Virtual general meetings for clubs & associations

Virtual general meetings are to be possible in the future. We explain the background and what to consider when doing so.

Associations are to be able to hold virtual general meetings by video conference. This is what the Bundesrat proposes in a draft law. We provide the corresponding document ( Drucksache 20/2532) from the German Bundestag here.

About the draft on virtual general meetings

The exemption, which was introduced in “Corona times” and is valid until the end of August 2022, is then to become permanent.

An amendment to the German Civil Code is to make it possible in principle to hold a virtual general meeting by video conference and not make it dependent on a provision in the Articles of Association.

“Since digital discussions and meetings have proven themselves during the Corona pandemic, the holding of a convention in which association members can participate by way of video conferencing technology shall in the future be at the dutiful discretion of the board of directors. A regulation in the articles of association or the consent of the members is no longer required for this,” explains the Bundesrat. In its statement, the German government welcomes the proposal in principle. However, it proposes an alternative wording for the paragraph to allow other forms of electronic communication, such as livestreams.

The topic sounds trivial, but in practice it can involve a number of pitfalls. What happens if the Internet connection breaks down during an important vote and the club members are therefore no longer able to participate in the virtual general meeting? Or who monitors whether a member has left the convention at his or her own request or due to technical incidents? The important thing here is to get the right technical partners on board who provide a technically stable solution that is intuitive for the user and also provide online support and technical service during a convention.

The advantages of a virtual general meeting are obvious:

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Aspects in the lead up to avirtual general meeting

Below we have listed some important aspects that you should pay attention to in connection with virtual conventions.

Invitation deadlines

There are binding deadlines for invitations to meetings, which must also be observed by virtual general meetings.

Access rights

The club/organizer must ensure that only association members have access rights to the virtual general meeting. Ideally, each member of the association should be given a password with which they can log in to the meeting.

Votes under electoral law

Even during virtual general meetings, it must be ensured that votes or elections take place under electoral law.

Privacy

Of course, data protection must also be taken into account for online events. So, that everything runs GDPR-compliant.

Test run of the virtual general meeting

It's best to test an online convention beforehand to make sure everything runs smoothly on the deadline.

Documentation

Online, too, it is necessary to take notes and document what has been decided during the entire virtual general meeting. The chair of the meeting must also make sure that all or a sufficient number of people have a majority and quorum during a vote.

Virtual general meetings via Polario

We already have many years of experience with holding conferences & conventions via our no-code event and community solutions. Especially in the context of events, we are experts in realizing them live, virtually or in a hybrid concept.

So if you are interested in implementing a virtual general meeting or have general questions about it, contact us!

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