Constitution of TEAM as amended at the AGM in Wil, Switzerland, 2007
Constitution of the European Alliance of EU-critical Movements (TEAM) as amended at the AGM in Wil, Switzerland, on 25th of March 2007
The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements (TEAM) was initially formed in 1992 as The European Anti-Maastricht Alliance by organisations opposing the federal development of the EU, as implied in the Maastricht Treaty on European Union. The first Constitution of TEAM was adopted at a re-foundation meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 3 March 1997. TEAM is comprised of democratic, non-racist parties and organizations which, by peaceful means, work for a Europe of free democratic co-operating states and nations.
TEAM and its affiliates are opposed to the main political objective of the Maastricht Treaty, namely, the creation of a highly centralised, undemocratic, supranational political union in Europe. We consequently oppose the subsequent Amsterdam and Nice Treaties, as well as European Economic and Monetary Union, which reinforce the development of the EU into a single European State.
Our opposition to and criticism of this development is based on our concern for the basic principles of democracy. A healthy democracy has to be built from below. Policy decisions should be made so far as possible at national, regional and local levels, by people who know local conditions and who are themselves affected by those conditions. Far-reaching centralisation of power, whether political or corporate, weakens democracy and a well-functioning national and local economy.
Democracy should be based on engaged and active citizens, which is the best guarantee of popular participation in and influence upon policy-making processes. It demands free and fair public debate, and representative, accountable and transparent elected institutions.
TEAM and its affiliates uphold the self-determination of peoples and nations as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of international law, enshrined in the United Nations Charter. National cultures are never static, but develop continually through interaction with other cultures. Nations and peoples may thereby enrich one another through mutual co-existence and international co-operation. This leads to greater understanding between peoples and strengthens the ties between them.
Fruitful international co-operation has to be based on mutual respect and support for national democracy and sovereignty. Otherwise international co-operation will be fragile and lose legitimacy. Stable and fruitful international relations require independent voices. The rights of small nations need particularly to be respected.
The construction of the European Union(EU) is fundamentally undemocratic. Decision-making power in the EU is primarily in the hands of persons who are not elected by citizens and are not democratically responsible for their actions. The EU is built on the principles of centralisation, bureaucracy and hidden decision-making. Basic accountability and transparency, which are essential for any well-functioning democracy, are lacking in the EU.
The design of the Union and Community Treaties and the character of the institutions they establish, in particular the powerful law-initiating Commission and the supranational EU Court of Justice, has led to continual pressure for further EU integration. This leads, consequently, to a reduction in the national democracy and independence of the EU Member States.
Any co-operation in Europe that is determined or controlled by the major States is likely to create political division and tension. Europe’s history provides ample evidence of this. Stable international co-operation amongst Europe’s nations has to be based on respect for each country’s right to self-determination. TEAM and its affiliated member and observer organisations seek to foster and advance these principles in all appropriate ways and to that end have adopted this Constitution:
Article 1: Name
- The name of the association is The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements (TEAM).
Article 2: Aims and Objects
- To create awareness of how the current development of the EU threatens the democracy and right to self-determination of Europe’s peoples and nations; To encourage co-operation among TEAM’s affiliated organisations in defence of democracy and the right of national self-determination vis—vis the EU;
- To encourage international solidarity and support for particular European countries whose democracy and independence may be threatened by the EU.
- A. Membership
Article 3: Affiliation to TEAM: member and observer status
- European democratic non-racist organisations that support the above aims and objects may apply for affiliation to TEAM either as members or observers.
Article 4: Voting Rights
- Member organisations have one vote each at the Annual General Meeting(AGM). Observer organisations do not have voting rights but do have speaking rights at the AGM.
Article 5: Application for Affiliation
- Applications for membership or observer status with TEAM should be made in writing to the Board. The organisation applying for affiliation should provide such information regarding its constitution, aims and objects and activities as the Board may request.
- Admission to affiliation may be made on the unanimous recommendation of the Board at a properly convened meeting and the unanimous approval of the affiliated member organizations notified by mail. The decision is subject to subsequent approval by simple majority at the next AGM, or by the AGM deciding on an application directly by two-thirds of the vote cast.
