Organizational Principles of the Civic Solidarity Platform

1.  The Goals and Principles of the Platform.

The Platform is a coalition of civic organizations and groups from the countries of the OSCE region, as well as international NGOs, interested in joint action to defend human rights in the region.  They are also prepared to create common positions on key issues and provide each other with mutual support and assistance in case of need.


2.  Principles of Association. Types of Participation.

Organizations and groups working in the OSCE region may participate in the Platform.  Participants will determine the degree and form of their engagement in the work of the Platform. 

There are two basic types of participation:

1) “Informational participants” Groups that join the Platform by registering on its website or through letters to the Secretariat and that provide basic contact information and pledge to accept the Declaration.  They will receive access to the Platform’s information resources, may participate in its actions and events, and may sign on to its declarations.  The Secretariat will be responsible for registration of informational participants. 

2) “Members”  Groups that take upon themselves additional responsibilities by declaring that they will be bound by this document and other documents regulating the activities of the Platform that are adopted in accordance with established procedures.  Representatives of these organizations take part in the work of the Platform’s Working Groups and in the formation of the Platform’s common positions.

The Status of “member” is granted by the Platform’s Council in accordance with procedures it sets out for this purpose.

The Platform’s initial members are its founding organizations. 


3.  Working Groups and other Internal Structures

The Platform’s members may form Working Groups and other internal structures to promote effective work in specific directions.  Working groups may be thematic, regional or inter-regional. 

At least three members from at least two countries must propose the formation of such structures. 

A proposal to form a Working Group should include information on its goals and tasks, a list of initial participants from among the members, contact information for at least three members of the Working Group, the name of the Coordinator, and internal rules proposed for the group.  A proposal for forming a Working Group should be supported by no fewer than three members of the Council. 

The Council registers the formation of Working Groups through an agreed procedure and publishes information about the Working Group on the Platform's website.


4. Administration and Direction

Representative of the founding organizations will form a Council of the Platform.  The Council is a collegial structure responsible for the overall direction of the Platform and is responsible for the Platform’s policy.  Membership in the Council may be expanded by cooptation of representatives of the Partners who have experience at the International Level.  Members may recall their representatives in the Council at any time and replace them with new representatives.  They do so by notifying the Platform’s Secretariat.  At least three members of the Council must propose to co-opt new members.  Proposals will be considered adopted if they are not opposed by three or more members of the Council.  

The Council appoints the Editor(s) of the Platform’s Internet website and names the members of the Secretariat. 

The Council may also create other permanent and temporary bodies, define their competencies and the rules for their functioning. 

The Council is responsible for ensuring that internal rules and procedures are followed, confirms internal documents concerning the administration of the organization, and in cases of disagreements confirms new members in the Platform, and new Working Groups and resolves disputes. 

The Council may decide to exclude organizations from its membership or from the Platform.  At least three members of the Council must propose exclusion.  Proposals will be considered adopted if they are not opposed by three or more members of the Council.  

The Coordination Committee of the Platform is a operational body composed of the Coordinators of the Platform’s Working Group and other internal structures.  The coordinator of the Secretariat is an ex oficio member of the Coordination Committee.  Working Groups and other internal structures should appoint their own coordinators, who will serve as members of the Coordination Committee. The Coordination Committee is ensuring coordination and smooth information exchange between the different working groups, confirms (in coordination with the Council) amendments and changes to the organizational principles of the Platform, coordinates the endorsement of other internal documents.

The functions of the Secretariat will be carried out by Members of the Platform, who will be chosen by the Council for a rotating one year term. The Secretariat is responsible for circulating documents and statements by the Platform’s structures, organizing the regular meetings of the Council, remote voting by the members of the Council and the Coordination Committee, assists in organizing meetings of other structures of the Platform, and performs other administrative functions.


5.  Procedures for Adopting Documents and Statements

Any of the Platform’s structures may make independent declarations in their own names. 

Any three Partners of the Platform may propose a statement to be made in the name of the Platform and call for other participants to sign on.  If statements are not supported by a majority of the members of the Council they may still may be put out in the name of the Platform but will only carry the signatures of individual participants that support them.  Other participants have the right to refrain from signing such statements. 

If disputes arise over any decisions or statements of internal structures they shall be resolved by the Council. 


6.  Adoption of these Principles and their Amendment

This document will be adopted in its initial form by the founding conference of the Platform.  Amendments may be made by the Council of the Platform with the support of a qualifying majority (2/3 of the votes).