DESCRIPTION – SITE - PURPOSE
Article 1An Association entitled "European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages" – "MIDAS" shall be formed.Article 2The Association shall be based in Bozen/Bolzano, at the European Academy Bozen/Bolzano, via Weggensteinstrasse 12/a, I-39100 Bozen/Bolzano.Article 3Minority Dailies are defined as newspapers of minority or regional languages, published at least 3 times a week. At least 51 % of the contents must be in the minority or regional language.Article 4The Association shall be a non-profit organization and pursue the following goals:a) General PrinciplesThe Association shall regard the commonly accepted principle of human rights as well as the objectives and principles of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as a basis for its undertakings.The Association shall be completely independent of all other political or minority organisations.The member newspapers of the Association shall remain independent. Participation in projects, proposals for common activities and proposals of advice shall be voluntary for the individual members of the Association.b) General GoalsThe Association should provide a forum for the editors of daily newspapers in minority and regional languages in Europe to meet directly, and to develop a network on issues concerning minority dailies.The Association shall be the collective voice representing the interests of the dailies in minority and regional languages toward the European Institutions.The Association should provide the basis for mutual support and exchange of experience between its members and related media-organisations, especially minority print and electronic media, in order to ensure and promote the publication of minority dailies, to share minority media experience and to continuously develop their quality and conditions.The Association should provide the possibility to for minority newspapers and minority issues to achieve the recognition of other international organisations and institutions in the EU.c) ObjectivesCO-OPERATION OF MEMBERS:The Association shall co-ordinate co-operative projects between its members in matters of minority issues and rights. These projects must be based on the idea of networking and voluntary participation of the members of the Association, according to its aims.The Association shall facilitate this co-operation through the exchange of information.The Association shall co-ordinate networking on matters such as subsidies and grants, economic structures, common advertising, etc. The Association shall also provide contacts for individual advice among newspapers in similar economic situations.The Association shall facilitate networking on such matters as possible advertisers, common commercial initiatives, etc.The Association shall foster co-operation in the editorial, technical and economic areas.The training and exchange of collaborators should be made possible, in order to maximize their collective experience.SUPPORT OF MINORITIES WITHOUT DAILY NEWSPAPERS:The Association shall support initiatives for the establishment of minority newspapers in regions where the minority communities lack their own newspapers.RESEARCH ON ISSUES CONCERNING MINORITY MEDIA:The Association may take the initiative for such research projects. The Association may find partners or ask research-institutes to take care of projects. The Association shall then help to raise money for these projects.INFORMATION ON MINORITY NEWSPAPERS IN EUROPEThe Association should provide for the exchange of information between its members and the general public.ASSETSArticle 5The assets of the Association shall consist of:a) Properties and furnishings, which it shall acquire;b) Funds, which may possibly be obtained from surplus balance;c) Donations, bequests and inheritances.Article 6The income for the Association's activities shall consist of:a) The contributions of its members;b) The proceeds of its investments;c) The donations and contributions of private citizens, corporations and Associations;d) Public support;e) Other income acquired through its activities.MEMBERSArticle 7The members of the Association shall consist of:a) Founding members; these are defined as all those who sign the founding statutes;b) Full members; these are those minority newspapers admitted after the founding assembly;c) Sponsored members; these are individuals and legal bodies sharing the purpose of the association admitted by the governing board, with no voting privileges;d) Associate members; these are other individuals admitted for its special merits by the governing board without voting privileges.All individuals and legal bodies which share the goals of the Association shall, having requested and declaring knowledge of the Association's actual statutes in their full content, and accepting these and all the resulting obligations including the obligation to pay the admission fee of the association, apply to the Governing Board for admission, with explicit mention of the category in which they would like to be taken on, as well as the address of the premises to which they would like all communications sent.Admission of new members shall be conducted through an open election, requiring a majority vote of the Governing Board, and shall take effect upon the date of the decision.Article 8The founding and full members shall be required to pay an annual fee determined by the General Assembly. In the first year the founding members and full members shall be obligated to contribute an annual membership fee of 1000 Euro. For daily newspapers with a circulation of less than 10.000 per issue, this fee shall be reduced to 500 Euro.Membership fees must be paid annually by the month of April. Once paid, in no case may these fees be refunded, neither in the case of cancellation of membership nor dissolution of the Association, nor may these fees transferred.Article 9Founding and full members shall have the same rights, including voting privileges.Regardless of membership category, all members shall be obligated, in the general interest of realization of the goals of the Association, according to the spirit of purpose of these statutes; the compliance of the members is obligatory.Membership in the Association can not be temporary.Article 10The entire membership must come specifically from the official register of the Governing Board.Membership shall be forfeited by agreed expulsion by the Governing Board, if the member:a) fails to take part in the activity of the Association, is careless by carrying out the entrusted tasks or not paying the membership fee for a length exceeding two years;b) departs from ethical and statutory norms;c) is publically held responsible for a criminal offense, with the exception of those of a negligent nature;d) considers itself at odds with the law or contrary to public order;e) bankrupts.Individual members are forfeited, except in the cases of death by agreed expulsion by the Governing Board if the member is declared incapable of handling its own affairs, either partially or completely, or is publically held responsible for a criminal offense, with the exception of those of a negligent nature.In the case of resignation the member must announce it in writing to the Governing Board by December of the current year.The exercise of all provisions in accordance with the cases detailed above must be announced in writing to all interested parties.The member faced with expulsion shall have the right to register a complaint in the court of arbitration.A reinstatement may ensue following the cancellation of the charges which caused the initial expulsion.
DIVISIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION
The divisions of the Association shall be:
a) the General Assembly;b) the Governing Board;c) the President;f) the Court of arbitrationGENERAL ASSEMBLY Article 12The General Assembly shall consist of all members, independent of the time of their admission (this must, however, be decided at least five days before the next meeting of the assembly), and represent the entire membership of the Association in accordance with the purpose of the regulations, and these officially enacted statutes shall be obligatory for all members regardless of consent or refusal.Any member may, through written power of attorney, stand in for another member with the same voting privilege.No more than five votes may be delegated to any single founding member or full member.Every founding member and full member may vote in the General Assembly.Article 13The Assembly must be convened at least once a year by June 30th in order to submit a final balance to the Governing Board for approval and, if necessary, to appoint the members of the Governing Board and Auditor.The Assembly must, further, always be convened when the Governing Board deems it necessary, or when its convention is called for by at least one third of its members.Article 14The Assembly shall be convened by invitation, specifically including the day, hour, location of the meeting and the points of the agenda. Every member must be contacted, either in writing or by fax, delivered at least fourteen days before the arranged meeting date.Article 15Every founding member and full member shall have one vote for the approval or alteration of the statutes and regulations, as well as for the election of the members of the Governing Board.In the first convention the decisions of the General Assembly shall be made by a majority of those members who are present, provided that at least half of those members with voting right are in attendance.In the case that the minimum number of members fail to attend this election, a second convention shall be held, and with every vote present, the decision of the Assembly shall have conclusive validity.In the case of decisions concerning the authorization of balances and in those concerning the responsibility of the members of the Governing Board, the relevant members of the Governing Board shall have no right of vote.In the case of decisions concerning the alteration of the statutes, the dissolution of the Association or the expenditure of assets, the presence of at least three quarters of the vote and the consent of at least half of the members present shall be necessary.Mail-in votes shall be prohibited, and such votes shall not be accepted.Article 16The position of chairperson of the Assembly shall be held by the President, in whose absence it shall be held by the member of the Assembly, who is the oldest on years, with the assistance of the Assembly's elected Secretary.A record of the assembly shall be conducted and overseen by the President and the Secretary.Article 17The vote shall take place in the assembly either by acclamation, with a show of hands, or, when necessary, using secret ballots.THE GOVERNING BOARD Article 18The Association shall be managed by a Governing Board consisting of 7 members, including the President, who shall be elected by the Assembly with regard to linguistic and regional balance; the members of the Governing Board shall be elected for 4 years, and may subsequently be re-elected.Three members of the first Governing Board, with the exception of the President, shall be replaced or re-elected immediately after 2 years of the foundation of the association. Thereafter, each seat in the Governing Board shall be re-elected after 4 years, which should continuously ensure the responsibility of the Board members.The Governing Board shall also appoint a Director, who shall hold the position of Secretary in the Governing Board.The Governing Board may appoint the Treasurer from its own members.Article 19In the case of the loss of one or more members of the Governing Board, these seats are replaced by other members keeping the regional and linguistic balance.The thusly appointed members of the Governing Board shall remain until the end of the legislative period for which they were appointed.At its first meeting the General Assembly confirms the appointed members.Article 20The position of the members of the Governing Board shall be unpaid; expenses may possibly be reimbursed.Article 21The Governing Board shall be summoned, in writing, no less than fourteen days before the selected date of assembly, or in urgent cases through telegram or fax no less than one week before the selected date of assembly, and the date, hour, location and agenda must be indicated.The validity of the decisions of the Governing Board shall require the presence of no less than half of the board, and the decisions shall be passed by majority; a tie vote shall be decided by the President.A record