Non-Governmental Organisations

Legal standards for Non-Governmental Organisations

Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe.

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.

A Group of Specialists on the legal status of NGOs (CJ-S-ONG) held two meetings in 2006 and on 10 October the Commitee of Ministers adopted Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe. The Conference of INGOs was a member of the Group of Specialists and actively contributed to the drafting of the text.

The Recommendation defines the minimum standards to be respected concerning the creation, management and the general activities of NGOs in member states of the organisation.

Link to Recommendation (2007)14
Link to Explanatory Memorandum
Recommendation (2007)14 Azerbaijani
Recommendation (2007)14 German
Recommendation (2007)14 Italian
Recommendation (2007)14 Russian
Recommendation (2007)14 Spanish

European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations [CETS N 124]

The Council of Europe recognised, as early as in 1951, the importance of the NGOs, each in its particular field, and of their contribution to the activities of the Organisation.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, being aware of the absence of any international instrument in force aimed at facilitating the activities of NGOs at international level charged a select Committee of experts on international non-governmental organisations (CJ-R-OR) with the task of drawing up an appropriate instrument on NGOs.

The CJ-R-OR held three meetings in 1982 and 1983 and submitted a draft European convention on recognition of the legal personality of international non-governmental organisations to the CDCJ for approval. This draft convention was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 24 October 1985 and the Convention was opened for signature by member States in Strasbourg on 24 April 1986.

Link to Convention 124