Articles of Association

Articles of Association

Article 1: EGALITE

1.1. There shall be set up within the institutions of the European Union a non-profit-making association to be known as ‘EGALITE – Equality for Gays And Lesbians In The European institutions’, denoted hereafter by the term ‘Association’.

1.2. The Association shall be set up for an unlimited period.

1.3. The headquarters of the Association shall be established at the premises and headquarters of the European Commission, rue de la Loi, B-1049 Brussels.

1.4. The Association’s financial year shall run from 1 January to 31 December.

Article 2: Aims

The aims of the Association shall be:

2.1. to pursue courses of action designed to combat any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation and in particular to secure, within European Union bodies and institutions, non-discriminatory treatment for same-sex couples and to campaign for the rights of gays and lesbians in Europe;

2.2. to organise social, cultural and educational activities and to offer practical assistance to newly recruited gays and lesbians.

Article 3: Members

The Association shall comprise ordinary members, associate members and honorary members. Membership shall be restricted to those who have paid the due subscription. Ordinary members and honorary members shall be entitled to vote at meetings of the Assembly.

3.1. Any person who works or has worked for the bodies, institutions or schools of the European Union may become an ordinary member of the Association, as may the members of his/her family, in particular his/her partner.

3.2. Friends of, or those sympathetic to, the Association who wish to become associate members must submit to the Assembly a membership application countersigned by two sponsors who are ordinary members of the Association.

3.3. The title of honorary member may be awarded to members or former members who have distinguished themselves in some way, to financial donors or to people who are able to help the Association achieve its aims or enhance its image.

Article 4: Members’ obligations

In joining the Association, members shall agree to abide by the rules set out in these statutes. They shall refrain from any activity which goes against the spirit and the letter of the statutes.

Article 5: Constituent bodies

The constituent bodies of the Association shall be the Assembly and the Committee. The functioning of those two bodies shall be based on transparency vis-à-vis the members and shall encourage the involvement of those members by promoting in particular the participation of equal numbers of men and women.

5.1. The Assembly

5.1.1. The Assembly shall be the sovereign body.

5.1.2. The members of the Association shall convene as an Assembly:

– at least once per quarter;
– whenever the Committee deems it necessary;
– whenever at least one-quarter of the members submit a reasoned request for such a meeting to be held.

5.1.3. Meetings of the Assembly shall be chaired by the chairman or by a committee member nominated by the chairman. Written notification of any meeting, the agenda and the papers relating thereto shall be sent to the members at least ten working days before the scheduled date of that meeting.

Proposals for items to be added to the agenda must be received by the chairman in writing at least three working days before the date set for the meeting.

5.1.4. The Assembly shall adopt decisions by a simple majority of the votes cast (including voting slips deposited blank), except in the case of the following matters put to the vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Assembly (referred to in Article 5.1.7.), for which a two-thirds majority of the votes shall be required: amendment of the statutes, exclusion of a member, removal from office of the Committee or of one of the Association’s other bodies.

Members who are unable to attend a meeting of the Assembly may arrange to be represented by written proxy. Each member present at the meeting may represent only one absent member.

5.1.5. The proceedings of each meeting of the Assembly shall be recorded by means of a report drawn up by the secretary and countersigned by the chairman. The report shall be approved at the next meeting of the Assembly.

5.1.6. In the course of the first two months of each financial year the chairman of the Committee shall convene a General Meeting of the Assembly, the agenda for which shall include, as a minimum, the following items:

– approval of the annual report submitted by the members of the outgoing Committee;
– auditors’ report;
– discharge in respect of the outgoing Committee and the auditors;
– election of auditors for the new financial year;
– election of the new Committee in accordance with the rules laid down in Article 5.2;
– setting of the amount of the subscription;
– election of the chief editor of the Newsletter;
– any other business.

The General Meeting may legitimately take decisions if the number of members present or represented pursuant to Article 5.1.4 represents at least half the total number of members, plus one. If a quorum is not achieved, another General Meeting shall be convened within three weeks of the first General Meeting. No quorum shall be required at that second General Meeting. During the intervening period the outgoing Committee shall attend to day-to-day business.

