Proposed EUU By-Laws Changes

Changes to be presented at Extraordinary General Meeting at Cologne Retreat

One of our favorite EUU traditions is the moment at the Annual General Meeting when the Treasurer’s Report is projected onto the screen, and we all scratch our heads for five minutes before accepting a budget that none of us has really understood.  Fortunately, our Treasurers have never steered us wrong, but complexity for complexity’s sake is not really in keeping with our democratic principles.

The main source of the problem is that while our pledge year aligns with the calendar year, our election cycle and budget run from September 1 to August 31.  At the last CC meeting, we agreed unanimously that it would make more sense for our election cycle and budget to align with the calendar year.  So, in future, when we talk about a budget for 2019, it will actually be the budget for 2019.

Making this rather simple change can only be achieved through a slightly onerous procedure.  So as long as we are amending the by-laws, the CC would also like to change some exclusive language in the by-laws and alter a provision which seems to forbid absentee voting (see concrete proposals below).

To amend our by-laws, we need to take a vote at a GM, which we have scheduled for the Fall Retreat in Cologne.  This is what the process will look like:

  • At the Cologne Retreat in Fall 2018, we will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to explain, discuss, and formally vote on the change to the by-laws.
  • Before the EUT Gathering in Berlin, the changes to the by-laws will be registered with the French authorities.
  • At the EUT in Berlin, we will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to elect a new Board, who will only serve for three months (September – December 2019) so that we can get our election cycle to align with the calendar year.
  • At the Fall Retreat in 2019, we will hold our first Fall Annual General Meeting and elect the Board which will serve from January 1 – December 31, 2020.
  • Moving forward, the AGM will be held at the fall retreats, which will allow us to have more comprehensible reports on our pledge drives and budgets.

The propositions we will be voting on our as follows:

The Coordinating Council proposes that the following changes be made to the by-laws:

  • All references to the budget year be changed so that in future it runs from January 1 to December 31.
  • All references to electoral terms be changed so that in future they run from January 1 to December 31.
  • All references to Annual General Meetings being held in the Spring will be changed to the Fall.
  • The reference to the possibility of holding an additional General Meeting in the Fall will be changed to Spring.
  • All references to electoral positions will be changed to avoid personal gender-specific pronouns.
  • Reference to members needing to be “present” to vote on policy issues will be dropped, thus allowing absentee voting.
  • The name EUU – Unitarian Universalists in Europe will be added to the two designations already accepted: European Unitarian Universalists and EUU.

Current: The officers of the association shall be President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary.  They will be elected at the Annual General Meeting held each Spring, and their term of office shall be from 1 September until 31 August of the following year.

Proposed: The officers of the association shall be President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary.  They will be elected at the Annual General Meeting held each Fall, and their term of office shall be from 1 January to 31 December of the following year.


Current:  Their term of office is from 1 September until 31 August of the following year. It is the responsibility of the member fellowships and the unaffiliated members to appoint their respective representatives to the CC, and to ensure that they are voting members of their respective groups prior to and during their term of office.

Proposed: Their term of office is from 1 January until 31 December of the following year. It is the responsibility of the member fellowships and the unaffiliated members to appoint their respective representatives to the CC and to ensure that they are voting members of their respective groups prior to and during their term of office.


Current:  The budget proposed for the forthcoming fiscal year will be presented and voted upon at the Annual General Meeting.  The fiscal year and the program year shall coincide and shall be from 1 September until 31 August of the following year.

Proposed: The budget proposed for the forthcoming fiscal year will be presented and voted upon at the Annual General Meeting.  The fiscal year and the program year shall coincide and shall be from 1 January until 31 December.


Current: There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the EUU membership in the Spring of each year.

Proposed:  There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the EUU membership in the Fall of each year.


Current:  When there are sufficient reasons, and after counselling with the CC, the President may also call for a General Meeting in the Fall.

Proposed: When there are sufficient reasons, and after counseling with the CC, the President may also call for an Extraordinary General Meeting in the Spring.


Current: The President of the association, or in his absence the Vice-President, shall chair the CC meetings.

Proposed: The President of the association, or in the President’s absence the Vice-President, shall chair the CC meetings.


Current: The General Meeting will be chaired by the President or, in his/her absence, the Vice-President.

Proposed: The General Meeting will be chaired by the President or, in the President’s absence, the Vice-President.


Current:  Voting for officers is open to all members of EUU, and election of officers will be simple majority of votes.  Policy issues shall be decided by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.  Members of the EUU attending the Annual General Meeting shall automatically constitute a quorum.

Proposed:  Voting for officers is open to all members of EUU, and election of officers will be simple majority of votes.  Policy issues shall be decided by a two-thirds majority of those voting.  Members of the EUU attending the Annual General Meeting shall automatically constitute a quorum.


Current: These bylaws may be amended at any General Meeting of the EUU membership by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.

Proposed: These bylaws may be amended at any General Meeting of the EUU membership by a two-thirds majority of those voting.


Current:  The name of this religious organization shall be European Unitarian Universalists.  The abbreviation EUU may be used.

Proposed: The name of this religious organization shall be European Unitarian Universalists.  The abbreviation EUU may be used alone or in combination with the descriptor Unitarian Universalists in Europe.