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CHAPTER I

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

ARTICLE 1.
ABNA-SE is a non-profit professional association of the news agencies of South East European countries.
The seat of the association is the city where the Association’s Secretariat is based.

CHAPTER II

BASIC OBJECTIVES

ARTICLE 2. The basic objectives of ABNA-SE are the following:
2.1. To assist the organization, co-ordination and informing of its members and to support their common interests.
2.2. To facilitate the exchange of information (e.g. social, political, economic, cultural, sports etc.), reference data, photo and television material among the agencies.

ARTICLE 3.
To carry out research in the information sector, to organize meetings on the various problems encountered in the profession, to share experience and promote collaboration among the association members.

ARTICLE 4.
To establish collaboration with regional and international organizations to the benefit of the associated agencies. All such collaboration must be approved by the General Assembly.

ARTICLE 5.
To organize special tours, research trips, holidays, research, etc, for journalists and information specialists in collaboration with the agencies members of ABNA-SE. Institute prizes for journalists, photojournalists and others, who promote cooperation between the Agencies of SE European countries and serve the goals of the Association through their activities.

ARTICLE 6.
To support the creative development of journalists, specialists and students by providing public opportunities, organizing lectures, consultations, scholarship and special training.

ARTICLE 7.
ABNA-SE’s activity shall in no way interfere with the bilateral and multilateral collaboration of the news agencies.

CHAPTER III

MEMBERS

ARTICLE 8.
ABNA-SE shall be comprised of permanent members and shall also grant observer status.

ARTICLE 9.
Membership shall be conferred upon the major national professional news agencies of SE Europe. The term national describes connection of the agency with institutions of the respective state. The application for membership must be submitted to the General Secretariat two months before the General Assembly. The General Secretary informs the President and the member agencies before the G.A. and it incorporates the application in the agenda of the next G.A. If in ABNA-SE Europe there is another agency which is already a member then the application must be signed (accepted) by this member agency from the same country. In case they refuse, the issue is introduced to the General Assembly for approval. For the approval of the application 2/3 majority of the total number of ABNA-SE’s members is needed.

ARTICLE 10.
The observer must apply in writing to the General Secretariat two months before the G.A. The General Secretary incorporates the application in the Agenda. Simple majority is required.

ARTICLE 11.
Each agency member of the ABNA-SE shall be represented by its general director or by a duly authorized representative. All members shall have one vote at the General Assembly meeting.

ARTICLE 12. ABNA-SE members shall enjoy the following rights:
1) To have access to all of ABNA-SE`s information, its archive and other aspects of its activity.
2) To nominate representatives for election to the association’s administrative bodies.
3) To participate, through their representatives, in the general meeting and other events organized by the ABNA-SE

ARTICLE 13.
Observers do not have a voting right and cannot be elected to the association’s administrative bodies

ARTICLE 14. ABNA-SE members and observers have the following obligation:
1) To strictly adhere to these statutes.
2) To do their best for the attainment of ABNA-SE’s goals.
3) To pay membership fees promptly

ARTICLE 15. Membership shall be terminated and observers deprived of their status in the following cases:
1) The member or observer resigned in writing  with a letter sent to the President or the General Secretariat. .
2) Failure to pay the membership fee for two years.
3) Failure of an ABNA-SE member to fulfil its obligations.

The President consults with the General Secretary and presents in writing the reasons for the decision. The G.A. decides with 2/3 majority of the members.

CHAPTER IV

GOVERNING BODIES

ARTICLE 16.
The governing bodies of ABNA-SE are:
1) The General Assembly.
2) The President.
3) The General Secretary.

General Assembly

ARTICLE 17.
The General Assembly:
The supreme body of ABNA-SE is the General Assembly, comprising the lawful representative of all the members of the association.
1) The General Assembly meeting is convened by the President once a year while  extraordinary sessions will be held in case of urgent issues.
2) The General Assembly meeting is convened by written notification to the members, containing the agenda, sent at least 30 days before the date of the meeting. In the case of extra Ordinary G.A. the invitation must also include the reasons for calling the meeting.
3) The General Assembly is considered to have a quorum if attended by 2/3 majority of the members.

ARTICLE 18.
The General Assembly : |
1) Elects the Secretary-General.
2) Defines the main directions of ABNA-SE’s activities.
3) Approves the financial report and determines the size of monthly fees for each calendar year.
4) Ratifies the new members and observers and decides on the termination of ABNA-SE memberships.
5) Adopts amendments to the Statutes by a 3/4 majority of  ABNA-SE members.
6) An effort will be made for General Assembly decisions to be reached unanimously. In a different case, decisions will be reached through  vote.
7) Makes decisions on all matters not foreseen in these Statutes.

President

ARTICLE 19.
The ABNA-SE president is elected on a rotating basis for a one-year term based on the initial letters (Latin alphabet) of the cities where the ABNA-SE news agencies’ headquarters are located.
However, in special cases, the General Assembly can decide a different order for the election of the President (simple majority is needed).

The President:
1) He/she is the official representative of ABNA-SE Europe.
2) Elaborates, in cooperation with the Secretary, the proposals concerning the association’s activities and presents the said proposals for approval to the member agencies.
3) Monitors the activities of the General Secretariat. If the seat of the President becomes vacant the next in turn President becomes automatically the new ABNA-SE

General Secretary

ARTICLE 20.
The General Secretary is elected by 2/3 majority of members attending the General Assembly for a two-year term. The General Secretariat is a technical support to the President and General Secretary. The basis could be in Thessaloniki but it could also be in any other city. The person in the Secretariat is a part-time worker.

The General Secretary:
1) Communicates the proposals and decisions of the president to the member agencies; conveys the demands, proposals and texts prepared by the member agencies to the president.
2) Ensures the continuity of administration between General Assembly meetings.
3) Coordinates the activities of member agencies and prepares the necessary documents on the decisions reached in ordinary and extraordinary General Assembly meetings.
4) Manages the ABNA-SE finances based on the approved way; monitors and presents the annual budget in the General Assembly.

CHAPTER V

FUNDING

ARTICLE 21.
ABNA-SE shall raise funds from:
1) Membership fees.
2) Revenues from the publication of information bulletins and other information products.
3) Donations, grants and property passed by will

CHAPTER VI

FINAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 22.
ABNA-SE may terminate its activities by a decision of the General Assembly taken with the consensus of the ¾ of its members. In such case, all money collected (as mentioned in the previous Article) will be donated to UNICEF.

ARTICLE 23.
The present Statutes shall become effective immediately upon their adoption by the General Assembly.
(Please note that the above is the Statutes of ABNA-SE as it was revised in the Association’s General Assembly meeting in Belgrade, 28-31/10/2010)