Articles of Association

Section 1. Name and Place of Business: 1. The association carries the name ‘European Chamber of Journalists e.V., hereafter ‘Association’ and will be entered into the register of associations. A shortened version of the name is 'ECJ'. 2. The place of business is Ueberlingen (Germany); it is active throughout Europe.

Section 2. Objectives: The association’s objectives are the acquirement of: a) persons active as journalists and
b) organisations, companies or associations which are active in the media and press sectors. The association promotes journalistic activities, cultivates international contacts within the media press sectors and understands itself to be a non-materialistic, internationally active and neutral career association, independent of trade unions, which represents the occupational, legal and social interests of authors, people responsible for PR, press photographers, representatives of the press and journalists against third parties. This applies for both those with regular employment as well as part-time and freelance representatives of the media. In this relation

- the association promotes media diversity and the freedom of the press
- the association strives to ensure uninhibited professionalism and career access
- the association offers and mediates career opportunities and supports or participates
  in publishing and communication work
- the association dedicates itself to a cross-frontier cooperation of the entire profession
- the association informs on the functions of European institutions
- the association facilitates the access to European information sources for its members
- the association promotes the mutual understanding between its members
- the association promotes other initiatives and activities in order to achieve the
  objectives of the association

The association has the task of perceiving the interests of the representatives of the media ans press as a whole, both nationally and internationally and to actively promote these interests. To this end the association develops, maintains, operates and tends to online presences, or participates in them, in order to achieve the objectives of the association using suitable measures (e.g. workshops, qualification measures, seminars, publications, press and media work etc). These measures are either controlled by the association itself or are conducted in the form of suitable cooperations. The services of the association are not limited solely to its members.

Section 3. Non-profit status: The association operates solely as a non-profit organisation. In all its activities, the association will retain no private economic interest and will be organized and function only as a non-profit entity. The funds of the association may only be used to further the purposes of the association. The members do not receive any financial benefit from the association. No persons may receive financial benefit for objectives that are foreign to the association or to a disproportionate degree.

Section 4. Fiscal year The fiscal year is the calendar year. The first fiscal year shall end on 31 December 2006.

Section 5. Membership-Status: 1. Members of the association can be natural or legal persons, independent of which country of origin they have. Passive members can be natural or legal persons under private or public law (independent of their country of origin). The membership-status will become effective with the payment of the membership fee (cf. s. 11). 2. The application for membership can be submitted to the association online, in electronic or written form. The committee will decide on the application. The acceptance of members may be refused at any time without giving reason; a right to acceptance does not exist. 3. Members can receive an internationally valid press and membership identification or an association membership card and are entitled to use the title 'Member of the European Chamber of Journalists e. V. or 'Member of the ECJ'. The identification regulations will be laid out in a separate protocol; the committee will decide on the contents of the identification regulations. 4. The association will decide between the following membership categories:

a) Ordinary members
b) Extraordinary members
c) Passive member with increased membership fee
d) Honorary member
e) Representative members (agents)

5. The membership ends  a) on the death of the member  b) on a written termination of membership sent to a member of the committee c) on exclusion or termination of membership by the association. A member may only terminate his membership to the end of a calendar year in written form before the 31 October of that year. Already paid subscriptions will not be reimbursed either in total or in part. 6. A member who has acted in a way substantially contrary to the interests of the association can be excluded by a resolution of the committee, also without notice. Before the exclusion, the member concerned has to be offered the opportunity to personally offer an argument against termination in written form. The decision concerning the exclusion is to be justified in written form and sent to the member via email. The member may appeal to the committee within 7 days of receiving this email. The committee will decide on the appeal. If the member does not take advantage of his right of appeal within this time he accepts the exclusion forthwith. 7. Members and passive members of the association as well as persons who have provided the association with special services may be made honorary members by the committee. If they accept this membership, no voting rights will be granted. Honorary members do not need to pay membership fees. 8. Representative members (agents): Members of the association (cf. section 4e) can be entrusted with special tasks. The committee is responsible for distinguishing these members as agents and to award them with a suitable title. 9. Only ordinary members who have been accepted as members at least 6 months before the general meeting have voting rights. Extraordinary members have no voting rights. 10. Members who have failed to pay their membership subscriptions will be excluded from the association 8 weeks after default of payment at the latest, or on 1 January of the following year. A notification or decision concerning the exclusion from the association or termination of membership will be sent to the member in written form. 11. In justified cases, the committee may grant a member membership without payment for a maximum of two years if this is deemed advantageous to the association. 13. The association is to be informed immediately concerning all changes to personal details such as address, name, date of birth, telephone number and email address. Members agree to the articles of association and other regulations on acquiring their membership status and oblige themselves to act within these articles and regulations. On joining, the member agrees that the details he or she has provided may be stored electronically. This information will not be forwarded to third parties.

