Statute of the European Consumers Union (ECU)

Art.1 (Constitution, head office, duration)

The European Consumers Union (ECU) is established and is hereinafter indicated  as “ECU”

The ECU is independent from any government, business and political party influence (Non-Political, Non-Profit and Non-Government Organisation)

ECU acts in accordance with the principles stated in the European Constitution, in the Constitutions of the Europeans Countries joined in the Union, of art. 153 of the Amsterdam Iveaty???? and of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights and rights of man.

The ECU is a non-profit making organisation, (of a voluntary nature)

The ECU has its registreted office in Belgium in Brussels and its secondary office in Turin at n.25 Via Pedrotti

The ECU has the autority to decide on the opening of one or more brench offices in any European Union State or its candidate Countries

The ECU’s duration is unlimited

Art2 (??? And Objectives)

The ECU pursues objectives of social solidarity and defence of consumer rights and of users ??? and European level, in accordance with the Founding Principles.

The goal of the ECU are accomplished trought research, analysis and legislative promotion; legal aid for citizens, members and institutions of single States and The European Union; the promotion of social charity work.

The ECU defends and protects the consumers in all their sectors of interest, thet is to say in followuing sectors: food, health, environment, commerce, production, saving ad investiments???, fruition of essential public services, taxation and imposition, transaparency, ????, potency and impartiality of Public Administration.

The ECU particularly intends: to coagulate real consumer and user interests, assuming itself as an interlocutor in a proposed action towards the institutions, the economical, social, political forces and the investment companies which operate in the consumer or service sector; to protect the consumer and the user, even in court, with particular regard to the application of the European regulations of the Union States: to carry out interventions on a European, national and a non-European level, striving for the construction of a competitive goods and service market, and at the same time, as a result of actions of information, training and education of a shared and united European company: to promote actions favouring European certification and any other initiatives which strive to guarantee the quality and safety of products and services; to support and stimulate every intervention which can constitute a valid alternative fon an improvement on a social-economic level of users and for the ethical-cultural development of European consumers, in respect of privacy and of individual rights; to promote and support meetings, conferences, debates, training courses, as well as editing all types of publication and any genres of activity including television and radio, with specific references to all problems connected with its own institutional end, in addition to promoting a website for exchanges of information between members; to use the internet as a transfer media and new technologies of thought transfer and direct participation.

To promote the safeguard of health, food and civil security, of savings, of small investors, of energetic saving, of civil rights, of impartiality, of transparency, o efficiency and of effectiveness of public administration, of quality of spending and of family and consumer income. To promote forms of social solidarity also through funds, mutuality systems, conventions and agreements in order to satisfy primary and vital needs, and to compete for the creation of an authentic economic democracy.

The ECU intends, therefore, to stimulate at a communal, national and international level, a legislative activity and to manage, with the aim of achieving a regulation that always best safeguards the interests of consumers and of users supporting information, promotion and education of their own fundamental rights.

THE FUNDAMENTAL FEATURE OF THE ECU IS PROMOTION OF THE ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF CONSUMERS AND members IN INITIATIVES TO GAIN NEW SAFEGUARDS AND NEW RIGHTS IN DEFENCE OF CONSUMERS

Art  3 (Members)

The ECU’s members are national, regional and local cunsumer organisations and other institutions whose board director consists of consumer associations which in respect of art 2 of this statute, adhere to the aims and objectives pursued by the ECU and are in line with the payment of fees and respect the regularisations adopted by the statutory organs of the ECU.

The founder members are: the organisations that have partecipated in ECU Constituent Assembly. The liability of the Members is limited.

Art.4 Rights and duties of the members

All members participate in the ECU’s activities, using in particular online and offline means of communication, according to the regulations adopted by the ECU’s statutory organs and their uses.

The ECU has the specific task of allowing direct participation of all members through new communicazion technologies and the web.
All members are eligible within the manages and administrative organs, with the decisions taken by the general assembly.

Participation in the assemblies is guaranteed by publicity of the assembly summonings, either ??? paper or electronic form, via internet and/or by email.

The regulations adopted will be publicised and communicated to the members in this same way.

Certain safety regulations regarding the composition of statutory organism must guarantee plurality and equal opportunities even in the composition of statutory organs, according to the principle of national representation.

This prediction, necessary to ensure the pluralistic nature of the ECU, is part of the general will of the members who are naturally inclined to not discriminate in any way towards individuals of whatever sex, race, religion or other elements of distinction.

The activities which the members complete for the ECU do not give in any way the right to any other compensating equivalent of an economic nature.

The members are to consider the observance of this Statute, of its internal regulations, its regulations within social organs and of the fulfilment of tasks attributes to them by the ECU.

The members are obliged to pay the annual fee.

The members are obliged to observe this Statute and the regulations of the social organs.

Art 5 (Loss of associate membership, changes of rank, patrimonial rights)

Associate status is lost by notified resignations in writing, failure to pay the shares within 90 days of the end of the year of reference, radiations or lack of respect for current regulations.

The associate can be dismissed if they do not meet the obligations derives from this Statute or if they harm in any way the interests of ECU, or if they carry out actions incompatible with the ECU’s aims.

Radiation must be ruled based on the simple majority of the General Assembly.

(Changes of rank)

The members who end their ECU membership cannot request the return of their payed contributions and they must return mature contributions. The members have no other right over the ECU’s assets. In the case of the ECU’s dissolution, the assets will be devolved to the non profit making ECU’s, which preferably have the same statutory finalities.

Art. 6 (Assets and social exercices)

The ECU’s assets are comprised of:

  • Personal property and real property which will become the property of the ECU:
  • Possible reserved funds established with the Surplus of the Balance Sheet
  • Donations, supplies and legacy accepted by the board;

The ECU’s revenue is established:

  • From membership fees
  • From the organisation’s proceeds from manifestations or participations in such nmanifestations
  • From free contributions from the ECU’s members
  • From subsidies received from European Institutions or Member States
  • From sums of other NGOs or Non-Profit organisations accepted by the Board
  • From any other legal and ethical contributions

No member has any right to the ECU’s assets. The ECU’a assets are also comprised of material assets and immaterial assets, whether registered or purchased.

The financial wear ends on the 31 December of each year.
The following year’s Balance Sheet and Budget will be prepared by the Board of Directors within 30 days before the end of the financial year.

Art 7 (Organs)

The ECU’s Organs are:

  • The General Assembly of Members
  • The Managing Board
  • The President
  • The Chairperson or honoraty president
  • The Executive Commitee formed by the President, one or more Vice Presidents, the General Manager and the Treasurer
  • The General Manager
  • The Treasurer
  • Te Board of the Auditors

Art 8 The President

The President legally represents the ECU, in internal relations as much as in external and international relations, towards third parties and in court. In cases of emergency, the Managing Board’s power can be called upon, except for ratification in the Managing Board’s first valid meeting; the President executes the decisions made by the Assembly of Members and Managing Board; he oversees and Looks after the working of the ECU, performing all other functions which are entrusted to him in this Statute and which are delegated to him.

The President can delegate several functions, both temporary and permanent, to a Vice President. In case of impediment, the President’s functions are assumed by the eldest Vice President or in case of a missing or absent Vice President, by a member of Management delegated to the particular task by the President.

A missing president, either through resignation or decease, the Assembly will be quickly summoned (within thirty days) by the one of the Vice Presidents, or in his absence or impediment, from the Managing Director, and in absolute absence of every delegate, from the eldest Director. The Assemply then attends to the election of a new President who will remain in office until the end of the period originally planned for his predecessor. Until the election of the new President, the ECU’s legal representation will be assumed by the Deputy ??? Vice President or, in his absence, by the eldest member of the Assembly of members who accepts this duty. The President puts forward to the assembly, the election of a Chairperson.

Art 9 – Chairperson

The ECU, based on a proposal by the President and approved by the Assembly, can nominate a Chairperson with recognised prestige, who represents other moral values and his experienced through his work, the wish to promote consumer rights and safeguard fundamental human rights. The Chairperson has a consultative role and, in the case of persistent disagreement which impedes the correct functioning of the statutory organs.

