The Expert Council carries out thematic and country studies on specific aspects of NGO legislation and its implementation that seem to pose problems of conformity with international standards, notably the European Convention on Human Rights and the Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe. Its work covers the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe and Belarus.

It was created in January 2008 by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe with the aim of creating an enabling environment for NGOs through examining national NGO legislation and its implementation and providing advice on how to bring national law and practice into line with Council of Europe standards and European good practice.

The Expert Council provides follow-up to a Recommendation adopted in 2007 by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers which sets a framework for the legal status of NGOs in Europe (CM/Rec(2007)14) and to the Council of Europe's commitment to the role of civil society in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It co-operates closely with other Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights

 Expert Council on NGO Law Brochure


 Key documents


 Current members of the Expert Council


 Studies by the Expert Council

Thematic studies

Country studies

 France - Opinion on the compatibility with the European standards of the French Bill to ensure respect for the principles of the republic by all (Mar 2021) - In English / In French

 Russia - Opinion on the compatibility with European standards of recent and planned amendments to the Russian legislation affecting NGOs (Feb 2021) - In English / In Russian

 Greece - Addendum to thr Opinion on the compatability with European standards of recent and planned amendments to the Greek legislation on NGO registration (Nov 2020) - In English / In Greek

 Greece - Opinion on the compatability with European standards of recent and planned amendments to the Greek legislation on NGO registration (July 2020) - In English / In Greek

Turkey - Opinion on the compatibility of amendments to the Turkish law on associations with European standards (2020) - In English / In Turkish

Serbia - Opinion on the Draft Amendments to the Serbian Law on Access to Information of Public Utility (2018) - In English / In Serbian

Turkey - Opinion on the impact of the state of emergency on Freedom of Association in Turkey (2017) - In English / In Turkish

Hungary - Opinion on the Hungarian Draft Act on the Transparency of Organisations supported from abroad (2017) - In English

Romania - Opinion on the Romanian Draft Law 140/2017 on Associations and Foundations (2017) - In English

Cyprus - Civil Society in Cyprus: Building for the Future (2015) - In English

Russian Federation - Country study on NGO legislation in the Russian Federation (2015/2014/2013) - In English

Azerbaijan - Country study on NGO legislation in Azerbaijan (2014/2011/2009) - In English