In the Guidance Document, the Assembly of Members codifies the central foundations of EUDEC as well as many internal rules, structures and procedures. It is somewhat like EUDEC’s internal lawbook. It’s an evolving document: it’s regularly improved at the General Meeting.
This is the version from August 2018 (+ update from GM 2019 + from December 2020 + from March 2021 + from June 2022 + from April 2023 + from September 2023)
Section 1 Foundations
Article 1:00 Preamble
The protocol and procedures of the European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC) are to be ordained by the following articles, subordinate to the Association’s Articles of Association (Satzung) and as ordained therein. All bodies herein ordained as bodies of EUDEC must adhere to the protocol and procedures established herein.
Article 1:10 Community Aims
- To support all forms of democratic education throughout Europe.
- To promote democratic education as a sensible choice for democratic states.
- To establish, in legislation and practice, the right to found and attend democratic education institutions.
- To facilitate exchange of information between democratic education institutions in Europe and create connections between schools for cooperation and mutual learning.
- To provide information and outreach programs for colleges and training institutes to give future teachers a practical understanding of the basics of democratic education and what it can mean for teachers, pupils, educational environments and democratic states.
- To provide aid and support to democratic education institutions as well as organisations, associations and other groups whose main objectives include the establishment of such an institution.
Article 1:20 Definitions
1:20.10 The basis of democratic education is in certain rights of students, which EUDEC defines as follows (based on the 2005 Resolution of the 13th International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC), Berlin, Germany):
In any educational institution, students have the right:
- to make their own choices regarding learning and all other areas of everyday life. In particular, they may individually determine what to do, when, where, how and with whom, so long as their decisions do not infringe on the liberty of others to do the same.
- to have an equal share in the decision making as to how their organisations – in particular their schools – are run, and which rules and sanctions, if any, are necessary.
1:20.20 Democratic education is defined by this organisation as education conducted in keeping with the above Resolution.
1:20.30 Specifically, EUDEC identifies regular democratic meetings with one-person one-vote as a fundamental necessity of democratic education.
1:20.40 For all purposes within this document, Europe is defined as the total area of all European states as defined by the Council of Europe.
Section 2: Organisation
Article 2:10 Membership
2:10.a10 Membership: The membership consists of natural persons (individuals), schools, organisations and groups starting a school.
2:10.a11 An individual, organisation or school has to fulfill one criteria to qualify for membership: they must support EUDEC’s aims (see Article 1:10) to promote democratic education as defined in Article 1:20.
2:10.a12 Any individual, school or other organisation may become an associate member (even if they do not qualify for full membership) if they stand behind EUDEC’s Aims (see Article 1:10) to promote democratic education as defined in Article 1:20.
2:10.a15 A EUDEC member organisation that starts a school that becomes a EUDEC member can cancel its membership with any fees already paid by the organisation for the remainder of the fiscal year going towards current and future membership fees of the new school.
2:10.a20 When a new member has been admitted, a EUDEC employee or officer notifies them promptly of their admittance.
2:10.a25 Good standing: A member of EUDEC is considered to be in good standing, unless their membership has expired (see 2:10.c12) or has been disqualified by the Oversight Committee (see 3:30.h). A member who is not in good standing does not have the rights of a member. A member whose membership has expired can return to good standing by paying their fees due. A disqualified member may be returned to good standing only by the Assembly (see Article 3:10).
2:10.a30 Voting right: An individual with a full membership in good standing (see above) is entitled to one vote on each question arising at any general or Extraordinary Meeting of the members. A school with a full membership in good standing can designate a maximum of three voting representatives, an organisation with a full membership in good standing can designate one voting
representative, each entitled to one vote on each question arising at any general or extraordinary meeting of the members. (For more on member schools and organisations see (2:10.b) below.)
2:10.a40 Resignation from membership: Members may resign by submitting a signed, written resignation by e-mail to animation>at>eudec.org which is effective as soon as the circle “Community animation” receives it. Membership fees cannot be refunded. If a member fails to pay their membership fee after receiving a reminder, they are no longer considered a member of EUDEC.
2:10.a45 Resignation from office: Any member may at any time resign from any office of the Community or reject election to such office. In the event that an elected member rejects office their candidacy is stricken, and the results are calculated anew, ignoring that candidate. A member resigning at a later point is officially removed from office as soon as their notice of abdication reaches the circle “Community animation” in writing (animation<a>eudec.org). E-Mail constitutes, for this purpose, sufficient written notice. Notice of abdication must be accompanied by an explanation, which is subject to disclosure as per Article 2:30.
2:10.a50 Rights of associate members: Associate members have all rights of membership, except for the right to vote and the right to be elected for Office.
2:10.a60 Contact person: Member organisations must have an official contact person known to the circle “Community animation”.
(2:10.b) Member Schools and Organisations
2:10.b10 Schools’ vote: Every member school can send a list of up to 3 persons to the circle “Community animation”. These persons have the right to become individual EUDEC members for free for the current year. No reimbursement will be made (in case those persons have already paid).
2:10.b15 Organisations’ votes: Every member organisation can send a list of up to 1 person to the circle “Community animation”. This person has the right to become individual EUDEC member for free for the current year. No reimbursement will be made (in case this person has already paid).
2:10.b20 When calculating a majority or proportion of the membership a member school is counted as 3 members, an organisation as 1 member.
