Pirate Parties International General Assemblies

[Amendements] Setting up a Permanent Assembly

M1 : Setting up a Permanent General Assembly

The motion presented here shall be taken for a structured, democratic and accessible way to progress with PPI functioning. The purpose here is to allow the PPI to adopt a rhythm that separates the construction of motion, the debates and the votes. This structure allows enlightened decisions. Those decisions are taken by a permanent assembly, composed with all the members of the PPI. This assembly shall offer a way for more participation from members, a way for effective direct democracy.
The spirit of the actual statutes is preserved regarding the competences of the GA and of the Board.
This reformed statutes are the first step for a more active PPI, more focused on its goals.

Motion :
The General Assembly of the Pirate Parties International, according to the article XX of the Statutes, amendments the statutes of the association as follow :

Article 1 : General Assembly

I) The article IX. General Assembly is rewritten as follow:

(1) The General Assembly is the supreme body of Pirate Parties International and is composed of all the Members of that association.

(2) The General Assembly is competent to :
a) Establish the policies and political orientation of the association
b) Vote on the application for membership and exclusion of members
c) Elect Board members, Court of Arbitration members, lay auditor and any position appointment which does not fall under the competence of another organ of the association
d) Vote on amendments to the Statutes and the Rules of Procedure of the association
e) Approve Board’s Rules of Procedure, Court of Arbitration’s Rules of Procedure

(3) Once a year, the General Assembly votes on :
a) The report of the Board and the Treasurer
b) The report of the Court of Arbitration
c) The report of the Lay Auditor
d) The budget for the next year
e) The calendar of the sessions for the next year

(4) The Board, the Court of Arbitration, Committees and Members can present report and recommendations to the General Assembly.
If the General Assembly approves the report or the recommendations, the Board is charged executed them with the help of other organ of the association if required.

II) The article X. Functions of the General Assembly is renamed “Functionning of the General Assembly” and is rewritten as follow:

(1) The General Assembly is organized in sessions. There is at least one session per year.

(2) The Rules of procedure defines :
a) deadlines for each phases of the session
b) debates procedures
c) procedure for proxy
d) vote power
e) voting procedures
f) any rule necessary for the running of sessions of the General Assembly which are not provided for in these statutes

(3) The quorum is fixed at one third of the Ordinary Members counted for each vote

(4) Member Organizations are represented at any session of the General Assembly by a delegate or delegates not exceeding six from any one Member Organization.

Article 2 : Board

I) The article XII. Board is rewritten as follow:

(1) The Board assures the good management of the association, its administrative, financial and legal governance, the intern life animation and the external relations.
The Board is the executive organ of the association.

(2) The functions of the Board are:
a) to act on behalf of the General Assembly according to its instructions and to give effect to its decisions, recommendations and policies,
b) Publish the agenda, promulgate the results, and transcribe them on the dedicated platforms, and appoint the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the General Assembly meeting according to the Rules of Procedure,
c) to represent the association at international and national events,
d) to advise and assist Member Organizations,
e) to ensure the financial management of the association including preparing and executing budget,
f) to keep the register of members in accordance with applicable legal obligations
g) to exercise other functions resulting from these Statutes or the Rules of Procedure.

(3) The Board is composed of:
a) one Chairperson,
b) one Vice-Chairperson,
c) one Treasurer
c) seven additional Board Members

(4) If the Chairperson, Vice-chairperson or Treasurer position is vacant, the Board elects among its members an acting person until the next session of the General Assembly.

(5) If a position is vacant, a vote is held at the nearest General Assembly session to fill it.
If the delay between the beginning of the vacancy and the next session and that the efficiency of the Board requires it, the Chairperson may appoint an acting person to this position.

(6) After each Board election, the Board establishes for each of its members a position description indicating the missions within the organization for which he will be a referent.

(7) The Board Members is elected for two years renewed by half by the General Assembly during the last session of the year.
The Rules of Procedures specify the modalities of this alternating election.

II) The article XIII. Functions of the Board is renamed “Functioning of the Board” and is rewritten as follow:

(1) The Board shall meet regularly and not less than once a quarter and every time that these Statutes or Rules of Procedure requiere it.

(2) The Board meetings are public unless at least one third of the Members of the Board vote in favor of a non-public meeting. The decision to hold a non-public meeting must be justified.
Minutes of public meetings have to be published on the appropriate platform.

(3) A Board member may resign at any moment.

(4) A sit is vacant when :
a) A board member resigns
b) A board member dies
c) A board member has a long term disease that prevents it to assume its position
d) A board member does not execute its functions for more than two months

(5) If the seat has neither become vacant by resignation nor death of the Board Member the remaining Board Members have to declare the seat as vacant by majority vote.

