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    Legal Framework of Civil Society - NGO
    Background

    Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are a driving force in the social and cultural life of the community, a shield for basic rights and freedoms, and a vital counterweight to state activity. They make an essential contribution to the realisation and development of democratic societies, in particular through the promotion of public awareness and the participatory involvement of citizens in the res publica. Their contribution to the achievement of the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Statute of the Council of Europe is equally important.

    During their Third Summit (Warsaw, 17 May 2005), the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member States made specific reference to the role of NGOs as an essential element of civil society’s contribution to the transparency and accountability of democratic government. In so doing, they decided to enhance the participation of NGOs in Council of Europe activities.

    Recommendation CM/Rec (2007)14 on the legal status of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe
     

    This important text was prepared by the Group of Specialists on the legal status of NGOs (CJ-S-ONG) over 2 meetings in 2006.

    Link to Recommendation
     
    Link to Explanatory Memorandum
     
    Press release
     
    Azerbaijan version
     
    Group of Specialists on the legal status of non-governmental organisations (CJ-S-ONG)
    1st meeting of the Group of Specialists on the legal status of non-governmental organisations (CJ-S-ONG) - Strasbourg, 29-30 May 2006
     
    Meeting report (CJ-S-ONG (2006) 4)
     
    2nd meeting of the Group of Specialists on the legal status of non-governmental organisations (CJ-S-ONG) - Strasbourg, 27-30 November 2006
     
    Meeting report (CJ-S-ONG (2006) 10)
     
    Terms of reference
     
    CJ-S-ONG (2006) 2
     
    Basic texts
    European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations [CETS N° 124]
    Fundamental Principles on the Satus of Non-Governmental Organisations in Europe English version
      Albanian version
      Bulgarian version
      Latvian version
      Lithuanian version
      Russian version
      Serbian version
    Warsaw Declaration – Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005)
    Plan of Action – Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005)
    Secretary General’s thematic monitoring report on “Freedom of association”
    Statute of the Council of Europe
    Principles of the Charter of the United Nations
     
    Judgments
    The European Court of Human Rights delivered the following judgment concerning NGOs in Azerbaijan: Case of Tebieti Mühafize Cemiyyeti and Israfilov v. Azerbaijan (October 2009)