Association's articles – Association for humanistic thinking, rationality, secularity, constituency, democracy and human rights


§1: Name, place of registration and area of operations

  1. The association has the name ” Europä – association for humanistic thinking, rationality, secularity, constituency, democracy and human rights.'' The short name of the Verein is „“.
  2. The association is registered in Graz and operates all over Europe.
  3. The association aims to install new branches.


§2: Intended purpose

The association does not aim for profit and would like to provide knowledge about our basic European Values and, at the same time, gain the consciousness of people why these values are the fundament of our free, modern, democratic European societies and which meaning they have for our present society and the everyday-life of every single human being.

Common values connect individuals and foster the becoming of societies. Due to the lack of knowledge about history most of the people are not conscious about the fact that the present state, which seems „normal“ to all of us, is based on a system for which people fought for centuries and which is based on the fundament of 6 particular values.

In the opinion of this association these 6 basic values are:

  1. Humanistic thinking
    „The human being is in the center of thoughts and actions“
  2. Rationality
    „Rationality becomes the basis for decisions!“
  3. Secularity
    „Separation of religious and political power!“
  4. Rule of law
    „Just basic laws and constitutions for everyone!“
  5. Democracy
    „The people rule!“
  6. Human rights
    „Basic rights innate to every human being!“

These 6 basic values which are consecutively building up on each other, together make up a fully developed humanistic world view.

The association aims to  illustrate scientifically, meaning historical and causal, how the fundament of our freedom consisting of these 6 basic European values has developed throughout history in Europe until today and how it may develop in future.

We stand against suppression of the values by any religious, political, economic or other group.

We stand for:

Our thoughts and actions are:

  • Humans as benchmark of all things.
  • Judgement on the basis of rationality.
  • Separation of politics and religion.
  • Constitutional principals.
  • Democratic principles.
  • Universal human rights.
  • humanistic,
  • rational,
  • secular,
  • constitutional,
  • democratic &
  • protecting human rights.


Our ideal is a secular European society as basis of an ongoing development of freedom, self-determination, happiness and of the individual human beings themselves. This particular society on the basis of the 6 values is the fundament of freedom for all people without making a difference because of their religion, race, colour, sex or wealth to live together in peace now and also in future.


§3: Ways to realize the goal of the association

  1. The intention of the association should be realized with the ideational and physical means which are stated in paragraph 2 and 3.

  2. Ideational means would be
    1. Congresses, conferences, presentations
    2. Events for further education
    3. public relations
    4. co-operation with associations with similar aims from our country and abroad
    5. Research
    6. Publications, Newsletter
    7. Events at schools
    8. Petitions
    9. Informative meetings, demonstrations
    10. Projects with national and international partners acclaimed by the executive committee

  3. Required physical means shall be raised through
    1. admission fees and membership fees
    2. Donations and subventions
    3. Sponsoring
    4. Revenues at events and campaigns.
    5. Revenues from selling association's articles
    6. Legacies
    7. Donations in kind
    8. Other kinds of contribution


§4: Forms of membership

  1. Members of the associations are divided into ordinary and extraordinary as well as honorary members.

  2. Ordinary members are those who are fully involved in regular working processes of the association and who pay a monthly membership fee. Extraordinary members are those who, pay an optional monthly membership fee but, at the same time, support the association primarily ideally. Honorary members are appointed for their extraordinary services to the association.


§5: How to gain membership

  1. Every physical person, as well as every juridical person and societies vested with legal capacity are allowed to become members.

  2. The executive committee decides who is allowed to become an ordinary or extraordinary member. The acceptance may be refused without giving a reason.

  3. Before the association is founded ordinary and extraordinary members are accepted by the founder members. However, if an executive committee is already installed they are accepted by this particular organ. Membership starts with the date of foundation of the association. Is the executive committee appointed after the foundation of the association, the (actual) acceptance of ordinary and extraordinary members is also appointed by the founder members.

  4. The appointment of honorary members is also realised at the request of the executive committee in the general assembly.


§6: Ending of membership

  1. Membership may end due to death, in the case of juridical persons and private companies vested with legal capacity due to loss of their legal entity, due to voluntary retirement or expulsion.

  2. Retirement is only possible at the end of every month and needs to be conveyed in written form to the executive committee at least one month before. If the receipt of a retirement paper delays it takes effect at the next possible date of retirement. The date of post mark will be taken as the date of receipt of the application.

  3. The executive committee is allowed to expel a member if she or he has not paid the membership fee for more than six months, despite two written dunning letters with an adequate additional respite added. Callable fees remain a definite understanding to pay.

  4. Expulsion of a member is furthermore possible if they violate other duties of their membership or if their behaviour is dishonourable.

  5. Expulsion of honorary membership can be appointed by the general assembly or the assembly of ordinary members at the request of the executive committee on the basis of reasons stated in article 4.


