Article 1. Name and Place of Registration

The place of registration of the Association is Berlin, Germany, and it has been registered in the Association Registry. After the registration the established name of the association is: UNIVERSUM e.V. – An Association for Promotion of the Cultural and Spiritual Cooperation and Development in the Modern World. The Fiscal year of the Association coincides with the calendar year.

Article 2. Subjects of Activity

The Association shall exclusively and directly pursue socially useful purposes as stated in the Tax Relief Section of the Regulation for Taxes and Fees. The Subjects of Activity of the Association are:

  • Promoting of communication and cooperation among people from different nationalities and views of life from Europe and the rest of the world;
  • Collecting and spreading cultural and historical information about the different traditions in the European and non-European spiritual history and modern times;
  • Establishing a basis for communication and cooperation among people of art and culture from and outside of Europe and particularly those from Eastern Europe;
  • Supporting the European integration especially of the East and South European countries through providing information about the common spiritual and cultural roots of Eastern and Western Europe;
  • Supporting the cultural exchange of young people from Germany and East European countries;
  • The goal of the Association is to create a center for people of all age groups interested in spirituality, art, and culture; to establish contacts and spread knowledge among them.

The goals of the association are implemented through the following program:

  • Organizing exhibitions and readings referring to art and culture;
  • Promoting the creative work of young German and Bulgarian authors, musicians and artists;
  • Organizing and carrying out German-Bulgarian seminars on the subject of art and life standards;
  • Supporting cultural cooperation between Germany and Bulgaria, especially the cultural and spiritual exchange between the two countries;
  • Establishing and maintaining database on the historical connections between the two peoples, particularly in the sphere of spiritual and cultural traditions; these databases are available to all interested parties;
  • Promoting cultural exchange among young people from Bulgaria and Germany.
  • The Association remains neutral to all political and religious convictions.

Article 3. Spending of Funds

The Association is non-for-profit. It shall not pursue economic goals. The Association funds shall be used only for purposes corresponding to the current Bylaws of the Association. The Association members shall not receive any subsidies from the Association funds. No one shall be benefited by the Association funds for purposed against the Association interests, or by receiving unjust considerations.

Article 4. Membership

Both physical persons and legal entities may become members of the Association. Adolescents under the age of 18 need the permission of their legal representatives. Only adults 18 years of age or older have the right to vote at the General Assembly meetings. Only the Board of Managers shall approve written applications for membership. If an application has been rejected the Board of Managers is not obliged to explain the reasons for the rejection to the applicant.

Article 5. Termination of Membership

Membership terminates in case of death, voluntarily, due to dismissal by the Association, or cessation of legal capacity of the legal entity. Voluntary membership termination is achieved through a written statement addressed to a member of the Board of Managers who has the right to represent the Association. Voluntary termination of membership takes effect at the end of the relevant calendar year and after the requirement for a three-month advance notice has been met.

A member can be dismissed by a resolution of the General Assembly of the members through simple majority of the valid votes of the present members in case he or she has severely harmed the interests of the Association. In addition, in the event of severe violation of the Association interests, a member may be dismissed also by a resolution of the Expanded Board of Managers through simple majority of the votes, which shall be enforced immediately.

Before the adoption of a resolution for dismissal, the dismissed member shall be given the opportunity to present a written statement within a specified term. The reasons for the dismissal shall be explained and presented to the relevant member by registered mail. The relevant member shall have the right to appeal the resolution of the Board of Managers before the General Assembly. The appeal shall be presented in writing to the Board of Managers within one month after receiving the resolution of dismissal. In case of an appeal within the defined term, the Board of Managers shall be obliged to convene the General Assembly within two months in order to pass a resolution on the occasion of the appeal. Otherwise the resolution for dismissal shall be considered invalid. It shall be considered that the relevant member agrees with the resolution for dismissal if an appeal is not presented within the specified term, and in that case the membership shall be deemed terminated.

A member can also be dismissed by a resolution of the Board of Managers after nonpayment of two consecutive membership fees and if more than three months have expired after the second warning. The member shall be notified about his or her dismissal by registered mail. A membership termination shall exclude all claims that can possibly arise on this basis, except for a claim of the Association for existing debts.

Article 6. Membership Fee

All members pay membership fees. The annual fees are defined by the Chairpersons through simple majority. The Chairpersons have the right to publish a Regulation for Collecting Membership Fee. The Honorary Members are excluded of membership fees.

Article 7. Association Bodies

The Board of Managers and the General Assembly of the Members are the administrative bodies of the Association.

