National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (CORE)
Suomessa - USKOT-foorumi ry /
Religionernas samarbete i Finland - RESA-forumet rf
1. Name and Domicile of Association
The name of the association is Uskontojen yhteistyö Suomessa - USKOT-foorumi ry / Religionernas samarbete i Finland - RESA-forumet rf. (In English the Association is called the National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (CORE), but the English name is not official.) In the following the association is referred to as the Forum. The languages of the Forum are Finnish and Swedish. The domicile of the Forum is Helsinki, Finland.
2. Aim and purpose of the Association
The purpose of the Forum is to foster peace in Finnish society. This will be done in the spirit of strengthening religious freedom, through promoting dialogue between religions as well as equality, mutual respect and cooperation in matters considered important by the Forum.
3. Scope of Activity of the Association
In order to achieve its purpose, the Forum:
- Invites religious communities and their members to interact;
- Invites partners to cooperate with the Forum in order to achieve its purpose;
- Deals with the authorities in matters concerning its member communities when authorised to do so by said member communities in accordance with separate agreements;
- Organises discussions, seminars and conferences;
- Sets up sections and working parties;
- Engages in publication of materials;
- Gathers and edits for publication information regarding religions and their cultural heritage; and
- Keeps in touch with its members and various inter-religious organisations both within Finland and internationally.
In order to supports its activities the Forum may accept subsidies as well as testamentary and other donations; own and manage property; engage in publishing endeavours as well as economic activities as specified in Section 5 of the Finnish Associations Act.
Representing Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the founding communities of the Forum are: the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the Finnish Islamic Congregation and the Islamic Council of Finland.
Each member community appoints a maximum of five representatives to the Forum’s General Meetings. Each representative has the right to attend the Forum’s General Meeting, the right to speak, voting rights as well as the right of initiative. Each representative has one vote at the Forum’s General Meeting, thereby giving each member community a maximum of five votes at the Forum’s General Meetings.
Any central organisation or alliance of religious communities that is established and registered in Finland can apply for membership of the Forum, provided they accept the aim and purpose of the Forum and commit to working to promote the same.
Membership applications should be addressed to the Executive Committee of the Forum. The Annual General Meeting must unanimously approve prospective new members on the recommendation of the Forum’s Executive Committee.
6. Withdrawing Membership
A member may withdraw from the Forum by notifying the Executive Committee or its Chairman in writing or by requesting that a termination of membership be noted in the minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Forum.
The Executive Committee may withdraw membership of the Forum from a member if the member has neglected to pay its membership fees by the due date or otherwise not fulfilled membership duties as agreed to through membership of the Forum; or if the member has damaged the Forum through behaviour within or outside the Forum; or no longer fulfils the membership requirements as stated in the Rules of the Forum.
7. Joining Fee and Membership Fee
The amount of the joining fee and annual membership fee to be paid by members is determined by the Annual General Meeting of the Forum.
8. Executive Committee
The Forum is managed by an Executive Committee, which is the Forum’s preparatory and executive body. If necessary, the Executive Committee can appoint working groups to assist it by preparing matters for the Executive Committee.
If possible, the Executive Committee is elected in such a way that each member community is represented on the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee consists of:
1. The Presidium, consisting of the chairperson and two vice chairs, elected in such a manner that each of the three religious communities of the Forum have one representative each in the Presidium.
2. A minimum of four (4) and a maximum of seven (7) ordinary members.
3. Individual deputies for the ordinary members mentioned in point 2 above.
The Executive Committee appoints a Secretary and a Treasurer either from among the members of the Executive Committee or from outside it.
The Executive Committee is appointed for a term of two years.
The Executive Committee shall convene a minimum of four times a year. Meetings shall be convened by the chairperson, or if (s)he is unable to convene a meeting, by a vice chair. An Executive Committee meeting shall be held if a minimum of half the Executive Committee members demand it.
The Executive Committee is quorate when a minimum of half its members, including the chairperson or one of the vice chairs, are present. When possible, decisions are reached through consensus. A simple majority is enough to make a decision that goes to a vote. If the number of votes is equal, the chairperson’s vote shall decide. An electoral tie, however, shall be settled by drawing lots.
9. Signing the Name of the Forum
The chairperson of the Executive Committee or a vice chair in conjunction with an Executive Committee member can sign the name of the Forum.
10. Fiscal Period and Audit
The fiscal and operational year of the Forum is one calendar year.
The Forum’s annual accounts and the Executive Committee’s Annual Review must be handed to the Forum’s auditors no later than a month before the Annual General Meeting. The auditors must give their written statement to the Executive Committee no later than two weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
11. The Forum’s General Meetings
The Forum’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held once a year on a date in March, April or May determined by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee must notify members of the Forum by mail or e-mail no later than two weeks before the date of the AGM.
If a member wishes an issue to be addressed by the AGM, the member shall notify the Executive Committee of this in writing a minimum of four weeks before the AGM.
An extraordinary General Meeting of the Forum is held when the AGM decides it or the Executive Committee finds cause to call an extraordinary General Meeting or when a minimum of three members demand it of the Executive Committee in writing in order to discuss a specified matter. An extraordinary General Meeting must be held within 30 days of the demand being put in writing to the Executive Committee.
The opinion of the Forum is, unless otherwise specified in the rules, whichever opinion has received the support of more than half the votes cast. If the number of votes is equal, the chairperson of the Meeting has the deciding vote. An electoral tie, however, shall be settled by drawing lots.
The Forum AGM will address the following issues:
- Presentation of the annual accounts, the annual report and the statement of the auditors;
- Deciding on the adopting of the annual accounts and on discharging the Executive Committee and others responsible from liability for the accounts;
- Confirming the Forum’s plan of action, along with a budget and the amount of joining fees and membership fees;
- Determining the number of members of the Executive Committee
- Electing a chairperson and two vice chairs;
- Electing the other ordinary members of the Executive Committee and their individual deputies;
- Electing two auditors and a deputy auditor;
- Deciding on new member communities on the recommendation of the Executive Committee;
- Addressing other issues presented by the Executive Committee in the notice of the Meeting.
12. Changing the Rules
Changes to the rules of the Forum are made by the Forum’s Annual General Meeting. To enact a rule change a minimum majority of three quarters of the votes given must be cast in favour of the change. The planned rule change must be mentioned in the notice of the Meeting.
13. Dissolution of the Association
Dissolution of the Forum can only be done following two consecutive General Meetings of the Association, either of which may be an extraordinary General Meeting, held at least three months apart. The plan to dissolve the Forum must be mentioned in the notice of the Meeting. To carry the motion the decision must be supported by a majority of at least three quarters of the votes given. If it is decided to dissolve the Forum, its remaining assets will be used in aid of the aim and purpose stated in Section 2 in a manner determined in more detail by the final General Meeting of the Association. If the Forum is disbanded, the assets will likewise be used to further the same aim and purpose. The archives of the Forum will be passed on to the National Archives of Finland.
14. In other matters the Association shall follow the Finnish Associations Act
(An unofficial translation into English of the Finnish Associations Act is available on ).