2:10.b30 Rights of school members: Being an employee, student or parent of a student at a full member school entitles an individual to all rights of membership, except for voting in the Assembly, and except where stated otherwise. However when participating in meetings other than the Assembly, these school members are allowed their own vote and may also run for Office.
2:10.c10 All members pay a membership fee in accordance with the valid Fee Schedule. The membership period (in which the member is considered to be “in good standing”) is the calendar year. Members can decide by themselves to pay a lower fee if they feel they need it.
2:10.c12 Expiration of membership: Any member whose fee is overdue is considered to not be in good standing (see 2:10.a25).
2:10.c15 Lapsed membership: Former members can renew lapsed memberships at any time by paying the current applicable fee without having to resubmit an application for membership.
2:10.c20 Changes in fee schedule: The Fee Schedule is subject to change by the General Meeting. Any motion to change the Fee Schedule must be announced 30 days before the Meeting, at latest. Any later motion is considered a Special Motion, requiring a special majority and subject to Oversight Committee review (cf.3:10.b). The official chapters arrange their own fees and are exempt from this article.
2:10.c30 Regional chapter fees: In regions where a Regional Chapter exists (see Article 3:40) membership fees are shared with the Chapter according to the Term of Reference signed. See 3:40.c for more details about membership and Chapters.
Article 2:15 Non-Discrimination
2:15.10 EUDEC will not discriminate as to ethnicity, colour, religion, gender, marital status, national origin, age, special needs or sexual orientation.
2:15.20 EUDEC is committed to promoting an anti-discriminatory culture by:
- ensuring where reasonable that all people have an accessible opportunity to participate in EUDEC,
- ensuring where reasonable that all members have an accessible opportunity to participate in discussion and decision making,
- ensuring where reasonable that all policies, communications and practices, while not intentionally discriminatory or intimidating, have a non-discriminatory effect.
2:15.30 If a member believes any of EUDEC’s activities or communications contradict this article they must send a written complaint to the circle “Governance”. The circle “Governance” must respond in writing within 14 days, subject to disclosure (as per Article 2:30). Before or after this, the member may also lodge a complaint with Oversight Committee (see Article 3:30).
Article 2:20 Communication
2:20 EUDEC uses the Internet for internal communications and public relations. Unless specifies otherwise, EUDEC accepts E-Mail notice as written notice. The official platform for online Community business is an Internet forum or similar platform. If the platform is not located directly at the eudec.org url, a hyper-link to the platform must be available directly at that URL. This platform must be accessible both for reading and for posting by all members of EUDEC, full or associate.
Article 2:30 Disclosure
2:30 Any matter subject to disclosure, as defined in this Guidance Document, must be posted as soon as possible on the official Internet platform and read out by the Ombudsman at the next Assembly. Unless stated otherwise in this Guidance Document the deadline for initial online disclosure is 21 days after the moment when the matter subject to disclosure first becomes known.
Article 2:35 Transparency
2:35 All bodies of EUDEC must conform to the principle of organisational transparency, recording in the minutes of their meetings all decisions made and providing information on past decisions. This requirement applies even where the content of discussion is confidential.
Article 2:40 Voting and Meetings
2:40.10 All official meetings and votes of the EUDEC and its organs must follow the procedures laid out in this Article. Any reference here to “members” refers only to the members of the voting body. For many organs – Assembly especially – more specific procedures are described elsewhere in this Guidance Document. In case of contradiction, the organ-specific procedures take precedence.
2:40.a10 All meetings are presided over by a Chairperson elected by the meeting. The Chair may choose how to run the meeting, but Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) are to be used as a point of reference and may be consulted as arbiter in disputes over the rules of order.
2:40.b10 Matters arising at any meeting are decided by a simple majority vote. All members may vote on any question. The presiding chairperson can abstain from voting but then vote after the votes have been tallied if a single vote can create or break an equality of votes. In case of an equality of votes the motion is defeated. When casting a deciding vote the Chairperson explains their vote.
2:40.b15 In any vote, an individual may cast a maximum of one vote, regardless of circumstances that may give an individual an additional vote (such as a full individual member who is also a school’s voting representative).
2:40.b20 Every matter is decided in the first instance by a show of hands unless a poll be demanded by any member, in which case a poll takes the place of the show of hands. In a poll the Chairperson may only vote with the rest of the members.
2:40.b30 Poll procedures: Polls are conducted by two Poll Overseers, who are elected by the meeting using a Single Transferable Vote ballot for a single poll or a pre-determined set of polls as determined by the Assembly.
2:40.b32 Members vote on a poll or a pre-determined set of polls using a specially-prepared form on which they may state their preferences for each of the motions in the poll. These forms are cast in a private manner, under the supervision of the Poll Overseers. The Poll Overseers receive a list of all eligible voting members present and use this list to ensure that each member participates no more than once in the poll.
2:40.b34 Votes are tallied after all eligible members present have been given a fair opportunity to participate in the poll. Poll results are counted twice, once by each Poll Overseer. Each tally must be performed in the presence of either Chairman or Secretary of the meeting. Other members may observe the tallying so long as they do not cause any disturbance to it. The two tallies are compared and repeated until they match. When the tallying is complete the results are announced and noted.
2:40.b40 The final balance of votes regarding any proposal must be tallied and entered into the minutes by the Chair or Secretary presiding.
2:40.b50 A member who declares conflict of interest does not vote concerning the matter.
