Statute of incorporation



STATUTE OF INCORPORATION

І. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Definition and Legal Status

Art. 1. (1) This Statute shall settle the legal status of the Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria (hereinafter referred to as "the Council") as a non-profit organization within the meaning of the Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities.

(2) The Council shall be a voluntary non-government non-religious organization uniting its members on voluntary basis to carry out the activity and achieve the objectives defined hereinafter.

(3) The Council shall be a legal entity having all rights and obligations not related to the natural qualities of individuals and own property.

(4) The Council shall not be liable for the obligations of its members. The Council shall be liable for its obligations with its property.

Term of Existence

Art. 2. The Council shall be bound by no term of existence.

Name

Art. 3. The Council shall exist and operate under the name of Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria. Its name in English shall be written as Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria.
Seat and Address of Management

/Amended with Decision dated 12.04.2006 of the General Meeting/
Art. 4. (1) The seat of the Council shall be in the Region of Oborishte, City of Sofia.
(2) The address of management of the Council shall be: Apartment 4, Floor 4, Entrance V, 1 Oboriste Street.
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ІІ. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF ACTIVITY

Key Objectives

Art. 7. The scope of key objectives of the Council shall include support and promotion of the bilateral economic and cultural relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Greece, particularly in the filed of investments, trade and know-how transfer.

Methods for Achievement of the Council's Objectives

Art. 8. (1) To achieve its objectives the Council shall:
1. Present information and advice on the economies of Bulgaria and Greece. Simultaneously, the Council shall communicate general and more specific information to Bulgaria on the development of the economies of EU member-states and the Balkan and Black Sea Region countries and such information to Greece on the development of Bulgaria. Such information shall also include the development programs of both countries, the European Union, international organizations, etc.;

2. Organize discussions, symposia, conferences and other events directed at establishment and development of trade, cultural and tourist relations between Bulgaria and Greece and facilitating the circulation of information on the relevant issues;

3. Render consultations on the establishment of business contacts among persons, enterprises and interested economic circles in Bulgaria and Greece and maintain and ensure the further development of such relations;

4. Facilitate and promote the economic relations between Bulgaria and Greece and support the participation in trade exhibitions and entrepreneurs in their relations with governmental agencies, state enterprises and other organizations in Bulgaria and Greece;

5. Collect information about the economic positions of Bulgaria and Greece and the status and development of various economic and commercial issues and avails with such information through publication, including circular instructions, annual reports, information bulletins, etc.

6. Establish and promote the development, trade, investments and know how and technologies transfer, as well as the opportunities for cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece;

7. Keep a register of its members and issue certificates of membership with the Council to interested persons;

8. Render advice to and support its members when their legal rights or interests are concerned or threatened.
(2) In carrying out their activities, the Council and its members shall refrain from any political and religious activities.

Type and Scope of Activity

Art. 9. (1) The activity of the Council shall be defined as activity to the personal benefit of its members. For the purposes of this Statute, activity to personal benefit shall be an activity carried out to protect the general interest or interests not contradicting the general individual interest of the Council's members.

(2) To achieve its objectives provided for in Art. 7 hereof the Council shall:

1. Represent its members, coordinate and launch their common opinion to achieve single expression and objectives and promote the achievements of the Greek circle of entrepreneurs in Bulgaria;

2. Intervene before the authorities and competent bodies in Bulgaria, Greece and the European Union to protect grounded claims of its members and assist in providing solutions to their problems.

3. Stimulate and support the development of the Bulgarian-Greek economic, entrepreneurial and investment relations.

4. Render advice and provide information that may be useful for the further strengthening of the favourable investment climate between Bulgaria and Greece;

5. Inform its members and other interested organizations about available entrepreneurial investment opportunities in Bulgaria;

6. Assist the Bulgarian authorities in overcoming or solving difficulty or problems that may appear in the process of realization of the Bulgarian-Greek economic activities based on joint efforts;

7. Promote the development of the Bulgarian-Greek cultural relations and cultural programs directed at better understanding between the two peoples and mutual learning of their languages;

8. Create or participate in existing networks of similar councils, chambers, associations and other organizations.
Ancillary Economic Activity

Art. 10. (1) The Council may also carry out the following ancillary economic activities:

1. Publishing;
2. Advertising, information and consulting services;
3. Execution of any transactions in the country and abroad that are allowed by law, including acquisition and disposal of real estates, movable property, real rights, securities and items of intellectual property.
(2) The Council shall not distribute the gains on carried out ancillary economic activities under Para 1. All proceeds from the ancillary economic activity shall be used to finance the core activity of the Council.

