The Bylaws were agreed by consensus at the General Assembly in Chicago on June 29, 2000, and amended according to the decisions made at the GA on 13th July 2006 in Potsdam and the GA on 7th July in Norwich.
I. Membership, Delegates, Guests
- All applications for membership must be submitted to the Board.
- Membership of the Association will be terminated after a year if the membership dues have not been paid after two notifications of the annual payment.
- Organizational Members have to nominate a Delegate/contact person, in writing, and notify the Board of this nomination and any subsequent change.
- Persons can be delegated to the GA by up to two Organizational Members.
- Members can give their proxy vote in writing to one other Member or Delegate for a specified meeting of the General Assembly.
- Persons can accept the proxy vote of only two other Members. Persons present at the meeting of the General Assembly may not have more than four votes altogether (including proxy votes and votes as Delegates of Organizational Members with more than one vote - see III.8.).
- In order to vote at the General Assembly, in other ballots organised by the Association and in the Board election, members must have paid their dues for the relevant year
- It is the responsibility of the Organizational Members to reimburse the expenses of their own Delegates.
- Honorary Members and Guests can be invited to the General Assembly or other meetings, or parts thereof, on the decision of the Board or the General Assembly. They have no vote.
II. General Assembly
- The General Assembly meets every two years, usually in connection with the PCE Conference.
- On demand of at least ten percent of the Individual Members or at least ten percent of the Organizational Members an Extraordinary General Assembly has to be convened by the Board within a period of six months. The Members have to be informed about the date at least four months in advance.
- If an important matter arises in the period between General Assembly meetings, an e-mail ballot may be held. 10% of Individual or Organizational Members may instigate such a vote or the Board may instigate such a vote.
- Items for the agenda, which can be proposed by any Member, must be sent to the Board not later than four months before the meeting in order to be put on the first provisional list of agenda items. The Members will be informed about this first provisional agenda not later than three months prior to the General Assembly along with all necessary supporting information, including the invitation to the next General Assembly. Later suggestions, which can be proposed right up until the beginning of the meeting, are put on a second provisional list. The final list of items for the agenda is decided by the General Assembly.
- If an item was part of the first provisional agenda the Delegates of the Organizational Members are expected to have their organisations' mandate on the subject by the time of the General Assembly. If an item was not part of the first provisional list the Delegates are free (a) to decide or (b) to decide provided that the association ratifies the provisional decision.
In the latter case the vote becomes definite if the Board is not notified otherwise in writing or by fax or email within three months of the General Assembly. If the definite votes change the decision, all Members are informed.
- The Board is responsible for the organization of the meeting of the General Assembly
- The General Assembly decides on the subjects and in the ways as stated below.
III. Voting and elections
- Prior to any voting there will be an opportunity for dialogue.
- Elections for the Board are done by vote of all eligible members through the means of a ballot
- Board elections will be coordinated by an Election Committee appointed by the Board. The election will be conducted according to the procedure accepted by the GA
- Votes on the Statutes, the Bylaws and basic policies are taken at the General Assembly. The decision of the General Assembly on these matters has to be communicated to all members within a period of two months after the General Assembly. Within a period of two additional months a third of the total number of eligible members can suspend the General Assembly's decision pending another process of decision which has to be introduced by the Board.
- All other decisions are made by vote at the General Assembly.
- Decisions at the General Assembly are made unanimously by consensus whenever possible. If a consensus (a result without a vote against) cannot be realised a further dialogue and vote will be necessary. In the second vote on the same subject a majority decision of the eligible members voting is accepted.
- The Delegate of an Organizational Member has one vote, if the organization has up to 50 members, two votes, if the organization has 51 to 100 members and three votes if the organization has more than 100 members.
- As stated in the Statutes (V.3.), decisions only become effective if a majority of both the Individual Members and the Organizational Members, is achieved. This applies to all decisions and elections including votes concerning the formal processing of the meeting.
