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The Liberal Democrat European Group

CONSTITUTION

  1. NAME

The name of the Association shall be The Liberal Democrat European Group.

  1. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

2.1. To campaign for UK membership of the European Union (EU) and peace, prosperity and liberal values in Europe by informing, assisting and motivating Liberal Democrat Party ('Party') members.

2.2. Specifically to promote remaining in or rejoining the EU, the establishment of a federal European Union democratically accountable to its citizens, respecting the diversity of its peoples and traditions, and able to act effectively on those aspects of policy best handled at European level.

2.3. To work with elected Liberal Democrat and Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) MEPs and Party members in UK and European elections and other Europe related work.

2.4. To encourage members to join and operate within the cross-party European Movement UK and to influence its work and policies.

2.5. To work within ALDE and like-minded organisations in the furtherance of European integration.

  1. MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall be open to all Liberal Democrat Members, members of the ALDE party and sister parties in Liberal International who subscribe to the aims and objectives of the Liberal Democrat European Group (LDEG) as provided in Clause 2.

3.1 LDEG rejects all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion or belief, age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation and opposes all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

3.2 LDEG welcomes and encourages diversity within its membership and in its governing bodies, and seeks to be inclusive in all its activities.

  1. Members will abide by the Party's latest current code of conduct - see: https://www.libdems.org.uk/doc-code-of-conduct
  2. MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION

The annual subscription shall be as determined from time to time by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) after requisite notice (Clause 7.1). The Executive Committee ('Executive') reserves the right to offer temporary discount rates to new members. Correspondence will normally be by e-mail (members wishing postal correspondence will pay the full sub). All LDEG funds will be kept in accounts which require at least two signatories from officers to withdraw funds where there is no executive authorisation.

  1. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

Application for membership from members of the Liberal Democrat Party and others listed in Paragraph 3 shall normally be accepted on payment of subscription. In exceptional cases an application to join may be referred to the Executive which alone within three months shall have the right to reject an application.

  1. CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Membership will stop if a renewal subscription has not been received within three months. A member may be expelled for behaviour incompatible with the party's current code of conduct (see 3.3). In such cases the Executive shall give written notice of their reasons. The member concerned shall have the right to appeal in person to the Executive. If the member wishes to appeal the Executive's decision, the Executive will nominate three LDEG members not serving on it as an independent appeal board whose decision will be final.

  1. MEETINGS

An AGM will be held each year, usually during the Liberal Democrat Spring Federal Conference or soon afterwards. Other general meetings shall be held as and when required and may be called by majority vote of the Executive or at the written request of 20 members, or 10% of the membership, whichever is the less.

The Executive will submit a report on its activities and finances including audited accounts at the AGM, on which occasion the Hon. President or Patron is invited to take the Chair.

Notice of the Executive will be given to members three weeks in advance. The final agenda dispatched at least two weeks in advance. Meetings can be convened in person, by telephone or Skype.

7.1. Notice in writing of any resolution to be proposed at a general meeting shall be given to the Secretary at least three weeks before that meeting. Notice of any resolution to be proposed by the Executive shall be given in the draft agenda and shall be dispatched with the calling notice. The Draft Agenda as dispatched shall be deemed the Agenda should no resolutions be tabled by members.

7.2. Emergency resolutions may be proposed at any LDEG meeting by leave of the Chair.

7.3. Voting on any resolution at a meeting shall be by a show of hands. A resolution shall be deemed carried on a simple majority of members present and voting. The Chair shall have a casting vote.

  1. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

8.1. Nomination for election as an officer or member of the Executive must be by written notice signed by the candidate, and will be delivered to an independent returning officer nominated by the Executive.

8.2. The Executive will recommend a candidate for Hon. President who will be confirmed by the AGM. The nominee for Hon. President will not be required to submit a bid or artwork. If the Hon. President is not already a LDEG member, s/he will be expected to become a member.

8.3. Elections for officers, ordinary members and regional representatives of the Executive shall be held every two years by single transferable vote in a ballot of all members using an online voting system conducted during the month of December, or as otherwise agreed.

8.4. The Returning Officer should be an independent person who is not a candidate, and ideally not a member of LDEG.

8.5. Nominations must be submitted to the Returning Officer no less 21 days before polling day. The Returning Officer will set his/her own timetable to ensure voting takes place during this period.

8.6. Nomination forms must be signed by the candidate and should be supported by a named proposer or seconder. The Returning Officer will separately validate the nominations, proposers and seconders.

8.7. Nomination forms can be scanned, emailed and/or posted.

8.8. Members may only sign nomination papers up to the number of vacancies that exist for that post.

8.9. The date on which members need to have joined or renewed to be a valid voter in LDEG elections will be the date which the returning officer issues the notice calling for nominations.

8.10. Any appeals should be addressed to the Head of Compliance in writing by e-mail or post within 10 days of the election result having been declared.

  1. OFFICERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

In addition to the Hon. President, there shall be six officers of the Executive including the Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Data Officer. The Executive shall consist of:

9.1. The Chair, Vice-Chairs (one for campaigns and another for communications), Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Data Officer, one member representing each Liberal Democrat region, and a maximum of 4 ordinary members (including one for communications/website and one for visits). The members representing a region do not have to be resident in the constituency they are representing.

9.2. Up to three members co-opted by the Executive Committee.

9.3. In the case of Chair and Vice Chairs, no individual shall hold the same office for more than two full consecutive terms. From 2019, no individual may serve in any officer role for more than four full consecutive terms.

Additional members may be co-opted but shall have no votes in the proceedings of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee may from time to time unanimously invite members of the Party to become Patrons. These are honorary positions and must be ratified at the next general meeting.

Scottish, Welsh and English Regional branches of LDEG may be established. A branch shall present an annual report and a financial statement to the Executive Committee.

The Executive may establish such committees as it considers necessary.

  1. QUORUM

10.1. For a general meeting the quorum shall be fifteen members including two officers.

10.2. For an Executive, the quorum shall be five voting members including two officers.

  1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

This constitution may be amended only at an AGM at which due notice has been given to all members of the amendments proposed. A two-thirds majority of those present and voting at the meeting is required to amend this constitution.

10 March 2018

Southport