FIDACA is recognised by the Holy see as an international catholic organisation.

Article 1: Name and location

The International Federation for Catholic Associations of the Blind (FIDACA) is a union of national catholic associations of and for the blind. The word "blind" also covers all other seriously sight-handicapped persons. The headquarters of this organisation are located at the International Centre for the Blind, CH-8597 LANDSCHLACHT TG, Switzerland.
FIDACA is instituted for an indefinite period of time.
FIDACA adheres to the principles of the Roman Catholic faith.

Article 2: Goals

FIDACA's goals are in compliance with the spirit of the second Vatican Council and are as follows:

a) spiritual, moral, cultural and material promotion of the blind;

b) Promotion of the blind by participation in the life and mission of the church, by bearing testimony and propagating the Gospel;

c) Creation or development of organisations for the blind in cooperation with the diocesan and national chaplainships of the various countries;

d) Fraternal cooperation with the blind in developing countries.

FIDACA reaches its goals by arranging meetings, congresses, pilgrimages, sessions, publications of various nature as well as other appropriate means.

Article 3: Membership

Are eligible for membership with FIDACA:

a. national organisations of and for the blind to the extent that they pursue the objectives set forth under article 2 and are recognised by their respective national Bishops' conference.

b. groups from countries where no organisation as described under article 3.a exists. They can be members if their membership is recommended by the responsible local bishop or bishops' conference.

Request for membership should be sent to FIDACA. The statutes of the organisation together with the last activity report should be submitted as attachments.

The Executive Board is entitled to accept new members in accordance with the conditions set forth under article 1.

Article 4: Membership termination

FIDACA's membership terminates:

a. through resignation,

b. through cancellation decided by the General Assembly for grave fault or non-payment of membership fees. Prior to decision by the General Assembly, the association or the groups concerned will have been invited to explain their position.

Article 5: Funding

FIDACA's activities are funded, among others, by:

a. membership fees; b. gifts and legacies;

c. possible credit balances.

Each member is requested to pay an annual fee, as fixed by the General Assembly, proportional to the number of its voting rights. The General Assembly may grant partial of total derogations.
The members have no personal liabilities with regard to FIDACA 's commitments. Only FIDACA 's funds are liable.

Article 6: Organisational structure

FIDACA's organisational structure consists of:

a. the General Assembly;
b. the Executive Board;
c. the Auditing Committee.

Article 7: Composition and convening

FIDACA's General Assembly is composed of 2 delegates maximum of each national member organisation.
The international Chaplain has consultative voting rights.
The General Assembly meets every 4 years, and is convened by the Executive Board. Extraordinary General Assemblies can be convened either by the Executive Board, or upon request of 4 national organisations or groups, in accordance with above article 3.b. The convening must be addressed 3 months prior to the meeting date.

Article 8: Voting rights and decision process

Voting rights are distributed as follows:

The 2 delegates of a national organisation possess a number of voting rights proportional to their country's population:

Country with less than 5 million inhabitants: 2 votes
Country with 5 to 10 million inhabitants: 4 votes
Country with 10 to 30 million inhabitants: 5 votes
Country with more than 30 million inhabitants: 6 votes

The member organisations determine the number of votes of each of their delegates in accordance with the principle of repartition.
Decisions rendered by the General Assembly are based on a simple majority of delegates present and can only be taken on questions included in the agenda. In case of a tie, the Presidents' vote is determining.

Delegates may be represented by a member of their organisation. The latter disposes of the same number of votes as the delegate.

A record of attendance including name and address will be kept.

Article 9: Process of the General Assembly

The agenda is fixed by the Executive Board, unless an Extraordinary General Assembly requested by member associations is concerned, in which case the latter fix the agenda. The agenda must be enclosed with the convening. A President of the General Assembly will be elected.

The General Assembly hears and approves the business operations report of the exercise, the financial report of the Executive Board as well as FIDACA 's report. It deliberates on FIDACA 's action program for the next 4 years, as well as on its corresponding budget.

