Sub-area 1.1: Freedom of association – Standards

Sub-area 1.1: Freedom of association

Principle: Freedom of association is guaranteed and exercised freely
by everybody


All individuals and legal entities can freely establish,
join and participate in informal and/
or registered organizations offline and online


1. There is a legal framework according to which any person can establish
associations, foundations and other types of non-profit, non-governmental
entities (e.g., non-profit company) for any purpose.
2. The legal framework allows both individual and legal persons to exercise
this right without discrimination (age, nationality, legal capacity, gender etc).
3. Registration is not mandatory, and in cases when organizations decide to
register, the registration rules are clearly prescribed and allow for easy,
timely and inexpensive registration and appeal process.
4. The law allows for networking among organizations in the countries and
abroad without prior notification.
1. Every individual or legal entity in practice can form associations, foundations
or other non-profit, non-governmental organizations offline or online.
2. Individuals and legal entities are not sanctioned for not-registering their
3.Registration is truly accessible within the legally prescribed deadlines;
authorities decide on cases in a non-subjective and apolitical manner.
4. Individuals and CSOs can form and participate in networks and coalitions,
within and outside their home countries.


CSOs operate freely without
unwarranted state interference
in their internal governance and activities


1. The legal framework provides guarantees against state interference in
internal matters of associations, foundations and other types of non-profit
2. The state provides protection from interference by third parties.
3. Financial reporting (including money laundering regulations) and accounting
rules take into account the specific nature of the CSOs and are proportionate
to the size of the organization and its type/scope of activities.
4. Sanctions for breaching legal requirements should be based on applicable
legislation and follow the principle of proportionality.
5. Restrictions and the rules for dissolution and termination meet the
standards of international law and are based on objective criteria which
restrict arbitrary decision-making.
1. There are no cases of state interference in internal matters of associations,
foundations and other types of non-profit entities.
2. There are no practices of invasive oversight which impose burdensome
reporting requirements.
3. Sanctions are applied in rare/extreme cases; they are proportional and are
subject to a judicial review.


CSOs can freely seek and
secure financial resources
from various domestic and foreign
sources to support their


1. Legislation allows CSOs to engage in economic activities.
2. CSOs are allowed to receive foreign funding.
3. CSO are allowed to receive funding from individuals, corporations and other
1. Legislation on CSOs engaging in economic activities is implemented and is
not burdensome for CSOs.
2. There are no restrictions (e.g. administrative or financial burden,
preapprovals, or channeling such funds via specific bodies) on CSOs to
receive foreign funding.
3. Receipt of funding from individuals, corporations and other sources is easy,
effective and without any unnecessary cost or administrative burden.