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New restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member States

Recommendation 2134 (2018)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 27 June 2018 (23rd Sitting) (see Doc. 14570, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Yves Cruchten). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 June 2018 (23rd Sitting).
1. Referring to its Resolution 2226 (2018) on new restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member States, the Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
1.1 call again on member States of the Council of Europe to implement its Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe and continue to take stock of progress made to this end;
1.2 continue its thematic debates on the role and functioning of NGOs in the Council of Europe and its exchanges with the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) on a regular basis;
1.3 strengthen its interaction with civil society representatives through a more developed framework for dialogue, including the holding of regular meetings that are open to the public;
1.4 continue to promote European and international standards that are relevant for the creation and maintenance of a safe and enabling environment for civil society and to exchange good practices in this area;
1.5 in this respect, continue to strengthen synergies within the Council of Europe, between all the stakeholders concerned, in particular the Secretary General, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Conference of INGOs and the Assembly;
1.6 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;
1.7 develop and adopt guidelines on foreign funding of NGOs in the member States (on the basis of a study currently being finalised by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission)), as proposed in the 2016 annual report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.