§1 About Norwegian PEN

Norwegian PEN is an organization affiliated with PEN International. The purpose of Norwegian PEN is stated in the Charter of PEN International. The Charter follows these statutes.

§2 Equity

The organization’s equity must be at least NOK 300,000, -.

§3 Members

3.1 Writers and other artists, journalists, publishers, editors, members in cultural or otherwise related organizations that support Norwegian PEN’s work and PEN International’s charter can apply for membership at Norwegian PEN.

3.2 One may apply for membership or be proposed as a member by existing members. Applications for membership are decided by the Board on the recommendation of the Board’s Executive Committee (AU). Of the nine members of the Board, at least six must vote for the new membership. Rejected applications may be required to be presented to the Annual General Meeting, where new members can be voted in by a 2/3 majority vote, counted by number of attendees. The Board shall briefly explain the reasons for refusing admission; otherwise the issue cannot be debated.

In cases where the applicant is already a member of a writers’ organization (Norwegian Authors’ Union, Norwegian Association of Literary Translators, Writers’ Guild of Norway, Norwegian Writers for Children, Norwegian Critics’ Association and Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association) or the Norwegian Union of Journalists, or work in a publishing house associated with the Norwegian Publishers’ Association, the Secretary General may confirm the membership of the applicant, after approval by the AU, without consulting the Board. Other applicants may be considered as soon as possible after the AU’s recommendation is available. If a Board meeting is not scheduled for a reasonable period of time after the AU meeting, applications for membership shall be sent to the board for finalization by e-mail.

3.3 Members who, after receiving the invoice for the membership fee and two reminders, fail to pay the aforementioned fee, can be terminated as members of Norwegian PEN. Members who for some reason cannot pay the fee, can apply for exemption.

3.4 Support membership: Associations, institutions or companies that support Norwegian PEN’s work and PEN International’s charter can apply for support membership at Norwegian PEN. The support membership does not give voting rights in Norwegian PEN and is subscribed for a separate fee to be approved by the Board.

3.5 Members or support members who actively oppose PEN International’s charter may be suspended by the Board. The suspension will be considered by the Annual General Meeting, who may decide for an exclusion with a majority vote.

§4 The Annual General Meeting

The ordinary Annual General Meeting shall be held within the first semester. At the Annual General Meeting the following matters are dealt with:

Annual Report
Audited accounts for the previous calendar year
Election of board members and deputies
Election of the president
Election of the vice-president
Election of the members of the Search Committee
Election of members of the Writers in Prison Committee
Election of auditor
Incoming proposals from the board and members

If at least one member so requires, the election of board members and deputies shall be made in writing. Amendments to the Statutes require a 2/3 majority, while the approval of the accounts and other resolutions is decided by a simple majority. The summons and agenda of the meeting shall be sent out at least two weeks in advance. The Annual General Meeting cannot make decisions on matters that are not on the agenda. Issues to be raised at the Annual General Meeting must be received by the secretariat no later than 6 weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

4.2 On proposal from the Search Committee, the Annual General Meeting elects 9 permanent members of the Board for a 2-year period. The president and vice-president are elected separately by the Annual General Meeting every two years. In the same year the president is elected, four board members are elected and in the same year as the vice-president is elected, three board members are elected. In addition, three deputies are elected. The Board’s members should normally not sit for more than 8 years.

The deputies have the right to attend and speak at board meetings, but can only vote when they represent a permanent board member.The chairman of the Writers in Prison Committee is elected by the Annual General Meeting. The committee chairman shall be a member of the board.  The Board appoints other members of the Committee. The board formulates its own guidelines for the WiPC’s work. The board has a quorum when the president or deputy president and at least four board members are present. In case of equality of votes, the president’s double vote applies.

4.3 The Annual General Meeting elects a Search Committee of up to 4 members on a proposal from the Board. The Search Committee is elected for one year. The members of the Search Committee should normally not sit for more than 4 years. The Search Committee is renewed with one member each year.

§5 The Board

The board elects an executive committee (AU) consisting of the president, vice-president and a board member. In addition, a deputy of the board is elected. The Secretary General is the secretary of the AU. The AU is responsible for the follow-up and operations between board meetings, and prepares and recommends issues to the board. Separate instructions are prepared for the AU.

§6 Local departments

6.1 The board approves the establishment of local units of Norwegian PEN in cities, counties or regions in Norway. Local departments report to Norwegian PEN and act in accordance with resolutions and statutes in Norwegian PEN and PEN International’s charter.

6.2 The local department may recommend applicants for membership in Norwegian PEN, but cannot themselves approve membership. The local department seeks Norwegian PEN for funding for its own operations and activities.

6.3 The local department holds annual meetings where the board is elected. The annual meeting is held before the deadline for proposals for the annual meeting in Norwegian PEN. At the annual meeting the following matters are dealt with:

Annual Report
Financial statements for the previous calendar year
Election of the president and board members and deputies

Annual report, financial statements, election and resolutions from the annual meeting are forwarded to the board of Norwegian PEN. All attending members of Norwegian PEN who are engaged in the local department have voting rights in the annual meeting,

6.4 The annual meeting in a local department can make decisions on the dissolution of the local department. In the event of the dissolution of the local department, the funds of the local department accrue to Norwegian PEN.

§7 Dissolution of Norwegian PEN

Dissolution of Norwegian PEN requires a 2/3 majority at two consecutive Annual General Meetings. Upon dissolution, Norwegian PEN’s assets will be transferred to freedom of expression purposes, decided by the Board.

These statutes were last changed at the Annual General Meetings of 26th April 2016, 2nd May 2017, 26th April 2018 and 24th April 2019.