Recommendation adopted on 28 January 2009

First report of the Expert Council on NGO Law

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe,

Referring to the first and second Regional NGO Congresses [Warsaw 2006 and Kyiv 2007] asking for the creation of an Expert Council on NGO Law which was formally created at the 2008 January Session of the Conference of INGOs ;

Underlining the ground-breaking nature of the correlative decision in October 2007 by the Committee of Ministers to adopt Recommendation [2007]14 on «  The legal status of NGOs in Europe » which has provided a bedrock for the Expert Council’s work, including fostering awareness, monitoring and implementation of the Recommendation;

Congratulating the Expert Council on the substantive content of this first thematic report on the theme « Conditions of Establishment of NGOs »and of the six illustrative country case studies included in it ;

Noting with appreciation the evidence in the Report that « in many countries in Europe international standards regarding the establishment of NGOs are being observed, either fully or to a very large extent » but that nevertheless a number of problems emerge ;

Highlighting that the following recommendations are addressed to
- the Council of Europe’s Member States;
- Belarus where the Conference of INGOs is actively involved in supporting civil society and progress in the field of NGO legislation, in order to contribute to enabling that country to meet the criteria for accession to the Council of Europe.

Adopts in consequence the following recommendations:

Requests its President and the President of the Expert Council, as appropriate, to convey and promote these recommendations to other relevant Council of Europe organs and partners, as well as to NGOs in Europe.