EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


EUNIC approves new membership policy

EUNIC members adopted new statutes and procedures concerning membership at the global level of EUNIC at their meeting on 17 March 2021.

EUNIC members adopted new procedures concerning membership at the global level of EUNIC at their meeting on 17 March 2021. These modifications became necessary due to a change in membership of the European Union. The new Statutes are provisionally in place until they are fully approved by Royal Decree and published in the Belgian Official Journal later this year.

The 36 EUNIC members agreed unanimously on what defines Associate Membership at the global level of the network at the Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) on 17 March 2021, held online. The EGA also approved a transition mechanism from Associate to Full Membership and vice versa upon accession or withdrawal of a country to or from the EU as well as a procedure to admit new Associate and Full Members. It further defined aspects of governance and operation of EUNIC in relation to Associate Membership.

The changes adopted at the EGA apply to EUNIC’s founding member British Council, which will now become EUNIC’s first Associate Member at global level. EUNIC will count 35 Full Members from all 27 EU Member States and one Associate Member.

According to the new statutes, the Membership of EUNIC is defined as follows (cf. Art. 4 of the revised Statutes).

The Full Members of the Association are:

  • representative national level entities; or legal entities with a degree of autonomy acting in the name of or on behalf of a national level entity;
  • based in a Member State of the European Union;
  • engaged, beyond their national borders, in cultural or related activities.

Associate Members are:

  • representative national level entities; or legal entities with a degree of autonomy acting in the name of or on behalf of a national level entity;
  • based either in a country which is an official candidate for accession to the European Union, in a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), or in another European country;
  • engaged, beyond their national borders, in cultural or related activities.

Transition mechanism
A Full Member from a country that ceases to be an EU Member State ceases to be a Full Member. (…) (It) shall become an Associate Member from the date on which the country where it is established has officially left the EU. (…) An Associate Member coming from a country that accedes to the EU becomes a Full Member from the date of its country's accession to the EU.

EUNIC also defined an admission process for both Full and Associate Members.

Cluster governance and project leadership
EUNIC’s new Associate Membership on the global level was defined in a bottom-up process derived from EUNIC clusters’ practice, which have already been operating with the definition applied here for many years. EUNIC members join together in 125 clusters in 96 countries worldwide. Clusters are the network's branches, established where at least three EUNIC members are represented. Clusters engage in cultural relations, co-creating activities with partner organisations.

On an operational level in clusters, Associate Members at global level cannot take the Presidency of a cluster but can become Vice-President. Collaborating in projects remains possible. It was further decided that current and future Associate Members might take the lead in EUNIC projects co-financed by the EU and/or other international organisations and foundations, given that they meet the eligibility criteria and given an understanding with the contracting authority and the agreement of all other partners involved in the project, as well as of the EUNIC Board of Directors. Associate Members can also be a partner of EUNIC projects co-financed by the EU and/or other international organisations and foundations.

The EGA further approved changes to the Statutes to create conformity with the new Belgian Code of Companies and Associations and other changes which improve the clarity of the Statutes.

Timeframe of revised statutes to become effective
The newly approved Statutes will now be submitted to the Belgian Federal Public Justice Service to obtain a new Royal Decree authorizing the modification of the statutes. Once obtained, the updated Statutes will be deposited with the Brussels Enterprise Court and published in the Annexes to the Belgian Official Journal (Moniteur Belge) which is when they will be fully effective. Until then, the Statutes are provisionally in place.

Once this process is complete, EUNIC will inform about it via its official communications tools.



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