Acting in respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established on December 10, 1948, ordering the achievements and demands of people, who for many hundreds of years has been fighting an unfinished battle for their freedom and dignity, we, as the initiators and members of the Future Democracy Foundation, declare that in our actions for its development we will use a set of values that we consider important for the well-being of individuals and societies:
- Freedom – it is one of the fundamental and basic rights of the individual. It should be restricted only to the necessary and minimum extent. Respect for freedom also means freedom of speech – everyone has the right to express his or her views publicly or privately, as long as they do not interfere with fundamental rights. The Foundation respects the right to freedom of religion – the right to hold rituals in private or in public as long as they do not conflict with other individual rights.
- Equality – all have an equal right to achieve a rationally defined happiness and avoid suffering, while not infringing on that right for others. Women and men are equal, but taking into account natural biological differences. Equality, however, does not mean ignoring differences – people with fewer opportunities should have the right to additional protection, and people with special talents should be provided with adequate support to develop their potential. Everyone has the right to have his or her rights respected, regardless of ethnicity, race, language, nationality, religion, creed, worldview, disability, age or sexual orientation; or for any other reason based on personal characteristic. At the same time, the Foundation’s activities respect the diversity of individual aspirations.
- Fraternity – properly functioning societies should be made up of individuals who want to protect the common good. We should also strive for positive relationships with other communities, such as other countries or nations. Their prosperity should be a cause for joy, not envy, and motivate us to achieve our own successes. The interests of some groups should not be placed above the interests of others.
- Right to life – everyone has the right to the protection of life. The Foundation expresses its opposition to the death penalty and hate speech. It promotes rational and informed discussion and decision-making in accordance with one’s conscience on issues concerning abortion, euthanasia and the possession or use of weapons.
- Animal Rights and Nature Protection – The Foundation respects the rights of animals, including first and foremost the right to avoid cruel treatment by humans, i.e. causing unnecessary suffering. In its activities, the Foundation also considers the consequences of human actions on future generations and the entire planetary ecosystem, including its biodiversity. The Foundation considers the possibility of contact with nature as one of the fundamental human rights.
- Education – The Foundation relies on education, aimed at everyone and entire communities, with particular attention to people with fewer opportunities. Legal education is particularly important – the amount of new regulations and their complexity means that it is practically impossible for individuals to update their legal knowledge, which leads to social injustice and deepens inequalities. To counteract this, legal education on the most important rights is necessary.
This education should be inclusive, covering all social groups, including those economically and socially disadvantaged.
- Rationality – The Foundation’s activities take into account current scientific knowledge and understanding of human behavior based on sociological and psychological research. These activities are also based on fact-based decision making in order to best protect the interests of individuals and societies.
- Justice – the values listed in the preamble should be the basis for the lawmaking in which they should be expressed. In particular, economic justice is the distribution of goods according to the legitimate claims of the parties, rooted in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the compensation of damages through the application of value-based law. Such distribution should stimulate economic development and develop socially responsible entrepreneurship of individuals. One of their foundations is universally accessible quality education, since its presence is closely linked to the ability of individuals to meet today’s economic challenges.
- Privacy – The right to privacy is one of the fundamental rights of the individual. The Foundation respects the privacy of all individuals, striving to give them the maximum amount of freedom possible in deciding how much information about them is made public.
- Right to own private property – everyone has the right to own private property.
- Goodness, beauty, and truth – Peaceful and harmonious coexistence is possible when caring for the well-being of the community and individuals in the context of Nature, promoting altruistic behavior without forcing it. Beauty understood as harmony can be found even in abstract ideas, and the need to experience it is a value we all share. Truth is important for the conformity of inner judgment with reality, for the harmonious coexistence of individuals, as well as for the knowledge of the laws governing Nature.
- In a practical sense, the Foundation is committed to using and promoting the true meaning of words – avoiding definitions in laws and documents that are inconsistent with common sense, or definitions that bend reality.
We want to conduct our activities on the basis of the highest standards of transparency, using our knowledge, experience, motivation, determination and willingness, according to the words of human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo: “The aim of the non-violent rights movement should not be to seize power, but to devote all our efforts to building a society in which people can live with dignity. By changing human existence – dark and fearful, willingly accepting enslavement – one should develop with all one’s strength an independent civil society” (translation to Polish: Piotr Dubicki, “Nie mam wrogów,” Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog, Warsaw 2017).
