Op-Ed; Opinion

A Proposal to Legally Charter BIEN as an International Nonprofit Organization

Louise Haagh, co-chair
Karl Widerquist, co-chair

The two of us have proposed a new governing structure for BIEN. This proposal replaces BIEN’s statutes with the attached document, available on the “About BIEN” page of this Basicincome.org. The goal of it is to retain BIEN’s current structure (as much as possible) while officially chartering BIEN as an international non-profit organization compliant with Belgian law. Doing so will give BIEN an official legal standing and allow it to do things such as raise funds over the internet. Potentially this will allow BIEN to engage in and fund more research and events, as well as make it possible for other potential partner organisations to include BIEN as a legal organisation in similar activities. This document replaces BIEN’s statutes as its official governing structure, but all BIEN policies not contradicted by this document remain in effect. All BIEN life-members will become life-members of this newly recognized organization.

The perhaps most important fact to note is that the legal form of the new AISBL ensures that the AISBL is governed directly by BIEN’s elected officers, subject to the GA in the usual way.

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It is important to emphasize that some differences between the old BIEN statutes and this document exist, but in our judgement they are minor and even necessary. This includes for instance the provision that we are able to exclude members in certain circumstances, however subject to final GA approval. Being a legal organisation it is not only required by law, but it seems sensible for us, to have this provision. Many minor changes are the result of compromises worked through over many e.mails and conversations. We are however overall confident having worked through many versions of this document, to include Louise, Karl, and – in the last stages – Philippe, we have done what we can do ensure BIEN’s current practices prevail in this new structure.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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