Art 10 Executive Commitee

The Executive Commitee is elected by the Managing Board which is made up of the President, two Vice Presidents and General Manager. The managers of sectors of associative interest can be invited to participate in Chairman Office meetings and the President will consider the requisites for the achievement of the ECU’s objectives.

The Executive Commitee duty, made up of a minimum of 3 members and a maximum of 11 members, is the coordination and management of activities in the ECU ???? of intervention and to guarantee integration between the various structures in support of the President Activities.

The Chairman’s Office can deliberate the concession of exceptional administrative powers to the President, whilst waiting for the summoning of the Assembly.

Art 11 General Manager and Treasury

The Managing Board elects the General Manager for the day-to-day management after a proposal by the President. The Managing Board elects the Treasurer after a proposal by the President.

The treasurer looks after the accounting system and is the guarantor of the control of compatibility between available incomes and expenses, against to the accountancy and regularity of administrative acts.

Art 12 The Board of Auditors

The ECU’s management is controlled by the Board of Auditors, made up of three or five members elected by the General Assembly in office for three years. The Auditors will have to ensure the regular upkeep of accounting operation, draw up a report of the annual budgets and ascertain consistency of funds and existence of the values and ranks of social ownership. The Board elects its president who remains in office for three years.

Art 13 The Managing Board

The ECU is administrated by a Managing Board, made up of a minimum of nine to twenty-one members (always odd numbers) who are elected by the General Assembly in office for three years.

In cases of resignation or decease of a member, the Board will decide upon his replacement at the next meeting, asking the approval of the next General Assembly.

The Board nominates the President, the Vice Presidents, General Manager and Treasurer from within, if and only if the General Assembly has not provided yet.

The Board meets every time the President feels necessary or if it has been requested by at east two of its members or at least twice a year to propose the amount of fees and the Budget and present the Balance Sheet to the Assembly to be approved.

The validation of decisions is regulated by a favourable vote of the majority of the members of the Board; in cases of a draw, the vote of the Chairman prevails.

Board meetings come to be recorded in the appropriate books undersigned by the President and the general Manager.

The Managing Board has absolute power in the ordinary and extraordinary management  ?? O E the ECU.

The Managing Board compiles the ECU’s budgets and balance sheet to present to the Assembly for approval, nominates workers and employees and determines their salary.

The Managing Board makes Assembly decisions, approves the President’s operations and the operations of other associatives of article 2 of the Statute.

More specifically, the Managing Board:

– develops and maintains all relations with the ECU’s components, communicates the decisions made and the resolutions adopted to the members and organises the work, decided by the Assembly of members.

-submits recommendations to the Assembly of members surrounding actions to be undertaken in order to achieve the objectives defined in article 2 of this Statute

-organises manifestations at the communal institutions according to the mandate received from the Assembly of members.

-discloses the decisions taken and the measures adopted after every Assembly meeting

-prepares the documents from all meetings of the statutory organs, forsters business relationships and arranges the daily schedule of meetings of the Assembly; maintains the ?? of the social organs via simple letter and/or email or by electronic means; and calls for the work groups, by whom the mandate is arranged, their composition and functioning

-records and instructs admission applications of members, resignation and exclusions.

The Managing Board is presided over by the President of the ECU

The Managing Board is in office for three years and its members are re-electable

The internal policy is organised by the Managing Board and submitted to the Assembly of Members for approval.

The ECU’s Statute can be modified by the Assembly of members if called upon by the Managing Director.

Art 14 Assembly

The Assemblies are ordinary and extraordinary.

The members are called for in Assembly by the Managing Director at least once a year before the 31 January by means of direct written communication to each Associate or by bill posting on the notice board of the ECU’s head office, warning of the summoning and its schedule for the day at least fifteen days prior to the date fixed for the meeting.

The Assembly must be called for based upon a proposal signed by at least one of the ten members in accordance with art. 20 of the Italian Civil Code.

The Assembly must be called for at the registred office or elsewhere, provided that it is in one of the state members at one of the ECU’s secondary seats.

All members have the right to take part in Assembly in line with the payment of the ECU’s annual share.