2:40.c10 Voting proceeds on the basis of motions, which may be proposed on the agenda or during the meeting. A motion not present on the agenda may be put forth by a voting member, on the condition that it be seconded by another present voting member.
2:40.c20 For each motion a single vote determines if the motion is adopted or rejected.
2:40.c22 When there are two or more contradictory motions pertaining to the same matter the motions and amendments are voted on from last-proposed to first, each being carried or rejected. In the event that more than one motion remains (has been carried) after this first round of votes, another vote takes place, in which each member may only vote for one of the remaining motions. If a single motion receives an absolute majority of votes cast, that motion wins.
2:40.c23 The person who made the motion (or higher level amendment) can accept amendments by making a brief statement outside of the list of speakers. If nobody objects, the amendment is then adopted without a vote. Otherwise the amendment will be voted on. (They can ask the GM participants to give their opinion rapidly, with an invitation to raise their hand if they find that the amendment is a good idea.)
2:40.c24 If no absolute majority is found the motions must be compared pairwise, using the Schulze Method to determine an absolute winner. (Information on the Schulze method can be found on the Internet.)
2:40.c26 Regardless of the method used to determine the winning motion a final vote takes place to adopt or reject the winning motion. If this final motion is rejected no motion is adopted regarding the matter at hand. However, the meeting may at any time, by a simple majority vote, decide to reopen a subject for renewed discussion and voting.
2:40.d10 Any meeting may be adjourned to any time by majority vote, and such business may be transacted at such adjourned meeting as might have been transacted at the original meeting from which such adjournment took place. No notice is required of such adjournment. Votes on acceptance of membership applications must take place at the beginning of the General Assembly if they were on the agenda in advance.
(2:40.e) Elections with few candidates
2:40.e10 Whenever the number of candidates for an Election is equal to the number of positions to be filled, voting may take place in the following way:
- In a first round of voting, members can vote YES or NO on each of the candidates. If all candidates receive a majority of votes cast, all candidates are elected.
- If one or more candidates do not get a majority, a second round of voting takes place using the Single Transferable Vote system, with the provision that leaving a candidate unranked is interpreted as a vote against that candidate. Candidates are then elected if and only if they have reached the necessary quota of votes as calculated at the beginning of the count.
(2:40.f) Elections for a singular office
2:40.f10 Whenever an election takes place for a singular office (where only one person can be elected), voting members are asked to vote for their first preference. If a single candidate receives an absolute majority of votes cast, that candidate wins. If no absolute majority is found the candidates must be compared pairwise, using the Schulze Method to determine an absolute winner. (Information on the Schulze method can be found on the Internet.)
Article 2:50 Internal Procedures
2:50 All Committees, Workgroups, Chapters and other bodies, established as bodies of EUDEC by Section 3 of this Guidance Document, may craft internal procedures insofar as these pertain only to the internal operation of the said body. These are subordinate to the Guidance Document and to decisions of the Assembly and may not in any way contradict them. Internal procedures must always be decided by a simple majority of members of the body they apply to and may be amended or repealed by a simple majority. Insofar as a procedure has not been repealed it is binding to all members of the body in question.
Article 2:60 Elections
2:60.10 Full Elections for Council (see Article 3:20), Oversight Committee (see Article 3:30), and Auditors (see Article 3:60) take place during the General Meeting (GM). The members present for the first plenary session of the General Assembly elect two Election Supervisors, who administer the elections and may not run for any office in the elections they administer. The supervisors are elected within the GM through a simple majority vote.
2:60.15 The Elections are administered in strict accordance with the rules set forth in this Article. The circle “Governance” may craft additional regulations and guidelines for the administration of fair and equal Elections. These are valid as soon as they have been available to members on the official Internet platform for 21 days. The Oversight Committee may suspend any Election regulation crafted by the circle “Governance”. Suspended regulations, should the circle “Governance” still wish to use them, can be approved only by the Assembly. The same applies to regulations not published 21 days in advance of the General Meeting. No motion on the agenda must be present for the approval of these regulations.
2:60.20 All Full Elections take place using the Single Transferable Vote model of representative elections. Information on this model is available on the Internet. The technical application of the model is determined by regulations of the circle “Governance”, or lacking applicable regulations, by the Supervisors during the General Meeting.
(2:60.a) Offices and Terms
2:60.a10 Council and Oversight Committee are elected for a two-year term, on an alternating rotation: Council is elected on odd years, the Oversight Committee on even years. Elections encompass all seats of the respective body, whether vacant or occupied. No current member of Council may run for Oversight Committee or vice versa.
2:60.a12 Two Auditors are elected every year for a one-year term. No current member of, or candidate for, Council or Oversight Committee may be a candidate for Auditor, nor may a candidate for Auditor run for Council or Oversight Committee.
2:60.c10 A candidate can only be nominated if they are present and consent to the nomination, or if they have consented in writing prior to the meeting and their written consent is presented during the nomination.
2:60.d10 If, for any reason, not all position in Council or on the Oversight Committee are filled, elections must take place to fill the vacancies for the remainder of the current term. The circle “EUDEC events” must give notice of the date and method of election within 14 days of the vacancy via E-Mail and the official Internet platform. Elections are held no less than 7 days, and no more than 30 days, after Community members are given notice. An exception can be made by the circle “EUDEC events” if a General Meeting is less than 90 days away; in such cases the by-elections can take place during that meeting, beside any other votes or elections or as part of them. Otherwise by-elections take place on the Internet or, if necessary, in an Extraordinary Meeting of the General Assembly, as determined by the circle “EUDEC events”. Officers elected mid-term only remain in office until the next full elections for their respective office.