Article 8. The Board of Managers

The Board of Managers, as stated in Article 26 of the Civil Procedure Code, shall consist of First and Second Chairperson. They shall represent the Association before the Court and elsewhere. Each member of the Board of Managers may represent the Association. The Expanded Board of Managers consists of:

  • Board of Managers
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary

Article 9. Tasks and Competency of the Board of Managers

The Board of Managers shall be competent to resolve all matters of the Association unless the Bylaws assign them to another body. The Board is responsible for:

  • Managing the current assignments;
  • Preparing and convocation of the General Assembly and preparing agenda;
  • Executing the resolutions of the General Assembly;
  • Preparing the relevant budget plan, bookkeeping, preparing the annual report, presenting the annual plan;
  • Adopting resolutions for accepting and dismissing members.

Article 10. Election of the Board of Managers

The Board of Managers shall be elected by the General Assembly of the members. The members of the Board of Managers shall be elected among the members of the Association. The members of the Board of Managers shall be elected for a period of 2 (two) years. In case of a premature termination of the mandate of a member of the Board of Managers, the Expanded Board of Managers shall elect a deputy-member of the Board until the next General Assembly of the members is held.

Termination of membership shall also terminate the mandate of a member.

Article 11. Meetings of the Board of Managers

  • The Board of Managers shall meet in regular sessions summoned by the First or the Second Chairpersons, which does not require a prior presentation of the Agenda.
  • The Board of Managers has quorum when at least two of its members are present.
  • The Board of Managers passes resolutions through simple majority of the votes.
  • Each member of The Board of Managers has the right of one vote.
  • In the case of dead lock of votes, the First Chairperson has the casting vote; in case of his or her absence, the Second Chairperson has the casting vote.

Article 12. General Assembly of the Members

Each member of the General Assembly, including the honorary ones, has only one vote. Assigning the voting right to another member is inadmissible. The General Assembly of the members has the right to adopt resolutions on the following matters:

  • Electing, revoking, and dismissing the Board of Managers;
  • Amending the Bylaws and dissolving the Association;
  • Electing members as honorary members;
  • Other tasks assigned by the Bylaws.

A regular General Assembly meeting of the members shall be held at least once a year, if possible during the first half of the year. It shall be convened through a written invitation of the Board of Managers a fortnight from the date of the invitation accompanied by an Agenda. The invitation shall be considered received if it has been addressed to the member’s address on record. The invitation may be sent via e-mail if the member has given such permission.

The Agenda can be changed if a member who requested such changes has explained the reasons for that in writing at least one week prior to the date of the meeting. Changes to the Agenda shall be announced at the beginning of the meeting.

The Board of Managers of the Association may convene irregular meetings of the General Assembly of the members. The Board of Managers is obliged to convene an irregular meeting upon a written request on behalf of one third of the association members explaining the reasons for such meeting.

The General Assembly has quorum only if it has been convened according to the rules and at least one third of the members are present. In case there is no quorum (presence of one third of the members) the General Assembly may be convened again immediately and then it shall have quorum independently of the number of members present.

Adopting resolutions must be by secret voting if such voting is requested by one fourth of the present members. The resolutions of the General Assembly are passed by simple majority of the valid votes; the abstaining votes shall not be taken into consideration.

A majority of three fourths of the present votes are necessary to amend the Bylaws. This majority consists only of the valid votes.

To change the subjects of activity of the Association, the consent of all members is required.

Article 13. Record Keeping

For each meeting of the General Assembly there should be a meeting minute signed by the Chairperson of the Assembly or the Secretary.

Article 14. Finance Inspectors

The General Assembly of the members elects two accounting auditors for a two-year mandate, which control the financial operations of the Association.

The financial audit does not apply to the expedience of the expenses approved by the Board of Managers.

Audit shall be conducted at least once a year and the results shall be reported at the Annual General Assembly meeting. The financial auditors cannot be members of the Board of Managers.

Article 15. Dissolution of the Association

The dissolution of the Association is by a resolution of the General Assembly of the members passed through a majority of three fourths of the members having the right to vote. In case of dissolution of the Association or the purposes with tax relief cease to exist, the Association property shall be transferred to an association of the common law or other association using tax relief, which property shall be used directly and exclusively for socially useful purposes, charity, or the Church.

The relevant financial office stand shall be taken before the dissolution of the Association and the transfer of its available property. If the dissolution of the Association seeks only a change of its legal form or a merger with another similar association, where the activities and goals of the former Association are guaranteed by the new legal successor, the Association property shall be transferred to the new legal successor.

In case property liquidation is necessary during the dissolution of the association or at the winding up of its legal capacity, the Chairpersons of the Association acting until the liquidation shall become liquidators, unless the General Assembly of the members has passed a resolution, at a legally convened meeting of the members, for the appointment of another liquidator. This resolution shall be passed by a majority of three fourths of the votes of the present members who have the right to vote.

The present Bylaws were approved on April 29, 2002 in Berlin by the Constituent Assembly of the Association.

Constitutors shall sign: