2012 General Assembly report
Changes to Bylaws
Apart from the regular business of the General Assembly (approving the annual report and accounts, budgets and plans), this year we also approved some significant changes to our bylaws. These will be included in the Bylaws on this website once they have received official approval by the Belgian authorities.
(a) Membership categories
The General Assembly agreed to abolish the category of Consultative Member: all organisations that pay the minimum membership fee of €100 will be full members. A new category of Associate Member has been created: these will pay no fee and have no vote but will be a way of associating (especially) new and struggling organisations with EHF until they are able to become full members. For the new wording, see here.
(b) European Humanist Professionals
Following an approach from the informal European Humanist Professionals (EHP) organisation, the General Assembly approved changes to the bylaws to create a new section within the EHF for EHP. For the new wording, see here.
The General Assembly formally approved the membership of the following new member organisations:
Ateistisk Selskab (with which our existing member Humanistisk Debat has merged), Denmark
Humanismo Secular Portugal, Portugal
Freidenker-Vereinigung der Schweiz / Association Suisse des Libres Penseurs / Associazione Svizzera dei Liberi
La Ligue de l’Enseignement, France
Atheist Union of Greece
The Open Meeting heard reports on the “Article 17″ dialogue with the EU Commission and Parliament, including an update on our complaint to the Ombudsman, approaches we have made to the adogmatic freemasons, and the video of the November 30 meeting in the European Parliament.
It also heard about the our work with allies in the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics, the Alliance for a Secular Europe, the new Global Interfaith and Secular Alliance and the G3i, and about our collaborative work in support of secular democracy and women´s rights in north Africa.
Katharina von Schnurbein
We were pleased to receive a visit from Mme Katharina von Schnurbein, who since the start of the year has been in charge within the EU Commission of the “Article 17″ dialogue. She spoke to us and gave us reason to expect rather fairer treatmentin future than we have had hitherto. Read her speech here.
Reports from Member Organisations
We received a number of presentations by member organisations. These were from:
- the Malta Humanist Association - on Church control of education in Malta
- the Centre d’Action Laique (Belgium) – on its work in Tunisia and the Congo
- the Irish Humanist Association – on the Church, the Government and the Humanists in Ireland
- the Prometheus Society (Slovakia) - on their situation and activities (read the presentation here)
- the Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands (Germany) – a video of their work
- the Bund Freireligiöser Gemeinden Deutschlands and Dachverband Freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften (Germany) - on moral education and the problem of professorial chairs at state universities bound to a concordat (read the presentation here)
- the UAAR (Italy) – on their plan for a report on the disadvantages suffered by the non-religious in Europe
- the British Humanist Association – on a “training the trainers” course
- Humanismo Secular Portugal – on the situation in Portugal (read the presentation here)
with short presentations also from
Humanistisch Verbond (Netherlands)
the Central London Humanist Group (read the presentation here)
the Humanist Society of Scotland.
The meeting also heard brief reports on the new EHF policies on recreational drugs and on conscientious objection and a substantial presentation from Julie Pernet on the campaign being planned to oppose restrictions on EU funding of research using human embryonic stem cells.
There was also a presentation by David Pollock on the all-too-effective work being done by reactionary religious organisations such as European Dignity Watch, the European Centre for Law and Justice and others.
The meeting closed with some brief valedictory remarks from the retiring president, David Pollock, to whom the new President, Pierre Galand, presented some fine wine on behalf of the Board.
To read the entire minutes of the General Assembly and the Open Meeting, click here.
This content last updated 12 December 2012 @ 2:20 pm