2:60.d15 Candidacies for by-elections may be announced by the candidates themselves up to 24 hours before the beginning of the elections and may be retracted at any time up to 24 hours after election results have been announced. If a winning candidate has retracted their candidacy the results are recalculated, ignoring votes regarding the retracted candidacy or candidacies.
2:60.d20 By-elections are administered according to the circle “Governance” elections procedures as per 2:60.a.
Article 2:70 Employees
2:70 Employees of the EUDEC who are members of the organisation have all the rights of members, apart from running for, or holding the office of, Council member (see 3:20), Auditor or member of the Oversight Committee (see 3:30).
Article 2:80 Branding
2:80 For all intents and purposes the circle “Community animation” represents EUDEC as regarding the use of EUDEC’s logo and any other branding materials. Recognised Regional Chapters (see Article 3:40) are authorised to use and approve brand use in their region. The approval awarded by the circle “Community animation” or by a Chapter can be retracted at any time. the circle “Community animation” may delegate a specific Workgroup with branding rights. The circle “Community animation” decisions on branding override Chapter and Workgroup decisions, and Assembly decisions override all others.
Section 3: Organs of the Community
Article 3:10 Assembly of Members
3:10.10 The governing assembly of the Community is the Assembly of members. All members may participate and vote in the Assembly, as defined in Section 2. The Assembly determines the course of the Community democratically in decisions codified in this Guidance Document and in the records of the Community. All powers, responsibilities and authority delegated by the Assembly, through this Guidance Document or otherwise, remain subordinate to the Assembly’s overarching mandate. The Assembly always reserves the right to overrule any decision made by any organ it has ordained, except for Regional Chapters (see Article 3:40).
(3:10.a) General Meetings of the Assembly
3:10.a10 The circle “EUDEC events” decides the time and place of General Meetings and Assemblies of members. For any set meeting (regular or Extraordinary), an invitation containing the time, location and a draft agenda must be sent to all members by prepaid mail or by E-Mail no less than 45 days before the beginning of the meeting in case of in person meeting and 14 days before in case of an online meeting. No further public notice or advertisement is necessary.
3:10.a20 A regular General Meeting is held a minimum of once a year.
3:10.a31 EUDEC Conferences and GMs must always take place in Europe.
3:10.a40 At every Annual General Meeting, in addition to any other business that may be transacted, the report of the Circles, the financial statement and the report of the Auditors are presented.
3:10.a60 All of the following items (6-12) require the General Meeting’s approval. Items 1, 6, 7, and 11 can only be decided by the General Meeting, never by any other body.
- Changes to the Guidance Document or Articles of Association (German Satzung), except changes that are required to make the documents adhere to applicable law or that do not change the meaning of the document(s), which can be decided on by the circle “Governance” ;
- The actual change to the documents may be worded by the circle “Governance” based on the spirit and content of a decision made by the General Meeting.
- In all cases where a final wording was not directly approved by the General Meeting, the change must be approved by the Oversight Committee and disclosed to the membership as per Article 2:30.
- Any purchase or sale of real estate property.
- Any loan taken in the name of the Community.
- Membership of the organization in another organization or association,
- Changes to the schedule of membership fees,
- The annual budget,
- The annual financial report, accompanied by the auditors’ recommendation of the previous year and financial discharge of the circle “Finances”, and
- Proposals to dissolve EUDEC
3:10.b10 All matters to be discussed at the General Meeting, regular or Extraordinary, are made known to the membership by means of an agenda produced by he circle “EUDEC events”. A final agenda must be available to members on the official Internet Platform no later than 14 days before the Meeting. Matters may only be decided if a proposal or motion pertaining to them was presented in the final agenda, apart from matters internal to the meeting or gathering itself.
3:10.b40 All agenda items must be collected for all to see on EUDEC’s official internet platform, either in the circle “EUDEC events” or in any other place set up and announced for this purpose. The final cut-off date for all additions and changes to the agenda is 14 days before the date of the Meeting.
3:10.b50 During the Meeting, the circle “Community animation” is responsible for presenting each of the points on the agenda to the membership.
3:10.b60 New motions may be put forth that were not on the agenda so long as they are intended as an alternative or amendment to a motion on the agenda (whether it has already been decided or not). It is also always possible to put forth proposals about matters internal to the meeting or gathering. However, new motions that are neither meeting-internal nor alternatives to agenda proposals require an ad hoc Assembly vote before they can be discussed. If the Assembly allows the discussion, the matter is a Special Motion and requires a 2/3 majority to pass. If a Special Motion is approved by the General Meeting its decision does not come into effect until reviewed by the Oversight Committee. If the Oversight Committee unanimously declare the motion invalid it is repealed. Otherwise it goes into effect immediately after review. A motion that has been declared invalid may be proposed on the agenda of the next General Meeting.