ІІІ. COUNCIL'S PROPERTY

Sources

Art. 11. The Council's property shall comprise:
1. Admission membership fees;
2. Membership fees;
3. Program subsidies and funding;
4. Sponsorship, donations and items willed in favour of the Council;
5. Proceeds from ancillary economic activity;
6. Funds received from the management of the Council's property.
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ІV. COUNCIL MANAGEMENT

Bodies

Art. 13. Bodies of the Council shall be:
1. The General Meeting and
2. The Board of Directors.

General Meeting

Art. 14. (1) The General Meeting shall be the supreme body of the Council.

(2) Any and all regular members of the Council, who have performed their financial obligations (payment of admission membership fees, membership fees, etc.) to the Council, shall have the right to participate and vote in the General Meeting. A regular member shall participate in the General Meeting in person or by proxy.

(3) A regular member - legal entity shall be represented in the General Meeting by its legal representative or an explicitly authorized person.

(4) A proxy of an individual or a legal entity shall be an individual.

(5) A power of attorney shall be executed in writing and explicitly issued for participation in the General Meeting of the Council. A power of attorney may be issued for particular or unlimited numbers of sessions.

(6) A proxy shall have no right to re-delegate its rights to third parties.

(7) A proxy shall have the right to represent up to 3 (three) members in the General Meeting.
Competence of the General Meeting

Art. 15. (1) The General Meeting shall:
1. Amend and supplement the Statute of the Council;
2. Transform and dissolve the Council;
3. Elect and dismiss the members of the Board of Directors;
4. Approve the annual financial statements if such are to be prepared in compliance with the effective legislation;
5. Consider complaints against decisions on membership termination or membership application form rejection, made by the Board of Directors;
6. Adopt key directions and programs for the activity of the Council;
7. Approve the budget of the Council;
8. Approve the report on the activity of the Board of Directors;
9. Appoint and discharge a certified public accountant if this is regulated by a decision or provided for in the effective legislation;
10. Cancel decisions of the Board of Directors contradicting the provisions of this Statute or the effective legislation;
11. Exempt the members of the Board of Directors from liability;
12. Make decisions on the issues provided for in Art. 12, Para 2 of the Statute of the Council
13. Make decisions on other issues provided for in this Statute.
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Convocation and Holding of Sessions of the General Meeting
Art. 16. (1) A session of the General Meeting shall be held at least once per year at the seat of the Company.
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(5) The invitation shall be published in the State Gazette and placed at a visible spot in the premises at the address of management of the Council not later than 30 (thirty) days before the session date.
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Right to Vote
Art. 19. (1) A regular member of the Council entitled to participate in General Meeting shall have the right to 1 (one) vote therein.
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Decision Making
Art. 22. (1) A decision of the General Meeting shall be made by majority of the present persons having rights to vote.
(2) Any and all decisions on the issues provided for in Art. 15, Para 1, Items 1, 2, 3 and 12 shall be made by majority of 2/3 of all present persons having rights to vote and the provision of Art. 18, Para 2 hereof shall not apply to such decisions.
(3) No decision shall be made on issues not included in the agenda announced in the particular invitation.
Board of Directors

Art. 23. The Board of Directors shall be the executive body of the Council.
Composition

Art. 24. (1) The Board of Directors of the Council shall consist of 7 (seven) to 9 (nine) members, including the President, the Secretary General and the Vice Presidents. The particular number of members shall be determined by the decision of the General Meeting on election of the members of the Board of Directors.

(2) A member of the Board of Directors shall be an individual participating in the management and/or representation of a regular member of the Council.

(3) A legal entity - regular member of the Council may nominate persons who are not members of the Council but meet the requirements provided for in the preceding paragraph as members of the Board of Directors. A regular member of the Council may nominate only one individual, participating in its management and/or representation, as a member of the Board of Directors.

