Constitution of the European Rural History Film Database Association (ERHFDBA)

The ERHFDBA is a Verein according to Art. 60 Zivilgesetzbuch (ZGB), Switzerland

1. Name, seat, area of activities and general agreement
1.1. The name of the association is “European Rural History Film Association” (ERHFA).
1.2. The association’s seat is located in Bern.
1.3. The ERHFDBA is a multilingual association; in order to facilitate the communication, the working language shall primarily be English.

2. Aims
The association is a non-profit organisation concerned to conserve and promote the documentation, study and publication of all aspects concerning films on rural history.

3. Means
3.1. The non-material means to achieve these aims comprise The European Rural History Film Database; a homepage (; an Online-Portal; conferences, lectures and seminars; research and publication projects.
3.2 The material means to achieve these aims comprise annual fees, voluntary contributions done by members; donations, subsidies, legacies and research and publication grants.

4. Membership
Institutions subscribing to the aims of the association can join the association
a) as members
b) as associated members

5. Members’ rights and duties, acquisition of membership
Members are institutions using and developing the ERHF-Database and the ERHF-Online Portal. Each member has full voting rights at the General Meeting and can nominate a representative for the Management Committee.
Associated members are institutions supporting the activities of the ERHFA; they can consult the ERHF-Database and present digitised film material via the ERHF-Online-Portal.
Admission of membership shall be decided by the Management Committee.

6. Termination of membership
Membership ceases through the loss of the legal status, voluntary cancellation or exclusion.

7. Bodies of the association
The bodies of the association comprise the General Meeting, the Officers, the Management Committee, the Technical Commission and the Auditors.

8. General Meeting
8.1. The General Meeting is a “Mitgliederversammlung” (assembly of members) according to Art. 60, Zivilgesetzbuch. An ordinary General Meeting takes place at least every two years.
8.2. The date, time and location of the General Meeting together with an agenda shall be circulated to its members by email no less than 28 days (in case of an ordinary General Meeting) or 60 days (in case of an extraordinary General meeting) before.
8.3. All members shall be entitled to attend and vote at the General Meeting.
8.4. The General Meeting is able to vote on motions regardless of the number of members present.
8.5. Normal resolutions require a simple majority of the valid votes of those present. Resolutions concerning the amendment of the constitution or the dissolution of the association require two thirds of the valid votes of those present.

9. Duties of the General Meeting
9.1. Confirmation of the reports and accounts
9.2. Election of the Officers nominated by the Management Committee
9.3. Election of the Technical Commission and the Auditors
9.4. Discharge of the Officers
9.5. Approval of the membership fees fixed by the Management Committee
9.6. Discussions concerning the amendment of the constitution or the dissolution of the association
9.7. Debates and resolutions concerning other items of the agenda.

10. Officers
10.1. The Officers comprise at least five persons: president, vice-presidents, secretary and treasurer.
10.2. The Officers shall be appointed by the General Meeting on the nomination of the Management Committee.
10.4. The term of office of the Officers is two years. Re-election is possible.

11. Duties of the Officers
The Officers manage the association. They fulfil all duties not assigned to other bodies of the association.

12. Special duties of the Officers
12.1. The President manages the association’s current activities, chairs the Officers’ meetings, the Management Committee and the General Meeting and represents the association in the academic and public spheres.
12.2. The Secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of the Officers’ meetings, the Management Committee and the General Meeting. She/he supports the President in managing the association, with special regard to website, membership administration, annual reports and legal requirements.
12.3. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the management of the organisation’s income and expenses. The Treasurer shall be authorised to open and operate bank accounts on behalf of the association.
12.4. The Officers may not receive any payment from the association but may claim reasonable expenses incurred on the business of the association during their term of office, the sums so paid to be reported to the Management Committee.

13. Management Committee
13.1. The Management Committee is composed of the Officers and the representatives nominated by the institutional members.
13.2. The Management Committee is to be convened by the President or, in case of his/her unavoidable absence, the Vice-Presidents in written form.
13.3. The President or, in his/her unavoidable absence, the Vice-Presidents shall chair the Management Committee.
13.4. The Management Committee meets at least every two years before the General Meeting. In the meantime, decisions are made as follows: The members of the Management Committee shall be consulted by email on any issue that requires their decision, and shall be given seven working days (excluding weekends and generally accepted public holidays) to reply to the Secretary, the Secretary being responsible for the determination of the balance of opinion amongst the members.
13.5. Resolutions require a simple majority of the valid votes. In case of equality of votes, the chair of the Management Committee shall have the determining vote.
13.6. The term of office of the Management Committee is two years with the option of unlimited re-nomination.

14. Duties of the Management Committee
14.1. The Management Committee shall be responsible for the nomination of the Officers, the members of the Technical Commission and two Auditors to the General Meeting.
14.2. It shall determine the membership fees.
14.3. It shall decide about the admission and exclusion of members.

15. Technical Commission
The Technical Commission shall be responsible for all technical aspects.

16. Auditors
16.1. The Management Committee shall recommend to the General Meeting two Auditors to serve for two years with the option of unlimited re-nomination. The Auditors shall not be member of any body of the association except for the General Meeting.
16.2. The Auditors have to control the annual accounts. The Officers have to deliver the necessary information. The Auditors have to report the results of the audit to the Management Committee.
16.3. The audited accounts will be supplied to all members.

17. Termination of the association
17.1. The voluntary termination of the association requires at least two thirds of the valid votes of the General Meeting.
17.2. If the association is voluntarily terminated, any remaining assets, after the payment of necessary legal costs, shall be devoted to the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO).

Bern/St. Pölten, 15-06-2021