Just like this exceptional and filled with the desire to fight for a just world hero, we believe that true democracy is the foundation of every state that respects the rights of the individual, and we will make every effort in our daily activities to ensure that the Future Democracy Foundation we have established actively promotes democratic values.
- Foundation under the name of Demokracja Przyszłości, (hereinafter referred to as “Foundation”), operates in accordance with the Act on Foundations (April 6, 1984) and the provisions of this statute.
- The Foundation was established by Rafał Stybliński, hereinafter referred to as the Founder, in a notarial act prepared by a notary Paweł Walenta, in a notary office in Pyskowice, Strzelców Bytomskich street, number 3, on 31st August 2021.
- The Foundation was established for an unlimited period.
- Supervision over the Foundation shall be exercised by the Minister responsible for education and the Mayor of the City of Gliwice.
- The seat of the Foundation is the city of Gliwice.
- The Foundation uses a seal and graphic mark (logo), distinguishing it from other similar entities.
- In connection with the activities of the Foundation may establish international contacts with respect to international law standards, laws in force in Poland and the domestic laws of foreign partners.
- The Foundation may establish branches, units, as well as to join companies, foundations and associations.
- The Foundation may establish certificates, badges, medals of honor and grant them along with other awards and honors, individuals, legal persons and unincorporated organizational units, in merit for the Foundation, or contributing to the objectives of the Foundation.
- For the substantive support of the Foundation, the Board may appoint consultants, representatives, experts and their teams, groups, councils, committees (formal and informal), from among specialists, scientists or practitioners, and commission them to perform the relevant studies and analysis.
- The statutory activity of the Foundation may be carried out as a free-of-charge activity or as a paid activity within the meaning of the provisions of the Act on public benefit activity. Both forms of activity will be accounted for separately to the extent necessary to determine the income, costs and results, taking into account the provisions of accounting.
- The Foundation may conduct business activities in the country and abroad only to the extent necessary for the achievement of statutory objectives.
Objectives and principles of operation of the Foundation
The objectives of the Foundation are:
- To promote the idea of direct democracy, aided by technocracy and e-democracy, in which citizens are legally guaranteed a broad, direct or indirect influence on state decision-making, and through these rights and freedoms participate in governance and decision-making by majority vote, with minority rights preserved.
- Broad education for individual rights and freedom of expression, in accordance with the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes the inalienability of rights and freedoms without regard to any differences of race, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, social origin, property, birth or any other status.
- Promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms and activities supporting the development of democracy
- Education on the subject of due rights and civil liberties of individuals and societies
- Involving society in law-making and public participation processes.
- Ensuring that the fundamental rights of individuals and social groups are respected
- Education in the area of skills and values of cooperation between different social groups working on common initiatives
- Development of social innovation and dissemination of new technical solutions in social activities.
- Dissemination, especially among young people, of knowledge about security and the formation of appropriate attitudes towards threats associated with the use of information and communication technologies in cyberspace.
- Social assistance, including assistance to families and individuals in difficult life situations and equalization of opportunities for these families and individuals.
- Provision of free legal aid and increasing legal awareness of the public. 12. To promote the equal rights of women and men.
- Activities for the benefit of science, higher education, education and upbringing.
- Activities for children and youth, including recreation for children and youth.
- Provision of free civic counseling.
- Activities for European integration and development of contacts and cooperation between societies.
- Promotion and organization of voluntary work.
- Activity for non-governmental organizations and the entities mentioned in Article 3, paragraph 3, within the scope defined in points 1-32a of the Act of 24 April 2003 “On Public Benefit Activity and Volunteerism”.
The Foundation pursues its objectives through:
- Creation and maintenance of a portal aimed at involving citizens in decision-making processes and lawmaking.
- Educational activities, such as: trainings, traditional and online courses, educational materials, meetings, seminars and conferences
- Social campaigns aimed at the general public as well as selected social groups
- Organization and support of public debates, public consultations and other forms of public participation.
- Supporting and developing scientific and popular science materials, including in particular analyses, commentaries, glosses and publications.
- Carrying out publishing activities in the scope of achieving the statutory objectives.
- Carrying out and initiating charity and volunteer work.
- Cooperating with entities that carry out activities within the scope of the objectives of the Foundation, in particular with those listed in Article 3, point 3 of the Act of 24 April 2003 “On public benefit activities and voluntary work”.
- Providing financial, material and intellectual assistance to social initiatives, undertaken in the field convergent with the objectives of the Foundation.
Assets and income of the Foundation
- The assets of the Foundation is its initial fund in the amount of PLN 1,000 (one thousand) and other property acquired by the Foundation in the course of action.
- Foundation income may come from:
1. donations, inheritances, bequests,
2. grants and subsidies,
3. income from collections and public events,
4. income from the assets of the Foundation,
5. bank interest and profit from deposits in banks and capital market institutions,
6. tax deductions,
7. dividends from shares and stocks in companies that the Foundation has set up or joined;
8. paid statutory activities of the Foundation
9. other income.
- Income from grants, subsidies, donations, gifts and bequests can be used only to achieve the statutory purposes.
- In matters of acceptance of donations and inheritance statements required by law shall be made by the Board of the Foundation.
- In the case of appointing the Foundation to the inheritance, the Board shall be entitled to submit a statement of acceptance of the inheritance with the benefit of inventory or rejection of the inheritance.
The Statute of the Foundation prohibits:
- Granting loans or providing security for liabilities with the Foundation’s assets in relation to members of its bodies or employees and persons with whom the members of the bodies or employees of the organization are married or in cohabitation or in a relationship of kinship or affinity in direct line, kinship or affinity in the collateral line to the second degree or are related by adoption, guardianship or custody, hereinafter referred to as “related persons”.
- Transfer of the assets of the Foundation for the benefit of members or employees and their relatives in a manner other than in relation to third parties, in particular, if the transfer is made free of charge or on preferential terms.
- Use of the assets of the Foundation for the members of the bodies or employees and their relatives in a manner other than in relation to third parties, unless the use results directly from the statutory purpose of the Foundation.
- Purchase of goods or services from entities in which members or employees of the Foundation and their relatives, on terms other than in relation to third parties or at prices higher than market ones.
Authorities and structure of the Foundation
The body of the Foundation is the Foundation Board.
The Foundation Board
- The Foundation Board consists of one to five members, including the President of the Board, appointed by the Founder.
- The term of office of the Board of the Foundation is 3 years.
- The Founder may perform the function of President of the Board lifelong.
- The Board of the Foundation may not include individuals convicted by a final judgment for an intentional crime prosecuted by public indictment or a fiscal offense.
- The function of a member of the Board of the Foundation may serve more than one term.
- Membership in the Board shall cease as a result of:
1. Submission of a written resignation to the Founder,
2. Dismissal of a member of the Board by a resolution of the Founder,
3. Conviction by a final and binding sentence for an intentional crime prosecuted by public indictment or a fiscal crime,
4. Dismissal by unanimous resolution of all remaining members of the Board,
5. Death of a Management Board member.
- Meetings of the Board of the Foundation are held as needed.
- The President of the Board shall convene a meeting of the Board of the Foundation.
- The meeting must be notified of all members of the Board of the Foundation.
- The Board of the Foundation makes decisions in the form of resolutions at meetings or outside them – a simple majority of votes of its members present at the meeting. In the case of an equal distribution of votes, the vote of the President of the Board is decisive.
- The Board acts on the basis of the Rules of the Board of the Foundation, which is approved by the Founder in the form of a resolution.
- The Board of the Foundation may appoint proxies to manage a separate sphere of matters belonging to the tasks of the Foundation.
- In order to ensure the efficient office services of the Foundation’s bodies, the President of the Board may establish a Foundation Office. The tasks and rules of procedure of the Foundation Office shall be determined by the President of the Board.
- Meetings of the Management Board may be held remotely, using electronic means of communication. The President of the Management Board decides on each time such a form is to be used.
- The notification on the electronic form must contain a description of the manner of participation and exercising the voting right, in particular by indicating the communication tool.
- Meetings in electronic form shall be held with at least:
1. Real-time transmission of the meeting proceedings,
2. Real-time two-way communication whereby a member of the association body may speak during the meeting;
3. Exercise the right to vote in person during the meeting.
- The right to vote at a meeting shall be exercised by casting an unambiguous vote during the transmission, during the time allocated for decision-making.
- The course of voting shall be documented by recording or other means providing evidence of the votes cast.
- Secret voting in a remote form may be carried out only with the provision of electronic means of communication guaranteeing secret casting of votes.
- Voting outside meetings of the foundation’s bodies may be carried out using electronic means of communication, including, in particular, electronic mail or instant messaging for remote electronic communication.
- Voting outside the meeting shall be by notices sent to the members of the body containing:
1. The proposed resolution,
2. A description of how to cast the vote,
3. The deadline by which a valid vote may be cast.
- Votes outside the meeting shall be cast by sending an electronic message indicating the matter on the agenda together with a clearly cast vote.
- Secret voting outside the meeting in a remote form may be conducted only if electronic means of communication guaranteeing a secret ballot.
- The result of voting under the procedure referred to in paragraph 1 shall be communicated to members participating in the vote immediately after the expiry of the indicated time limit. The notification shall be sent by the President of the Board in the case of resolutions of the Board, and by the Chairman of the Program Council of the Foundation in the case of resolutions of the Program Council of the Foundation.
- The Board manages the activities of the Foundation and represents it outside.
- The tasks of the Board of the Foundation include, in particular:
1. Managing the current activities of the Foundation,
2. Implementation of the statutory objectives,
3. Adopting annual operating plans of the Foundation and financial plans,
4. Adopting regulations,
5. Administration of the assets of the Foundation,
6. Representing the Foundation outside,
7. Determining the size of employment and the amount of funds for remuneration of Foundation staff,
8. Acceptance of donations, bequests and legacies, subsidies and grants,
9. Requesting the Founder to amend the Statutes of the Foundation, the merger with another foundation and the liquidation of the Foundation,
10. Making decisions on all other matters not reserved for other bodies.
The Audit Committee
- The Audit Committee is, independent of the Foundation’s Board, a control body whose powers include:
- constant control over the activities of the Foundation,
- evaluation of annual reports on the Foundation’s activities;
- evaluation of the activities of the Foundation’s Board in the form of an annual discharge to its members,
- development of analyses and strategies on economic, legal and financial issues,
- reporting on the legal and financial implications of matters submitted for the Audit Committee’s assessment by the Foundation’s Board.
- In its control activities, the Audit Committee may examine all documents of the Foundation, request reports and explanations from the Foundation’s Board and review the Foundation’s assets.
- Members of the Audit Committee have the right to participate in Board meetings in an advisory capacity.
- In agreements between the Foundation and a Member of the Board and in disputes with the Board, the Foundation is represented by a Member of the Audit Committee, indicated in a resolution of the Audit Committee.
- The Audit Committee consists of 2 to 5 members, appointed and dismissed by the Founder for an indefinite period. The members of the Commission should have education or experience in formal NGO activities.
- Membership of the Audit Commission ceases upon: dismissal, death, resignation, unauthorised combining of functions or the establishment of an employment relationship as referred to in paragraph 3.
- Membership of the Audit Committee cannot be combined with holding a position in the Foundation’s Board or with an employment relationship with the Foundation. If a member of the Audit Committee is appointed, with his/her consent, to the Foundation’s Board or if a member of the Audit Committee enters into an employment relationship with the Foundation, his/her membership of the Audit Committee expires.
- Members of the Review Panel may receive, for the performance of their duties, reimbursement of reasonable expenses or remuneration in an amount not exceeding the average monthly remuneration in the enterprise sector as announced by the President of the Central Statistical Office for the previous year.
- The Audit Committee shall meet at least once a year, on the date of approval of the Foundation’s financial statements.
- The Audit Committee makes decisions in the form of resolutions. In the case of a two-member composition, unanimity is required in the presence of all members. In the case of compositions of three members and more, resolutions are passed by a simple majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the members.
- A member of the Audit Committee may not voté in his/her own case.
- A meeting of the Audit Committee may be called by any of its members or by the President of the Board.
- All members of the Review Panel must be notified of the meeting.
- The Audit Committee may adopt Regulations for the work of the Audit Committee, which shall be approved by the Founder in the form of a resolution.
- Meetings and resolutions of the Audit Committee may be carried out remotely, in accordance with the provisions of § 11 and § 12, respectively.
Method of Representation
- Statements of will on behalf of the Foundation shall be made individually by the President of the Board or two Board members acting jointly, subject to paragraph 2.
