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Should PostgreSQL Europe organisation settle down in France ?

From: damien clochard <damien(at)dalibo(dot)info>
To: pgeu-general(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Should PostgreSQL Europe organisation settle down in France ?
Date: 2007-09-15 00:24:21
Message-ID: 200709150224.21753.damien@dalibo.info (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgeu-general
hi folks !

Over the last few days, I've met almost every "key members"  of the 
PostgreSQLFr association and asked if they would be OK to transform the 
association into an European purpose one.

The response is unanimous : they are not comfortable with the idea that the 
french association would "disappear". It represents for them 3 years of 
work : Lots of time and energy to build this user group from scratch. 
Changing the name and goal of the association would somewhat mess things up. 
Besides  the association aims to provides help to **french speaking** users, 
which includes Canada, West Africa, etc. etc. 
Obviously this is out of the scope of an European user group. 

By the way we still consider that the PostgreSQL Europe is a great project, 
but we think it would be better to have two separate entities.

Furthermore some of the member of the french "crew" are OK to provide help to 
create an European non-profit association under the french law. As i said 
previously it's a very common thing in France and i think this could be done 
within a few months.

However there are two things that seems important to us. First we'll need help 
from you :-) Once the association is declared we hope that people from every 
major country will get into the "administration board" and get involved into 
the association life. Our main concern is that managing this new organisation 
alone would only divide by two our time and energy. The second point is that  
the purpose of this new organisation has to be defined clearly and precisely 
before creating the association. Speaking with each other french members, we 
noticed that for the moment this purpose was pretty "blur"  to us :-)

Based on these two things (involvement and clear purpose) we would be very 
happy to create an European association based on the french law.

Before going any further let me present the advantages of the french law 
association : not only is it very simple to create but it's also very strict 
about the "non-profit" aspect .Of course this doesn't mean that the 
association cannot earn money, sell goodies, pay people and such ... but it's 
clearly defined ( and also checked by the authorities ) that the money earned 
must be used only for the project. Any kind of commercial activities and any 
personal earning is firmly prohibited. I guess this is not unique, most of 
European countries may have such kind of laws . But my point of is that the 
french version fits perfectly our need.

Here's the text of law ( in English ) for those of us who are familiar with 
legal vocabulary :
http://web.archive.org/web/20040615054216/www.justice.gouv.fr/anglais/europe/aassoc.htm

Now to answer to Andreas question about the next steps, here's my point of 
view :

1/ We need to make some kind of poll to see if creating PostgreSQL Europe 
under the french law is OK for every one, or if there are others 
possibilities.

2/ If the "french association" proposition is accepted then we'll have to 
write together the legal statutes in English ( i have samples of generic 
statutes we can adapt to our need ). Once the statutes are written, we can 
translate them in every languages and propose them for acceptance. A wiki 
could be a good tool for all that stuff, imho.  

3/ Once the statutes are accepted, we'll have to decide what will be the 
address of the association. I think the best idea is to locate the 
association in Paris . We'll also have to name 3 persons that will constitute  
the "temporary Administration Board" of the association and make the official 
declaration to french authorities. This declaration will take a least one 
month to be "fully official" as french administration is not a very fast 
machine.

4/ Once the the declaration is fully done, we can open membership.

5/ In February 2008, we meet at FOSDEM to make the first"General Assembly" and 
replace the temporary Administration Board with a brand-new democratically 
elected one. 

6/ After that the administration board meetings can be made via teleconference 
or IRC...  However i think that meeting each other "in real life" once in a 
year is mandatory.

These 6 steps are based on my experience, on PostgreSQLFr members advices and 
on my interview with Tristan Nitot. Surely there are other ways to do this 
and some of them might be better than the one i exposed. What i like with 
this one is that it gets us on track and focused on a deadline : FOSDEM in 
February. That leaves us 5 months to build this thing up :-)

Any suggestions, critics or addendum to this proposition are more than 
welcome !

Regards,

-- 
damien clochard
http://dalibo.org | http://dalibo.com

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