Our Constitution

EUROPEAN MOVEMENT - CONSTITUTION OF THE EASTERN SUSSEX BRANCH 2020

1 Name


The Branch shall be called the EM1066 Branch of the European Movement covering the current UK Parliamentary constituencies of Bexhill and Battle and Hastings and Rye.
It shall operate in accordance with the Constitution of the European Movement UK.

2 Objectives


The objectives of the Branch shall be:

2.1 To further the aims and objectives of the European Movement.
2.2 To campaign for the UK to have the closest possible relationships with Europe.
2.3 To help identify, expose and publicise adverse consequences of Brexit as they arise particularly the impacts on local communities and businesses.
2.4 To champion British European Identity and the values of the European Union for the promotion of peace, prosperity and the environment.
2.5 To champion the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.
2.6 To encourage and facilitate greater understanding of the UK’s historic, present and future interdependence with the other countries of Europe, especially amongst young people.


3 Membership


Membership of the Branch is open to anyone without regard to gender, race, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief who:

3.1 Supports the objectives of the Branch and of the European Movement UK.
3.2 Lives in or around the area defined in section 1 above.
3.3 Is aged 16 or over.
3.4 Provides the following information:
     o Full name
     o Valid email address
     o Address and postcode

The Branch may have two membership categories:

3.5 Full Members who have paid the annual European Movement (nationwide) subscription.
3.6 Associate Members (Supporters) who are not members of nationwide EM.


It is normal for members of the European Movement to be associated with the Branch most closely located to the area in which they live (see section 1) and to have voting rights at that branch’s AGMs/EGMs. In addition to the payment of the national EM fee, a member may also pay an Associate Member fee to whichever other branch(s) or affiliate(s) they are entitled to join by virtue of their geographical eligibility. Payment of such a fee would give the member the right to vote at the AGMs/EGMs of that branch. The level of the fee is at the discretion of the Branch concerned.


4 Officers


There shall be a minimum of five Officers: a Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Webmaster and an Events Secretary. Nominations for the Officers' posts and Committee membership for the following year may be received in writing by the Secretary at least 7 days before the AGM. If no nominations are received Officers may be elected at the AGM subject to majority voting by paid up members present at the meeting or by their proxy.
If an officer stands down during the year or fails to attend more than three Committee Meetings without an apology, the remaining members of the Committee may agree another member to replace that officer until the next Annual General Meeting.


5 Committee


The Committee shall carry out Branch business between AGMs and shall consist of the Officers and up to 5 other members elected at the AGM. If required, vacancies for Officers may be filled by substitution agreed by the Committee from amongst its members. The quorum for the Committee shall be 4, including at least 2 Officers; if required the Chair shall have a casting vote. The normal term of service for an officer is 3 years. The Committee shall meet as necessary and not less than 3 times a year. Special meetings of the Committee may be called provided seven days notice is given. All members of the Committee have a vote.


5.1 The Committee has the power to:
5.2 Raise funds provided they are used in furtherance of the objectives of the Branch and are raised in accordance with the UK law.
5.3 Co-opt onto the Committee as circumstances demand.
5.4 Organise events and activities, singly or jointly with others.
5.5 Design, print and distribute material.
5.6 Open bank accounts.
5.7 Consider, approve and carry out any other lawful activities as proposed or requested by the Branch membership and which are in accordance with the objectives of the Branch and the European Movement.


6 Accounting


The management of the Branch's funds shall comply with standard current financial practice as appropriate for its scale of operations as a voluntary organisation.


6.1 All money raised by or on behalf of the Branch is only to be used to further the objectives of the as specified in clause 2 above. 
6.2 An account will be maintained on behalf of the Branch and will be held at a bank agreed by the Committee.
6.3 The Branch will not be permitted to borrow, to charge against its assets or to loan any money.
6.4 Cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee, one to be the Treasurer. The signatories must not be related, nor members of the same household. 
6.5 Any expenditure by the Branch under £250 will be approved by the Chair and Secretary in advance
6.6 Any expenditure over £250 will be approved by the Committee in advance, where possible on the basis of three competitive quotations.
6.7 Claims for reimbursement of expenses shall be sent to the Chair and copied or forwarded to the Secretary and Treasurer together with the receipt for the payment and any necessary account details for the reimbursement to be made. Once the Chair has approved the payment, the reimbursement will be made at the first opportunity. Any question about the payment will be raised with the Chair by the Treasurer, with the Secretary in copy, at the first opportunity.
6.8 The Treasurer will be responsible for:
6.9 Maintaining records of income and expenditure;
6.10 Providing a summary financial report at each Committee meeting;
6.11 Providing an annual statement of accounts containing all income and expenditure and the beginning and end of year balances, at each Annual General Meeting;
6.12 Sending the annual account statement to the Head Office of the European Movement UK;
6.13 Reporting to the Committee any instances of non-compliance with budgets or spending limits.
Payments incurred by Officers of the Branch such as BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments, must be approved by the Treasurer before such a payment can be made. Invoices and receipts shall be provided as necessary.


7 Annual General Meeting (AGM)


An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held at a time to be decided by the Committee, at latest three months after the end of the Branch’s Financial year. All current paid-up members of the Branch shall be notified of the arrangements for an AGM at least 14 days in advance.


7.1 All such members present at the AGM shall be entitled to vote.
7.2 The Chair may also cast proxy votes on behalf of members who are unable to attend and which have been notified to him in writing (including by email) in advance of the AGM.
7.3 The Chair shall have a casting vote.
7.4 The quorum for the AGM shall be 25 members or 25% of the membership whichever is the lower number.
7.5 Nominations for officers and other members of the Committee shall be received by the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the AGM.
7.6 At the AGM members shall:
7.6.1 Receive a report from the Chair.
7.6.2 Receive a report from the Treasurer and adopt an annual statement of accounts.
7.6.3 Elect Officers and Committee members for the coming year.
7.6.4 If appropriate, nominate a suitable organisation to inspect the accounts.
7.6.5 Conduct any other business notified at least 14 days in advance.
7.6.6 Minutes of the AGM will be distributed as soon as reasonably possible to members after the AGM


8 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)


An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) may be held by decision of the Committee, or at the written request of at least 10 paid-up Branch members. Members shall have at least 7 days notice of an EGM.
The purpose of Extraordinary General Meetings will be to address, as a matter of urgency, matters that would usually be considered at an Annual General Meeting or urgent matters of significance for the functioning of the Branch.
The purpose of the EGM must be stated at the time of giving notice of the meeting.
The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request. The rules in relation to the quorum and voting at an EGM shall be the same as those in respect of the AGM.


9 Meetings

The Branch will meet as often as required, at locations within its area to be decided by the Committee and communicated to the membership via electronic mailings. Whenever possible, members will be given at least 7 days’ notice of such meetings.
The purpose of the meetings will be for exchange of information and the planning of events and other activities. All categories of member shall be invited to attend such meetings and there is no set quorum.


10 Disciplinary Matters


Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist, or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings or to resign from the Branch if an apology is not given or if the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is taken.


11 Amendment of the Constitution


Amendment of the Constitution may be made only at an AGM, or an EGM called for that purpose, with the voting approval of at least two thirds of the Branch members present


12 Wind up

The Branch may be dissolved with the assent of two thirds of the members of the Branch present and voting at a general meeting. The Committee shall have the power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the branch. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of debts or liabilities shall be transferred at the Committee’s discretion to any other institution(s) serving objectives similar to those of this Branch or to the European Movement of the United Kingdom.


13 Date of adoption


This constitution was formally adopted at the Annual General Meeting held on

Date:  29/06/2020


Chair: Steve Barrass 


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