- In matters relating to the employment of staff and property matters not exceeding the amount of PLN 50,000.00 (fifty thousand) declarations of will on behalf of the Foundation shall be made individually by each member of the Board.
Foundation’s Programme Council
- Programme Council is an advisory body of the Foundation, develops plans and strategies for the Foundation, may act on initiative in relation to the Foundation’s Board.
- The term of office of the Programme Council is 5 years. It consists of members appointed by the Board.
- Membership in the Program Council shall cease as a result of:
1. Submitting a written resignation,
2. Dismissal of the Program Council member by a resolution of the Board due to violation of the Statute or improper performance of the Program Council member’s functions,
3. Death of the Program Council member.
- The Programme Council shall elect from among its members a Chairperson of the Programme Council for the term of office of the Programme Council. The Chairperson shall manage the work of the Programme Council.
- The Programme Council, on its own initiative or on the initiative of the Foundation Board, may dismiss the Chairperson of the Programme Council before the end of the term of office. The dismissal of the Chairperson of the Programme Council takes place in the event of:
2. A substantial breach of the Statute provisions
3. Improper performance of the function of the Program Council member.
- The Programme Council shall meet at least once a year for an ordinary session. The meetings of the Program Council are convened by the President of the Board of the Foundation.
- At the request of the Chairperson of the Program Council or at least one third of the Program Council members, the President of the Foundation Board of Directors shall convene an extraordinary meeting of the Program Council. An extraordinary meeting of the Council should be convened no later than within 14 working days from the date of submission of the request.
- The Program Board shall make decisions in the form of resolutions – by a simple majority of votes. In case of equal number of votes, the Program Board Chairperson shall have the casting vote.
- The President of the Management Board or other member of the Management Board authorized by him shall take part in the Program Board meeting.
- The Program Board meetings may be held remotely with the use of electronic communication means. Each time such a form is used, it is decided by the President of the Board of Directors after consultation with the Chairperson of the Programme Council. Remote meetings should meet the same requirements as specified in § 11 for meetings of the Board of the Foundation.
- The tasks of the Program Council include:
1. Developing plans and strategies for the Foundation,
2. Presenting opinions on matters presented by the Board of the Foundation,
3. Caring for the good name of the Foundation,
4. Promoting the activities of the Foundation in its environment.
- The Chairperson of the Programme Council may, with the approval of the Foundation’s Board, create Working Sections of the Programme Council. Working Sections are appointed to develop specific strategies and plans envisaged by the Chairperson of the Programme Council.
- Members of the Foundation Board cannot be appointed to the Programme Council.
- Changes in the Statute are made by the Founder. He also has the right to change the purpose and name of the Foundation.
- The Foundation may merge with another Foundation with similar objectives in terms as set out in the resolution of both Foundations. The decision to merge the Foundation with another entity shall be made by the Founder in the form of a resolution.
- The Foundation may be liquidated in the event of achieving statutory objectives and in the event of exhaustion of funds and assets of the Foundation, as well as for other reasons, in accordance with the decision of the Founder.
- A resolution to liquidate the Foundation shall be undertaken by the Founder, appointing for this purpose Liquidator.
- The assets arising after the liquidation of the Foundation shall be transferred, subject to the provisions of Article 5 paragraph 4 of the Law on Foundations, to institutions whose activities correspond to the objectives of the Foundation, designated for this purpose by the Founder.
- The powers of the Founder, as specified in the Statutes, are transferred to the Foundation Board in the event of:
1. Death of the Founder,
2. Founder’s loss of legal capacity,
3. Founder’s deprivation of public rights,
4. Individual resignation from his powers, based on his written application submitted to the Board of the Foundation,
5. Gross violation of the Statute of the Foundation or acting to its detriment, by way of dismissal by unanimous resolution of all Members of the Board (excluding the President),
- In the case of obtaining the powers of the Founder, the Foundation Board:
1. Appoints and dismisses its members by a resolution adopted unanimously in the presence of all Board members. The Board member affected by the resolution shall not participate in the vote,
2. May amend the Statute of the Foundation by a resolution adopted unanimously in the presence of all members of the Board,
3. May merge or liquidate the Foundation by a resolution adopted unanimously in the presence of all members of the Board, in accordance with the principles described in § 16.