Copies of the business operations report and of the financial report will be sent to our members through the National President, at least 1 month before the General Assembly.

The General Assembly proposes a list of 3 chaplains for the blind. The Holy See chooses among this list the international chaplain for the blind.

Article 10: Proceedings of the General Assembly

Deliberations of the General Assembly are noted in the proceedings, maintained in a special register and signed by the President and the Secretary. Copies and excerpts of the proceedings have to be certified by the President or by a member of the Executive Board who attended the General Assembly.

Article 11: Election of the Board

FIDACA is administered by the Board. Its members, who all share the same rights, are chosen by the General Assembly among the delegates of the member organisations.

The Board counts at least 5 members and is composed of a President, 3 Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer as well as other possible participants.

The Board members are elected for 4 years. One re-election is allowed. The Board names a Secretary, who attends all Board meetings as well as all General Assemblies.

Article 12: Tasks of the Board

The Board administers the daily affairs of the organisation and carries out the tasks entrusted by the General Assembly.

The Board gathers at least once a year. It can be called together by its President or at the request of the majority of its members. The Board is authorised to take decisions by correspondence in exceptional circumstances.

The Board meets validly when a minimum of 3 members are present. The Board organises its own tasks.

The Board produces an annual report on the situation of the organisation; this is the basis of a report presented to the General Assembly. It yearly examines the accounts and the conformity with the budget.

The Board's decisions must be protocolled and the protocol must be signed by the President and the Secretary. Copies and excerpts of the proceedings must be certified by the President, by a Vice-President or by a member of the Board attending the meeting.

Article 13: Election and functions of the President

The Board chooses a President among its members, after having requested the Holy See's agreement on one or several candidacies to the presidency.

At termination of his/her mandate, he/she can be re-elected once consecutively. Immediate and unlimited re-election of the other Board members is possible. The President enjoys an international position during his/her mandate. Consequently, he/she will not be chosen as a national delegate.

FIDACA is represented in all civil and legal acts by its President, or in his/her absence by one of the Vice-Presidents. FIDACA 's representatives must be fully entitled to their civil rights.

Expenses are authorised by the President in agreement with the Treasurer, and within the framework of the budget. The President and the Treasurer are authorised to sign individually.

Article 14: Nomination of commissions and associates

The Board reserves the right to appoint certain persons from member organisations as associates. These persons will be admitted to the Board meetings in order to get familiarised with its activities.The Board may also create commissions, which can execute specific tasks independently, based on rules determined by the Board and under its responsibility.

Article 15: Auditing Committee

The General Assembly chooses among its members an Auditing Committee consisting of 3 members, for a period of 4 years. This committee verifies the accountancy and the yearly accounts and draws up a report to the Board meant for the General Assembly.
These audits may be entrusted to a chartered accountant's office.

Article 16: Statute's amendments

The statutes can only be amended by the General Assembly upon proposal of the Board or of a minimum of one third of the member associations, with agreement of the Holy See. The Assembly must then be composed of at least half of its members in the exercise of their duties, present or represented, and entitled to participation in the General Assembly.

A second General Assembly will have to be summoned after 3 months, if the quorum of half of the members is not reached at the first General Assembly. This second General Assembly will be authorised to take decisions, whatever the number of present or represented members may be.
Decisions on statute's amendments can only be taken with a majority of two thirds of present or represented members at this General Assembly, taking into account the number of votes of each delegate.

Article 17: Dissolution

In case of possible dissolution, a General Assembly must be convened specially to this effect. It must include at least 3/4 of present or represented members entitled to participation in the General Assembly. Dissolution decision will be validated only by a majority vote of 2/3 of present or represented votes.

Article 18: Funds reimbursement

In case of dissolution, the net assets must be distributed to the member associations, pro-rata their annual fees.

Article 19: Preponderant language

The German language is the principal language for these statutes and will be preponderant for each translation.

These new statutes have been approved by the General Assembly of 15 and 16 January 1994, and replace the statutes of 26 and 27 January 1985.