In 2017, at the general assembly in Brussels/Belgium, EAPC adopted the following association constitution:
Adopted at the founding meeting on September 14th, 1996 in Vienna, Austria. Amended at the General Assembly in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2002 and on May 28th, 2017 at the General Assembly in Brussels, Belgium.
ARTICLE I: Name, legal domicile and field of activity
The Association shall act under the name “European Association of Political Consultants”, in short referred to as “EAPC”, having its legal domicile in Leibnitz/Austria. The Association’s sphere of activity shall cover the entire European continent.
ARTICLE II: Purpose of the Association
The Association shall be a charitable organisation. The entire activity is not profit-oriented. The activities of the EAPC, set out below, shall have the following objectives:
• Mutual exchange of experience among its members
• Development, fostering and support of democratic processes
• Fostering of political communication
ARTICLE III: Resources to be used for achieving the purposes of the Association
The following intangible and tangible resources shall be envisaged:
3.1. Intangible resources
• Implementation of conferences, seminars/workshops and events
• Organising an Award for political communication
• Information for members, public relations work
3.2. Tangible resources
• Membership fees
• Proceeds obtained from events
• Proceeds obtained from donations and sponsoring
• Subsidies and grants
ARTICLE IV: Membership
4.1. Membership of the European Association of Political Consultants may be subdivided into regular members and honorary members.
4.2. Regular members shall be deemed to be persons who dedicate themselves to the activities of the Association and pay their membership fee.
4.3. Honorary members shall be deemed to be persons to whom an honorary membership has been granted on account of their special merits or outstanding achievements. Honorary members do not need to pay any membership fees.
ARTICLE V: Obtaining membership
5.1. Persons willing to support the purposes of the Association may become members of the Association.
5.2. The General Assembly shall be entitled to decide on an applicant’s admission to the Association.
5.3. Any individual wishing to become a member shall be required to present recommendations by at least two active members and must endorse the EAPC Code of Conduct by signing the same.
5.4. For a preliminary admission, submission of their completed Application form as well as an up to date CV and a photograph for presentation purposes on the website shall be required.
5.5. The annual membership fee shall be payable by 31st January of the respective membership year at the latest, respectively until the 1st of the month following the admission.
ARTICLE VI: Termination of the membership
6.1. Membership shall expire as a result of death, voluntary resignation or in the event of expulsion.
6.2. A voluntary resignation shall be possible at the end of a calendar year. A written cancellation with a minimum three-month notice period prior to the date of resignation shall be required in order to become effective.
6.3. Individual members may be expelled for conduct damaging to the Association upon the decision of the Board.
6.4. Membership shall expire automatically if a member fails to pay their membership fees for the respective current year by the month of April at the latest despite reminder letters being sent, or if the member refuses to sign the Association’s Code of Conduct.
6.5. Honorary membership may be revoked for particularly serious reasons upon the Board’s motion by the General Assembly.
ARTICLE VII: Rights and obligations of members
7.1. Members of the Association shall be entitled to attend all meetings and events organised by the Association in accordance with the specified conditions.
7.2. Members shall be entitled to both active and passive right to vote.
ARTICLE VIII: Bodies of the European Association of Political Consultants
The bodies of the Association are the following:
8.1. The General Assembly
8.2. The Board
8.3. The auditors
8.4. A mediation committee elected for the Code of Conduct. The Board may, if need be, appoint further working groups.
ARTICLE IX: The General Assembly
9.1. The General Assembly shall take place annually.
9.2. An extraordinary General Assembly may be convened upon the Board’s decision or at a written request to be submitted by at least one quarter of the members.
9.3. All members must be notified in writing either via postal mail or e-mail at least four weeks prior to the scheduled date of a regular or extraordinary General Assembly. The invitation must contain the date, place, time and agenda.
9.4. Any motions and requests to the General Assembly must be submitted to the President of the Association via e-mail at least one week prior to the scheduled date of the General Assembly at the latest.
9.5. Decisions may only be taken for topics contained on the agenda. The passing of a resolution on the summoning of an extraordinary General Assembly shall constitute an exception thereof.
9.6. All members and honorary members shall be entitled to attend the General Assembly. To attend, members must have paid their membership fees. Every member shall be entitled to one vote. It is not permissible to transfer voting rights.
9.7. The General Assembly shall have a quorum if at least half its members are present. Should fewer than half of members be present, then the General Assembly shall have a quorum after a delayed period of thirty minutes and without any amendments to the agenda in any case, irrespective of the number of the participants.
9.8. All elections and resolutions shall require a simple majority of votes of the members present.
9.9. Any decisions on amendments to the constitution or the dissolution of the Association shall require a two-thirds majority.
9.10. The President shall preside over the General Assembly; in the event of his/her being prevented from carrying out those duties, they shall be performed by one of his/her Vice-Presidents. If the latter are prevented from being present as well, then the General Assembly shall be presided over by the most senior member of the Board.
ARTICLE X: Tasks and Duties of the General Assembly
The General Assembly shall be responsible for the following tasks and duties:
10.1. Acceptance and approval of the reports presented by the Board and the auditors, in particular the financial report and the financial statement.
