The board of directors of a cooperative or the executive committee of an association can allow its members to participate in a meeting remotely even in cases where the rules of the corporation explicitly prohibit or do not allow remote participation. The temporary Act allowing this will be in force until 30 June 2022. (Act 375/2021)
The management of a cooperative or an association must ensure that all members have, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, sufficient opportunities to participate in the decision-making taking place at a meeting. To ensure this, it may be necessary to allow remote participation or participation by using a representative. If a member of an association does not have sufficient digital skills for remote participation, there may appear situations where the member has a ‘technical assistant’ present at the meeting, even if this is not expressly permitted under the Associations Act. Compliance with this restriction cannot, in practice, be monitored in remote participation.
When selecting the methods of participation and making the practical meeting arrangements, it is good to note that it may not be possible to establish with certainty who actually attends a meeting remotely in addition to the members and possible representatives.
The executive committee of an association must provide the members with adequate instructions on remote participation and voting. Voting and election rules, for example, can be used as a model. The same applies to remote participation in a meeting of the delegates. The executive committee cannot, however, establish actual voting and election rules referred to in section 30 of the Associations Act.
Even if virtually all participants would participate in a meeting remotely, the meeting must nevertheless have a physical venue.