Report on a statute for European cross-border associations and non-profit organisations
by Sergey Lagodinsky, Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur
The report calls for EU-wide measures to safeguard civil society organisations at the Member State and EU level, including better legal recognition for nonprofits, and supporting minimum standards as well as supporting freedom of association and speech, which is increasingly under threat in Europe.
Non-profit organisations play a full part in the economic life and in the development of the internal market, contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives and are fundamental to representing the interests of citizens and civil society, as they support active participation in economic, democratic and social life. Despite this, they lack a legal form at Union level to put them on an equal footing with commercial undertakings. This report marks an important step towards better representation of civil society at EU level. While companies could incorporate themselves for decades, civil society still lacks an appropriate legal form. Introducing a European Association Statute and minimum standards for non-profits in the member states could be a game-changer, empowering civil society all over Europe. This dossier is also linked to the parliament’s work on Rule of Law, SLAPPs and the shrinking space of civil society. MEPs are also presenting a proposal for a Directive on common minimum standards for NPOs in the EU in view of creating a level playing field for organisations across the EU.