During the plenary of its summer session, the Conference of INGOs, welcomed Resolution 2226 (2018) condemning new restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member States that was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 27 June 2018.
The resolution calls on member States to ensure full observance of freedom of association and repeal or amend legislation that impedes the free and independent work of NGOs, and to ensure that NGOs can receive and use transparent funding, whether domestic or foreign, without undue impediments. Member States must ensure an enabling environment for civil society, by refraining from harassment (judicial, administrative or tax-related), smear campaigns and intimidation of civil society activists.
Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs, and Cyril Ritchie, President of the Expert Council on NGO Law, expressed their appreciation to Yves Cruchten, rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (PACE) who drafted the report on new restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe, which forms the basis of this resolution. They particularly highlighted the proposals in the adopted recommendation to reinforce the dialogue of the Council of Europe with NGOs and welcomed PACE call to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to “establish a mechanism aimed at receiving, analysing and reacting to alerts on possible new restrictions on the right to freedom of association in Council of Europe member States”. The Conference of INGOs is already developing a project to create such mechanism and calls on all Member States of the Council of Europe to support it in this endeavor.