In General

Brussels – and European countries – is home of many associations engaged in a diverse range of activities, ranging from business development and innovation support to culture and fundamental rights.

According to information provided by the EC, in 2020, there were approximately 11 000 associations in Belgium, 34 340 in Hungary  and115 000 charities in Ireland. There were 308,085 associations in Italy in 2019. There were 1.3 million active associations in France in 2018  and Germany had 604000 active associations in 2017. These associations also have considerable economic impact.

What’s the problem?

Different EU countries (27), different sets of national rules for associations (27), rules tackling topics such as establishment,  the constitutive elements of associations, governance, administrative costs.

These  disparities in rules lead to restrictions on – and barriers to – establishment, free movement of capital (including freedom to receive capital), free movement of goods, and free movement of services.

These barriers hamper associations’ activities across borders in the single market, including in border regions. Ultimately, these barriers may also impact on fundamental rights in the EU (in particular freedom of association) and restrict the space for civil society across the EU, preventing these entities from fully benefiting from the single market.

The objectives of the proposed legislative initiative:

to ensure clear and coherent rules for activities of associations between EU Member States could be
better achieved at EU level

The aim of the consultation :

– get direct feedback and evidence from relevant stakeholders, in particular: associations; other NPOs; EU citizens engaging in associations and other NPO activities; Member States and public authorities; businesses; experts; and researchers in non-profit law. Have your say HERE


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