ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES of the Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES

of the Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership

Civil Society Forum

 

  1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.1 The Armenian National Platform (hereafter: “ANP”) of the Eastern Partnership (hereafter: “EaP”) Civil Society Forum (hereinafter: “CSF” or “Forum”) is a voluntary association of the Armenian civil society organizations (hereafter: “CSO”) formed in conformity with the mission and principles of the EaP CSF. The ANP members make utmost efforts to realize the EaP goals in Armenia as well as in the entire region. The ANP aims at implementing EaP projects, harmonizing the solutions of the country’s domestic problems with the EU standards, ensuring participation and awareness of all segments of general public and carrying out democratic reforms consistently.

1.2 At the moment of its formation ANP does not have a status of a legal entity and its organizational-legal status is regarded to be compliant with further organizational development of the CSF ANP.

1.3 The ANP founding members are those Armenian NGOs that received an invitation to attend the First EaP CSF Assembly held in 2009.

1.4 Within its mandate, the ANP shall engage in the following activities:

a) Ensuring active involvement and continuous participation of civil society organizations in EaP processes;

b)Participation in the drawing up of a RA national agenda within the EaP framework;

c) Support to the realization of the national agenda with the aim of implementing relevant projects through participation, making recommendations and conducting monitoring of the reform process. To that end the ANP undertakes relevant studies and expert analysis. 

  1. ANP MEMBERSHIP

2.1 Any Armenian civil society organization mentioned in Point 2.2 of the ANP Organizational Principles (hereafter: “Principles”) can become an ANP member by providing a written application to the Armenian National Coordinator or ANP Secretariat, in which he/she will acknowledge to have read and accepted the ANP Principles.  The organizations that stated their intention of joining the ANP earlier than the adoption of these Principles shall be regarded ANP members unless they retracted that statement in a written form.

2.2 For the purposes of these Principles, the term “civil society organization” covers grassroots organizations, civic initiatives, business associations (chambers of trade and industry), labor unions (trade unions and employer’s unions), professional associations, NGOs, think-tank organizations, non-profit foundations and other similar organizations.

2.3 The ANP member organizations (with the exception of the member organizations of CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly (ANP Assembly) and the Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly) can attend sessions of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly as non-voting participants and join the ANP working groups and sub-groups as well as set up sub-groups on their own in line with the procedures of the current Principles.

2.4 ANP members can also contribute in the Thematic Platforms activities through CSF mechanisms and agendas-related recommendations, assessments, studies and other initiatives.

2.5 ANP members shall be entitled to be informed about the processes unfolding and the events, initiatives and other activities held within the CSF and EaP framework and can inform other members of the Platform about them.

2.6 ANP member organizations can disseminate their statements and the results of their activities on behalf of the ANP provided a decision to that effect has been made by the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly. Otherwise, those materials shall be disseminated on behalf of the organization(s). 

  1. ADMINISTRATION AND OPERATION

3.1  The ANP administration and regulation of activities shall be implemented by the following bodies:

a)the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly (ANP Assembly)

b)the Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly

c) the CSF Armenian National Coordinator

d) ANP Ethics’ Council

e) the Executive body of ANP

f) Working groups and sub-groups of ANP

g) ANP Secretariat.

3.2 CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly (ANP Assembly)

3.2.1 The CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly (ANP Assembly) shall be formed by Armenian delegates to all CS Forums’ Assemblies (authorized persons of organizations, which have received an official invitation to participate in the CSF Assemblies and confirmed their status by participating in the Assembly shall be regarded as a delegate), who have confirmed their membership to the ANP. The said delegates shall be entitled to the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly’s membership through informing the ANP Secretariat about their decision to participate in that body by responding to the ANP Secretariat written request not later than within two weeks after each CSF Annual Assembly.

3.2.2 The delegates to CSF Assemblies are deprived of the right to reaffirm their membership to the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, if they fail to reaffirm their membership to the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly for 3 consecutive years since the last time they were elected as CSF delegates.  

3.2.3 Each ANP member may become a temporary member of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly – upon submission of a due application and in case of the approval by the majority CSF Armenian delegates general assembly. When making a decision with regard to a temporary member the main criteria for the general assembly is the candidate’s active participation in the activities of CSF and ANP. The competencies of the temporary member shall enter into force after the voting on his/her candidacy and remain in force until the holding of the next CSF Assembly, after which they shall be either terminated or extended upon the decision made by the majority of the new composition of CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, with the exception of cases outlined in paragraph 3.2.5. 

3.2.4 The functions of CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly members, as well as of the temporary members, are tacitly terminated in case of two unjustified absences within the period in between two CSF forums. The decision on the unjustified absences is rendered at the regular meeting of delegates. The termination of functions CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly members  is in force until  the next CSF Assembly, after which it shall be resumed under cases provided by Points 3.2.1 and 3.2.3, with the exception of cases outlined in paragraph 3.2.5. 

3.2.5 The function of a CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly member may also be terminated, if respective organization violates the given Organizational Principles in a way that results in impediment of the proper operation of ANP and of its members. The decision regarding the termination of function is released based on the judgment by the ANP Ethics’ Council. The judgment of ANP Ethics’ Council shall be sent to the ANP members not later than 72 hours before the general assembly.