5.1.7. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Assembly shall be held whenever one of the following items is placed on the agenda: amendment of the statutes, exclusion of a member, removal from office of the Committee or of one of the Association’s other bodies, early election of the Committee, dissolution of the Assembly.

5.2. The Committee

5.2.1. The role of the Committee shall be to pursue the courses of action and organise the activities referred to in Article 2. It shall represent the Association in dealings with third parties, in particular by nominating Assocation spokesmen/women to attend outside meetings or events.

5.2.2. The Committee shall be elected for a 12-month period and shall have seven members. The members of the Committee may be re-elected. The six candidates who receive the largest number of votes and at least half plus one of all the votes cast shall be elected as members of the Committee. The chairman shall be elected separately.

5.2.3. Once elected the Committee shall nominate from amongst its members a vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer, and possibly other office-holders. This distribution of offices shall be confirmed at the next meeting of the Assembly, on which occasion the coming year’s work programme put forward by the new Committee shall also be approved.

5.2.4. The Committee shall meet as often as is required by the interests of the Association. Its meetings shall be convened by the chairman, one of the vice-chairmen or the secretary. It may legitimately deliberate if at least four of its members are present. Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote. In the event of a tie the chairman shall have the casting vote.

5.2.5. Should a member of the Committee resign during his or her term of office, he or she may be replaced by a substitute co-opted by the Committee. Should the chairman or three or more members of the Committee resign, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Assembly shall be convened for the purpose of electing a new Committee.

5.2.6. The Committee may be removed from office by means of a decision supported by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened at the request of at least one-quarter of the members.

Article 6: Newsletter

The Newsletter shall be the Association’s vehicle for information and debate. Editorial decisions shall be taken by the editorial group under the leadership of the chief editor. Meetings of the editorial group shall be open to all members. The dates of the meetings shall be notified to the secretary at least five working days in advance.

Article 7 Working Parties

If necessary, the Assembly may decide to set up working parties to tackle specific issues in cooperation with the Committee. Those working parties shall report to the Assembly, which shall decide what action to take on their findings. Meetings of the working parties shall be open to all members. The dates of the meetings shall be notified to the secretary at least five working days in advance.

Article 8: Auditors

The two auditors shall not be members of the Committee. They shall be responsible for verifying the accounts. The treasurer shall be required to submit all supporting documents to them and to forward to them, at least two weeks before the General Meeting of the Assembly, a detailed statement of the Association’s finances for the past financial year. The auditors shall submit a report at the General Meeting of the Assembly.

Article 9: Resignation and exclusion

A member’s affiliation to the Association shall cease if he/she resigns voluntarily, is excluded by means of a decision to that effect or fails to pay his/her subscription. If a member resigns or is excluded, his/her subscription shall be retained by the Association. If exclusion of a member is under consideration the Committee shall inform the interested party, at least five working days in advance, of its intention to place an exclusion decision on the agenda for an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Assembly. The member shall be excluded if the Extraordinary General Meeting passes a decision to that effect, on a proposal from the Committee, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, including voting slips deposited blank. The exclusion decision shall be notified to the member by the Committee in writing.

Article 10: Subscription

The amount of the subscription shall be set at the General Meeting of the Assembly. The subscription shall be paid in full, irrespective of the date on which the new member joins the Association.

Article 11: Association resources

The Association’s resources shall comprise:

– members’ subscriptions;
– revenue from events organised by the Association;
– subsidies;
– donations of any nature.

The Association’s income as a whole shall be used for the sole purpose of achieving the Association’s aims.

Article 12: Legal representation

The Association’s legal representative shall be the chairman or, if he/she is prevented from acting as such, one of the vice-chairmen or a specially nominated member of the Committee.

Article 13: Liability of the Association

All members who take part in the activities and use the facilities of the Association shall be liable for their own actions. Under no circumstances shall the Association be held responsible by any party for the actions of its members. Where appropriate the Association shall take all necessary steps to cover risks by means of suitable insurance policies.

Article 14: Dissolution

Dissolution of the Association may be pronounced only by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Assembly. A decision to that effect shall be passed if it is supported by a two-thirds majority of the members.

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