(6) The Board establishes its own Rules of Procedure that have to be approved by the General Assembly.

III) The article VIII. Membership Register is deleted

IV) The article XIV. PPI Headquarters (4) is rewritten as follow:

(4) The administrative, financial and legal managements of the PPI Headquarters is the responsibility of the Board.
The budget of the PPI Headquarter is included in the Budget of the association.


Please read this other motion containing the new Rules of Procedure : INFO: New Motions

2 Likes

As this motion is year old, I need to ask if it is still walid? @Etienne
Moreover, permanent online assembly was established back in 2013(! https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=PPI_Conference_2013/Statutes_Amendments#SAP-24)

I think, that it is established, that vote power is - one Country, one vote. I would like to not disturbe this.

There is still confusion between “position” and “ofice” or “seat” in Art. XII. needs fixing.

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This is a totally new motion. The motion “suspension of the normal functioning” was less detail than this one.

This one includes :

  • New articulation between article (first competences then functioning) for a better understanding
  • Rationalisation of competences (I merged some of them, add new ones that are required by the model we want to set up, clarified some of them…)

I must say that I’ve never heard about this amendment. I think the one PPFR is proposing is more ambitious. The purpose is to input more asynchronous part into the GA process. We want to split the debates and the votes for several reason: give more time to the delegate to consult their members, have more time to study last minutes amendment, allow members that are impact by jet-lag to debates of the motion even they can’t assist to the physical or remote meeting and allow them to vote at a suitable hour.

Can you indicate me where our motion deletes this part ? I’ve maybe skip something during the writting process… We don’t want to change this rule, we’re also very attached to it !

Can you indicate me where ? We agree with your amendment about the distinction between position/office/seat and we’d be happy if we can find a way to integrate it with this motion.

Please also check the other motion that is link to this one. Rules of procedure are as important as the statutes for us :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback, smaller things first;

It deas not delete that, but it gives GA power to interfere in it on some lower level - proposed Art. X (2) d)

Both Art. XII. (4) and (5) speaks about “positions”. At least second sentence of (5) is duplicit to (4). Unless it is there for the occasion when board members cannot decide on Treasurer among themselves.
But that would mend, that Chairperson can apoint “anybody”.

Does this proposal eliminate Alternate members?

Art. XIII. (4) fix “sit” to “seat”

If I understnad, you aim for “seat” to be membership of a natural person in a body and “position” to be a function of such person in said body, yes?

Im not ok, with the RoP of Board need aproval of GA. Why?

Can you provide some rationale for the changes to Art. VIII. and XIV. ?

Oh yes indeed… I’ll make an amendment on it.

About the terminology position/office/seat distinction :

On the article XII. (4) the word position refers to the fact that those persons are elected for this “job”. This article just say that the Board elects an acting person if those positions are vacant.

On the article XII (5), in the first sentence the word position might by replace by “seat” because it applies to elected position (chair, vice-chair, treasurer) and the other board members.
It includes a mechanism allowing the Chairperson to design an acting person to fullfil the vacant sit if it’s necessary.

To summarize: the Boards is composed of seats (7) and some of those seats are position (3) because we consider that they are important and we are looking for people with special competences to fulfil them.

It does but they are now included inside the Board. Two mains reason :

  1. Actual alternative Board members are doing the same job that board member (even more some times) but they have no rights to vote.
  2. With the Permanent GA we want to set up, the GA will meet more often (at least, 4 times/year in my dreams). This has for consequences to allow the GA to vote for new board member if a seat is vacant more quickly. The alternates function is linked to the fact that the GA actually meets only once a year and that mechanism for a new election is quite complex in my opinion.

It’s something that we have in France but I’m not really attach to apply it to PPI. Here, also two main reasons :

  1. It’s more a symbolic vote of the GA. The Board presents its rules of procedure to the GA that is like that informed about them
  2. Check and balance : the GA controls the action of the Board that includes the Board RoP that are important for the functioning of the PPI.

The article VIII is now included in the article XII (2) - f). I think that details can be included into the RoP that we conceive more like a book of all the rules that precise the statutes and that we want to keep “soft” (to the opposite of Statutes that we see as “hard” rules).

For the article XIV, this change is more a long-term move because we would like to delete PPI’s Headquarter that we see as a superfluous structure and a source of unnecessary expenses. With this change, there is no mention of PPI’s HQ in the article XII. Like this, if we delete article XIV we do not have to change the article XII too.

we would like to delete PPI’s Headquarter that we see as a superfluous structure and a source of unnecessary expenses. With this change, there is no mention of PPI’s HQ in the article XII. Like this, if we delete article XIV we do not have to change the article XII too.