3.2.6 The CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly first annual meeting has to be convened not later than one month and not earlier than two weeks after the Forum’s annual Assembly. The assemblies shall be convened at least six times a year (including the first annual meeting of the general assembly).

3.2.7 The CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly meetings can be convened by:

a) the Executive body of ANP

b) the CSF Armenian National Coordinator

c) ANP Ethics’ Council

d) one third of the members of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly (ANP Assembly).

The initiator of the meeting has to send through the Secretariat the preliminary agenda and the materials of the discussion to the ANP members not later than 72 hours before the meeting.

3.2.8 The CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly shall:

a) come up with recommendations promoting effective EU-Armenia cooperation within the EaP framework based on the CSF recommendations,

b) formulate, approve and implement the ANP Work plan,

c) cooperate with the RA state and local self-government bodies, EU institutions, as well as international, civil society organizations and political forces on Eastern Partnership, implemented reforms and other issues,

d) cooperate with the CSF National Platforms of other EaP countries as well as with the interested CSOs of EU countries’,

e) make recommendations on the basis of ANP members’ suggestions and on the ANP behalf concerning the agenda of subsequent Civil Society Forums’ Assemblies,

f) assist the CSF Steering Committee in selecting participants for an upcoming Forum’s Assembly by presenting appropriate recommendations through the CSF National Coordinator (a short list). The organizations that have not participated in the previous Forum’s Assembly shall make at least the 50% of the presented short list, the 25% of which shall make organizations, which have not participated in any of the Forum’s Assemblies, if the submitted applications allow for this. Prior to the voting for the short list the candidates are provided an opportunity to introduce their applications and answer questions.

g) ensure public awareness of EaP processes by engaging mass media.

3.2.9 The CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly shall be competent if over a half of its members is present. The decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote of those present, with the exception of cases outlined in paragraphs 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.5, 4.1 and 4.2 of the organizational principles. 

3.2.10 The decisions of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly can also be made through electronic voting, in which the same rules are applicable as during the sessions of the general assembly with the exception of cases envisaged by Point 3.2.11.

3.2.11 There are special rules for the cases when the statements on behalf of ANP are voted by e-mail by the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly. The draft statement can be disseminated for voting only upon the consent or on the initiative of CSF Armenian National Coordinator or more than half of the ANP Executive Body or on the initiative of at least 5 ANP member organizations.

The latter set the deadlines for voting, which can be no less than 72 hours. In case the recommendations regarding the content of the statement are accepted by the initiators, the deadline for the voting is extended for 24 hours. The absence of response by the voters shall be taken as a sign of consent. The statement is considered as adopted if the number of those against it does not exceed the 1/5 (one fifth) of the members of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly. The voting of the draft statements shall be organized by the ANP Secretariat.

3.3 The Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly

3.3.1 The Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly shall be formed of the current year’s Assembly’s Armenian delegates (organizations which have received an official invitation to participate in a CSF Assembly in a current year and which have participated in the Assembly shall be regarded as delegates to a current Assembly), which are also automatically considered as CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly members. Meanwhile, the fact of being or not being a member of CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly does not affect the right to participate in the election of CSF Armenian National Coordinator during the next CSF Assembly in line with Point 3.4.1.

3.3.2 At its meeting the Convention of Armenian delegates to a CSF current Assembly shall elect (on a personal basis) a National Coordinator (a member of the CSF Steering Committee) from among themselves by a simple majority vote and shall be competent to accept his or her resignation.

3.3.3 The meetings of the Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly shall be convened by the National Coordinator or by the initiative of one third of the Convention members.

3.3.4 The members of the Convention of Armenian delegates to a CSF current Assembly and of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly shall be informed about the meetings, their venues, dates, time and agendas at least 96 hours prior to then by email or telephone.

3.3.5 Those Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly, who confirmed their membership the ANP delegates’ general assembly, retain their functions until the next CSF Assembly with the exception of cases envisaged by Points 3.2.4 and 3.2.5.

 3.4 The CSF Armenian National Coordinator shall:

a) represent the Armenian National Platform at the Civil Society Forum;

b) coordinate ANP operation;

c) chair the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, the Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly and the ANP executive body;

d) perform other functions in conformity with the EaP CSF ANP Organizational Principles;

e) report to the Convention of Armenian delegates to a current CSF Assembly.

3.4.1 The CSF Armenian National Coordinator shall be elected by simple majority vote of the delegates to a current Assembly of the Forum in a secret ballot. The CSF Armenian National Coordinator cannot be recommended by the ANP as a candidate for the CSF Armenian National Coordinator more than 6 times, of which more than two times consecutively.

3.4.2 The CSF Armenian National Coordinator’s powers shall be terminated based on his or her resignation application, on a decision made by simple majority vote of the delegates to a current CSF Assembly and in case it is impossible for the Coordinator to discharge his or her duties (due to health condition, nature of activities or change of the country of residence).

3.4.3 In the case of termination of the CSF Armenian National Coordinator’s function a new CSF National Coordinator shall be elected by the Convention of delegates to a current Assembly of the CSF.

