Charter§ 1 Name and Headquarters
(1) The registered association is called Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag. It's acronym is BER. BER's headquarters are located in Berlin. Since its registration in the register of associations at the local court in Berlin-Charlottenburg, it holds the addendum e.V.
(2) The registered association advocates peace, justice, solidarity and ecology worldwide and promotes human rights.
(3) The fiscal year is the calendar year.
§ 2 Aim
(1) The aim of the registered association is:
- to promote international ethos, tolerance of all cultures, and international understanding.
- the planning and realization of discussion forums and educational events;
- the preparation of information material about Berlin's activities concerning North/South relations with the goal of raising awareness about global interconnectedness within the One World;
- the organisational and logistical support of the work of its member organisations;
- giving advice and information to member organisations and to the public in Berlin;
- the support of groups and non-governmental organisations who work in the field of development coperation in Berlin that uphold the goals of the registered association and are approved as non-profit or charitable organisations;
- the cooperation with organisations and institutions at home and abroad, which pursue similar aims;
- the realisation of local and global decisions on topics such as peace, justice, solidarity and human-rights which were decided at international conferences, in particular by implementing educational work on the local level;
- the discussion of One-World-Politics and its relation to the policy fields development and environment.
- the representation of the interests of its members.
(1) The registered association pursues exclusively and directly non-profitable objects in accordance with the tax code's prescription's paragraph about tax-privileged purpose. The association is non-profit; it does not primarily pursue economic purposes of its own.
(2) The funds of the registered association may only be used for purposes stipulated in the statutes. The members in their function as members do not receive allocations from the funds of the registered association. No person is allowed to benefit from expenditures which are external to the aim of the registered association, nor is anyone allowed to benefit from disproportionate high compensation.
§ 4 Membership
(1) The registered association has full and supporting members.
(2) Full members may be non-governmental organisations or groups, which focus on topics that are congruent with the above mentioned aims of BER.
(3) Sustaining members may be legal or natural persons, who wish to support the aims of the registered association. Sustaining members do not have a right to vote.
(4) Following the establishment of the registered association, the general meeting decides with a simple majority over membership applications. The applying members have to be listed in the invitation to the general meeting.
(5) The executive committee is allowed to decide on the provisional admission of a member. The final admission can only be granted by the general meeting.
§ 5 Termination of membership
(1) The membership ends by withdrawal from the registered association, the dissolution of the non-governmental organisation or group, exclusion or death.
(2) A member wishing to resign from the Society must submit a written notice. In compliance with a six month period of notice, the membership will terminate with the end of the calender year .
(3) The exclusion of a member can be decided upon by the general meeting with a 2/3 majority, if it has been requested by at least 10 % of the members beforehand. One reason for the exclusion may be among others gross negligent behaviour toward the registered association.
(4) Membership expires if members have not paid the fee for two years for no apparent reason and if they have failed to respond to a letter of notification from the executive committee, reassuring their further cooperation and repay their dues, within a four week time period.
§ 6 Membership Fees
(1) Full and supporting members have to pay an annual membership fee for each commenced calendar year. The general meeting decides upon the amount.
(2) Upon receiving a valid request, the general meeting may decide with simple majority to reduce or exempt an individual member from paying the full fee for one year respectively.
§ 7 Bodies of the Registered Association
The bodies of the registered association are the general meeting and the executive committee including two speakers.
§ 8 General Meeting
(1) At the general meeting every full member has the right to speak, to vote, and to make a proposal. Supporting members have the right to speak.
(2) The general meeting has to convene at least once each calendar year. The executive committee has to send out written invitations, contining the agenda, with a three week notice.
(3) The executive commitee has to summon a general meeting immediately - while maintaining the three week notice period - if a quarter of the full members have demanded one in written form.
(4) The general meeting is quorate if it has been summoned properly.
(5) The transfer of voting rights is possible, however, no member is allowed to transfer more than two votes.
(6) The general meeting has to perform the following tasks:
- Election, exculpation, and dismissal of the executive committee including the speakers.
- to draft the registered association's budget for one year.
- to determine the number of and elect the auditors.
- receipt of the annual report as well as the auditor´s reports.
- acceptiion and exclusion of members.
- determine membership fees.
- to adopt amendments to the charter with a 2/3 majority of members present. If it is about formal amendments that were demanded for by judicial or fiscal authorities, the executive committee is allowed to decide;
- to decide on the dissolution of the registered association, with a 2/3 majority of members present.
§ 9 Executive Committee and Speakers
(1) The executive committee consists of at least five natural persons, who have to be representatives of full members. All members of the executive committee are on equal footing. It is not allowed that more than one representative of any member organisation is elected into the Executive Committee.
(2) Two members of the executive committee are funcation as speakers, who have the responsibilty to represent the registered association in public in accordance with § 26 BGB. Both of them are authorised to sign and represent the regsitered association.
(3) The members of the executive committee including its two speakers are appointed by the general meeting for two years. Resignation or dismissal of a member of the executive committee results in new elections at the following general meeting. The members of the executive committee hold their office until a new executive committee assumes office. With the end of membership in the registered association, the membership in the executive committee also terminates.
(4) The task of the executive committee is to manage the registered association's current business, in particular
- to organise and convene the general meeting;
- to appoint and dissolve work groups and commitees;
- to cooperate with networks and umbrella organisations on a local as well as federal level;
- to ensure the financing of the registered association's activities
- public relations for general and fundraising activities of the registered association
(6) The outcomes of the meetings of the executive committee have to be recorded as minutes which must be signed by the keeper of the minutes and the member of the executive committee who led the meeting. The minutes of the meetings of the executive committee have to be made accessible to all members as soon as they are completed.
(7) As a matter of principle the meetings of the executive committee are open to the public.
(8) The executive committee bears the name Koordinierungskreis (KoKreis).
§ 10 Dissolution of the Registered Association
(1) The general meeting with 2/3 of its members present can decide on the dissolution of the registered association.
(2) In the event that the registered association is dissolved or its tax-privileged purposes cease, its assets will devolve upon a legal entity of public law or another tax-privileged association in order to assure that the assets are used in accordance with the non-profit making purposes described in § , paragraph (1). This decision also requires a 2/3 majority of members present. Before its implementation the responsible tax authority has to verify its principal benefit to the public.
§ 11 Commencement of the Charter
This charter comes into effect with the signing of its founder members.
Berlin, 20th October 1999
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