Statute - European Roma and Travellers Forum

Written by Secretariat on .

Article 1: Constitution, Title, Statutory office

1.1 An association shall be created with the name "European Roma and Travellers Forum". (hereinafter referred to as "the Forum").

1.2 The Forum shall be established as a non-profit international non-governmental organisation. The Forum shall represent the populations of Roma, Sinti, Kalé, Travellers and related groups in Europe.

1.3 The Forum shall have its seat in France, at the following address:

1, Quai Jacoutot,

67075 Strasbourg

1.4 The working languages of the Forum shall be Romani, English and French. Other languages may be used at the expense of the delegation requesting such languages.

1.5 The Forum shall be set up in accordance with the local regime of the law on associations of the Lower Rhine, Upper Rhine and the Moselle governed by Articles 21-79 of the local Civil Code as well as with the present Statute.

1.6 The Forum shall be registered at the Tribunal d'Instance of Strasbourg.

Article 2: Aim

2.1 The aim of the Forum is to promote the effective exercise by the populations mentioned in Article 1.2 of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as protected by the legal instruments of the Council of Europe1 and other international legal instruments where applicable. It shall promote the struggle against racism and discrimination and facilitate the integration of these populations into the European societies and their participation in public life and in the decision-making process.

2.2 The Forum shall make proposals to contribute to the improvement of the social conditions of the said populations both sedentary and itinerant.

2.3 The aim of the Forum shall be non profit-making and all proceeds shall be invested in the activities of the Forum in accordance with the aim indicated in paragraph 1 above.

Article 3: Functions

3.1 To encourage the development and implementation of policies, programmes and activities which will enable the Forum to achieve its aim, it shall:

- deliver opinions and make proposals to decision-making bodies in Europe at the European, international and national level and, where appropriate, at the regional or local level in order to influence decision-making processes likely to affect, directly or indirectly, the populations mentioned in Article 1.2 above.

- take part in European and international cooperation designed to promote the interests of the populations mentioned in Article 1.2 notably by proposing initiatives to the competent European and international bodies.

- encourage the implementation of national policies concerning the populations mentioned in Article 1.2 above.

Article 4: Duration

The Forum shall be set up for an unlimited period of time.

Article 5: Members

5.1 The Forum shall consist of members representing the populations mentioned in Article 1.2.

5.2 Membership shall be open to:

i. Officially registered international non-governmental organisations whose aims are compatible with those of the Forum and acknowledge the ERTF Charta on Roma Rights, which have been active for at least four years, have affiliates/members in at least 10 member States of the Council of Europe and are financially independent of government funds, provided that they produce an annual audit report of all their activities,

(hereinafter referred to as the "International members").

ii. The Executive Committee may confer honorary and partner membership to NGO´s , to benefactors and to personalities who have supported the work of the ERTF and promoted the cause of the populations mentioned in Article 1 above.

(hereinafter referred to as "Honorary members").

Honorary members and partner NGO´s will not have the right to vote in the Plenary Assembly

iii. Founding members which ware actively involved since 2012 in the process of strengthening and consolidating of the ERTF´s work and statutes, and were at no times member of ruling governments.
(hereinafter referred to as "Founding members").

Article 6: Delegations– Voting rights

6.1. Subject to the provision in Article 6.3. below, each International Member shall be entitled to appoint a delegation made up of 7 delegates to the Plenary Assembly.

6.2. The composition of the delegation should reflect the principles of representativeness, transparency, geographical specificity, gender equality and generation balance.

6.3. The Executive Committee, the board of founding Members and the International Members shall be responsible for ensuring that the following criteria shall be complied with:

Each International member delegation shall appoint their delegation bearing in mind the principle of gender2 and geographical balance this provision must be putted into praxis latest until 2018

Each delegation of the International Members shall be responsible for a thematic topic that reflects the expertise of his delegates (group of experts)

6.4. In case of death, expulsion or resignation of one of its delegates, the International Member shall be entitled to appoint a replacement for the remaining term of this delegate.

6.5. In case of resignation or expulsion of a delegate who is at the same time a member of the Executive Committee; this resignation or expulsion applies also to the function as member of the Executive Committee. The president, treasurer and secretary are not affected by this paragraph, there terms of office will still remain as foreseen in 8.1 iv. and 8.2.

Article 7: Conditions for membership

7.1 Application for membership as International Members shall be made by written request addressed to the President of the Forum. Membership shall be acquired following a favourable decision of the Executive Committee, which shall ensure that the applicants meet the conditions set out in Article 5.2. If the request is rejected the applicant may appeal against the decision to the Board of Founding Members and/or at the next plenary meeting to the Plenary Assembly by a registered letter addressed to the President of the Forum.

7.2 International members shall pay a subscription fee. The amount of the fee shall be determined by the Plenary Assembly.

7.3 An International member or delegates may withdraw from the Forum by giving a three month notice to the President of the Forum. The subscription fee shall remain due for the year in which the member withdraws.

7.4 The Executive Committee may, subject to consultation with the Board of Founding Members and confirmation by the Plenary Assembly, exclude a member or delegate from the ERTF in case of violation by the member or the delegates of the member of the aims of the Forum or of any other provision of the Statute. The decision to exclude the member shall be notified one month in advance. The subscription fee shall remain due for the year in which the member is excluded.

Article 8: Management bodies

The Forum shall be serviced by a Secretariat and have the following management bodies:

- a Plenary Assembly;
- an Executive Committee;
- the Board of Founding Members.

8.1 Plenary Assembly

i. Meetings

The Plenary Assembly shall meet at least once a year. It shall be convened in writing by the President or, in his or her absence, the Vice-President. Convocations shall be sent to members in writing at least one month prior to the date of the meeting and shall be accompanied by the agenda of the meeting.