Article 6: Disciplinary Procedure
- If a member or observer organisation is considered to have violated the TEAM Constitution, it may be suspended by the Board for consideration at the next Annual General Meeting, where a decision will be taken on its continued affiliation to TEAM by a minimum two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
Article 7: The institutions of TEAM are:
- - The Annual General Meeting (AGM),
- - The Nomination Committee,
- - The Board.
Article 8: The Annual General Meeting
- The AGM shall be composed of representatives of member and observer organisations and shall meet once a year. It shall be convened by the Board, which shall propose the agenda. At least six weeks before the AGM papers to be decided upon at the AGM shall be sent to all affiliated organsations by ordinary mail. These shall include an annual report from the Board, a treasurer’s and auditor’s report, proposals for a working programme for the coming year, budget proposals and motions from member organizations and Board recommendations. Extraordinary General Meetings shall be convened at the request of at least ten of TEAM’s member organizations and shall be held at a minimum of six weeks’ notice.
Article 9: Work of the Annual General Meeting
- receive and approve an Annual Report from the Board;
- receive the Treasurer’s report including financial accounts;
- receive the auditor’s report and approve the Treasurer’s report;
- decide on affiliation applications;
- decide on motions from member organizations and recomendations from the Board on particular issues;
- decide the working programme for the year;
- decide on the budget for the year;
- elect Board members and substitutes, the Coordinator, auditor and members of the Nomination Committee.
Article 10: The Nomination Committee and Board elections
- The Nomination Committee shall consist of three people from different countries who are not members of the Board. The Board shall propose candidates for this committee, as may member organisations at the AGM, and the AGM shall elect its members. The Nomination Committee shall gather proposals from TEAM’s affiliates and propose candidates for the Board to the subsequent AGM, as may also TEAM’s member organisations. The names of all candidates for the Board, including the Nomination Committee’s own nominations, shall be notified by the committee to TEAM’s affiliated organisations at least two weeks before the AGM.
Article 11: The Board
- The Board shall be composed of six members, three substitutes and the Coordinator, elected by the Annual General Meeting. The first, second and third substitute shall have the right to attend Board meetings, according to their order, when a member is not able to attend. Members of the Board, and the Coordinator, may not hold their posts for more than three years in a row, with the possibility of re-election after a lapse of one year.
- The Board elects from among its members a Treasurer, who may not be the Coordinator. The Board Members should attend the AGM with speaking and voting rights. The Board shall deliberate whenever necessary and at least four times a year and be convened by the Coordinator. Extraordinary Board Meetings shall be convened at the request of at least half of its members. Decisions in the Board are taken by simple majority.
- If the TEAM Coordinator resigns, the TEAM Board can elect a replacement from amongst the Board. If either the TEAM Coordinator or a Board member resigns the first substitute becomes a full Board member. The Board may co-opt an expert on a particular issue for a limited time when required. The person would have speaking but not voting rights.
Article 12: Work of the Board
- oversee the running of TEAM between annual meetings and implement the decisions of the AGM;
- express the common views of TEAM;
- encourage liaison and co-operation between TEAM’s affiliates;
- establish and supervise working groups where relevant and approve TEAM statements;
- supervise the work of a Secretary-General and such other staff as TEAM may have, and decide on their appointment when that arises;
- accept new affiliates into membership subject to confirmation by the AGM and/or make recommendations on affiliation to the AGM;
- present an Annual Report and Treasurer’s Report to the AGM;
- present a proposal for a working programme for the coming year to the AGM;
- present recommendations to the AGM for decisions to be taken on relevant issues;
- present a proposal for a budget for the coming year to the AGM;
- propose candidates for the Nomination Committee.
Article 13: Auditor
- An auditor shall be elected by the AGM to oversee the Board’s financial handling.
Article 14: Voting
- TEAM meetings shall endeavour to reach the widest possible degree of consensus on issues. If a vote is necessary decisions shall be taken by simple majority of votes cast, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution. Voting as a rule shall be by show of hands. Upon request a recorded vote shall be taken.
Article 15: Finance
- TEAM and its activities shall be financed by membership and observer status fees, and donations. TEAM shall not accept any financial contribution from a source that could be seen by its affiliates and the Board as liable to damage its integrity or reputation.
Article 16: Affiliation Fees
- Annual affiliation fees shall be decided by the AGM.
Article 17: Constitutional Change
- This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at an AGM, provided that notice of the proposed amendments has been submitted in writing to all member organizations of TEAM not less than four weeks in advance of the meeting.