User:RamzyM/Global Council

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This proposal is meant as a recommendation for the Interim Global Council on how to set up the Global Council as incorporated in the upcoming Movement Charter. The general ideas are drawn from previous Wikimedia governance reform proposals and external practices. This proposal is written by an individual volunteer member of the community and does not reflect the view of the Foundation, any Affiliates, or other foras within the Movement.[1]


Previous proposals of governance reform[edit]

Other proposals pertaining the Council[edit]

Key ideas[edit]

  • The Wikimedia Movement shall comprise of:[2]
    • Wikimedia Foundation, as the host of Wikimedia projects;
    • Wikimedia Global Council, as primary forum of Wikimedia project volunteers;
    • Wikimedia affiliate organizations (Affiliates), which comprises the Chapters, Thematic Organizations, and User Groups.
  • The Foundation shall operate in accordance with the laws and regulation that governs it. The Council shall operate in accordance with the Movement Charter. The Affiliates shall operate in accordance to its Bylaws.
  • The Council shall be legally separate from the Foundation, the way Affiliates are legally separate from the Foundation.
  • The Council and the Foundation Board of Trustees shall be bound by a formal agreement. Proposed model: the Red Cross movement's Seville Agreement
  • The Council and the Affiliates shall be bound by a formal agreement, necessitating a new agreement to be negotiated to replace the previous agreement between the Affiliates and the Foundation.
  • It would be best for the Council to be legally registered *outside* of the United States, maybe in a country where international organizations are mostly registered and has flexible law to accommodate the Council’s needs. Maybe modeled after WCA bylaws.
  • The Council shall be funded by voluntary contribution from the Affiliates, in a manner that is determined in a fair and appropriate fashion. Until such agreement is reached, the Foundation shall support the Council with a permanent secretariat staffed by professional staff to help the Council’s day-to-day operation.
  • The Council shall have power to elect the Community-Elected and Affiliate-Selected (CEAS) seats at the Foundation Board of Trustee. In return, the Foundation shall be allowed to appoint a certain number of voting seats to the Council.
  • Council members shall not be allowed to be a paid staff of the Foundation or Affiliates, and vice versa.
  • The Council shall, at the very least, have the following subsidiary organs, transferred from the Foundation’s jurisdiction. The members of the subsidiary organs shall be the members of the Council. The arrangement shall be set out in the Movement Charter.
    • Language Committee: the responsibility to approve, oversee, audit, and close Wikimedia projects shall rest with the Council, with necessary technical and professional support provided by appropriate divisions of the Foundation.
    • Fund Dissemination Committee: the responsibility to oversee allocation and dissemination of any funds coming from the Foundation to the Affiliates, with necessary technical and professional support provided by appropriate divisions of the Foundation.
    • Affiliations Committee: the responsibility to recognize, supervise, and de-recognize Affiliates, with necessary technical and professional support provided by appropriate divisions of the Foundation. Ideally subject to a separate legal agreement.
    • (optional) Wikimania Steering Committee: the responsibility to organize Wikimania.
  • The Council shall advise and make recommendation on the Foundation on the following matters:
    • Ombuds Commission: responsible for the investigation of complaints about infringements of the Privacy Policy, the Access to nonpublic personal data policy, the CheckUser policy and the Oversight policy, on any Wikimedia project.
    • Global UCoC enforcement body: depending on the result of the UCoC global enforcement plan, but generally the responsibility to globally enforce UCoC provisions that could not be resolved by local communities.
    • Any other matter under the Foundation’s jurisdiction that could be set up in the Council-Foundation agreement.
  • The Council shall be supported by the Hubs, with technical support provided by the Foundation.

Probable challenges[edit]


  1. Disclaimer: At the time of the writing of this proposal, I am a volunteer member of the community that is also a consultant for the Foundation. Such arrangement does not make me an agent or an employee of the Foundation, nor does create any employer-employee relationship between me and the Foundation, as stipulated by my contract.
  2. The major idea behind this separation is the Wikimedia Federation model and International Red Cross movement model