(3:10.c) Extraordinary Meetings and Referenda
3:10.c05 Any member may at any time request an online Referendum. A request can pertain to no more than one Referendum and requires a successful petition of voting members in order to succeed (that is, in order for the Referendum to take place). The initial request is submitted to events<a>eudec.org. The circle “EUDEC events” notifies all EUDEC members of the petition by message in the EUDEC HQ (Basecamp) within 14 days. The circle “EUDEC events” provides at least one online method for members to declare their support for the petition. The petition succeeds as soon as it has received a number of supporters equal to or greater than an absolute majority of EUDEC members, or alternatively 30% of the voting members present at the previous General Meeting (GM). Petition and Referendum votes are for all intents and purposes identical with Assembly votes (and thus may only be cast by full members in good standing). For the purpose of counting both voting members present at the previous GM and supporting votes for the petition a member school is counted as three individual members.
3:10.c10 An Extraordinary Meeting may only be called by means of Assembly resolution or online Referendum. The text of a Referendum calling an Extraordinary Meeting must specify all agenda topics and the time and location of the meeting. This procedure is not necessary if the Guidance Document allows the petitioning member (or organ) to call an Extraordinary Meeting. (e.g.3:30.f10)
3:10.c20 An Extraordinary Meeting called by Referendum must take place no more than 60 days and no less than 45 after the Referendum succeeds.
3:10.c25 A Referendum takes place no more than 30 days and no less than 7 days after the petition to hold it succeeds. The Referendum may decide a single motion that could otherwise be passed by the Assembly. The method and duration of the Referendum is set by the circle “EUDEC events” but has to be approved by the member requesting the Referendum.
3:10.d10 The Chairperson or acting Chair of the General Meeting maintains order at all times when the Meeting is in session. For this purpose the Chair (or acting Chair) may at any time:
- Warn participants who disturb the order
- After two warnings entered into the minutes, remove a participant from the meeting until the end of the current discussion
- Set a time limit on any discussion, no shorter than 7 minutes
- Set a time limit for each speaker, no shorter than 2 minutes
- Change the order of discussions
3:10.d20 The Chairperson may determine time limits for discussions in advance and announce these on the final agenda. The Assembly may, by a simple vote, extend or change any time limit set by the Chair.
3:10.d30 A Secretary must be elected or agreed upon by Assembly for every meeting for managing minutes, tallies, speakers’ lists and any other managerial tasks that may arise during the meeting.
3:10.d40 At every meeting two volunteers must be approved by majority vote for counting votes.
3:10.d50 Proxy voting is not allowed in any votes of the General Assembly.
Article 3:12 Official officers
3:12.10 Official officers represent EUDEC e.V. legally to state administration.
3:12.20 The Council elects 3 official officers (see Article 2:60, for Elections procedures): Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. They are elected for a term of two years.
3:12:25 An official officer cannot be an Auditor nor a member of the Oversight committee.
3:12.30 Only an individual who is 18 years old or older, and who is currently a full member of EUDEC (see 2:10.a25) may be elected as an official officer.
3:12.40 An official officer doesn’t have any more decision power than other members. There are 2 exceptions: as described in the Articles of Association, if the Oversight committee suggested to do so, official officers committee can temporarily deny membership applications (until a decision is taken in the next General Meeting), or decide to expel a member from the Association, if the member’s conduct gravely comprises the Association’s interests.
3:12.50 An official officer can resign at any moment, but they stay in legal responsibility until a new official officer has been elected.
Article 3:14 Circles
- Finances circle (Efficient management of finances, in adequation with EUDEC values)
- Community animation circle (membership management, internal communication, relations with chapters, involvement and participation of members, especially students, etc.)
- Governance circle (Clear, efficient, democratic and inclusive decision process)
- School and start up support circle (practical support to the democratic education initiatives)
- External communication and lobbying circle (website, external newsletter, social media, relations with other organisations, communities, projects, etc.)
- Research and theory generation circle (Establishing and maintaining relationships with the scientific community. Position the EUDEC as a partner for research collaborations. Facilitate EUDEC’s access to relevant research)
- EUDEC meetings circle (conference, congress, GM, coordination assemblies, etc.)
And each country can have its own “country circle” (for exemple EUDEC Germany, EUDEC Poland, etc.)
3:14.30 The standard circles are obtained by breaking the aim of EUDEC down. Each circle has a purpose and accountabilities (see “Annexe : purpose and accountabilities of circles”). Only the General Meeting (GM) can create, modify or remove a standard circle.
3:14.31 Each “country circle” is dedicated to a specific country. Language used is official languages of the country, a budget line for the country circle could be approved in GM (then the country circle can decide by its own how this money is used). To create a new “country circle” (for example an “EUDEC Germany” circle), a decision in “Community animation” circle is enough (like every circle decision, if one member wants that the decision is taken in GM, it’s enough so that the decision is withdrawed to the next GM). The new “country circle” first decision is agreeing on its temporary coordinator (temporary until the next GM where election will take place). A “country circle” is allowed to use the EUDEC logo and the name “EUDEC name-of-the-country-in-english-and-in-country-languages” (for example “EUDEC Germany” and “EUDEC Deutschland”), and to have its own website. A country circle could decide to become a chapter: the “country circle” is then tranformed in “HQ Basecamp group” of the chapter.
3:14.40a For every year, the circle “Finances” chooses one person who ensures that EUDEC’s financial records are audited and a financial report is made available to every member. This, including an annual financial statement of the year’s transactions is presented at the General Meeting (GM). This person ensures that an annual budget is prepared for GM approval in advance of the beginning of each financial year. In case this person doesn’t manage to do the job, the council member of circle “Finances” is responsible. If it still doesn’t work, the treasurer (official officer) is responsible.
3:14.40b The “Community animation circle” assigns a member as a Region Coordinator is the contact person for chapter’s responsibles and informs the circle about the chapter’s activities.
