The amendments adopted by the EAPC General Assembly in Vienna on 23 May 2022 bring even clearer and more concrete approaches in a number of articles. Thus, the entry and the exit have been newly regulated. Also the size and the tasks of the Board. New in the Constitution is now also an Advisory Board of Past Presidents, which should help to make the EAPC even more successful. In addition, the Extraordinary General Assembly adopted By-Laws, which in particular regulate the operational work of the EAPC more clearly.
ARTICLE I: Name, Legal Domicile and Field of Activity
The name of the Association is “European Association of Political Consultants”, abbreviated to “EAPC”, its registered office is in Leibnitz, Austria, and it is organized according to the Austrian Law of Associations. The scope of activities of the Association extends to the entire European continent. The fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year.
ARTICLE II: Purpose of the Association
The Association is a non-profit organization, and all its activities are oriented as such.
The focus of the work is concentrated in the following areas:
– Mutual exchange of experience among the members
– Promotion of fair political consulting and communication
– Educational opportunities for members
– Development, promotion, and support of democratic processes
ARTICLE III: Resources for Achieving the Objectives of the Association
The following intangible and tangible resources shall be used to achieve the objectives:
3.1. Intangible resources:
– Information of the members
– Organization of conferences, seminars, workshops, and events
– Permanent activities for the development, promotion, and support of democratic processes
– Public relations
3.2. Tangible resources:
– Membership fees
– Proceeds from events
– Proceeds obtained from donations and sponsoring
– Grants and subsidies
ARTICLE IV: Membership
4.1. Membership in the EAPC may be subdivided into regular members and honorary members.
4.2. Regular members are persons who are dedicated to the activities of the Association and who pay their membership fee.
4.3. Honorary members are persons who have been awarded honorary membership due to special merits or outstanding achievements. Honorary members do not need to pay any membership fees.
ARTICLE V: Obtaining Membership
5.1. Any person willing to actively support the objectives of the EAPC may become a member of the Association.5.2. Any person wishing to become a member must submit recommendations from at least two active members and fully acknowledge the Constitution, the By-Laws, the Code of Conduct, and the Charter for Democracy. This acknowledgement is confirmed with the payment of the annual membership fee.
5.3. The Board decides on the preliminary admission of each member. It can reject an admission without justification.
5.4. The General Assembly decides on the definitive admission of an applicant.
5.5. For a preliminary admission, the completed application form as well as a current curriculum vitae and a photo to be displayed on the website must be submitted.
5.6. The annual membership fee shall be paid no later than January 31 of the respective membership year or by the 1st of the month following admission and shall also be paid by provisionally admitted members.
ARTICLE VI: Termination of the Membership
6.1. Membership shall be terminated by the death, voluntary resignation, or expulsion of the member.
6.2. A voluntary resignation is 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. Regular members may be expelled for conduct detrimental to the Association by decision of the Board. This decision cannot be appealed.
6.4. Membership shall automatically expire if a member has not paid his/her membership fee for the current year by the end of the year, despite being issued a reminder.
6.5. Honorary membership may be revoked for particularly serious reasons by General Assembly at the request of the Board.
ARTICLE VII: Rights and Duties of Members
7.1. Members of the Association shall be entitled to participate in all meetings and events organized by the Association under the conditions established.
7.2. The members shall be entitled to both active and passive voting rights.
ARTICLE VIII: Bodies of the Association
The bodies of the Association are the following:
8.1. The General Assembly
8.2. The Board
8.3. The Auditors
8.4. The Code of Conduct Committee
8.5. Committees appointed by the Board
8.6. The Advisory Board of Past Presidents
ARTICLE IX: The General Assembly
9.1. The General Assembly shall be held annually
9.2 An extraordinary General Assembly may be convened by decision of the Board or at the written request of at least one quarter of the members.
9.3. All members must be invited in writing by mail or e-mail at least four weeks before the scheduled date of an ordinary or extraordinary General Assembly. The invitation must include the date, place, time, and agenda.