Only resolutions taken on questions which have appeared on the agenda shall be valid.

Extraordinary meetings may be convened at the request of fifty per cent of the members.

ii. Powers

It shall be empowered to:
• approve the budgets and accounts;
• set the amount of the subscription fee;
• Approves the proposed nominees to the Executive Committee from among the delegates to the Forum, at the proposal of the International Members by a simple majority. In case of refusal of a nominee the International Member has the right to present a other person, keeping in mind the principles of gender and geographical balance.

iii. Decision-making

Delegates of the International Members shall have one vote each.

Subject to Articles 12 and 13, the decisions of the Plenary Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes.

Half the delegates to the Forum shall constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the President shall convene another meeting of the Assembly, which can sit legally whatever the number of delegates present.

iv. Term of office

Delegates shall be appointed for a period of four years and may be reappointed for a second term of four years.

8.2 The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be composed of 8 members: the President and the Vice-President a treasurer, a secretary and four other members.

Qualifications; the nominees for the Executive Committee must proof following qualifications:

• Excellent language skills in Romanes
• Have proficient language skills in English and /or French

It shall elect a President, a vice President, a treasurer and a secretary from amongst its members for a four years term and can be re-elected for a second term of four years.

It shall meet at least twice a year, when convened by the President or, in his/ her absence, of the Vice-President. Extraordinary meetings may be held following the request of the President, the Vice-President or four members of the Executive Committee.

Nomination to the Executive Committee shall be convened every four years. Members of the Executive Committee can be re-nominated. The mandate of a member of the Executive Committee can be revoked by a simple majority of votes of the Plenary Assembly.

The Executive Committee shall carry out the tasks given to it by the Plenary Assembly. It shall draw up the agenda for the meetings of the Plenary Assembly.

It shall take its decisions by a simple majority.

In the event of a tie the President shall have the casting vote.

It may seek the assistance of experts if the necessary expertise on specific issues cannot be found in the Forum.

8.3: Functions of the officials of the Executive Committee

i. The President

The President

- shall ensure that the Statute is complied with and that the moral interests of the Forum are guaranteed;

- shall supervise the management of the Forum's activities and be responsible for ensuring compliance with the decisions of the Executive Committee;

- shall represent the Forum in all its functions or shall delegate such tasks to members of the Executive Committee.

The President shall notify the Tribunal d'Instance of Strasbourg within 3 months of all decisions concerning changes in the composition of the Executive Committee, amendments to the Statute or dissolution.

ii. The Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the accounts of the Forum in proper order. He shall report to the Plenary Assembly at least once a year.

iii. The Secretary

The Secretary is responsible for the work of the secretariat and shall draw up the reports of the meetings of the Plenary Assembly and of the Executive Committee and keep a record of such reports.

8.4: Rules of Procedure

The Executive Committee shall draw up draft Rules of Procedure, specifying the necessary provisions to ensure the full implementation of the present Statute. The Executive Committee shall submit the draft Rules of Procedure to the Plenary Assembly for approval.

8.5. Board of the Founding Members

The Board of Founding Members is the Arbitration Committee of the ERTF and shall act as adviser to the Executive Committee. The Board of Founding Members meets at least once a year.

Article 9: Finance

9.1: Budgetary resources and accounts

The Forum's financial resources shall include membership fees, grants awarded by the Council of Europe or other international organisations, voluntary contributions by member States and any other private or public contributions, which are not contrary to the aims of the Forum.

9.2: Establishment and auditing of the accounts

The budgets and accounts shall be prepared each year and, after approval by the Executive Committee, distributed to the Plenary Assembly for approval. All these documents shall be submitted to two internal auditors appointed by the Plenary Assembly and to an independent professional auditor and shall be communicated to the Council of Europe for information.

Article 10: Relations with the Council of Europe

Pursuant to terms of reference given by the Executive Committee, a draft agreement with the Council of Europe shall be drawn up and presented by the President of the Forum for approval by the Plenary Assembly. This agreement shall contain details concerning the arrangements for the Forum's co-operation with the Council of Europe.

The agreement shall respect the Forum's independence and autonomy.

Article 11: Relations with other international organisations

The Forum shall seek regular cooperation with relevant European and international institutions active in the field of issues concerning the populations mentioned in Article 1.2 and may grant them observer status in the plenary meetings of the Forum.

The Forum is entitled to set up special relation with all local, regional and national organisations to promote the establishment of projects and programs for Roma in Europe on local, regional and national level. The Forum seeks close cooperation with all relevant NGO´s and groups regardless their membership with the ERTF, to fight anti-Gypsyism, to improve the living conditions of Roma and Travellers, to promote the integration and participation of Roma and Travellers in the member states of the Council of Europe.

Article 12: Modification of the Statute of the Forum

The Statute of the Forum can be modified by a two-thirds majority of votes at the Plenary Assembly.

Article 13: Dissolution of the Forum

The Forum can be dissolved by a two-thirds majority of votes at the Plenary Assembly.

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1Such as the Council of Europe Statute, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the European Social Charter (revised).

2National and International members shall appoint their delegation bearing in mind the principle of gender balance as described in the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making adopted on 12 March 2003 :i.e. "for the purpose of this recommendation, balanced participation of women and men is taken to mean that the representation of either women or men in any decision-making body in political or public life should not fall below 40%". Each delegation should therefore include at least one person of each sex. With regard to the participation in meetings of the Plenary Assembly, where more than one person is participating, at least one person of each sex should participate; where only one person is sitting in the Assembly arrangements should be made to ensure that the member of the delegation of the opposite sex has the opportunity to participate (e.g. alternate participation, rotating system).

 

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