§ 1 Name and Seat of the Organisation

The organisation carries the name: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Sprachen e. V. (Society for Endangered Languages). An entry has been made in the register of organisations. The seat of the organisation is Cologne.

§ 2 Objectives of the Organisation

1. The objective of the organisation is to support the use, maintenance and documentation of endangered languages and dialects.

2. The objective of the organisation is to support projects concerned with endangered languages and dialects and to advise project coordinators on the preparation, execution and evaluation of their projects. Field work and documentation projects are to be particularly supported, as well as scientifically-based initiatives which could contribute to the maintenance or development of endangered languages.

3. The objective of the organisation is to initiate and support measures intended to promote work on endangered languages and dialects in academia.

4. The objective of the organisation is to support scientists whose research interests include endangered languages and dialects.

5. The organisation supports national and international cooperation among scientists who concern themselves with the problems faced by endangered languages and dialects.

6. The organisation considers it its duty to inform the scientific and general public about endangered languages and dialects and the problems faced by the speech communities concerned on a well-founded basis.

§ 3 Membership

Every natural and legal person can become a member of the organisation. The application for membership is to be directed in writing to the executive committee, which is responsible for all decisions regarding acceptance of members. Upon acceptance, the member declares his or her agreement with the charter.

§ 4 Termination of Membership

1. Membership ends upon the death of the member, his or her resignation, exclusion or removal from the list of members.

2. A resignation is to be made in writing. The resignation comes into effect when received by the executive committee.

3. The arbitral committee is responsible for decisions concerning the exclusion of a member. This is carried out at the request of the executive committee or the Annual General Meeting in accordance with the arbitration rules of the organisation. The decision of the arbitral committee can, at the request of the member concerned, be revised by the Annual General Meeting with a 2/3 majority. The rights of the member in question are determined by the decisions of the arbitral committee and the Annual General Meeting concerning exclusion.

4. A member can be removed from the list of members when his or her membership contributions are at least 12 months in arrears and, despite 2 written reminders, does not comply with his or her obligations. The removal from the list results from a decision by the executive committee and the member is to be informed in writing.

5. All members’ rights are dissolved upon termination of membership.

§ 5 Rights and Obligations of the Members

1. Every member has the right to participate in the Annual General Meeting, to make petitions and to vote. Each member is entitled to one vote. This also applies to legal persons. Only those members who became members at least 3 months before the invitation to the Annual General Meeting and who have paid the full membership contribution are entitled to vote. Votes must be cast in person.

2. Every member is under obligation to pay the minimum membership contribution, as set by the Annual General Meeting. Every member is under obligation to inform the organisation’s executive committee of any change of address. All correspondence from the executive committee is considered received 3 work days after postage if it is sent to the last known address of the member.

§ 6 Organisational Organs

The organisational organs are the Annual General Meeting, the executive committee and the arbitral committee. The term of office for the executive committee and the arbitral committee is two years.

§ 7 Annual General Meeting

1. All members are invited to the Annual General Meeting by the executive committee. The invitation is made in writing 2 months in advance.

2. the agenda of the Annual General Meeting is as follows:

  • the receipt of the statement of accounts completed by the executive committee and the treasurer’s report,
  • the relieving of the executive committee,
  • the election of the executive committee,
  • the election of two treasurers,
  • amendments to the charter,
  • resolution concerning the minimum membership contribution
  • decisions concerning petitions delivered,
  • the election of three members to the abitral committee,
  • the final decision concerning the exclusion of members (according to §4.3),
  • the dissolving of the organisation.

3. Every correctly scheduled Annual General Meeting is entitled to make decisions. It may decide on petitions with a simple majority, provided that they do not involve the charter or the dissolving of the organisation.

4. The minutes of the Annual General Meeting are to be recorded. These are to be signed by the recording clerk and the president.

5. The executive committee is under obligation to call an extraordinary Annual General Meeting if a majority of the executive committee or at least 20% of the members of the organisation request such, giving reasons and providing an agenda.

§ 8 Executive Committee

1. The executive committee comprises the president, the vice-president, the treasurer, the secretary and three further members. The period of office is two years and re-election is possible.

2. Two members of the executive committee each represent the organisation legally and privately.

3. The executive committee is responsible for all matters relating to the organisation, provided that this charter does not state to the contrary. In particular, it has the following duties:

  • execution of the current business,
  • determination of the areas of responsibility,
  • advice and decision-making on petitions for support (ideas and materials) in intentions as mentioned in §2,
  • preparation of the Annual General Meeting and drawing up of the agenda,
  • calling the Annual General Meeting,
  • drawing up a budget plan for the economic year,
  • administration of the organisation funds and accounting
  • producing an annual report and delivering this to the Annual General Meeting
  • decision-making on accepting and excluding members.

4. The executive committee meets at least twice a year in committee meetings called by the president. The executive committee appoints the positions for the areas of responsibility from its own members. Where necessary, the committee may appoint other members to such positions. These persons then have an advisory role in the committee meetings.

§ 9 Amendments to the Charter

Amendments to the charter can only be made with a 2/3 majority of the members present. Amendments to the charter at the request of the registrar may be made by the executive committee alone.

§ 10 Dissolving the Organisation

The organisation can only be dissolved by an extraordinary Annual General meeting, called specifically for this purpose, and when carried by a 2/3 majority of the members.

§ 11 Non-Profitability

1. The organisation operates purely on a non-profitable basis in accordance with the paragraph Tax-Privileged Uses in the tax regulations.

2. The organisation operates selflessly. It does not pursue any profitable purposes.

3. Funds from the organisation may only be implemented for purposes related to the charter. The members receive no payments from the organisation’s funds.

4. Nobody may receive payments, which are not related to the purposes of the organisation, or excessive fees from the organisation.

5. Upon liquidation of the organisation or cessation of its current aims, the organisation’s funds are to be directed to another tax-privileged body, which is to use the funds solely for non-profitable purposes to support science and research in accordance with §2 of this charter.

Resolved on 21.11.98 at the Annual General Meeting