Estonian JustMin seeking feedback on initiative promoting cross-border activity of NGOs

  • 2023-09-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian Ministry of Justice is waiting until Oct. 20 for feedback on the European Commission's initiative aiming to create better opportunities for NGOs to operate across borders in the European Union.

The directive proposal aims to reduce bureaucracy and remove legal obstacles from those non-profit organizations that want to operate in more than one member state, spokespeople for the Ministry of Justice told BNS.

If an NGO currently wants to operate in other European Union member states in addition to its home country, there are certain restrictions on cross-border operations. Easier cross-border movement of non-profit organizations would increase their role in creating economic and social values.

The Commission's proposal introduces an additional legal form of a European cross-border association (ECBA) in member states' national legal systems, which is specifically designed for cross-border purposes and will reduce legal and administrative burden when it comes to the recognition and establishment of non-profit associations engaging in activities in another member state. Once established in one member state, an ECBA will be recognized automatically and will be able to engage in activities in all member states, including economic activities, thereby allowing non-profit associations to unleash their full societal and economic potential in the EU.

This is an initiative of the European Commission, which means that whether and in what form the proposal will be accepted will be determined in the course of discussions. Therefore, interest groups are involved in shaping Estonia's positions and the draft directive is submitted for feedback. The Ministry of Justice is waiting for opinions sent to the e-mail address [email protected] no later than Oct. 20.