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Ukraine: new financial disclosure requirements for NGOs and activists likely to have chilling effect on civil society, should be fully reconsidered

Venice Commission Strasbourg 16 March 2018
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Ukraine: new financial disclosure requirements for NGOs and activists likely to have chilling effect on civil society, should be fully reconsidered

Stringent financial reporting and disclosure requirements for public activists, coupled with severe sanctions, are likely to have a chilling effect on civil society in Ukraine and should be removed in their entirety or significantly narrowed down, said the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR in a joint opinion adopted today. Furthermore, it is crucial that Ukraine’s plans to cancel the e-declaration requirements for anti-corruption activists, which likewise raise several serious human rights issues, are implemented as a matter of urgency, before 1 April 2018, the deadline for submission of the first declarations.

The opinion covers the draft laws introducing changes to legislative acts and tax code of Ukraine, which would replace previously imposed and criticised e-declarations for anti-corruption activists by a regime of burdensome tax reporting and enhanced public disclosure of detailed financial information, to be submitted by civil society organisations (public associations) with total annual income exceeding 14,350 EUR and individual beneficiaries of international technical assistance.


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