Questions and Answers about the Membership of Ärzte ohne Grenzen / MSF Austria
What is the purpose of being a member of the Austrian section of MSF?
Like most other MSF sections, MSF-AT is constituted as an association which is owned by its members. The members are called on to actively support the principles and concerns of MSF. By participating in the Annual General Assembly, every ordinary member decides on the development of Ärzte ohne Grenzen in Austria. That means above all to ensure that the principles of MSF (Charter, Chantilly text, La Mancha Agreement) are not being forgotten. Every ordinary member is eligible to vote at the General Assembly. To exercise their voting right, the members are obliged to pay the annual membership fee (€25).
Who can become a member of the Austrian section of MSF?
According to the by-laws and the regulations of MSF-AT everyone who fulfils one or several of the following conditions may become a member:
- to have been in the field for at least 6 months or
- to have been on at least two shorter missions or
- to have been employed in the office or as national staff for at least 6 months or
- to have supported the office for at least 24 months as a volunteer
Can I be a member of Ärzte ohne Grenzen in Austria if I am already a member of another MSF-section?
Yes. In particular, Expats usually become “automatically” members of the OC they have been working for. This forms no obstacle to being a member of MSF-AT as well.
How does one become a member of the Austrian section of MSF?
The Board of Directors decides on the admission of new ordinary members. Everyone who fulfils the above mentioned conditions may apply for the membership and is encouraged to do so. Every member is obliged to pay the annual membership fee (€25). Only members who have paid the annual membership fee may exercise their voting right at the General Assembly of that year.
What is the General Assembly?
The General Assembly, the uppermost statutory meeting of the association Ärzte ohne Grenzen / MSF Austria takes place once a year. The General Assembly elects the members of the Board and the financial auditor. Only the General Assembly is authorized to “evaluate” the Board, which means to express confidence and to confirm the correspondence of the activities of MSF-AT to the philosophy of MSF. With other associative meetings taking place throughout the year, the General Assembly is the place where members can speak up and challenge the board’s decisions.
What is the Board of Directors?
The members of the Board are elected by the General Assembly. The elected Board may co-opt another two Board members. According to the By-Laws, the Board is responsible for the management of the association. Their task is to make strategic, fundamental, path-breaking decisions and to determine the basic work conditions of the office of MSF-AT (represented by the management). The annual plan and the annual budget must be approved by the Board.