Proposals for Dummies: CIA

As in every Agora, there will be different proposals discussed during Spring Agora Patra 2014. This time, there are ten of them (and one motion). Especially for all the delegates and other interested AEGEE members, The AEGEEan has created a ‘Proposals for Dummies’ edition, where the proposals will be shortly summarized and – if needed – explained. What are the ideas, who suggested them, and which impact will they have? You can read all about it in The AEGEEan! The first edition will deal with five of the proposals, namely the ones who suggest changes to (parts of) the CIA (Corpus Iuridicum Aegeense).

First of all, you may wonder: “What is this CIA you are talking about? Is AEGEE-Europe secretly American?” Simply said, the CIA (Corpus Iuridicum Aegeense) is a document with over a hundred pages containing all the rules which govern AEGEE-Europe. It is therefore considered as the legal framework of the Association, and all members are obliged to follow its provisions. Although no secret agents are involved in it, it is one of the most important documents. In the CIA, which you can read here, you can find for example the Statutes of AEGEE-Europe, the Working Formats of the different bodies and all kind of rules (General Rules, Rules of the Network Commission, Antennae Criteria, etc.). Now that we know what the changes are about, we can continue to see which ones they actually are! This Agora, five proposals have been submitted that will make changes to the CIA if they are approved.

The first three proposals that will change the CIA have been submitted by Diana Tupchiienko and Joris Veenhuis on behalf of the Juridical Commission, and are dealing with the topics of Inconsistencies, Double Responsibilities and Protecting the Statutes against ad hoc change. Because the changes in the CIA have over time led to a number of inconsistencies, Diana and Joris propose to fix these inconsistencies. This will mean that parts of the Statutes of AEGEE-Europe and the Working Format of the Agora will be changed. The changes, for example, have consisted of changing the word ‘AEGEE Working Group’ into ‘AEGEE Partner Associations’ and changing the number of members of the Juridical Commission from two to three. Also, following the proposal accepted at Agora Zaragoza 2013 the date of the Comité Directeur’s mandate has been changed to July 31st instead of August, and therefore the decision about the newly elected members of the Comité Directeur comes into force on the 1st of August instead of September. A full list of the changes can be found here.

Next to these inconsistencies, at several points in the Working Format of the Agora a task or responsibility is given to two bodies at the same time, which can lead to a problem if these bodies disagree. Diana and Joris therefore propose to give the final responsibility to one of these bodies, while – if necessary – adding some provisions to safeguard the interests of the other body. This means that parts of the Working Format of the Agora will be changed. One of these changes consists of the Agenda of the Agora, which won’t be made by the Comité Directeur with approval of the Chairperson anymore, but by the Chairperson, giving the Comité Directeur the right to suggest items to put on the agenda. A full list of the exact changes and the reasoning behind them can be found here.

With the third proposal, Diana and Joris want to protect the Statutes from ad hoc changes. Normally, proposals to change the CIA should be submitted one month before the Agora starts, so the members of the Association can contemplate the proposals carefully and no rush decisions are made. But, during Agora Zaragoza a small legal trick was used to change the Statutes, while no proposal to do this had been on the agenda. With a second motion for exception, the proposal was made effective immediately. Diana and Joris think it is a good thing that an exception, with permission of the full Agora, can be made, since it gives our association a lot of flexibility, but these being our highest rules, the Statutes should be protected from these exceptions coming with a risk of making rush decisions. They therefore suggest adding a minimum time to submit changes to the Statutes before a general members assembly, namely at least one month. The full proposal about this change can be read here.

The fourth proposal was submitted by Mylène Jansen, Matthijs Waegemakers and Wietske Jousma on behalf of AEGEE-Enschede and deals with the topic of removing nationalities and countries from the CIA. Currently there are nationality restrictions in multiple parts of the CIA, with an example being the Comité Directeur. Because AEGEE strives for a borderless Europe, the proposers think it should not limit itself by having rules based on countries and nationalities. They therefore suggest deleting these restrictions from the CIA. They acknowledge the fact that there might be a fear that people from the same country will have a same state of mind, resulting in bad policy if there are too many members from the same country in a team, but also state that the Agora can always vote against during elections if they don’t have faith in the members of a body. The full proposal, including the CIA parts that will change, can be found here.

Last but not least, Patrick Scholz on behalf of the Quality Assurance Committee proposes to change the name of the Events Committee (EvC) to Quality Assurance Committee (QAC). If accepted, these proposals will change the General Rules of the CIA by changing the name of the Events Committee everywhere it is mentioned. The full list of the changes that will have to be made to do this can be found here.

Written by Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen