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State Support and Financing

Introduction


      Case for state support

The establishment and continued operation of non-governmental organisations will be greatly assisted through state support. See Paragraph 8 of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.
State support for non-governmental organisations is warranted on account of the significant contribution that they make to securing human rights and to sustaining and developing public, social and cultural life.

      Forms of state support

The forms that state support for non-governmental organisations can take are numerous and will include direct funding, exemptions from taxes and other duties and contracts to provide services, as well as incentives for donations from the private individuals and bodies in the form of tax relief. See Paragraph 57 of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

      Criteria for granting state support

The giving of any form of state support should be governed by clear, objective and published criteria, which can include the nature of the activities undertaken by a non-governmental organisation and of those who benefit from them. See Paragraphs 58 and 61 of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

State support can be restricted to those non-governmental organisations that fall into a particular category or regime defined by law or which have a particular legal form. See Paragraphs 59 and 60 of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe.

      Protection of independence

The provision of public support for non-governmental organisations should not be used as a means to undermine their independence or to require them to undertake particular activities considered to be of public importance. See Paragraph 6 of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe and Sigurdur A Sigurj√≥nsson v. Iceland, 30 June 1993.



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