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. (Law of 27 June 1921 granting legal personality to non-profit-making associations and Law of 14 November 1983 on the control of the granting and employment of certain subsidies).
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 principal aims of the Association are:
a) to bring former Members together and to provide for them a forum for meetings, discussions and cultural, scientific and social events,
b) to facilitate the exchange of information and news between former Members of the European Parliament,
c) to foster the relations between former and current Members of the European Parliament by establishing and using an information network,
d) to use the experience of the former Members to strengthen parliamentary democracy and to serve European unity,
e) 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,
f) 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.
- 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.
- Persons who were deprived of their mandate or who belong to an association violating basic human rights 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.
- The membership of the association is ended by:
- (a) death,
- (b) resignation,
- (c) expulsion.
- In the case of resignation members have to send their request in writing to the Managing Committee.
- Membership can also be terminated by expulsion because of:
- (a) serious misconduct,
- (b) infringing the aims 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. 8 ).
- Membership is suspended:
- (a) for the duration of the mandate in case of re-election to the European Parliament,
- (b) as long as the membership fee (Art. 7) remains unpaid.
5. Members who have been expelled and legal successors of a deceased Member shall not have any claim on the assets of the Association.
- Members of the association are required to pay an annual membership fee. Payment of the annual fee is due on the day 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.
- The amount of the annual membership fee shall be fixed each year by the Ordinary General Assembly by simple majority. For the period up to the 31 December 2002, the annual membership fee shall be 50 Euro; for 2003 the fee shall be 50 Euro, for 2004 the fee shall be 100 Euro, but 50 Euro for new Members joining after the election. Thereafter the annual membership fee shall be fixed annually by the General Assembly for the year following that in which the Assembly is held.
- The Association shall be free to accept financial, administrative and other support from the European Parliament.
- The Association shall be empowered to accept gifts inter vivos, legacies or other donations from former or present Members and with the approval of the managing committee gifts, donations, subscriptions or subsidies from other persons or bodies.
- Members shall not incur any personal liability by virtue of the commitments entered into by the Association.
- The General Assembly is convened at least once a year on the premises of the European Parliament.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 15),
- (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.
- Each member shall have one vote. If not otherwise stated, 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.
- 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.
- Minutes of the ordinary General Assembly meetings are drawn up by the secretary of the Association and forwarded to all members within two months.
- 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.
- 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 at least one month prior to the date fixed – in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 8 – 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.16).
- 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.
- 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.
- The Managing Committee shall represent the Association in dealings with third parties, public and private bodies and acts in the name of the Association.
- It shall be responsible for properly implementing the aims of the Association (Article 4).
- It shall be responsible for organising special activities, for example journeys and other cultural, scientific and social events.
- 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.
- Individual Members not serving on the Managing Committee can be appointed by the Managing Committee to undertake a specific task or role.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Members of the Managing Committee can be dismissed by the General Assembly by majority vote.
- Meetings of the Managing Committee are convened by the president at least 2 times a year.
- Decisions are taken by majority of the members present of the Managing Committee. In the event of a tie, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
- The financial year shall begin on 1 January and end on 31 December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The Association’s resources shall be drawn from:
- Membership fees of its members,
- Funding provided by public or private bodies,
- Annual subsidies provided by 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,
- (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.
- All Former Members of the European Parliament shall have the right – on production of a 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.
- 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.
- 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. 8 ). Amendments may be adopted only by a two-thirds majority of the members present or represented.
- However, any amendment relating to the purpose(s) 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.
- If less than two thirds of the members are present or represented by written proxy at the initial meeting, a second meeting may 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.
- 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. 8 ). If this condition is not fulfilled, a second meeting may 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.
- 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.