(4) If more persons obtain the required majority as provided for in Art. 22, Para 2 hereof-in case of election of members of the Board of Directors, there shall be elected members those of the persons to be elected by the particular decision who obtain the highest number of votes. In case the persons classified for the last or the only position obtain equal number of votes, a new voting shall be held for these persons and the person with the higher number of votes shall be considered elected.

(5) Upon election of members of the Board of Directors in case that in consequence of the held election and in view of the number of the eligible seats of the Board of Directors, it occurs that there are unoccupied seats because the necessary majority under art. 22, para. 2 of the Statute has not been reached, a new election shall take place concerning these unoccupied seats, as the candidate/s who receive the most votes of those present shall be considered elected. Upon the second election the provision of paragraph 4, second sentence shall be applicable.
Mandate

Art. 25. (1) A member of the Board of Directors shall be elected for a mandate of 3 (three) years.

(2) A member of the Board of Directors may be re-elected for further mandates without restriction.
Art. 26 Before the term set release

(1) A member of the Board of Directors can be released with a decision of the General Meeting before his mandate is expired in the following cases:

1. by the will of the member of the Board of Directors, expressed with 30-days written notification addressed to the Chairmen of the Association;
2. death of a member of the Board of Directors;
3. putting of a member of the Board of Directors under judicial disability;
4. convicting of a member of the Board of Directors with entered into force sentence imprisonment for intentional crime;
5. it is impossible for a member of the Board of Directors to exercise his rights for more than three months;
6. in case a member of the Board of Directors does not participate personally or through representative at three consecutive meetings of the Board of Directors or at more than the half of the conducted meetings of the Board of Directors for particular calendar year, unless the absence is due to serious apologetic reasons defined as such after voting of the Board of Directors in every single case;
7. in case a member of the Board of Directors ceases to meet the requirements of art. 24, par 2 from the present Statute.

(2) In case of occurrence of any of the circumstances pursuant to paragraph 1, this fact shall be ascertained by a decision of the Board of Directors, where in such a case the respective member of Board of Directors shall not participate in the Board of Directors`s activity and he/she shall not be taken under consideration upon determination of the quorum or the majority for adoption of Board of Directors`s decisions.
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Competence of the Board of Directors

Art. 27. The Board of Directors shall:

1. Determine the procedure and organize the manner of carrying out the activity of the Council, including the ancillary economic activity and shall bear the related responsibility;

2. Ensure the implementation of the decisions of the General Meeting;

3. Manage the property of the Council and dispose of it in compliance with the provisions of the Statute and the effective legislation;

4. Prepare and submit a draft budget to the General Meeting;

5. Prepare and submit a report on the operations of the Council to the General Meeting;

6. Make proposals on amendment and supplement of the Statute to the General Meeting;

7. Have the right to create its supporting bodies such as commissions, councils and others, use the services of individuals and legal entities and determine their remunerations;

8. Make decisions on acquisition and alienation of real rights on real estates;

9. Admit and exclude the regular, associated and honourable members of the Council;

10. Make decisions on opening and closure of branches;

11. Make decisions on participation in other organizations;

12. Approve the internal rules and regulations of the Council;


13. Determine the amounts and manner of and time limit for payment of admission membership fees and membership fees;

14. Approve the organizational and management structure, employees appointment and discharge procedure, rules on working salaries and other internal regulations of the Council;

15. Execute the liquidation of the Council or appoint a person to execute such liquidation;

16. Perform the duties provided for in the Statute;

17. Exercise other powers provided for in a legislative act that are not within the scope of exclusive competence of the General Meeting and represent the Council through its President and/or Secretary General.

Sessions of the Board of Directors

Art. 28. (1) A session of the Board of Directors shall be held at least once per 3 (three) months.
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Chairman of the Board of Directors

Art. 30. (1) The Chairman of the Board of Directors shall be elected by the Board of Directors by ordinary majority of all present persons.

(2) The President of the Board of Directors shall manage all activities of the Council in compliance with the Statute, the decisions of the General Meeting and the effective legislation.

