[Translated from the French original]
The Foreign Press Association of Switzerland and Liechtenstein (APES), founded on 15 July 1928 by professional journalists of various nationalities domiciled in Switzerland, shall have its headquarters in Geneva. It shall be governed by Article 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code and have the status of a juridical person.
The goals of the Association shall be to defend the professional interests of its members, and to establish relations and maintain contacts with Swiss and foreign authorities, organisations and enterprises, with a view to facilitating the work of its members.
The Association shall consist of members of honour, active members, associate members and affiliated.
Active members of the Association shall be professional journalists working in Switzerland for one or more press organisations headquartered abroad.
The names of applicants for membership approved by the Committee shall be communicated in writing to all members of the Association. Members must submit any observations they may have within 14 days.
The Committee shall make enquiries as and when it sees fit.
The Committee shall have the authority to approve or reject a membership application. It shall not have to give reasons for its decision.
Each year, the Committee shall verify the list of members. In particular, it must check whether the situation of each active member still corresponds with the conditions set out in Article 4 of these statutes. At the request of the Committee, applicants and active members shall present documentary proof of their activities.
The annual check shall be based on a report established by the general secretary at the request of the Committee.
In doubtful or special cases relating to Article 4, including members whose seniority is recognised, the Committee shall decide by an absolute majority.
Members shall be under an obligation to inform the Committee immediately of any change in their situation.
Any applicant or active member can appeal against a decision of the Committee pertaining to him or her at the subsequent General Assembly, provided the Committee is informed of the appeal by registered letter eight days in advance.
The status of associate member shall be accorded to former active members who have not changed profession and who are still working, though not full-time. Associate members shall not be eligible for election. They may participate and speak in the General Assembly, but shall not have the right to vote.
Swiss or foreign individuals with strong links to the foreign press, or whose cooperation can benefit our profession, may become affiliated members.
The Committee shall be competent to admit affiliated members on its own authority. Such members may not play any part in the different organs of the Association.
Members of the Association shall pay an annual fee fixed each year by the General Assembly. All new active members shall pay an entry charge fixed by the General Assembly. However, in the case of staff changes within the same press organisation, a replacement may be exempted by the Committee from paying an entry charge if his or her predecessor has already paid the charge for the year in question.
The Committee shall have the right to expel any member who, in spite of a written reminder and a second reminder sent by registered mail, has not paid the annual fee by June 30 of the relevant year.
A member who wishes to resign from the Association shall send his or her resignation in writing to the Committee. The resignation shall not be effective until the member has complied with his or her financial obligations towards the Association.
The Committee may decide to expel a member by a two-thirds majority if the member has harmed the interests of the Association or brought it into disrepute.
An active member may appeal against an expulsion decision eight days before the subsequent General Assembly.
The title of “honorary member” may be conferred on Swiss or foreign individuals who have given eminent service to the Association or who have distinguished themselves in the journalistic profession.
Only the General Assembly, acting on a proposal by the Committee, shall be competent to confer honorific status.
The title of “honorary president” may be conferred by the General Assembly on former presidents of the Association who have given eminent service. Acting on a proposal by the Committee, the General Assembly shall decide by a two-thirds majority in a secret ballot.
The organs of the Association shall be:
- The ordinary General Assembly each year.
- The extraordinary General Assembly convoked:
- at the request of the Committee;
- at the request of at least a quarter of active members who shall advise the Committee by registered letter signed by them all.
- The Committee of the Association.
- Two auditors.
- The jury of honour.
The General Assembly shall take place each year on a date fixed by the Committee. Only active members, and associate members without the right to vote, may take part in ordinary and extraordinary General Assemblies. The General Assembly shall receive the report of the Committee on the activities undertaken in the previous year, as well as reports from the treasurer and the auditors.
Every two years, the General Assembly shall elect the president and eight other members of the Committee as well as the auditors. It shall also elect three members to act as replacements for any vacancy that may occur on the Committee. The Committee shall decide for itself the allocation of tasks, acting on a proposal from the president. Functions may not be cumulated. If the presidency becomes vacant, the vice-president shall assume those functions until the General Assembly, which shall elect the Committee as normal. The Committee shall not include more than three members with the same nationality. In the case of a larger number of candidates from the same country, the three with the largest number of votes shall be elected.
Unless the present statutes provide otherwise, all decisions of the General Assembly shall be taken by simple majority. If a secret ballot is requested, even by a single member, it shall be obligatory.
For the General Assembly to be valid, at least a third of active members of the Association must be present. If at the time fixed for the start of discussions the quorum is not reached, the president shall delay the start by half an hour.
This delay passed, the assembly shall proceed normally with the members present.
The Committee shall convoke the General Assembly and send its reports to all active and associate members at least 21 days before the date fixed for the General Assembly.
The Committee shall be answerable to the General Assembly and subject to discharge by it.
The annual financial report shall be verified by two members of the Association elected auditors by the General Assembly.
Proposals from members to the General Assembly shall be sent to the Committee no later than 15 days before the General Assembly. If the Committee deems them important, they may be communicated without delay to members in writing before the General Assembly.
In order to be taken into consideration, proposals to modify the statutes must be presented by the Committee or by each active member.
The Committee shall have full authority to deal with current matters during the year and to represent the Association to the authorities etc. The Committee may enter into commitments within the limits of the activity of the Association set out in Article 2 of these statutes. The Association shall be bound by the signature of the president and two other members of the Committee. Decisions of the Committee shall be taken by a majority of its members, unless otherwise provided for by these statutes.
A jury of honour of three members, comprising two active members designated by the parties, and a third chosen as chairperson by the Committee, shall be established in case of a dispute relating to strictly professional matters, by decision of the Committee.
The parties may appeal against the verdict before the Committee in the eight days following the notification of the jury’s decision.
Modifications to the statutes and the dissolution of the Association shall be decisions of the General Assembly, taken by a majority of two thirds of members present.
In case of dissolution, any assets of the Association shall be given to a humanitarian institution.
The liabilities of the Association shall be guaranteed only by its assets. The General Assembly may not enter into any commitment without assuring that liabilities are covered.