Section 6. Organs of the association: The organs of the association are:

1. The executive committee
2. Board of directors
3. The general membership

Section 7. Executive committee: 1. The executive committee of the association consists of the chairman and the deputy chairman. The association is represented both by the chairman and the deputy chairman both in and out of court. 2. The executive committee is selected for 4 years by the general meeting of the members. Re-election is permitted. However, it remains in office until the new election. If a member of the committee retires from office during his term of office, the committee shall elect a replacement member from the founding members for the remainder of the term of office held by the retiring member. 3. The executive committee makes decisions during its meetings, which will be convened in written form, via telephone, by fax or email. An agenda does not need to be drawn up in advance. The executive committee makes decisions according to a majority of votes. If there is a voting tie, the motion is refused. In emergencies the committee may pass resolutions in writing, by telephone, email or fax as long as all members of the committee agree to this process in writing, by telephone, email or fax. A resolution can also be made by the committee by means of written circulation. 4. The executive committee may call working groups or committees into being which act in an advisory nature for the association, the executive committee and the board and form a network for specific career groups and topics. More information on this can be found in the rules of procedure. 5. For reasons of improved coordination organisation, the executive committee may appoint secretary generals for the working groups and committees described under section 7 (4). To ease its burdens, the executive committee may appoint one or more representatives.

Section 8. Board of directors: The general membership elects a board of directors for a term of 4 years. It has the task of supporting, controlling and advising on the work of the executive committee especially concerning the question of acquiring journalists and representatives of the media both nationally and internationally as well as to promote contacts concerning careers and the media sector. It will consist of at least 2 and a maximum of 4 members. The board of directors has the right of nomination for the election of the executive committee.

Section 9. Association regulations, rules of procedure/branch offices: 1. Together with the articles of association the association regulations & rules of procedure apply. The executive committee is entitled to create association regulations and rules of procedure and decide on their contents. Association regulations and rules of procedure will be published on the association’s website. 2. The association may establish branch offices. They are subject to the direction of the executive committee.

Section 10. The general meeting: 1. The general meeting is to be called every four years by an authorized representative of the executive committee adhering to an invitation period of 2 weeks. The agenda laid down by the executive committee is to be included in the invitation. Invitations to the general meeting are to be made in electronic form and sent to the last known email address known to the association. The executive committee is also entitled to send the invitation to an email address previously made known by a member. The invitation to members who do not have their own email address or whose email address is invalid is made with the same 2 week deadline by publication on the association’s website. If desired, the executive committee may also arrange for the invitations to be made in written form. 2. The general meeting has the following objectives:

a) The receipt of the executive committee’s statement of accounts
b) Clearance of the executive committee
c) Alteration of statutes and dissolution of the association.

3. The executive committee must call for a general meeting when it is in the interest of the association to do so, or when at least one third of the members have called for such a meeting in written form giving the reasons to do so. 4. A resolution is carried by the general meeting with a simple majority or the submitted and valid votes. In order to make a change to the articles or to the objectives of the association, a majority of 75% is required; to dissolve the association a majority of 90% of all present members is required. Each member has one vote. 5. The vote must be made personally. The use of a proxy of the transferring of votes is not permitted. 6. A protocol is to be made concerned the resolutions of the general meeting which is to be signed by the chair of the meeting and by the person taking the minutes. Any appeals against the protocol must be made within 14 days of the protocol being written.

Section 11. Membership fees: The association charges various types of membership fees: A nonrecurring admission fee and yearly membership fees according to different membership classifications. Admission fees and membership fees are compulsory and the yearly membership fee is to be paid in advance by the 31 October. Admission fees and membership fees are regulated in a different set of rules. The executive committee will decide on the amount of the admission fees and the yearly membership fees as well as on the contents of the rules on fees. The membership fees will be recorded in a separate protocol or set of rules.

Section 12. Dissolution of the association and distribution of assets: If the association is dissolved or terminated or if the aforementioned objectives are discontinued, the assets of the association will be assigned to the town of Ueberlingen. These assets are then to be used by the town of Riedlingen solely for the promotion of journalists and representatives of the media.