PROPOSALS #1: New Procedures for Elections, Fixing Small Mistakes and Supporting Proposals

Just like we did for the last Agorae, for Spring Agora Bergamo we want to provide you with a short and easy summary of the proposals submitted for the Agora again. In this first round, we will be explaining you four proposals that are aimed at changing the elections and the work of Juridical Commission, namely “Requiring support of two bodies besides the submitting body to discuss a proposal at the Agora”, “A new procedure for elections and polls, part I (public ballots)”, “Appointing instead of electing the Secretary of the Agora” and “Giving the Juridical Commission the power to fix small mistakes”. 

Now 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 and all kind of rules (like the antennae criteria and financial rules), and, in another document, the Working Formats of the different bodies.

Requiring support of two bodies besides the submitting body to discuss a proposal at the Agora

This proposal was submitted by Lucas Zoetmulder on behalf of AEGEE-Delft and by Wietske Jousma on behalf of AEGEE-Enschede, but it was conceived by the Agora Reform Task Force, which has been working since Autumn Agora Kyïv on improving our Agorae. The proposers want to reform how a proposal is submitted to the Agora. Currently, every member and organ of AEGEE-Europe can present a proposal by themselves on behalf of their body, resulting sometimes in easy withdrawing of proposals. This proposal therefore aims to have two additional bodies or locals to support the proposers. The principal submitter is still the one defending the proposal in front of the Agora, but they can be assisted by the supporting members or organs.

Appointing instead of electing the Secretary of the Agora

This proposal will be presented by Svenja van der Tol, the Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe, on behalf of the Agora Reform Task Force. This proposal starts from the assumption that the elections of the Secretary of the Agora cost time not needed, since normally there is only one candidate for the position and often even less, forcing the Chair Team to appoint anyway an interim Secretary. With this proposal, the Autumn Agora only elects the Chair Person and the Vice-Chair person and the Secretary is appointed following the same procedure of the IT assistant for a period of one Agora. S/he can extend his/her term for more Agorae if the Chair and Vice-Chairperson appoint her/him to. These proposals won’t change the accountability of the Secretary who is still required to send minutes two months after the Agora – not receiving any reimbursement if s/he is not in time with the delivering – and remains in charge of all the changes until the Agora approves them.

A new procedure for elections and polls, part I (public ballots)

Eveline Joore, Evelien Kroon and Wietske Jousma on behalf of AEGEE-Enschede are the proposers of the proposal that aims to change how the votings are conducted. The suggestion of the proposers is to replace the current run-off voting system with the Schulze method. This method allows voters to order candidates according to a preference order, resulting in having as a winner the candidate, who is preferred by a majority over every other candidate in pairwise comparisons. According to the proposers “AEGEE should move beyond the traditional practises of democratic decision-making that have proven to be unsatisfactory”, without any specific reference on when the system we have now proved not to be up to expectations. Proposers specify that they want to apply it, in the beginning, to public ballots, such as EPM topics. There, with a list of topics, delegates would rank the topics according to their preferences, instead of voting for only one topic. According to the Schulze method, the k top-ranked topic will be the winner.

Giving the Juridical Commission the power to fix small mistakes

This proposal will be presented by the Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe, Svenja van der Tol, on behalf of the Agora Reform Task force and it was developed by Lucas Zoetmulder of AEGEE-Delft. The aim of this proposal is to give the Juridical Commission the possibility to intervene directly in the CIA for changes, as it happens now, but without having to prepare a proposal to be voted on. Instead, the Juridical Commission will present the changes to the Agora in order to be ratified by our General assembly. All the changes must be notified to the Network one month prior to the Agora. The system will be the same as the one already used with the minutes of the Agora, and, in case the changes are not ratified, the non-ratified version of the CIA is still the one to be considered valid. According to the proposers, this can ease the work of the JC and remove long-lasting discussion during prytania, making them more accessible to new members. Of course, the JC will have the power to fix minor mistakes and inconsistencies and they can not altered the text by any means.

Written by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona