Constitution

The Finnish-British Society was founded in 1926.

Finnbrit builds bridges between cultures enhancing lifelong learning, diversity, and inclusiveness.

The original language of this constitution is Finnish and this translation has been accepted at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 15th May 2001.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FINNISH-BRITISH SOCIETY

1§ SOCIETY’S NAME AND DOMICILE+

The Society’s name is the Finnish-British Society and its domicile is the city of Helsinki.

2§ THE PURPOSE OF THE SOCIETY+

The aim of the Finnish-British Society is to strengthen friendship and cultural relations between Finland and the British Commonwealth by making British culture known in Finland as well as to promote Finnish contacts with British citizens in Finland. The aim is also to promote the use of good English language.

For this purpose the Society arranges meetings, lectures, social gatherings, language training and other training.

In order to support its activities, the Society may accept donations, may own realty and moveable property necessary for its activities and arrange lotteries and fund-raising.

3§ MEMBERS+

The Council may invite well-known Finnish nationals or British citizens to become patrons of the Society. The Council may invite a distinguished Finnish person to become the honorary president of the Society.

On the recommendation of the Council the Society may elect not more than three honorary members a year. Honorary members, honorary presidents and patrons shall enjoy full membership rights during the whole of their lifetime and be free of liability for all membership payments.

A person may become a permanent member by paying a lump sum of 10 years’ membership fees, after which he/she is free of further membership payments. A person or a legally competent organisation that embraces the Society’s purpose may join the Society as an annual member. A person or a legally competent organisation that wishes to support the Society’s purpose and its activities may be admitted as a supporting member. A student may be admitted as a student member.

4§ RESIGNATION AND EXPULSION OF A MEMBER+

A member may resign from the Society at any time by informing the Council or the chairman in writing or orally. This should be noted in the minutes of the meeting of the Society.

The Council may expel a member from the Society if the member has neglected to fulfil the duties assumed by joining the Society or has by his/her actions within the Society or outside the Society caused the Society considerable damage or no longer fulfils the membership requirements expressed in the law or the Society’s rules.

If a member has left his/her subscription for the year unpaid by the end of the financial year, he/she shall be considered to have resigned from the Society.

5§ JOINING FEES AND MEMBERSHIP FEES+

The joining fee and the membership fees for ordinary members, student members and the minimum fee for supporting members shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting on the proposal of the Council.

A resigning member shall be released from the payment of the subscription and other obligations specified in the rules from the first day of the following January.

6§ COUNCIL+

The activities of the Society shall be directed by the Council, which shall consist of 6-12 members elected by the Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting shall select the chairperson and the two vice-chairpersons of the Society from among the members of the Council. The Annual General Meeting may appoint, for a year at a time, such committees working under the direction of the council as it may consider necessary for the performance of special tasks, or it may leave such appointment at the discretion of the Council.

The Council shall select the general secretary from outside their number.

Some of the members of the Council shall, if possible, be British citizens.

The members of the Council shall be selected for one year at a time from the end of the Annual General Meeting in which they were selected until the following Annual General Meeting.

The chairperson or in his/her absence one of the two vice-chairpersons shall convene the Council as he/she may deem necessary or when at least half of the members of the Council so demand.

The quorum for the Council shall be one half of the members of the Council and the chairperson or one of the two vice-chairpersons. Matters shall be decided by a simple majority of votes and if the votes are equal the chairperson’s opinion shall be decisive.

7§ SIGNING ON BEHALF OF THE SOCIETY+

The chairperson, the vice-chairpersons and the general secretary shall be authorised to sign independently on behalf of the Society.

8§ FINANCIAL YEAR AND AUDITING+

The financial year of the Society shall be the calendar year.

The Society has at least one (1) and no more than two (2) auditors and at least one (1) and no more than two (2) deputy auditors. If the auditor is a company approved by the Central Chamber of Commerce, no deputy need be elected.

The balance sheet with the necessary documents and the annual report by the Council shall be relinquished to the auditors at least 3 weeks before the Annual General Meeting. The auditors shall give a written report to the Council at least 2 weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

9§ SOCIETY’S MEETINGS+

The Society’s Annual General Meeting shall take place between January and May on a day to be decided by the Council.

An extraordinary meeting shall be convened when a meeting of the Society so decides, or when the Council deems it necessary, or when at least one tenth (1/10) of the members of the Society entitled to vote make a written request to this effect at the same time stating the reason and the purpose of the proposed meeting. When a written request is made, then the meeting shall be convened within 30 days from the date the request has been presented to the Council.

Those qualified to exercise the right to vote at the meetings of the Society shall be the annual and permanent members, student members, honorary members, patrons and honorary presidents with one vote each. Supporting members shall have the right to be present and speak at the Society’s meetings.

Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of votes, unless otherwise provided for in these rules. If the voting is equal, the chairman’s vote shall be decisive.

10§ CONVENING THE MEETING OF THE SOCIETY+

The Council shall send a letter convening the meeting together with the agenda for the meeting to all members of the Society at least fourteen days before the meeting.

11§ THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING+

The following matters shall be dealt with at the Annual General Meeting of the Society:

Opening the meeting
The election of the chairman, secretary, two scrutineers of the minutes and, if necessary, two tellers.
Approving the agenda of the meeting
Presenting the annual report and the auditors’ report.
The granting or refusal to grant the Council and other responsible parties release from responsibility.
Confirming the action plan, the budget and the membership fee and joining fee.
Election of the Council and the chairperson and two vice-chairpersons from among their number.
Election of one or two auditors and at least one and no more than two deputy auditors.
Election of any committees or authorising the Council to appoint such committees.
Other matters presented in the letter convening the meeting.

Proposals for any matters to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting shall be submitted to the Council in writing early enough to be included in the letter convening the meeting.

12§ AMENDMENTS TO THESE RULES+

Any decision to amend these rules will be discussed by the Council of the Society. The subsequent Meeting of the Society may decide to amend the rules if a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes is given. The proposal to amend the rules shall be included in the letter convening the meeting.

13§ DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY+

Any decision to dissolve the Society shall be discussed by the Council of the Society. The subsequent Meeting of the Society may decide to dissolve the Society after a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes is given. The proposal to dissolve the Society shall be included in the letter convening the meeting. If the Society is dissolved or closed down, its assets shall be handed over to an active registered organisation or organisations having similar aims.

14§ OLD MEMBERSHIP RIGHTS REMAIN+