamentary Association.
3. Questions directed to the European Parliament regarding the use or extension of facilities shall be directed, in the first instance, via the College of Quaestors, to the appropriate organ of the Parliament under the general direction of the Bureau.
TITLE VI: AMENDMENT TO THE STATUTES / DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
1. The General Assembly is authorised to amend the statutes of the Association. It may validly deliberate on amendments only if the object of those amendments is specifically stated in the notice convening the meeting and if two-thirds of the members are present or represented by written proxy (Art. 9 ). Amendments may be adopted only by a two-thirds majority of the members present or represented.
2. However, any amendment relating to the aims or the disinterested purpose or purposes for which the Association was established shall, in order to be adopted, require a majority of four-fifths of the members present or represented by written proxy.
3. If less than two thirds of the members are present or represented by written proxy at the initial meeting, a second meeting shall be convened which may take a decision whatever the number of members present or represented, and adopt amendments by the majorities specified in paragraph 1 or paragraph 2. The second meeting may not be held until at least two weeks after the initial meeting.
1. The Association can be dissolved by a decision taken by an Extraordinary General Assembly, convened especially for this purpose, with at least two-thirds of the members present or represented (Art. 9 ). If this condition is not fulfilled, a second meeting shall be convened, the decision of which shall be valid whatever the number of members present or represented. However, a decision shall not be adopted unless it is supported by a two-thirds majority of the members present. Any decision relating to the dissolution of the Association taken by a meeting at which less than two-thirds of the members of the Association is present or represented shall be subject to approval by a civil court.
2. In the event of dissolution any assets shall be disposed of in agreement with the European Parliament. Premises owned by Parliament shall revert to the Parliament. Any premises acquired outside of the limits of Parliament shall be disposed of in consultation with the European Parliament.