of the decisions of the Governing Board shall be conducted and overseen by the President and Secretary.Article 22The participation of the members of the Governing Board in its sessions shall be obligatory. If a board member fails to attend three sessions without being excused, his or her resignation shall be tendered.Article 23The Governing Board shall always assemble when the President of the association deems it necessary, or when it is called for by the majority of the board members.The chairship of the Governing Board shall be held by the president, in whose absence it should be held by the Board's longest-standing member.Article 24The Governing Board shall be provided with far-reaching authority in the regular as well as extraordinary administration of the Association, including the following:a) Assuring the pursuit of the Association's purposes;b) Summoning the Assembly;c) Passing resolutions regarding the admission of new members and the expulsion of current members;d) Drafting of the budget proposals as well as the annual balance;e) Enaction of the regulations and conventions of the Association's organization and operations.f) Acquisition and disposal of the properties and furnishings; Assumption of bequests and inheritances; Regulation of the expenditure of contributions, donations and assets of the Association;g) Presentation of proposals, advice, motions formulated by members and proposed amendments to the statutes to the general assembly, after thorough examination;h) Passing of resolutions regarding all affairs which are not expressly reserved by the statutes to the General Assembly or other bodies within the association.THE PRESIDENT Article 25The president shall legally represent the Association with respect to third persons and before the court of law; he or she shall be selected by the General Assembly from the ranks of its members for a term of four years, and may be subsequently re-elected for one additional term.The president may summon the General Assembly and the Governing Board, of which he or she shall hold the position of chairperson, supervise decisions regarding expulsion of members, and carry out the normal operating functions of the Association.In the case of the President's absence or inability to attend, the longest-standing member shall carry out the functions of the President.THE COURT OF ARBITRATION Article 26The Court of Arbitration shall consist of three members and shall be elected from the ranks of the General Assembly for a term of four years.
In the case of the death, incompetence, inability to carry out duties or resignation on the part of one of the members, this position shall be filled by appointment.The Court of Arbitration shall give conclusive judgements in order to settle all sorts of disputes, whether between members, divisions or members and divisions, and shall make binding decisions regarding every detail of a case presented by the General Assembly, the Governing Board, the President, or members.BALANCE – INCOME Article 27The fiscal year shall end every year on the 31st of December. At the end of each balance period, the Governing Board shall draw up the final balance, which shall be presented, together with the board's activity program and the budget proposal for the new balance period, at the General Assembly, which shall convene within six months of the balance period's close.At the time, in which the assembly is convened, the final balance and activity program shall be made available to all members for inspection at the seat of the Association. The final balance will also be sent to all members via telegram or fax.Article 28It shall be prohibited to distribute either earnings or surplus balance, even in an indirect manner; this applies to any funds, reserves or capital accumulated during the period of the Association's existence, except for the purposes and the allocation detailed in the statutes.DISSOLUTION
Article 29The term of the Association extends through the 31st of December, 2050.In the case of dissolution, the General Assembly shall appoint one or more liquidators, which shall liquidate the property and assets in a manner commensurate with the legal requirements.In the case that a regular General Assembly should not be reached, all members of the Governing Board may apply to the responsible legal authority for the position of liquidator or liquidators.Any remainder left over after liquidation has been conducted shall be supplied to another organization with similar goals or public purposes, to be chosen by the liquidators in compliance with the guidelines provided by the General Assembly and in accordance with the controlling legal body, in the manner of the regulations of Article 3, paragraph 190 of the Acts of 23 December 1996, Nr. 662, assuming that no other purpose for its use is foreseen.COMMENTS Article 30For anything in these statutes which is not specifically foreseen, the appropriate legal regulations for associations shall apply.