10.2. Discharging the members of the Board and the auditors.
10.3. Election and dismissal of the members of the Board and the auditors.
10.4. Taking decisions on submitted motions and requests.
10.5. Fixing the membership fee for the next calendar year.
10.6. Acceptance of new members.
10.7. Granting and revoking honorary memberships.
10.8. Discussing and taking decisions on all other agenda items.
ARTICLE XI: The Board
11.1. The Board shall consist of the following members:
• Two Vice-Presidents
• Two further Members of the Board
11.2. The Board shall be elected by the members at the General Assembly. In the event of a withdrawal of a Board member, the Board shall be entitled to co-opt a member eligible for election for the respective tasks and duties. The subsequent election shall take place at the next General Assembly.
11.3. The Board’s term of office shall be two years. A re-election, with the exception of the President’s office, shall be possible.
11.4. Meetings of the Board shall be convened by the President in writing either via e-mail or orally; in case of his/her being prevented from carrying out those duties, they shall be performed by one of the Vice-Presidents. If the latter are also prevented from performing these tasks, the most senior member of the Board shall convene the meeting.
11.5. The Board shall have a quorum if all members have been invited and at least half of its members are present.
11.6. The Board shall take its decisions with a simple majority.
11.7. The meetings shall be presided over by the President; in the event of his/her being prevented from attending, one of the Vice-Presidents shall perform these duties. Should none of these Board members be present, then the meeting shall be presided over by the most senior member of the Board.
11.8. The position of a Board member shall expire upon death, resignation or dismissal.
11.9. The members of the Board may declare their resignation from office in writing at any time. The letter of resignation must be submitted in writing to all remaining members of the Board. A resignation of the entire Board shall only be possible at a General Assembly.
ARTICLE XII: Duties and tasks of the Board
The Board shall be responsible for the management of the Association. Its scope of competence shall cover the following tasks and duties:
12.1. Management of the Association’s funds, keeping detailed records of the revenue and expenditures. Drawing up the financial report and presenting it to the General Assembly, whilst the fiscal year of the Association shall correspond to the calendar year respectively.
12.2. Announcing, preparing and implementing the General Assembly.
12.3. Producing information for the members on the development of the Association.
12.4. Keeping records of the members’ register.
12.5. Ensuring an informative and attractive website.
12.6. Organising and implementing events.
12.7. Taking decisions on the delegation of tasks and duties to committees or third parties.
12.8. Establishing and terminating employment relationships.
ARTICLE XIII: Special responsibilities and duties of individual Board members
13.1. The President shall be responsible for the Association’s daily operations and business and shall represent the Association in external relationships.
13.2. The documents of the Association shall require the President’s signature in order to be deemed valid. In all financial affairs, the Treasurer’s signature shall be required.
13.3. Any transactions conducted within the Board shall require the consent of the Board and the auditors.
13.4. The President shall preside over all meetings of the Board and the General Assembly. In the case of an emergency, he/she shall be entitled to decide on matters falling within the scope of competence of the Board or the General Assembly on the basis of his/her own assessment and responsibility. These decisions shall, however, require the subsequent approval by the competent body. The President is also responsible for taking the minutes of the Board meetings and the General Assembly, but he/she can delegate that task to another Board Member.
13.5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the proper conduct of the Association.
13.6. In the event of being prevented from executing these duties, the deputies shall perform the respective tasks to be fulfilled.
ARTICLE XIV: The auditors
14.1. The Association shall elect at the General Assembly two auditors from among the Association’s Past Presidents. Should none of the Past Presidents be available, the General Assembly shall elect the auditors from among its members.
14.2. The term of office shall be two years, a re-election shall be permissible.
14.3. The auditors report shall confirm the correctness and the proper use of the funds in accordance with the decisions taken as well as accurate accounting. Any alleged misconduct or risks to the further existence of the Association must be reported immediately. The auditors shall report to the Board as well as to the General Assembly.
ARTICLE XV: The mediation committee elected for the Code of Conduct
15.1. The General Assembly shall elect, additionally, a conciliation committee for the handling of potential procedures arising in connection with the Code of Conduct.
15.2. The term of office shall be two years, aligned with the election of the Board.
15.3. The conciliation committee shall consist of three members: ideally three Past Presidents.
15.4. The committee shall only take measures in the event of a written report against a member of the Association and shall take its decision by a simple majority. All decisions shall be justified in writing.
ARTICLE XVI: Voluntary dissolution of the Association
16.1. A voluntary dissolution may only be decided upon by a two-thirds majority by way of an extraordinary General Assembly to be convened for such particular purpose.
16.2. Upon the Association’s dissolution, the General Assembly shall decide on the use of the Association’s property and funds and/or the payment of any potential liabilities.
16.3. The existing funds may only be transferred to charitable organisations and associations.
16.4. The last Board of the Association or its President prior to the dissolution shall notify the competent authority, i.e. the Bezirkshauptmannschaft Leibnitz (district authority of Leibnitz, Austria), of the voluntary dissolution within four weeks after the passing of the resolution in writing.