I believe the existence of PPIHQ was made just for registration purposes at the UN and in Belgium. I am not aware that we are paying any expenses for it at the moment. We should confirm with @Gregory @Koen about PPIHQ’s registration in Belgium. We should also confirm if PPIHQ can obtain a name change to PPI without having to completely reapply with ECOSOC, WTO, etc. Other registrations, accounts should also be reviewed for necessary name changes. In short, if we can keep PPIHQ, it would make life easier, but please do explore solutions.

I was looking for the budget voted by the last GA but I can’t find any trace of this in the minutes…
But I remember that when I was preparing the 2019 rectified budget (and the 2020 budget) there was a line named “Registration in Belgium” that was justified by the fact that Belgium authorities required a payment in order to make the change of name for the PPI HQ officials.
For PPFR this kind of expense is superfluous.

Ok, regarding the seat/position/office

This would signify, that Board elects into this positions only temporalry. Thats fine, I gues.

It should be “seat” here, then. In both sentences.
But Im not ok with Chairperson on their own filling vacancies.

And on other note, I would like for Board to be able to (1) create new positions for its members (like chief Administrative officer) (2) create new offices for volunteers to set up other working bodies - but active GA could also do that I gues.

Regarding alternative members - Im ok with them being out of the Statutes, but I would support some sort of this established in the RoPs

(Im more for asynchronous meetings, than 4 big meetings o year.)

I must say, that our Board does not even have RoP. RoPs are internal regulation of each body and nobody others business. Not such for other bylaws for the organisation.

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The idea is that as it is a position with more responsibilities, it’s important that the GA can choose someone that it judges “good enough” to assume the position. So, in order to not have an empty position - which can be a sticking point - the Board appoint a acting person in order to deal with daily routine to not stop the all board.

About new position, it’s not written like this but there is this new obligation which is kind the same :

About the

Can you precise your though please ? With maybe an example.

I don’t see the point of deleting something in the Statutes in order to reinstate it in the Rules of Procedure… Can you precise me what is the purpose of your proposal ?

The idea is to have 90% of the work done asynchronously : tabling, most of the debates (like we’re doing on this motion), and voting.
We’ve decided to keep a formal meeting before the vote because we know that several members of PPI are attached to this kind of events. But the purpose of those meetings should to formalize a consensus or to expose strong arguments that were exposed during debates but that some members had not time to read.

We think that it’s easier for us (international delegate) to work in sessions than continuously. With a defined calendar we’ll know in January how many meetings we’ll have and when.

Lets say, you would want a “Chief technical officer”, responsible for running and administering PPI servers and services, who is not a member of the Board. If the Board would name someone such, I need it to be clear that it has such power.

To limit number of unnecesarry elections done by the GA. Lets asume, you have 15 candidates for the board, 9 are elected and other 3 are supported by majority of voting members. With no alternates, if one or two of the elected Board members resigns, you need to call a new GA for the elections. If you have alternates, you can call them up for the remeinder of these members term. I dont require alternates to be involved in any way before they are called up.

On my opinion there is several options to answer this situation without creating new positions:

The first is that before each election the Board publishes a list of its “human resource needs”. The purpose is that members nominate people with specific skills that are needed by the Boards in order to help the organization to work well.
To follow your example, the Board may ask members to nominate candidates with IT skills.
The drawback of this system is the limited number of seats inside the Board.

The second solution is to set the following principle : each board’s members is in charge of one or several area that are considered as important for the functionning of the organization. As for several of them they can not be only one person to deal with it they can be assisted by volunteers.
With this solution there is one personn that is responsible before the GA and no one who can “own” a lot of power without the endorsement of the GA.
To follow your example, even if I put my trust on the Board that I’ve elected, I do not like the idea that the Board gives such a power (IT infrastructure are essential for PPI) to someone else.

The third solution is to only to elect the chairperson, the vice-chairperson, and the treasurer and ask them to build their team. This team would be of course endorse by a formal vote of the GA. Like this, we won’t have to ask ourself to often if there is enough board members.
I’m not a big fan of this solution but I might be a good solution for a Board that can be adapted to the needs expressed by the GA.

I see. The purpose to establish an annual calendar with the different sessions of the GA is also to have the opportunity for the GA to fill the gap inside the board. However, as I indicate in the motion, the Board will have the opportunity to appoint acting person if there is a long time between the beginning of the vacancy and the next session.
The purpose of this motion is also to push to more specialization for Board’s members. So, with your proposal, the next person in line might have totally different skills that are not required by the board at this time. Our proposal include opportunity to elect someone with the same skill that the one who leaved.