3:14.50 A decision, if it’s not strategic, can be directly taken in a circle thanks to an asynchronous vote (see below). Any member can evaluate if the decision is strategic or not. If any member says it’s strategic, then the vote process stops and the decision has to be taken in the General Meeting (GM).
3:14.55 A strategic decision is defined as one which has an impact on the whole organisation.
3:14.58 There is a Basecamp team called “Announcement of decisions of all circles”. Every circle decision has to be announced on this team. Any member can join this Basecamp team.
3:14.60 Any member can initiate an asynchronous vote in a circle :
- They post a message on the message board of the circle Basecamp team
- the title should begin with “Vote:”
- the proposal should be clear and should be formulated so that it’s possible to take a position on it (for or against).
- they must add the “closing date and time” (no sooner than 192 hours after posting the proposal – ie. 8 days)
- Any member can ask questions, contribute to the debate and/or vote using comments or boosts. There are 3 possible vote options : “Unready”, “For” and “Against”. “Unready” means that the member would like to make a decision, but they cannot because they would like more debate and the delay is too short. If the vote is not closed, any member can change their vote at any moment.
- Any member can stop the whole process and postpone the proposal to the next General Meeting (GM). They just have to write: postpone to GM. If they want to, they can explain why they find this decision is strategic and should be postponed to GM.
- The author of the proposal can change the proposal at any time, providing that:
- they write a comment with all the details of the change and the current state of the vote (who voted, and what)
- they invite the members who already voted to write if they agree with the change
- the change can only be valid if more than 50% of these members say they agree with the change.
- The author of the proposal closes the vote after the “closing date and time”. They count how many members voted, and how many votes each option got, and publish the final result:
- if no option scored more than 50% of the total number of members who voted, then the proposal is rejected
- otherwise, the option with the most votes wins. If it’s “Unready”, the author of the proposal can choose to extend the vote until a new “closing date and time” or close the vote (the proposal is then rejected). If it’s “For”, the proposal is accepted. If it’s “Against”, the proposal is rejected.
- in case of equality between “Unready” and another option, “Unready” wins.
- in case of equality between “For” and “Against”, “Against” wins.
Article 3:16 Coordination assembly
3:16.10 Every active member is invited to talk about the problems they see in EUDEC and about the work that has been done. This assembly is not a place to make decisions. If a council member (see 3:18) cannot join the meeting, they have to give notice to the other council members.
3:16.20 If possible, a participant takes minutes of the coordination assembly and publishes them on the Basecamp team “EUDEC HQ”.
3:16.30 The paid coordinator (see 3:19) is responsible for organizing the coordination assemblies.
Article 3:17 Update of circles
3:17.10 The name, the purpose and the accountabilities of circles can be updated by a decision in the Basecamp team “EUDEC HQ”. The decision takes place exactly like a circle decision (see 3:14). In that case, “EUDEC HQ” is seen as the “circle containing all members”.
3:17.20 Like in other circles, any member can stop the whole process and postpone the proposal to the next General Meeting (see 3:14:60).
Article 3:18 Council
3:18.10 The Council coordinates the actions of all the members in EUDEC.
3:18.20 The General Meeting (GM) elects the council members (see Article 2:60, for Elections procedures). They are elected for a term of two years. Each council seat is connected to a specific circle (standard circle or country circle), and is elected separately from the other seats.
3:18.30 A member can candidate for several council seats
3:18.40 After the elections vote, the chairperson selects the council seat with the least candidates (if ex aequo, they choose between the ex aequo), and proposes the seat to the candidate who had the most votes (for this council seat) and is not yet elected to another council seat (if ex aequo, they choose the candidate who was candidate for the least council seats, and if still ex aequo, they choose between the ex aequo). If they accept, the candidate is officially elected. If not, the next candidate is asked, etc. If no candidate accepts (or if there are no candidates at all), the council seat remains empty until the next elections. Then the same process repeats for the next council seat (within the remaining council seats, they select the one with the least candidates, excluding the candidates who are yet already elected to a council seat).
3:18.50 The accountabilities of each council member is:
- to know everything that is happening in a specific circle
- to take part in regular “coordination assemblies” (see 3:16)
- to assist members in articulating their interests and making motions
- to answer enquiries or ensure that they are forwarded to the correct addressee
3:18.60 A council member doesn’t have any more decision power than other members. On the other hand, if a circle has dysfunctions (mistakes, inactions, unresolved conflicts, etc.), they are not more responsible for it than any other member.
3:18.70 The Council members receive no remuneration for acting as such, except repayment of reasonable expenses incurred by them in the normal course of their duties, after the repayment has been accepted by the circle “Finance”.
3:18.71 Council members who reside outside of Europe will only get reimbursed for travel costs equivalent to the most expensive travel required by the European residents of Council. Council reserve the right, with consent of Oversight Committee, to reimburse additional expenses when necessary. This decision must be presented and explained to members at the following GM.
Article 3:19 Paid coordinator
3:19.10 The Paid coordinator purpose is:
- Maintaining high communication quality between members, especially between council members, and especially between active members who are not in the same circles (for this point, paid coordinator is responsible for the organisation of “coordination assemblies” : see 3:16).
- Dealing with incoming posts (directly answer, or if not possible, forward it to the right person).