(3) In managing the activities of the Council, the Chairman of the Board of Directors shall:

1. Direct, organize and coordinate the activities of the members of the Board of Directors;
2. Prepare and present the annual report on operations and financial position of the Council and draft annual program and budget to the Board of Directors for discussion;
3. Perform employer's functions as to the employees of the Council hired under labour agreements;
4. Exercise disciplinary power within the Council;
5. Propose the list of positions in the Council, job descriptions of employees and rules and regulations on determination and manner of payment of their remunerations to the Board of Directors for approval;
6. Exercise other powers provided for in the Statute, the decisions of the General Meeting and/or the Board of Directors or the effective legislation.

(4) The President of the Board of Directors shall have the right to delegate all or some of its powers to the Secretary General or other members for a particular period.

(5) In case of early termination of the mandate of the President of the Board of Directors, the powers of the President shall be exercised by the Secretary General till election of a new President.

Secretary General of the Board of Directors

Art. 31. (1) At its first session the Board of Directors shall elect Secretary General of the Board of Directors among its members.
(2) The Secretary General shall assist the President of the Board of Directors and for the purpose, the Secretary General shall:
1. Direct, organize, coordinate and control the work of the employees of the Council on regular basis;
2. Organize the implementation of the orders issued by the President;
3. Organize the document turnover of the Council and bear responsibility for the records keeping;
4. Bear responsibility for the technical security of the work of the employees of the Council, including development, maintenance and operation of an internal computer network, creation of data base and use of computer technologies to achieve the objectives of the Council;
5. Perform any and all other functions assigned by the President or the Board of Directors;
6. Exercise the powers of the President in the case provided for in Art. 30, Para 5 hereof.
Vice President of the Board of Directors

Art. 32. (1) The Board of Directors shall elect up to 3 (three) Vice Presidents of the Board of Directors among its present members by ordinary majority. A Vice President shall substitute for the President when the latter is absent or not able due to any reason in all its rights and obligations except for the power to represent the Council and cooperate with the President and the Secretary General in implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors or the General Meeting.
(2) The Board of Directors shall have the right to make a decision on assignment to the Vice Presidents of particular spheres of activity to be responsible for and manage within the scope of competence of the Board of Directors.
Representation

Art. 33. The President and the Secretary General of the Board of Directors shall represent, jointly or severally, the Council in its relations with individuals and legal entities.


V. MEMBERSHIP. MEMBERS' RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS

Voluntary Basis

Art. 34. The membership with the Council shall be voluntary.

Member Categories

Art. 35. The members of the Council shall be:
1. Regular and
2. Honourable.
3. Associated

Regular Members

Art. 36. (1) A regular member of the Council may be any legal entity registered in the Republic of Bulgaria or any legal entity registered in the Republic of Greece or Cyprus with a trade representation office registered in the Republic of Bulgaria, which represents Greek or Cyprian economic interests in the broadest sense and is willing to assist in the achievement of the key objectives of the Council and accepts and complies with the Statute of the Council.

(2) The founders of the Council, who have initiated the establishment of the Council, participated in the proceedings of the Foundation Meeting and signed the registration documents, shall be considered regular members without admission as provided for in Art. 38 hereof.

(3) A regular member of the Council may not be a person who:
1. Carries out activity or shares and defends ideas contradicting the objectives of the Council or
2. Has been imprisoned for intentional crime of general nature.
Associated members

Art.36a.
(1) Associated member of the Association may be any individual or legal entity sharing the aims of the Association. The associated members are accepted by a decision of the Board of Directors upon the respective application of Art. 39 of the present Statute. The decision of the Board of Directors which rejects the request for accepting of a new associated member cannot be appealed in front of the General assembly of the Association. The termination of the membership of an associated member of the Association shall be executed pursuant to the procedure and the merits provided by Art. 40-42 of the present Statute.
(2) Upon its assessment and discretion the Board of Directors of the Association may establish and determine different kinds of associated members, without this to cause a change of the rights of the associated members.
(3) The associated members shall pay an acceptance fee and membership fee in amount and under terms and conditions, determined by the Board of Directors.
(4) The associated members are not entitled to vote at the General assembly, as well as to be elected for members of the Board of Directors of the Association.
(5) The capacity of associated member is incompatible with the capacity of regular or honorary member of the Association.