Well, I would just say, that need for an office can arise between GA meetins or Board Elections.
I - for one - have no problem with giving the Board power to create and appoint people outside the Board into offices; moreover, If Chair would be enpowered to name Members of the Board.

Regarding the alternate positions; you are right with your counterargument (i.e. Trasirer resignes, Board is filled to full, Board elects temporary Treasurer -> how does next GA elect new Treasurer without removing a person from the Board). To fix this, tere would need to be alternates for each position. Thats too complicated to be put into Statutes, so it exceeds this conversation.

Ok, I would like to propose several changes to this proposal, to be voted on at the assembly;

Change Motion 1:

Change proposed Art. IX. (2) c) to: "c) Elect Board members, Court of Arbitration members and Lay auditor"
Reasoning: As stated elsewhere, I dont see it as neceserry, for the GA to discuss and appoint any position within the organisation. This should be up to the elected bodies. Proposed text in original proposal is vague. If some positions need to be elected by GA, it must be specified in Statutes, its RoP or other bylaws.

Change Motion 2:

Change proposed Art. IX. (2) d) and e) to:

  • d) Vote on amendments to the Statutes,
  • e) Adopt its Rules of Procedure,
  • f) Approve any internal regulations of the Association, where it deems necessary.

Reasoning: For this, there are several; First, as stated before, I dont deem it neceserry, for the GA to approve the RoP of other bodies. Its their business, their self regulation. Second, Rules of Procedure are not for the “Association” as a whole, they are for meetings of thier bodies - GA should have its RoP (with details outlined in proposed in Art. X. (2)). Thirdly, some internal regulations (as outlined in i.e. Art. III. (5) of curent Statutes) may be required and in some cases, they should be approved by GA. (But not always - if Board outlines how to pay for Membership or How to apply, or How to register for wiki, I dont see it as neceserry to be always approved by the GA.)

Change Motion 3:

Ommit proposed Art. X. (2) d).
(2) The Rules of procedure defines : d) vote power
Reasoning provided elsewhere

Change Motion 4:

In proposed Art. XII (2) g) change “the Rules of Procedure” to “decisions of the General Assembly”
Reasoning: Once again, the are not only one “The Rules of Procedure”, but each body has its onw, and in this case, it is neded to be specific. And we can assume, that other internal regulations can also regulate powers or responsibilities of the Board.

Change Motion 5:

Change proposed Art. XII (5) to read: “(5) If a positionseat is vacant, a vote is held at the nearest General Assembly session to fill it.
If the delay between the beginning of the vacancy and the next session and that the efficiency of the Board requires it, the ChairpersonBoard may appoint an acting person to this positionseat.
Reasoning: As discussed before, paragraph (4) is about “positions”(Chait, Vice-Chair, …) in the Board, par. (5) about “seats” of the Board. So change is to reflect that.
Moreover, for the Chair(maybe even temporarry chair) by their own, to be able to appoint new members of the Board is too powerfull. There should be check of the whole Board.

Technical “sit” in proposed Art. XIII. (4) should read “seat”

Change Motion 6:

Change proposed Art. XIII (6) to:
(6) The Board establishes its own Rules of Procedure.that have to be approved by the General Assembly.
Reasoning: As discussed previously, I dont see a reason for the RoP of Board to be approved by GA.

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I don’t know if it is possible but I’d be more efficient if I can merge some of your amendments into my motion. I’d be a gain of time for the GA.

I would be for that, but RoP are silent on such thing so I would prefer if we do that formally on the meeting - https://wiki.pp-international.net/wiki/index.php?title=Rules_of_procedure#Art._5_Motions_and_countermotions
So anymone would be able to know what has been changed and could object and require vote on particular change.

This is a pretty big amendment. Can we see a side by side diff?

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Here you go !

PPI_PeGAs.pdf (63.0 KB)

I’ve not included @VojtechPikal’s amendment yet. I’ll try to do it next week.

I have strong urge to move this to github.

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Here is the motion with @VojtechPikal’s amendments side by side.

PPI_PeGAs_amended.pdf (55.6 KB)

I would like to propose this amendment that contains transitory rules.

Following article 3 is added article 4 which provides:

(1) This reform of the articles of association is applicable immediately after the General Meeting which adopted it.
(2) The Board is responsible for convening the next session of the General Assembly before December 2020.
(3) The next session will have to vote on the calendar of sessions for the year 2021.