Citizen-associations in Denmark
by Ivan Andersen

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How we start a citizen-association | Krejbjerg citizen-association | Articles of Association 

I think that every Danish village has it's own citizen association ("borgerforening" in Danish), and these associations are so to speak "the skeleton" in life in our rural areas.

How we start a citizen-association

When we start up a "borgerforening" a small group (e.g. 5 persons) of citizens invite all citizents in the village to a general meeting. Before the meeting the group has made a agenda for the meeting
Something like this:
1. Wellcome to everybody (who does open the meeting - could be Anna :)
2. Why have we invited to this meeting? Here the group tell about their ideas with a "borgerforening", and afterwards or in between people discuss these ideas. This process is very important as it is here the citizens understand and come to feel ownership for the bright idea to have a "borgerforening".
3. Election of a council. Could be 7 persons elected by the assembly.
4. Coffee with cake and free discussion - ask people to talk about which activities to do in the "borgerforening" for the next months.
5. Questions to the initiative group og ideas for activities to do for the next period.

After the meeting the "borgerforening" is established, and the new elected council elect a chairman (or chairwoman :), a cashier  and a secretary (who write a report during every meeting).

Beside of the council we often have groups for certain activities (e.g. I am part of a group who is responsible for the " common dining" in our villages hall (you joined it when you were here, Anna)). I am also in a group who cares for other social activities in our village.

That is in short terms the way we use to start up and run an association here in Denmark.

 

 

Krejbjerg citizen-association

In Krejbjerg our citizen association is called "Krejbjerg borger & idrætsforening". Because our village is so small we have only one association for both citizen life and sports ("idræt" means "sports").
Most of the running activities are social activities and sports, but also contact to the municipality council, making our villages more attractive by establishing park and square, a small museum for our famous fellow-townsman, making playground, kindergarten activities, run a homepage (www.krejbjerg.dk), run a small Krejbjerg Magazine....

Have a look at www.krejbjerg.dk and also look at some of the old magasins here:
http://krejbjerg.dk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=299&Itemid=15
and here
http://www.facebook.com/Krejbjergnyt

Examples of activities made by our citizen-association from June  until December 2012:

 

In the center of our village we have a big grill, and every month we had grilled dinner in common at our open place (Mr. Ducan and Angela joined the last grill dinner where we were 90 citizens). I am at the end of the table, then Mr. Duca, Angela and my daughter, Charlotte.



Arrangements from September until Christmas:
12th of Sept. Gymnastics is starting
16th of Sept. Hunting training
29th of Sept. harvest festival
7th of Oct. Playgroup are starting in the village hall
26th of Oct. common dinner in the village hall - thai food, arranged by lady from Thailand
17th of Nov. Trip to Germany by bus
30th og Nov. common Christmas dinner and lucia procession (children in white suits with candles in their hands, singing christmas songs)
2nd of December, Christmas lottery
28th of December, Childrens Christmas festival

Lucia procession

 

Articles of Association

This is an almost standard set of articles which most citizen associations in villages use, but each article is seriously discussed before implementet in the local association with some changes.

§ 1 Name is Krejbjerg Citizens & Sports Association.


§ 2 The association's purpose: Bringing together members for sporting, cultural and festive events for children and adults, as well as to liaise with public authorities.


§ 3 Membership is open to anyone who is in favor of the association's purpose.


§ 4 The General Assembly is the highest authority and is held every year in January.
The annual general meeting shall Protocol, cash book and membership list be updated. The general meeting is lawfully convened by advertisement within 14 days before the meeting.

§ 5 The General Assembly shall constitute a quorum with the number of voting members present.

In order to vote you must be able to present a valid membership card for the association. Decisions are made by simple majority vote.
Any proposals must be the President in writing no later than 14 days before the meeting.

The agenda must contain the following items:

1. Election of meeting Chairman
2. The President shall report.
3. The Treasurer shall submit financial statements.
4. Proposals received.
5. Election of directors.
6. Appointment of auditors.
7. Other subjects.


§ 6 The Annual General Meeting must elect a Board of Directors consisting of 7 members, at least 3 of each sex.

Members as at the general meeting are 18 years are eligible for election to the Board, if present, or in writing have declared their candidacy. The Board of Directors is elected for two-year terms, so that 3 or 4 directors are up for election each year.
Deputies are elected for 2 years at a time; therefore select only one at each General Meeting, alternately woman / man. An alternate for a director successor for the remainder of the member's term.
There elect two auditors and one alternate. Auditors and their deputies are elected each year.

§ 7 The Board elects immediately after the Annual General Meeting with President
vice-chairman, treasurer and secretary. The Board of Directors is valid only when at least
4 members are present (including a minimum of President or Vice-President). If parity of votes Chairman / Deputy Chairman shall be decisive.
The Board of Directors may establish project teams for special purposes. 


§ 8 Financial Year and membership follow the calendar year.


§ 9 At the Board's request, or if at least ¼ of the members in writing so request, may be convened extraordinary general meeting.


§ 10 The Board decides subscription.


§ 11 The Board of Directors shall convene meetings of members.


§ 12 Amendments to the Articles of Association can only be done at a general meeting by a majority consisting of at least 2/3 of the attendees.
Proposal to amend the articles must be published when calling for the general meeting.


§ 13 Dissolution of the Association can only be achieved by the adoption by a majority consisting of at least 2/3 of those in attendance at two consecutive general meetings, with a minimum of 14 days apart.


§ 14 If there is a fortune it must then be used for sporting and cultural purposes in Krejbjerg parish. To perform this, the Annual General Meeting elects a liquidity committee consisting of 3 persons who will be responsible for receiving proposals from the citizens, and then decide which things to buy or establish. Donations for private purposes are not acceptable.


Adopted at the Annual General Meeting Tuesday 11/11 2008.
Amended at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 12/1 2010.