Rights of the associated members

Art.36b. Each associated member is entitled:
1. to participate in the Association's activities;
2. to be informed about the Association's activities;
3. to make suggestions and appeals related to the activities of the Association and his/her membership rights;
4. to participate in all initiatives, organized by the Association;
5. to present and support his/her own personal ideas and initiatives, related to the Association activities in front of the Board of Directors and the General assembly."

Obligations of the associated members

Art. 36c. Each associated member of the Association shall be obliged:
1. to observe the Statute of the Association and to work actively for the realization of the aims and tasks of the Association;
2. to enact the decisions of the General assembly and of the Board of Directors of the Association;
3. to cooperate for the organizational and financial consolidation of the Association and to strengthen the prestige of the Association within the state and abroad;
4. to preserve the Association's property;
5. to pay regularly the membership fee;
6. not to harm the activity and the good name of the Association with his/her behavior;
7. to collaborate with the rest of the members on the grounds of tolerance, goodwill and respect."
Honourable members

Art. 37. (1) Any individual or legal entity that have exclusively contributed to the activity of the Council or the development of the Bulgarian-Greek relations, as well as any person that may contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Council due to its public position, activity or post, may be announced an honourable member of the Council. A decision announcing a person an honourable member shall be made by majority of at least 2/3 of all members of the Board of Directors. A person announced an honourable member shall present its written consent thereon to the Board of Directors prior to or following such decision.
(2) The position of an honourable member shall not be compatible with the position of a regular member. A regular member of the Council may not be a person who carries out activity or shares and defends ideas contradicting the objectives of the Council or has been imprisoned for intentional crime of general nature.
(3) An honourable member shall have no right to vote in the General Meeting and no right to elect members or be elected a member of the bodies of the Council. Such member, however, may participate in the sessions of the General Meeting and speak thereat. An honourable member shall be exempted from any financial obligations to the Council. Following the particular decision, an honourable member may participate in specific activities or spheres of the Council, make relevant studies and take part in different commissions of the Council without the right to vote.

Prohibition on Assignment

Art. 38. (1) Membership rights and obligations, except for property ones, may not be assigned or transferred to other persons in case of death or dissolution.
(2) The procedure for new members admission shall apply to the decision provided for in the preceding paragraph.
Admittance of New Members
Art. 39. (1) A new regular member of the Council shall be admitted on the basis of a written application form and a declaration by the applicant, stating:
1. Acceptance of the Statute and objectives of the Council;
2. Compliance with the requirements provided for in Art. 36 of the Statute;
3. Absence of the circumstances provided for in Art. 36, Para 3.
(2) A membership application form shall be addressed to the Board of Directors of the Council. A membership application form shall be accompanied by the following documents: a decision on registration of or other document certifying the legal and valid incorporation of the applicant, a current legal status certificate of or other document certifying the current legal status of the applicant and a decision of the competent body on management of the applicant for membership with the Council.
(3) An application form shall be considered at the first session of the Board of Directors following its receipt.
(4) The Board of Directors shall make a decision on admission of a new regular member by ordinary majority of its members.
(5) A decision on admission of a new regular member, made by the Board of Directors, shall not be subject to approval by the General Meeting.
(6) An admitted regular member shall be entered into the Register of Members of the Council within 7 (seven) days as of admission date.
(7) A decision of the Board of Directors on rejection of an application form by a person applying for regular membership may be appealed against before the General Meeting of the Council through the President of the Board of Directors within 14 (fourteen) days of the date of delivery of such decision but not later than 2 (two) months as of decision date. In case that the General Meeting cancels a decision of the Board of Directors, the applicant shall be admitted a regular member of the Council as of the date of the decision made by the General Meeting. A decision of the General Meeting on a filed complaint shall be final.

Membership Termination

Art. 40. (1) Membership with the Council shall be terminated:
1. At member's initiative by a due application form to the Board of Directors;
2. In case of exclusion from the Council;
3. In case of dissolution of the legal entity;
4. In case of dropping out;
5. In case of dissolution of the Council;
6. In any case explicitly provided for in the effective legislation.
(2) In the cases provided for in Items 2 and 4 of the preceding paragraph, membership shall be terminated by a decision of the Board of Directors, and in all other cases - automatically unless the effective legislation requires a decision of a competent body of the Council.
(3) In case of termination of the membership of a person on whatever basis, such person shall have no right to property claims or receivables against the Council.

