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What to do if charter of NGO stipulating collective membership

The Law of Ukraine “On public associations” which has come into force since the first of January 2013 defines that only individuals can be members of non-governmental and legal entities of private law and individuals can be members of public unity. At the same time the new law doesn’t says anything about collective membership or about opportunity to take part into public associations’ activity for collective members.

On the one hand, there is a restriction to take part in activity for groups of companies, institutions, organizations, including groups of public associations without status of a legal entity.

On the other hand, membership has become individual and the procedure of getting it has been simplified. For example, there mustn’t be launched a separated process of taking a member into the public associations because if person is complied with the requirements of the 7, 8 Articles of the Law of Ukraine “On public associations” then he or she can become member by themselves.

We need to admit that the new law gives five years for already existed organizations, associations and unities to put their charters in accordance with this law. In particular, it means to take away clauses about collective membership from charters.

Legally, there are no any problems to put information about every member of collective as a new organization’s member to charters separately.

In other words, organization should write information about every member of collective but not about collective. In this case there should not be any difficulties during the registration of a charter. The State registration service paid attention to this matter in the Recommendations on elaborating charters of public associations dated the 7th of June 2013 which are published on its web-site via link: “Take notice that there is no regulation of a term “collective member”. That’s why public associations which had been registered until the first of January 2013 must write about their membership according to their charter while putting changes in a charter. Individuals are establishers and members of public associations. In order to that there must be put other changes in a charter. For example, only individuals can be delegates and members while management’s meetings.”

At the same time these recommendations doesn’t satisfy needs of a plenty of public unities, particularly sports federations which have only collective members (without even status of a legal entity). It is not surprising that there is a legislative initiative to put an article about it to the Law of Ukraine “On public associations”.

What do we recommend to public associations before putting changes in the law? Organization must write in a charter a detail structure of a new membership which allows to accept every member of collective as a separate person and the procedure of his future participation in managing of association by himself or by authorized person. Also we need to admit that authorized person usually acts on the power of attorney in general.

But we had already positive moments of this option.

In conclusion, we would like to admit that the Law of Ukraine “On youth and child public associations” regulates matters on collective membership as it had been previously. It means that changes are not related this legislative act. As follows this law is a special one according to the Law of Ukraine “On public associations” and that’s why youth and child associations mustn’t put changes in their charters if they had existed before the new law came into force. At least this law and the State registration service don’t demand it.

Moreover, there are no any requirements to put changes to the Law of Ukraine “On youth and child associations” now.

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