The members can be represented by other members even if they are members of the Managing Board, with the exception of decisions regarding the approval of Balances and decisions about responsability of the Counsellors.

The Assembly is the ECU’s supreme organ and approves the Budget and Balance Sheet and the ECU’s addresses and general guidelines and nominates the components of the administrative Council and of The Board of Auditors. It rules over modifications to the Certificate of Incorporation and Statute and over anything else asked for by Low or by the Statute.

The Assembly has the following particular task:

The determination of the ECU’s strategies and general politics

The General Assembly approves of the balance sheet and budget plan, elect the Chairman (Honorary President), the European President, the European Vice President, the European Management’s components and College of the Auditors, according to statutory estimates and forecasted figures in the statute

  • The approval of the work programme and specific predispositions relative to consumers interests
  • The election of the statutory organs scheduled in the Statute for a duration of three years
  • To judge the dissolution and liquidation of the ECU

The Assembly meets at least once a year even through use of new technology, in particular via internet.

The Assembly of Members can modify the Statute in the presence of two out of three of the members in the ECU and with a favourable majority vote at first summoning or with a favourable majority vote of the members present and properly represented, however many of them there are, at a second summoning.

The decisions made at the Assembly of members count in a absolute majority at meeting and in relative majority at the second meeting.

Art 15 Composition of the Assembly of Members and voting methods

The Assembly is valid with notification to the members at least thirty days prior meeting held at the head office and at the official site.

The meetings can also take place through video-conference.

Voting and the meetings are valid

The Chairman (Honour President), the European President, the Vice President and the other organs of the ECU outlined in the Statute are elected at the Assembly of members in office for three years with a renewable role.

The Assembly of Members meets once a year on a summoning by the European President.

The Assembly, the Managing Director and the ECU’s other organs can be summoned even by means of information technology and advanced communication, for example, the internet, videoconferencing or other possible new technologies which allow free expression of opinions and deciding vote.

In cases of persistent disagreement and dysfunction of ECU’s organs, based on a proposal by the Chairperson, the Assembly can be called to carry out a referendum for approval based on a proposal by the Chairperson. The referendum between the members will take place according to the regulations of the ECU.

Art 16 Decision and quorum

Every associate paying into shares has a right to vote

The Assembly decides a simple majority of the votes according to the conditions outlined in this statute.

The judicial members organisations designate the delegates who will have to ???

The Assembly and vote for the election of the Managing Board according to ???

regulations.  The judicial members propose the list of  candidates to the Chairman ???

The Assembly’s decisions are verbalised in a recording of those present, undersigned by the President and the General Manager and whose contents is published through means of available communication. Notification of assumed decisions is also possible to all members, according to compatibility with resources and available instruments.

Art 17 The general Manager

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Art 18 Treasurer

For administrative  management, based on a proposal by the President, the Managing Board elects the Treasurer. The Treasurer is the guarantor of the control of compatibility and regularity of administrative deeds.

Art 19 Dissolution

Dissolution of the ECU is judged according to article 21 of the Italian Civil Code with a favourable gote of the qualified majority of three out of the four members of the Assembly which provides the nomination of one or more liquidators and considers, with regard to the devolution of the assets, Entities or ECU’s with similar aims.

Art 20 General Disposition

The board panel has three advisors.

In case of persistent disagreement and dysfunction of the statutory organs which make it impossible to proceed with the existence of the ECU, the Chairperson will propose a referendum for the election of a BOard panel of three advisors who will oversee the restoration of correct development of associate life. The Board panel’s special ???? replace all of the statutory organs for a period of time of strictly no more ???

Art 21 Controversies

All possible social controversies not stetted by the Board panel’s three members, between themselves, members and the ECU or its Organs, will be put before, in all cases not forbidden by law and with exclusion of all other jurisdiction, the responsibility of a board of three Arbitrators to name themselves from the Assembly; they will he judged ex bono et aequo without formal proceedings. Their decision will be final.

Art 22 Safety Clause

Even though not stated in this Statute, the by-laws are valid. The ECU is recognized by Italian law, though is in part based on European law.