Exclusion

Art. 41. (1) Exclusion of a member of the Council shall be undertaken if such member:
1. Regularly violate or make gross violation of the provisions of the Statute or the decisions of the bodies of the Council;
2. Regularly fails to perform its obligations provided for in Art. 44 of the Statute, respectively as per Art. 36c of the Statute;
3. Is the subject of initiated insolvency proceedings.
(2) A decision on exclusion shall be made by the Board of Directors by majority of 2/3 of its members.
(3) A decision on exclusion shall be made in the presence of the member of the Council nominated for exclusion, who is to be duly notified in writing of the session of the Board of Directors whereat the issue will be discussed. In case that such member is not able to attend the session whereat its position will be discussed, the member may deposit its written explanatory statement that should be discussed and judges prior to decision making. If a duly notified member nominated for exclusion fails to attend the session and present its written explanatory statement, its position may be discussed in its absence.
(4) A decision on exclusion may be appealed against following the procedure provided for in Art. 15, Para 3 of this Statute.

Dropping out

Art. 42. A member shall be dropped out of membership in case that such member delays, for over 45 (forty-five) days, the payment of its admission membership fee or any membership fee (if it is to be paid at once for the particular year) or fails to executed over 3 (three) membership fee payments (if the membership fee is to be paid in payments during the particular year) or fails to attend 3 (three) consecutive sessions of the General Meeting and in the last case participation by proxy shall not be considered failure in participation. The Board of Directors shall ascertain the dropping out of a member based on the documents certifying the relevant events and circumstances and make a due decision on membership termination.

Rights of Regular Members of the Council

Art. 43. (1) All regular members of the Council shall have equal rights.

(2) A regular member of the Council shall have the right:
1. To participate and make use of the activity of the Council;
2. To participate and vote in the General Meeting of the Council;
3. To elect members and be elected a member of the management bodies of the Council;
4. To make proposals and file complaints concerning the activity of the Council and its member's rights;
5. To take part in all initiatives organized by the Council;
6. To obtain assistance from the Council in performing its work;
7. To obtain information on all issues concerning the activity of the Council from its management;
8. To present and defend personal ideas and initiatives concerning the activity of the Council to and before the Board of Directors and the General Meeting.
Obligations of Regular Members of the Council

Art. 44. A regular member of the Council shall:

1. Comply with the provisions of the Statute of the Council and actively work to achieve the objectives and aims of the Council;
2. Participate in the activity of the Council;
3. Implement the decisions of the General Meeting and the Board of Directors of the Council;
4. Render assistance in the organization and financial management of the Council and ensuring sustainable reputation of the Council in the country and abroad;
5. Protect the property of the Council;
6. Pay its membership fee regularly;
7. Not harm the activity and the good name of the Council through its behaviour;
8. Collaborate with the other members based on the principles of tolerance, good will and respect.

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VІ. COUNCIL DISSOLUTION

Legal Basis

Art. 49. (1) The Council shall be dissolved following the procedure, under the terms and conditions and on the grounds provided for in the Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities and/or this Statute. Liquidation shall be made in case of dissolution of the Council except for case of transformation of the Council.
(2) The liquidation shall be executed by the Board of Directors of the Council or a person assigned by it.
(3) The property remaining after satisfaction of the creditors shall be distributed among all regular members of the Council but the founders of the Council shall have the right to double shares unless the decision of the General Meeting on dissolution provides for other decision made by majority of 2/3 of all regular members of the Council.
(4) A person acquiring property as provided for in the preceding paragraph shall be liable for its obligations to the Council up to the value of acquired property.

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Governing Law

Art. 51. Any and all issues not settled in this Statute shall be governed by the provisions of the Bulgarian legislation.
Partial Invalidity

Art. 52. An individual provision of this Statute shall be independent of the other provisions and its invalidity or nullity shall not render any other provision invalid or null.

This Statute has been approved at the Foundation Meeting of the Council held on 07.12.2004 in the City of Sofia and amended by the General Meeting at a session held on 08.04.2008 in the City of Sofia.


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