European Wikimedia chapter
As of October 2004, there are two Local Wikimedia chapters in Europe - (Germany), and (France). Would it be beneficial to have an umbrella organisation, such as "Wikimedia Europe" to help create links between existing chapters in Europe, and to serve the countries that don't yet have their own local chapter? Angela 16:53, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Cimon's suggestion for using Finland as a Wikimedia Europe baseEdit
Finland has been called the promised land of associations.
It is possible that there is a better place to base Wikimedia Europe; which would be just wonderful, as the conditions here in Finland are at the very least very tolerable, and by some accounts superb. Not only does registration only cost 60 euros (That is the "expensive" price), but you can have free legal advice and consultation on starting the association from the registering body itself in a very helpful way (and virtually certainly in excellent English :)
Registered associations can have foreign people and corporations (associations, Foundations etc.) as members (as long as they aren't directed at affecting state affairs; i.e. political parties).
By default only the chairman (and vice-chairman if any) need be native Finns. And even that requirement can be elided if a 35 euro application is made for an exemption.
The bylaws can explicitly be drawn so that there for example a requirement that members of the Wikimedia foundation board and Wikimedia as a corporate member are required by bylaw to have majority in the executive committee. This should lessen some control issues.
Associations for the public good which are non-profit (as we are) are 100% tax-exempt.
Here are useful English language web-pages of the registering body. They are very clear and crisp English, with almost no legalese.
Phone numbers etc. for FREE! legal and procedural advice provided by the registering body itself: http://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/yhteystiedot.html
Pricelist for the acts of registration: (note that the prices applying to us would likely be "no preliminary examination", i.e. the higher ones; because the pre-certified boilerplate bylaws would hardly fit our needs, and presumably? we would not wish to wait for the wheels to grind for months as they would examine our bylaws. If we were convinced that our bylaws comply with the law, which is quite clear and uncomplicated, we could just submit them at the higher price.) http://www.prh.fi/en/yhdistysrekisteri/hinnasto.html
- How to found an association
- General information on the scope associations hold in Finland
- Miscellaneous restrictions and liberties enjoyed by associations in Finland
- How to apply for an exemption on the requirement for the chairman to be a Finn
- The law on associations
Just to repeat; these documents are all in English language, and pretty straightforwardly worded, avoiding legalese.
- Is it possible to found a Societas Europaea or an SCE (co-operative), perhaps based in Finland (or elsewhere)? ("Societas Cooperativa Europaea Wikimedia" sounds grand....) Or as some other pan-European organizations, a Belgian AISBL? – Kaihsu 15:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)