An excerpt of the
Bylaws of the Digital Citizens Foundation Netherlands (DB-NL)
NAME, LOCATION AND DURATION
- The foundation is named:
"Stichting Digitale Burgerbeweging Nederland", for short and
will be called "the foundation" in the sequel of these bylaws.
- The foundation is located at Amsterdam.
- The foundation is founded for an undetermined period.
MEANS AND ENDS
- In the spirit of the "Digital Manifest", attached tot these bylaws,
the purpose of the foundation, to be reached on a non-profit base, is:
- to further complete access to digital communications for every
citizen in the Netherlands;
- to look after the interests of the users of digital communication
facilities and to defend their rights, especially the right of informational
- to further the democratic process in the Dutch society and to
further (local, national and international) discussions on politics and
societal issues by use of digital communications.
- The foundation tries to meet it's purposes by the following means:
- maintaining a widely accessible, open, discussion platform;
- making possible opiniating discussions on relising and furthering
the foundation's purposes by way of this platform;
- organising opinion polls on this platform according to rules yet
to be stated;
- maintaining a closed discussion platform with access restricted
to the participants of the foundation (see article 4);
- organising votes on this participant's platform regarding
activities of the foundation;
- stimulating discussions in preparation of the votes on the
- Advising other instances, a.o. the Dutch government upon request
and unasked for;
- subsidising and/or mediating on acquiring subsidies for the
placement and connection of necessary hardware and software in places
accessible to the public like libraries, community centres and schools.;
- subsidising and/or mediating on acquiring subsidies for study,
research, and development of harware and software (a.o.), to realise the
aims of the foundation;
- cooperating with other persons and organisations that can
contribute to the attainment of the foundation's purposes;
- setting up committees, study groups and task forces according
certain rules yet to be stated;
- contributing to the development of correct behavior codes
regarding communications by way of Internet or comparable systems in
accordance with the foundation's purpose stated in part 1.b of this article;
- contributing to legislation and jurisprudence in line of the
prurposes of the foundation, if necessary by strongly opposing to
legislation that is contradictory to these purposes;
- providing or at the least furthering public education and
information regarding the possibilities of digital communication;
- all other activities that are apt to attain the foundation's
- making known the foundation's activities to the press and the
media as far as this is feasible and desirable.
The foundation's financial resources consist of:
- subsidies en donations;
- grants, legacies, and bequests;
- any funds the foudation gets in any other ways.
- The foundation has participants. Participants are those persons who
Participants have access to, and the right to vote, on the participants
- contribute a yearly donation of a minimal amount fixed by the
- agree with the purposes of the foundation;
- have applied as participant with the board.
- A vote on the participants platform will be organized in such a way
that each participant can verify the outcome.
- Participants have the right to advise the board unasked by publishing
the advice on the participants platform.
Whenever such an advice is backed up by on fifth (1/5) of the
participants the board has the choice of either following the advice or
bringing it to vote on the participants platform on short notice.
- Advices are possible a.o. on:
- calling for a board meeting with with specific points on the
agenda according to article 9 of these bylaws;
- a decision of the board, a.o. on a change of the bylaws according
to article 13. When the board has taken a certain decision only a negative
advice is possible;
- an incidental departure of the terms of the decision making
procedure when a vote is called for;
- When the board maintains a decision challenged by a negative advice as
mentioned in article 4.4.b that is supported by a majority of the
participants the board has to motivate it's decision with arguments on the
- When a proven majority of the participants does not accept the
motivation mentioned in article 4.5 and persists in the negative advice
there is a repeated rejection and a breach of trust between the board and
- In case of an illegal action of the board or one of it's members the
majority of the participants has the right to turn down this action.
When the board(member) persists in it's action and does not rectify it
there is a breach of trust.
- After a breach of trust a proposal to expel the board(member)
following article 6.f of these bylaws can be done on the participants platform.
- An advice of participants is accepted when in a vote a simple majority
of the participants support it. A proposal to expel the board or a board
member according to article 6.f requires a two thirds (2/3) majority.
- Votes are only pro or con an advice or proposal.
- A negative advice has no suspending effect.
- Terms of these procedures will be stated in seperate rules and must
guarantee a speedy but carefull decision process.
- The board of the foundation consists of seven members at the most and
three members at the least, a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The
number of boardmembers is determined by consensus within the board.
- Board members are assigned by a decision of the board after
consultation of the participants by way of a vote according to a procedure
defined in seperate rules.
- Members of the board are assigned in their function for a period of
three years. They can be reassigned immediately following the procedure of
article 5.2. Every year one or two boardmembers retire according to a scheme
determined by the board.
TERMINATION OF BOARD MEMBERSHIP
Board membership is terminated by:
- acceptation of a proposal to expel according to article 4.9 of these
BOARD MEETINGS AND DECISIONS
- Every three months there will be at least one board meeting.
- More board meetings will be held as often as the chairman or a
majority of the board thinks it necessary.
- A board meeting is also called for when according to article 4.4 an
advise to this end is accepted. When in such case the meeting isn't
effectuted within four weeks a breach of trust meant in art. 4.8 is the case.
- The call for a board meeting is done by the chairperson by way of a
written letter that also is published on the participants platform and in
the electronic archive at least seven days before the day of the meeting.
- In this call not only the time and place of the meeting is given but
also the topics that will be discussed.
- The minutes of the board meeting contain at least a list of actions
and decisions decided upon. They will be published on the participants
platform and in the publicly accessable electronic archive within one week
after the meeting
- Decisions of the board are taken according to the articles 9, 12, 13
and 14 of these bylaws.
- A decision of the board becomes effective after it is published on the
participants platform. [...]
- A change of these bylaws is not permitted when it disempowers the
correction mechanism of article 4 and article 13.4 before it can have effect.
CHANGING THE BYLAWS
- The board may decide to change these bylaws. Such decision can only be
taken in a special board meeting called for where the proposed changes are
published with the date and the place of the meeting.
- A decision to change the bylaws requires a two third majority in a
board meeting where at least two third of the board members are present.
- A change of the bylaws becomes only effective when registered
according to Dutch law and after consent of a majority of the participants,
"consent" is assumed when no negative advice as meant in article 4 is given
within 45 days after publication of the changes on the participants platform.
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