RARE Policy Brief

Paving the Way for More Resilient Civil Society Organisations: EU Cross-Border Associations

Recharging Advocacy for Rights in Europe welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on European Cross-Border Associations. CSOs that operate in multiple EU member states could create one legal organisation across their “home” and “host” countries. ECBAs would enjoy the free movement of goods, services and capital, and be able to change their home country without creating a new organisational structure or losing assets.

However, the proposal does not address many of the administrative and legal complexities our organisations face. For member states to accept it, and for it to benefit CSOs as much as possible, EU legislators need to ensure the proposal supports EU values, clarifies structural issues and is fully implemented. Once adopted and transposed into national laws across the 27 EU member states, the inclusion of civil society voices in review processes will help ensure the directive is consistently applied in all member states. 

We also call on the EU to adopt additional measures to protect and expand civic space, such as a directive on Common Minimum Standards for Non-Profit Organisations, measures to harmonise taxation rules for cross-border donations to nonprofit organisations, and stronger protections for human rights defenders across the EU.

Read the RARE policy brief here.