§7: Rights and duties of members

  1. Members are authorised to take part in all kinds of events of this association. Ordinary members are authorised to utilise the association's public institutions. Only ordinary and honorary members are entitled to the active and passive voting right in the general assembly.

  2. Every member is entitled to request the executive committee to hand over the articles of the association.

  3. There is the need for at least a tenth of all members to request a general assembly from the executive committee.

  4. All members have to be informed by the executive committee about the operations and financial affairs and conditions of the association in every general assembly. If at least a tenth of the members requests it under specification of reasons, the executive committee has to give all the requested information within four weeks.

  5. All Members need to be informed about the accounts (financial accounting). If this happens within a general assembly the controller must be involved.

  6. All members are bound to support the interests of the association to their best endeavours and, at the same time, omit anything through which the prestige or the intention of the association could be damaged. They have to consider the articles and the resolutions of the association. Ordinary members are obligated to punctually pay their membership fees in the amount appointed by the general assembly.


§8: Organs of the association

Association's organs are the general assembly (§ 9 and §10), the executive committee(§ 11 bis §13), the controller (§ 14) and the arbitration court (§ 15).


§9: General assembly

  1. The general assembly is the 'meeting of members' on the basis of the particular law from 2002. Every fourth year a general assembly takes place.

  2. An extraordinary general assembly takes place
    1. if the executive committee or the ordinary general assembly decides it,
    2. at the written request of at least a tenth of all members,
    3. at the request of the controller (§ 21 paragraph 5 first article in the law of associations),
    4. at the request of a controller (§ 21 paragraph 5 second sentence law of associations, § 11 paragraph 2 third sentence of these articles),
    5. at the request of a trustee appointed by the court (§ 11 paragraph 2 last sentence of these article) within four weeks.

  3. All members have to be invited to both the ordinary and the extraordinary general assembly in written form by fax or e-mail (to the fax-number or e-mail address the particular members stated) at least two weeks before the actual date. The setting of the general assembly must include the agenda/order of the day. The general assembly is called by the executive committee (paragraph 1 and 2 a - c), by a/the controller (paragraph. 2 d) or by a trustee appointed by the court. (paragraph. 2 e).

  4. Applications for the general assembly must be filed and sent to the executive committee at least three days prior the date of the general assembly either in written form or with telefax or e-mail.

  5. Valid decisions – except those concerning an application for a calling of an extraordinary general assembly – can be taken only if the particular issue is part of the agenda.

  6. All members are eligible at the general assembly. Only the ordinary and the honorary members have the right to vote. Every member has one vote. Delegation of the right to vote to an other member is allowed, however, a written authorisation is needed.

  7. The general assembly is quorate regardless the number of members taking part.

  8. Elections and decision within the general assembly generally need 50 per cent plus one vote of all votes casted to become effective. Decisions in order to change the articles of the association or terminate the association need a two-thirds majority to become effective.

  9. The chairman of the association acts as chairman of the general assembly, if she or he is not able to be present, the oldest present member of the executive committee acts as chairman.


§ 10: Duties of the general assembly

The general assembly is subjected to the following duties:

  1. Making decisions concerning the calculation;
  2. Acceptance and approval of the statement of accounts and of the balancing sheet under involvement of the controller;
  3. Election and divestiture of the members of the executive committee and of the controllers;
  4. Acceptance of legal acts between controllers and the association;
  5. Approval of the executive committee;
  6. Fixation of the amount of the membership fee for ordinary members;
  7. Bestowal and deprivation of honorary memberships;
  8. Decision-making over amendments of articles and the voluntary termination of the association;
  9. Consulting and decisions-making concerning other questions on the agenda;


§11: Executive committee

  1. The executive committee consists of a chairman/woman, a secretary and a treasurer.

  2. The executive committee is a elected by the general assembly. The executive committee has the right to co-opt an other eligible member if one elected member retires. Thus, a later acceptance within the next general assembly is needed. If the executive committee is cancelled without co-option, generally or for an indefinite period of time, every controller is bound to call an extraordinary general assembly in order to elect a new executive committee without delay. If the controllers are incapable of action too, every ordinary member who realises the emergency situation, is obligated to apply for the appointment of a trustee at the responsible court. This particular curator needs to call an extraordinary general assembly without delay.

  3. The term of office of the executive committee is four years; Re-election is possible. Every function within the executive committee has to be fulfilled personally.

  4. The executive committee is called in written form by the chairman/woman. Is she or he not capable of doing it for an undefined period of time, any other member of the executive committee is allowed to call it.

  5. The executive committee is quorate if all its members have been invited and at least half of them are present.

  6. Decisions of the executive committee need 50 per cent plus one vote to become effective; in the event of a tie the vote of the chairman is decisive.