- Votes concerning the formal processing of the meeting including the agenda are done by simple majority vote.
If a consensus cannot be reached when changing the Statutes, the Bylaws or on basic policies a two thirds majority is required.
- The Board Members are elected for a period of two years.
- Board Members may be re-elected for a maximum of three consecutive terms
- If no new Board is elected the present Board continues until the next election.
- The Board can delegate tasks to other Members.
- The following roles of the Board are assigned to specific members of the Board on decision of the Board immediately after its election:
- the chair of the Board
- the treasurer of the Association
- the secretary of the Board.
The Board determines the appropriate tasks, functions and roles needed for effective functioning of the Association. These may include
- communication with members and dissemination of the minutes of the General Assembly
- external relationships
- relationships with umbrella organisations
- financial management
- If a member of the Board resigns his or her post the Board can appoint another person which must be ratified by the next General Assembly.
- The Board meets whenever necessary and at least once a year. Meetings may take place electronically.
- Decisions of the Board are to be made in a way that is congruent with the procedures and philosophy of decision-making followed by the General Assembly.
- Voting can also be done by e-mail, mail or fax.
- Members of the Board are granted a contribution towards expenses incurred in fulfilling the Board roles and responsibilities, provided that the Association’s financial situation can afford it and the member is an actively contributing member of the Board.
V. The auditors
- The auditors must not belong to the organisation of the treasurer.
- They submit a report to the General Assembly with a proposal to accept or reject the financial statement and the budget.
VI. Communication within the Association
All information about the Association, including the invitation to the General Assembly and its minutes, is done by e-mail and internet.
Members have to notify the Board of an e-mail address.
The Board may, upon written request, decide about exceptions.
VII. Admission and membership dues
- The membership dues are decided by the General Assembly at the suggestion of the Board. If no decision is made the membership dues remain unchanged.
- The dues have to be paid during the first three months of the calendar year, or upon registration as a member of the Association
- Dues can be paid up to a period of three years in advance.
- Money transfer costs have to be paid by the Member.
VIII. Formation of regional chapters
1. A region is defined as a part of the world where there is a distinct tradition or current development of the PCE approaches.
2. A Regional Chapter can be normally formed by a minimum of 10 organizational and/or individual members in a region. The Chapter should be representative of the variety of Organizational and/or Individual Members of the WA in its region.
3. Members of Chapters will also be members of the WA. Each Member of the Chapter will pay membership dues to the WA.
4. The chapter is responsible for its own finance and administration; the relationship between the WA and Chapter will be financially neutral in respect of all adminstrative matters
5. Arrangements may be made between a Chapter and the WA regarding the provision or sharing of specific services and resources.
6. Members of theWA in a region are free tochoose whether they want to be a member of the Regional Chapter.
7. A Chapter is autonomous in its decisions and free in defining its regulations as long as they are in line with the Principles, Statutes and Bylaws of the Association. The Chapter maintains its own procedures for admissionsto its membership and continues to have responsibility for the organization of their meetings and events.
8. The Chapter will agree to report annually to the WA board on their activities and will inform the WA membership through regular contributions to the WA newsletter.
9. To form a Regional Chapter, a proposal must be made to the WA Board. The proposal statement includes:
- the names of the founding members
- the name of the Chapter
- its goals, including its plans for the development of PCE approaches in its region
- the structure of its (organizational and/or individual) membership
- how its formation could benefit the WA and how the WA could support the Chapter.
10. The terms of the relationship between Chapter and WA, practical arrangements, rights and mutual responsibilities will be agreed in negotiation, taking into account specific factors related to the Chapter's regional and economic context.
11. The board will consult with organisational and individual members in the region.
12. The dissolution of a Chapter can be done by the members of a Chapter, in accordance with its regulations, or by the GA of the WAPCEPC if a Chapter violates the Principles of the Association or its agreements with the WA.
13. In exceptional circumstances,the WA may suspend a chapter until the next GA