9.4. Any motions and requests to the General Assembly must be sent by e-mail to the President of the Association and to the EAPC Office at least 10 days before the scheduled date of the General Assembly.
9.5. Decisions may only be taken for topics contained on the agenda. An exception is the resolution on convening an extraordinary General Assembly.
9.6. All members and honorary members shall be entitled to attend in the General Assembly. The condition for regular members to participate is the payment of the membership fee. Each member has one vote. The transfer of voting rights is not permitted.
9.7. The General Assembly has a quorum regardless of the number of participants present if it has been duly convened.
9.8. All elections and motions require a simple majority of the votes of the members present.
9.9. Any decisions on amendments to the Constitution, By-Laws, Code of Conduct, Charter for Democracy, or the dissolution of the Association require a two-thirds majority.
9.10. The President shall preside over the General Assembly. If he/she is prevented from doing so, these duties shall be performed by one of his/her Vice-Presidents. If they are also unable to do so, the longest-serving member of the Board shall chair the General Assembly. The President is also responsible for taking the minutes for the General Assembly. However, he/she may delegate this task to another Board member.
ARTICLE X: Tasks and Duties of the General Assembly
The General Assembly shall be responsible for the following tasks and duties:
10.1. Determination of the quorum
10.2. Approval of the minutes of the previous General Assembly
10.3. Receiving and approving the reports of the Board, in particular the activity report, the membership development, the financial report and the annual accounts of the working year preceding the General Assembly.
10.4. Receipt and approval of the Auditors’ report
10.5. Voting on the discharge of the Board
10.6. Election of the Board, the Auditors and the Code of Conduct Committee
10.7. Taking decisions on submitted motions and requests, resolutions concerning the Constitution, By-Laws, Code of Conduct and Charter for Democracy
10.8. Fixing the membership fee for the next calendar year
10.9. Conformation of the new members
10.10. Awarding and revoking honorary memberships
10.11. Discussing and taking decisions on all other items on the agenda.
ARTICLE XI: Elections
11.1. The term of office for the Board and the Auditors is two years. The term of office of the Code of Conduct Committee is four years.
11.2. The members of the Board to be elected as well as the Auditors and the Code of Conduct Committee shall be nominated in writing by a Nomination Committee appointed by the outgoing Board six months before the General Assembly, and shall consist of 3 to 5 members, headed by the President. The motion must be sent to all members four weeks before the General Assembly.
11.3. Alternative nominations for the Board by members are possible if the submitted written motion contains proposals for all functions to be elected and is signed by all candidates. The election proposal must differ from the official election proposal in every position. Double candidacies are not possible. The motion must be sent to the President and the office at least two weeks before the General Assembly and must be sent from the office to all members one week before the General Assembly.
11.4. The election can take place both in either an open or secret vote.
11.5. All members of the EAPC bodies work on voluntary basis.
ARTICLE XII: The Board
12.1. The Board shall be composed of the following members:
– the President
– three Vice-Presidents
– the Treasurer
– the outgoing President
– and four other members of the Board, who assume specific tasks within the Board.
12.2. The term of office lasts two years. Re-election is possible except in the case of the President.
12.3. If a member of the Board resigns, the Board is entitled to delegate the tasks in question to another member. This delegation is to be confirmed by the next General Assembly.
12.4. The meetings of the Board shall be convened by the President in writing, by e-mail or orally. If he/she is prevented from doing so, this task shall be performed by one of the Vice-Presidents. If they are also unable to do so, the longest-serving member of the Board shall convene the meeting.
12.5. The Board has a quorum if all members have been invited and at least half of its members are present.
12.6. The Board shall take its decisions by simple majority.
12.7. The President shall chair the meetings. If he/she is unable to do so, one of the Vice-Presidents shall perform this task. If none of these members of the Board are present, the longest-serving member of the Board shall chair the meeting.
12.8. The function of a member of the Board shall expire upon the death, resignation, or dismissal of the member in question.