  7. The chairman/woman presides. If she or he is not able to be present the executive committee is presided by the oldest present person or by a particular member appointed by the majority of the other members of the executive committee.

  8. Besides death and the end of term of office(Paragraph 3) the function of a member of the executive committee terminates if she or he gets unseated (paragraph 9) or retires (paragraph 10).

  9. The general assembly may impeach the entire executive committee or single members at any time. Divestiture becomes effective when a new executive committee or member is appointed.

  10. Members of the executive committee may retire at any time. Resignation has to be addressed to the executive committee. If the entire executive committee retires it has to be addressed to the general assembly. Retirement becomes effective as soon as a successor is elected or co-opted. (Paragraph 2)


§12: Duties of the executive committee

The executive committee leads the association. It is the “organ in control” based on the associations law of 2002. It is the executive organ in any field not particularly appointed to an other organ of the association. Its sphere of action particularly contains:

  1. Installation of an adequate system of controlling including ongoing illustration of receipts and expenditures and keeping an inventory of assets as minimum demand;

  2. Drawing up of an annual estimate, statement of accounts and balance sheet;

  3. Preparation and calling of the general assembly in the case of § 9 paragraph. 1 und paragraph 2 a – c of these particular articles;

  4. Providing information to the members of the association concerning association's operations, association's conduct and the controlled balancing of accounts;

  5. Management of the association's funds;

  6. Acceptance and expulsion of ordinary and extraordinary members of the association;

  7. Employment and termination of employees of the association.


§13: Special obligations of particular members of the executive committee

  1. The chairman/woman is the operating organ of the association. The secretary supports the chairman/woman in her/his duties.

  2. The chairman/woman represents the association. Written official copies of the association need the signature of both the chairman/woman and the secretary to become effective. Financial matters of chairman/woman and treasurer as well as legal acts between members of the executive committee and the association require the acceptance of an other member of the executive committee.

  3. Contractual authorisation and the right to represent the association can only be appointed for the members of the executive committee stated in paragraph 2.

  4. In the case of imminent danger the chairman/woman is authorised to make dispositions on their own and taking the responsibility for them, even in matters actually being part of the sphere of action of the general assembly or the executive committee. Within internal relationships these dispositions, however, need the additional acceptance of the association's organ in charge.

  5. The chairman presides the general assembly and the executive committee.

  6. The secretary keeps the minutes in the general assembly and the executive committee.

  7. The treasurer is responsible for the orderly conduct of the association in financial matters.

  8. If the chairman/woman, the secretary or the treasurer is not capable to carry out their duty, the oldest member present of the executive committee takes the place of them.


§14: Controller

  1. Two controllers are appointed by the general assembly for the period of four years. Re-election is possible. Controllers must no be members of an organ of the association with exception of the general assembly which area of operation is a matter of inspection.

  2. It furthermore behooves to the controllers to control current transactions as well as the monetary control of the association concerning truth and fairness of the management of public finances and the usage of the funds. The executive committee has to present the requested documents to the controllers and provide requested information. The controllers have to present the accountant's report to the executive committee.

  3. Legal acts between the controllers and the association request the acceptance of the general assembly. Furthermore, regulations of § 11 paragraph 8 to 10 apply for the controller.


§15: Arbitration board

  1. The arbitration board of the association is requested to resolve disputes within the association. It is an “arbitration-institution” based on the associations' law of 2002 but not on the § 577 ff ZPO.

  2. The arbitration board is made up of three ordinary members of the association. It gets constituted when one party of a dispute appoints in written form a member as arbitrator. Within seven days, at request of the executive committee the other party of the dispute also appoints a member of the arbitration board. The executive committee needs to communicate this within seven days. After that the called arbitrators appoint a third ordinary member to be the chairman of the arbitration board within 14 days. In the event of a tie the chairman is chosen by lot. Members of the arbitration board must not be members of an organ of the association – except the general assembly – which functions is matter of dispute.

  3. The arbitration board decides after hearing both parties. All its members need to be present. A majority of 50 per cent plus one vote is needed. It decides in all conscience. Its decisions are considered as ultimate within the association.


§16: Voluntary liquidation of the association

  1. A voluntary liquidation of the association is only possible on the basis of a two-thirds majority of all good votes cast within the general assembly.

  2. The general assembly, furthermore, is requested to appoint the processing of the liquidation – if there is association's funds. Particularly, it is in request to call a liquidator and to appoint to whom she or he has to carry it over after covering liabilities. This particular capital shall be given to an organisation pursuing similar goals as far as this is possible and allowed. If it is not possible it shall be handed over to duties of social welfare.


§17: Salvatorius clause

  1. If single regulations within these articles are or become fully or partly inoperative or void by law, the effectiveness of the articles is not damaged apart from that.

  2. The association and all its members obligate themselves to replace the void regulation by an effective one, which operatively comes as close as possible to what was juridically intended.