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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2019-05-26">
<title>FSFE's General Assembly opens up membership process and replaces Fellowship seats</title>
<h1>FSFE's General Assembly opens up membership process and replaces Fellowship seats</h1>
<p newsteaser="yes">During <a href="">last year's General Assembly</a> the FSFE's Council was asked to prepare a constitution change to remove the so-called "Fellowship seats". This motion was adopted with 20:3 votes and zero abstentions. After preparation of the Council, the FSFE's General Assembly today approved in an extrarodinary meeting the removal of these Fellowship seats. In future, access to membership of FSFE shall be facilitated and available to any dedicated community member.</p>
<p>Initially, <a href="">elections for Fellowship seats</a> were introduced to give the FSFE’s community, represented by our sustaining donors, access to the <a href="">General Assembly</a> and therewith a voice on strategic decisions inside the FSFE. But the FSFE's General Assembly now sees the downside of such elections and although introduced with good intentions, for good reasons our community would have counterargued against a similar representation for corporate donors instead of our sustaining donors.</p>
<p>Evaluating our <a href="">nine elections</a>, the positive aspects of these elections have been that many of the former representatives have become permanent members and valuable additions to the FSFE's General Assembly. But seeing that all of these new members already have been very active contributors before their elections, we also believe that the better way to grow membership is by identifying and encouraging active contributors to become GA members. And that the FSFE could have attracted the same people without the downsides of the elections.</p>
<p>We now understand that it is wrong to pit volunteers against each other in elections with other volunteers about their role inside FSFE. Elections, in that financial contributors finally decide about whom to be given membership of FSFE on additional reasons beyond the candidates' solely dedication and expertise. This unfortunate mechanism discouraged a few very active community members from applying for membership in the past.</p>
<p>This is what the FSFE likes to fix now with XX:YY votes in favor to remove the Fellowship seats during todays extraordinary assembly. And today's decision is not only about removing the seats. In a next step, the General Assembly likes to see the Council facilitating the procedure of becoming a member of the FSFE by identifying and encouraging active contributors as well as a better documentation of processes. Details of these changes should be prepared and proposed for adoption by the members at the next ordinary general assembly. Our community will be informed about the ondoing processes.</p>
<tag content="General Assembly">General Assembly</tag>
<tag content="Fellowship seats">Fellowship seats</tag>
<tag content="Membership">Membership</tag>
<author id="albers" />