12.9. Members of the Board may resign from their office in writing at any time. The letter of resignation must be sent in writing to all remaining members.
12.10. The resignation of the entire Board is possible only at a General Assembly.
ARTICLE XIII: Tasks and Duties of the Board
The Board shall be responsible for the management and positive development of the Association. Its scope of competence shall cover the following tasks and duties:
13.1. Leading the Association, developing and implementing annual programs that allow for the positive development of the Association.
13.2. Managing the economic use of the Association’s assets, keeping detailed records of income and expenditure, preparing the financial report and – once examined by the auditors – presenting it to the General Assembly.
13.3. Announcing, preparing, and implementing the General Assembly.
13.4. Keeping the members up to date about the development of the Association by e-mail as well as through a professional website
13.5. Maintaining the membership directory.
13.6. Organizing and implementing events.
13.7. Planning and carrying out other activities in accordance with the objectives of the Association.
13.8. Passing resolutions on decisions of the Code of Conduct Committee.
13.9. Development of By-Laws
13.10. Delegating tasks to committees or to individual members.
13.11. Establishing and terminating employment relationships.
ARTICLE XIV: Tasks and Duties of the Individual Members of the Board
14.1. The President shall conduct the day-to-day business of the Association and represent the Association externally.
14.2. All documents of the Association shall require the signature of the President to be valid.
14.3. The signature of the Treasurer is required for all financial matters.
14.4. The President is entitled to make decisions at his/her own discretion and on his/her own responsibility. Decisions that fall within the scope of the Board or the General Assembly require subsequent approval by the relevant bodies.
14.5. The President is also responsible for taking the minutes of the meetings of the Board and the General Assembly. However, he/she may delegate this task to another member of the Board.
14.6. The Treasurer is responsible for the management of the Association’s treasury, for the payment of annual fees by the members and for the preparation of the annual financial report.
14.7. If certain Board members are unable to perform their respective tasks, other members of the Board are to be appointed to perform said tasks.
ARTICLE XV: The Auditors
15.1 The General Assembly shall elect two members as Auditors to carry out checks on behalf of the Association.
15.2 Their term of office shall be two years, in line with the term of office of the Board. Re-election is possible.
15.3 The Auditors accompany the work of the Board, control the lawful use of funds with regard to the resolutions.
15.4 The Auditors report to the Board and the General Assembly.
15.5 The Auditors shall submit a motion to the General Assembly for the discharge or non-discharge of the Board.
ARTICLE XVI: Code of Conduct Committee
16.1. The General Assembly shall elect a Committee to deal with possible proceedings arising in connection with the Code of Conduct of the Association.
16.2. The term of office shall be four years. Re-election is possible.
16.3. The Committee shall consist of three members, ideally three past Presidents.
16.4. The Committee shall only act when a written complaint against a member of the Association has been submitted, and shall take its decision by simple majority.
16.5. The Code of Conduct Committee shall report its decision to the Board, which shall take appropriate decisions based on the report.
16.6. All decisions of the Committee must be justified in writing.
ARTICLE XVII: The Advisory Board of Past Presidents
17.1. The Advisory Board of Past Presidents advises the Board on fundamental issues concerning the orientation of the Association.
17.2. However, it is not entitled to issue instructions or to vote.
17.3. The Advisory Board can take action on its own initiative or at the request of the Board.
ARTICLE XVI: Voluntary Dissolution of the Association
18.1. A voluntary dissolution may only be decided by a two-thirds majority at an extraordinary General Assembly called for this purpose.
18.2. If the Association is dissolved, the General Assembly shall decide on the use of the assets and funds of the Association and/or on the settlement of any liabilities.
18.3. The existing assets may only be transferred to non-profit organizations and associations.
18.4. The last Board of the Association or its President prior to the dissolution shall report the voluntary dissolution to the competent authority, namely the Bezirkshauptmannschaft Leibnitz, Austria, in writing within four weeks after the resolution has been passed.