3.4.4 In case of failure to confirm the membership to the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly in line with the procedures of the current Principles, the CSF Armenian National Coordinator exercises his functions without the right to vote.

3.5 ANP Executive body

 3.5.1 The ANP executive body shall be composed of a CSF Armenian National Coordinator, ANP working groups’ coordinators and an ANP member(s) elected as current coordinator of any working group of the EaP CSF (in case there are such).

3.5.2 The ANP executive body:

a) shall coordinate the implementation of the decisions by the ANP Assembly (ANP Delegates’ general assembly).

b) out of the exclusive competence of the ANP Assembly and current assemblies shall adopt decisions with regard to other issues related to the organization of the ANP activities. 

3.6 ANP working groups and sub-groups

3.6.1 In order to achieve its goals the ANP shall establish working groups and sub-groups in line with EaP thematic platforms and CSF working groups.

3.6.2 ANP Working Groups shall:

  1. organize and coordinate in the frames of the EaP the establishment of RA national agenda framework of issues related to their spheres through public discussions and collection of recommendations, dissemination of statements, development, implementation of working groups work plans and publication of reports.
  2. contribute to the establishment of RA national agenda in the frames of the EaP, its implementation, monitoring, evaluation and accountability.
  3. develop and present recommendations related to their spheres.
  4. cooperate with relevant working groups of CSF and other national platforms.
  5. exercise other activities contributing to the reforms in their spheres.

 3.6.3 Any Armenian civil society organization can join the activities of a working group.

3.6.4 The same ANP member organization can be represented in various working groups, however they can vote (have the right to vote) only in one working group.

 3.6.5 The civil society organizations that have ANP membership can set up ANP sub-groups in line with the procedure established by the ANP executive body  and make their own decisions concerning the directions and priorities of those sub-groups’ activities. Coordinators of ANP sub-groups can take part in the operation of the ANP executive body in advisory capacity.

3.7 Coordinators of ANP Working Groups shall:

  • be elected (on a personal basis) by a simple majority vote of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly members involved in respective Working groups from among the Armenian delegates to a  current CSF  Assembly. Each member organization of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly shall be entitled to vote (to have the right of vote) only in one working group;
  •  conduct current coordination in the working groups;
  • ensure constant contacts between relevant ANP and CSF working groups.

3.7.1 The function of an ANP working group Coordinator shall be terminated based on his or her resignation application, on a decision made by simple majority vote of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly members involved in a given working group with the right to vote or in case it is impossible for the Coordinator to discharge his or her duties.

3.7.2 In case of termination of the ANP Working group Coordinator’s function a new Coordinator shall be elected.

3.8 ANP Ethics’ Council

3.8.1 The ANP Ethics’ Council is formed by the ANP delegates’ assembly for a period of 1 (one year).

The ANP Ethics’ Council is composed of CSF Armenian National Coordinators of all the previous years, which continue being members of CSF Armenian National Platform, with the exception of the current CSF Armenian National Coordinator.

Other ANP members are also elected to the ANP Ethics’ Council, however the number of the elected members must not exceed the number of the ANP National Coordinators engaged as ANP Ethics’ Council members.

3.8.2 The ANP Ethics’ Council shall operate based on the regulations and ethical norms established by the ANP delegates’ general assembly.

3.8.3 The ANP Ethics’ Council shall examine the cases of violations of the ANP ethical norms, all the disputes and complaints with regard to the ANP activities.

3.8.4 After studying the issue, ANP Ethics’ Council develops a relevant draft decision and/or a judgment containing a concrete position and submits it for consideration by the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly. The latter makes a decision on the issue via voting.

 3.9 ANP Secretariat

3.9.1 The ANP Secretariat is a union of non-profit legal entities and is a legal entity established according to the RA legislation, which is open for membership to the member organizations of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly.

3.9.2 The ANP Secretariat provides organizational and technical assistance to the ANP in its efforts that aim at implementing EaP projects, harmonizing the solutions of the country’s domestic problems with the EU standards, ensuring participation and awareness of all segments of general public and carrying out democratic reforms consistently.

3.9.3 The ANP Secretariat, based on its regulations, shall provide to the CSF delegates the report of its annual activities and the financial report. 

  1. MAKING CHANGES IN AND ADDITIONS TO THE ANP ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES. DISSOLUTION OF ANP

4.1 Changes in and additions to the ANP Organizational Principles shall be made by the decision of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly following an initiative of any ANP member, provided one third of the general assembly’s members agree that the issue is placed on the agenda. In order for the decision to be reached over a half of the members of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly have to vote for it.

4.2 The ANP can be dissolved if two-thirds of the members of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly agree to that.

These Organizational Principles were adopted in the meeting of Armenian delegates of the four Assemblies (2009, 2010, 2011, 2016) of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, held in Yerevan on September 13, 2011, approved by the CSF Steering Committee on November 28, 2011 in Poznan and amended in the meeting of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, held in Yerevan on March 28, 2012, at the meeting of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, held in Yerevan on May 27, 2013, as well as at the meeting of the CSF Armenian delegates’ general assembly, held in Yerevan on December 29, 2017.

 

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