Adopted by the GENET Constituent Assembly in Madrid, October 24th, 1999

(This text is an informal translation of the  legal German text which is the official version of the GENET statutes)

Article 1 - Name and Registered Address

The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering (GENET) is an international non-profit association under Swiss law (Article 60ff. of the Swiss Civil Lawbook). The GENET registered address is Blauenstr. 15, Basel - Muenchenstein, Switzerland.

Article 2 - Purpose

The purpose of GENET is to improve the exchange of information and critical analysis about gene technology and its various implications, especially amongst member NGOs, and thus facilitate citizen involvement in the decision-making processes which guide the development of this technology.

Article 3 - Membership

Membership of GENET can be granted only to non-governmental organisations and entities without legal status. Individuals can not become members of GENET. All previous members of GENET maintain their member status. Applications for membership are to be sent to the GENET Board. A membership application must be sponsored by a current GENET member organisation, preferably one from the same country or region of the applicant. The GENET Board can by unanimous decision grant an interim observer status, subject to confirmation by the following Assembly. An applicant is accepted as member organisation, if at least 2/3 of the members represented at the Assembly agree to the membership. If a member organisation is found to be consistently working against the purpose of GENET, the Assembly can decide about its expulsion. At least a 2/3 majority of the members represented is required for expulsion. Each member organisation has one vote at the Assembly. Voting by proxy is allowed. Each delegate can represent a maximum of two other members. A written mandate is required. A copy of the mandate must be received by the Board at the latest one week before the Assembly of the Association. Another copy of the mandate must be carried by the mandated organisation at the Assembly.

Article 4 - Assembly of the Association

A regular Assembly of the Association is to be held at least once every year (General Assembly). It shall be convened by the Board with a minimum of three months notice. The Assembly of the Association has following powers:

  • election of the Board members;
  • election of the auditors;
  • acceptance of the report by the Board of activities of the past year;
  • acceptance of the report of the auditors;
  • vote on the accounts for the previous year;
  • acceptance of the proposal of the Board for the activities of the next year;
  • acceptance of the proposal of the budget for the next year;
  • acceptance of the new members (with 2/3 majority of the members represented);
  • expulsion of a member (with 2/3 majority of the members represented);
  • change of the Statutes of the Association (with 2/3 majority of the members represented).

Further Assemblies may be convened by the Board. If at least 1/3 of the members require an Assembly the board must convene an Assembly. In every case member organisations must be invited by the Board at least three months before the date of the Assembly. Any member organisation may submit proposals for consideration to the Assembly. Proposals must be received by the Board at least two months before the Assembly. The final agenda must be sent by the Board to all members at the latest six weeks before the Assembly. At least one half of the member organisations must be represented at the Assembly in order to achive a quorum.

Article 5 - Board

The Board is composed of a minimum of three and a maximum of five members. The Board members are elected by the Assembly for a term of two years. As far as possible, terms should be phased so that one half of the members are elected each year. Each member may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Board has the general responsibility for the daily business of the Association in between General Assemblies, in particular for

  • organising activities,
  • financial management,
  • fund-raising.

However, the Board has no mandate to make policy, nor to publically represent the Association or
its member organisations in policy matters.

Article 6 - Auditors

There shall be two internal auditors with responsibility to audit the GENET accounts before each General Assembly and report their findings there. The auditors are elected by the General Assembly for 2 years. Auditors can not be members of the Board.

Article 7 - Membership Fees and Accountancy

Membership fees are

  • 55 Euro per year for member organisations with an annual bugdet below 5,000 Euro;
  • 110 Euro per year for member organisations with an annual bugdet between 5,000 and 10,000 Euro;
  • 275 Euro per year for member organisations with an annual budget between 10,000 and 50,000 Euro;
  • 550 Euro per year for member organisations with an annual bugdet above 50,000 Euro.

Neither the Board nor the member organisations are liable for the obligations of the Association. The fiscal year is the calendar year.

Article 8 - Dissolution of the Association

The Association can be dissolved by 2/3 majority of the member organisations represented at an Assembly of the Association. The Assembly may decide by simple majority the utilization of the surplus funds.