The Finnish-British Society was founded as the Suomalais-Englantilainen Yhdistys in 1926. Read more here.
The current constitution is in Finnish and was accepted in March 2023. This is an unofficial translation of the constitution.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FINNISH-BRITISH SOCIETY
1§ NAME AND REGISTERED OFFICE OF THE SOCIETY +–
The name of the Society is the Finnish-British Society, and its registered office is in Helsinki.
2§ PURPOSE OF THE SOCIETY +–
The aim of the Finnish-British Society is to strengthen the ties of friendship and culture between Finland and the United Kingdom by promoting British culture in Finland and by encouraging contact between Finns and British citizens living in Finland. It also aims to promote diversity, inclusion, and cohesion in society and lifelong learning through the English language. To achieve this, the Finnish-British Society organises meetings, lectures, language courses, and language tests. To support its activities, the Society may accept donations, own property necessary for its activities, and organise raffles and fundraisers.
Membership of the Society is open to any person or legal entity that accepts the purpose of the Society. Members of the Society are:
1. Ordinary members
2. Supporting members
3. Honorary members.
Ordinary members may be persons aged 15 or over. A student may be accepted as a student member. Ordinary and honorary members shall each have one (1) vote at the annual meeting of the Society. Supporting members are individuals or legally eligible entities who wish to support the purpose and activities of the Society. Supporting members do not have the right to vote at meetings of the Society. Ordinary members and supporting members are approved by the Council; honorary members are invited by the General Assembly at the Annual General Meeting of the Society on the proposal of the Council. Honorary members may be persons who have made a particularly meritorious contribution to the activities of the Society or who have made a significant contribution to its objectives. The Society’s General Assembly may appoint up to three honorary members each year. Honorary members are not liable to pay membership fees. Ordinary members and supporting members shall pay an annual membership fee, as determined separately for each category of membership by the Society’s General Assembly. Membership shall commence from the date of acceptance of membership. Acquired membership rights shall be maintained.
4§ TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP+–
A member liable to pay membership fees may be expelled if they fail to pay the annual membership fee within 30 days of the end of the previous membership year. The membership year begins on the first day of July and ends on the last day of June. A dues-paying member shall not be entitled to membership benefits unless they have paid the membership fee for the current membership year. In addition, a member may withdraw from the Society at any time by notifying the Council in writing.
5§ JOINING AND MEMBERSHIP FEES+–
Membership shall be granted to a person or legal entity having paid the membership fee, or to a person invited to honorary membership by the General Assembly at the Annual General Meeting. Honorary membership shall continue without the obligation to pay membership fees. The joining fee for paid membership types and the membership fee for all membership types, including the minimum fee for supporting membership, shall be determined by the General Assembly at the Annual General Meeting on the proposal of the Council.
The affairs of the Society shall be managed by a Council consisting of 6–10 members elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Chairperson and two (2) Vice-Chairpersons, one of whom shall, if possible, be a citizen of the United Kingdom, shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting from among the members of the Council. The Annual General Meeting may, at its discretion, establish committees and commissions under the authority of the Council to perform various functions for a period of one year or delegate such functions to the Council. The Council shall delegate the functions of the Secretary as it sees fit, to be performed by a person or persons outside the Council. As far as possible, some of the members of the Council shall be British citizens. The term of office of the Council shall be from the end of the Annual General Meeting at which the election is made until the next Annual General Meeting. The Council shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or, in their absence, of one of the Vice-Chairpersons, whenever they consider it appropriate or at the request of at least half of the members of the Council. A quorum shall exist when at least half of the members of the Council and the Chairperson or at least one (1) of the Vice-Chairpersons are present. Votes shall be decided by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.
7§ SIGNING ON BEHALF OF THE SOCIETY+–
Signing on behalf of the Society shall be done by the Chairperson of the Council alone, by two (2) Vice-Chairpersons jointly, or by two (2) Secretaries jointly. The Council may also delegate the right to sign on behalf of the Society to a person of its choice.
8§ FINANCIAL PERIOD AND AUDIT+–
The accounting period of the Society is the calendar year. The Society shall have at least one (1) and no more than two (2) auditors and at least one (1) and no more than two (2) alternate auditors. An auditing firm approved by the Chamber of Commerce may be appointed as auditor, in which case no alternate auditor needs be appointed. The financial statements with the necessary documents and the annual report of the Council must be submitted to the auditor at least one month before the Annual General Meeting. The auditor must submit their written opinion to the Council at least two (2) weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
9§ MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY+–
The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held annually on a date to be determined by the Council in January–May. An extraordinary meeting shall be held whenever the Society’s meeting so decides or whenever the Council deems it necessary or when at least one-tenth (1/10) of the Society’s members with voting rights request it in writing from the Council for a specifically notified matter. The meeting shall be held within 30 days from the date on which the request for a meeting is submitted to the Council. At meetings of the Society, each ordinary and honorary member shall have one (1) vote. A supporting member shall have the right to attend and speak at meetings of the Society. Unless otherwise provided in the rules, the decision of a meeting of the Society shall be the opinion supported by more than one-half of the votes cast. In the event of a tie, the chairperson of the meeting shall have the casting vote, or in the case of an election, a draw of lots.
10§ CONVENING MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY+–
The notice of the Annual General Meeting and extraordinary meetings of the Society shall be sent to the members by technical means, for example by publishing the notice on the Society’s website and sending the notice by email at least 14 days before the meeting. The invitation will include information on how the meeting will be held. The meeting may be held at the Society’s premises, at another location, or by means of a telecommunication link or other technical means.
11§ ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING+–
The following matters shall be discussed at the Annual General Meeting of the Society:
1. Opening of the meeting
2. Election of the chairperson, secretary, two (2) scrutineers of the minutes and, if necessary, two tellers to count the votes.
3. Approve the agenda of the meeting
4. Presentation of the financial statements, the annual report, and the auditors’ report
5. Approve the financial statements and grant discharge to the Council
6. Approve the programme of activities, the budget, and the amounts of the joining and membership fees
7. Elect the members of the Council and from among them the Chairperson and two (2) Vice-Chairpersons
8. Elect one (1) or two (2) auditors and at least one (1) and no more than two (2) alternate auditors
9. Elect or authorise the Council to elect the necessary committees and commissions
10. Deal with any other business mentioned in the invitation to the meeting
If any member of the Society desires any business to be transacted at the Annual General Meeting of the Society, they shall notify the Council in writing in sufficient time to be included in the notice of the meeting.
12§ AMENDMENTS TO THESE RULES+–
After the Council has considered the amendments of the rules, the Society’s General Assembly must make a decision on the matter by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast. The notice of the meeting shall mention the amendments.
13§ DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY+–
After the Council has considered a decision to dissolve the Society, the General Assembly of the Society must make a decision by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast. The notice of the meeting shall mention the dissolution of the Society. In the event of the dissolution or cancelling of the Society, the assets of the Society shall be transferred to an existing registered association or associations with similar objectives.