- Keep sure every decision is recorded and can be easily found by all members
- Organise mediation if there is a conflict within the community
3:19.20 The Paid coordinator is designated by the Council (see 3:18) for the time the Council is elected. They can be earlier dismissed by the Council with a 2 months notice.
Article 3:30 Oversight Committee
3:30.10 The affairs of the Community and its Council are overseen by an elected Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee arbitrates disputes and addresses members’ complaints in accordance with the word and spirit of the Articles of Association and this Guidance Document. It may never contradict or override these documents in any way, nor any decision of the General Assembly.
3:30.20 The Committee consists of 3 members, elected for a term of two years by the Assembly of members.
3:30.a10 No member of the Oversight Committee may be a member of Council or a first-degree relative of any member of Council. OC members cannot hold any other office within the community.
3:30.a20 Only an individual who is currently a full member of EUDEC in good standing (see 2:10.a25) and who has been a full member of EUDEC for at least ten full months may be elected for the Oversight Committee.
3:30.b10 A vote to exercise the Committee’s judicial power may take place, following debate, at any such time as the Oversight Committee calls a vote. A vote also takes place, following debate, at any such time as any circle puts forward a specific question to vote by the Oversight Committee.
3:30.b20 The Oversight Committee may conduct its debates and votes over the Internet, by conference call or in person. A vote may only be held if notice has been given to all members of the Committee and fair democratic procedure was followed to allow all members to take part in the vote.
3:30.d20 Assembly can at any time remove the current membership of Oversight Committee and, as soon as possible, hold elections for all seats on the Committee anew. Such a procedures can be initiated only by two thirds of votes cast in a General Meeting or Referendum. Such a resolution may only be passed if fourteen days’ notice has been given of intention to pass such resolution. Elections for the new makeup of the Committee can take place online or, if specified in the resolution, at an Extraordinary Meeting.
3:30.e10 The Oversight Committee may repeal any internal procedures made as per Article 2:50. Such a decision must be based on the criteria for disqualification outlined in 3:30.h40-43.
3:30.e20 The Oversight Committee may suspend the office of a Council member or any other Officer of the Community, or the certification of any Regional Chapter, Workgroup or other Committee, pending a final decision by the Assembly. A suspension of a member or officer can only be based on the criteria for disqualification as set forth in 3:30.h.
3:30.e25 The Oversight Committee may recommend the termination of any EUDEC employment contract, pending a final decision by the General Meeting. Such a recommendation may only be made if it has been sufficiently demonstrated that a breach of contract has taken place.
3:30.e40 Whenever the Committee exercises any of the above powers the decision must be explained by the Oversight Committee, subject to disclosure as per 2:30 within 14 days of the decision.
(3:30.f) Matters Brought Before the Assembly
3:30.f10 At such a time as a matter must be brought before the Assembly by the Oversight Committee for a final decision (as per 3:30.e or any other part of this Guidance Document) the circle “EUDEC events” must within 14 days of the initial decision give notice of the date and method of the decision. Notice must be given by an individual mailing to all members, by message in the EUDEC HQ (Basecamp). The debate and vote are held no less than 7 days and no more than 30 days after notice was sent out. The deciding vote can take place on the Internet or in an Extraordinary Meeting of the General Assembly, as determined by the circle “Community animation”. Unless specified otherwise in this Guidance Document (as in 3:20.f20) this decision is made by a simple majority vote as per Article 2:40.
3:30.h10 A member of EUDEC can be disqualified on this following ground only: it has been sufficiently demonstrated that the member, by their decisions, impedes EUDEC’s Aims of Article 1:10 or the declaration of Article 1:20, signed as part of the membership application form, or any other procedure of membership in Article 2:10.
3:30.h20 The status of any elected person may only be revoked by disqualification based on one or more of the following criteria:
- The member has been disqualified as a member of EUDEC.
- It has been sufficiently demonstrated that the member has acted against the decisions codified in this Guidance Document or against the interests of EUDEC as defined therein, or has not acted in EUDEC’s best interest.
- The member has, while in official capacity on EUDEC business, in their behaviour or presentation, represented EUDEC badly or in such a manner unacceptable to common norms.
- The member has failed to fulfil their official role as defined in this Guidance Document.
- It has been sufficiently demonstrated that the member has accepted bribery, be it in the form of currency, payment in kind or personal favours of any nature.
3:30.h30 An elected person may be disqualified if it has been sufficiently demonstrated that their absence exceeds the period of official absence allowed in 3:20.e10 (14 weeks in every 12 months in office).
3:30.h40 Internal procedures created as per 2:50 may be repealed on the following grounds:
- The procedures contradict the Guidance Document, or any other decision of the Assembly, in word or in spirit.
- The Committee is convinced that the procedures are based on, or may cause, unfair discrimination (which is discrimination based on immaterial criteria).
- The Committee is convinced that the procedures impede, rather than enable, the effective work of the organ that created them, or any other organ of EUDEC.
Article 3:40 Regional Chapters
3:40.10 Regional Chapters have the duty of publicly representing EUDEC on the regional, national and local levels.
3:40.20 An established Regional Chapter is recognised in the records of the Community. An official Regional Chapter may be established by members of EUDEC within a geographical region, provided all members in that region were allowed to attend the founding meeting and sufficient effort was made to make the meeting known to them. In order to become a recognised Chapter the Chapter must agree upon Terms of Reference with the circle “Community animation”. The Terms of Reference must clarify the legal, financial and organisational relationship between EUDEC and the Regional Chapter. Once the circle “Community animation” has approved the Terms of Reference the Chapter is entered in the records as a recognised Chapter. The circle “Community animation” may at any time revoke a Chapter’s status if it has not yet been recognised by the Assembly. During the General Meeting (GM) any newly-recognised Chapters are discussed, and a vote takes place to award the Chapter recognition. Once a Chapter has been recognised by the Assembly only the Assembly may revoke the Chapter’s status.
3:40.a10 Regional Chapters publicly represent EUDEC on the regional, national and local level.
3:40.a20 If it is within the means of the Regional Chapter a Regional EUDEC Website should be created and administered by the Chapter. The website must conform to the style and quality of the central EUDEC website and provide information in the region’s dominant language(s).
(3:40.b) Regional Responsible
3:40.b10 Any certified Regional Chapter must have one Regional Responsible, delegated by the Chapter from amongst its membership, to manage and coordinate the contact with the circle “Community animation” and Assembly. Regional Responsible are tasked with updating the circle “Community animation”, by means of contact with the Region Coordinator (see 3:20.o).
3:40.b30 The Regional Responsible (or a Regional Contact appointed by the Responsible) receives enquiries from interested parties in the Region and in its dominant language(s) and answers these or redirects them to the the circle “Community animation” if necessary.
3:40.c10 Chapters and members’ rights: All members of a recognised Chapter have the same rights as a member of EUDEC, taking into account the same differentiations between types of membership (full vs. associate) and kinds of member (individual vs. school vs. organisation) as are differentiated in this Guidance Document. Chapters must offer the same membership types as EUDEC. Any deviations must be approved by the circle “Community animation” and specified in the Terms of Reference. Chapters share their member information database with the circle “Community animation”.
3:40.c20 Membership and chapters: Chapters are informed whenever a member in their region is accepted or rejected by the circle “Community animation”, and newly recognised Chapters receive a full list of members in their region. Chapters are not obligated to accept applicant on the mere grounds of EUDEC membership and geographical location, but may not accept the application of an applicant who has been rejected by the circle “Community animation”.
3:40.c25 Double membership: It is never permissible to be a member of two recognised Chapters simultaneously.
3:40.c30 Membership fees and chapters: A member of EUDEC e.V. who is a member of a recognised Chapter pays their membership fees to the Chapter, unless the Chapter is organised as a dependent project of EUDEC e.V. (as opposed to as a separate legal entity.) The Terms of Reference between a recognised Chapter and the circle “Community animation” must determine how the income from membership fees is divided, which party collects the fees and how the funds are transferred. The minimum fee transferred to EUDEC e. V. for each member must be no less than 30 % (or in special cases no less than 10 %) of the current EUDEC membership fee for the respective membership type. At the beginning of each calendar year (or as soon as possible), the circle “Community animation” and chapter shall agree how the fees shall be shared for the coming year. The Terms of Reference may give a Chapter permission to charge additional fees from its membership, beyond those mandated by the Fee Schedule, but these additional fees may only be used for the Chapter itself. Every recognised Chapter may set membership fees that are higher or lower than the fees set by Assembly. These fees are applicable for the Chapter’s region for all members of EUDEC and of its Chapters.
Article 3:60 Auditors
3:60.10 The Assembly of members appoints two Auditors to monitor, audit and report on the bookkeeping of the Community. They are elected during the annual Full Elections – see Article 2:60 for election procedures.
3:60.20 An Auditor may not at any point or in any way also be a member of Council or of the Oversight committee, nor may they be the Regional Advisor of any Regional Chapter, at the same time as they are an Auditor.
3:60.30 The Auditors prepare a report on EUDEC’s bookkeeping for each Annual General Meeting. The Auditors have full purview of all of EUDEC’s financial records. The Council and the Bookkeeper provide them with any information they need. The Auditors present their report to the Assembly immediately following the financial report and budget presentation.
Article 3:80 The EUDEC Congress
The EUDEC Congress takes place once a year with the aim of facilitating a good working relationship between all EUDEC members who contribute their time as elected persons. Participants discuss and work together on projects related to EUDEC’s aims and development as an organisation. The circle “EUDEC events” is tasked with ensuring that the Congress takes place. Preferably, the Congress should take place about 6 months after the GM. Expenses can be covered partially or in full by EUDEC and EUDEC Chapter budgets as needed and possible.
Section 4: Conditions
Article 4:05 Conflicts of Interpretation
4:05.10 Any conflicts of interpretation arising from this Guidance Document, including but not limited to omissions and lacune, may be determined by resolution of the circle “Governance”, pending approval by the Oversight Committee. Such decisions are subject to disclosure as per 2:30.
Article 4:20 Execution of Documents
4:20.10 Deeds, transfers, licences, cheques, bills of exchange or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Community, contracts and engagements on behalf of EUDEC, are signed by two Official officers (see 3:12). Contracts in the ordinary course of the Community’s operations may be entered into on behalf of the Community by the Official Officers.
4:20.20 Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary contained in the Guidance Document of the Community the Official Officers may at any time, by resolution, direct the manner in which, and the person or persons by whom, any particular instrument, contract or obligations of the Community may or shall be executed.
Article 4:90 Guidelines, Resolutions and Amendments
4:90.05 This document has been approved by the General Assembly. Any additions, amendments or alterations to this Guidance Document must be approved by a two-thirds majority at a General Meeting or by Referendum.