Box 2: EU Guidelines assessment
Result 2.2.a. Number and kind of donations to CSOs from individual and corporate donors (specified in monetary values)
– Data from the media monitoring of philanthropic activity in Albania shows an increase with 62% in the total value of private donations for FY 2019 compared with the previous year, with a total amount of 1,555,626,791 ALL (approx. 12,545,377.35 EUR). For FY 2019 corporations donated a total amount of 518,599, 556 ALL (approx. 4,182,254.48 EUR), while individual donated a total amount of 122,916,858 ALL (approx. 991,265 EUR). These figures cannot be taken as fully accurate due to the limitation of methodology employed.
Result 2.3.a. Quality of the system of tax benefits for the CSOs’ operational and economic activities
– VAT refund remains one of the main challenges of CSOs. Even though in principle they are eligible by the law, claiming of VAT refund for CSOs is practically impossible, due to the minimum threshold of the amount of VAT claimed, and the continuous character of the economic activity.
– A big step forward the improvement of the fiscal framework for CSOs, is the issuing of the instruction by the Ministry of Finance and Economy on the VAT reimbursement procedure for all foreign donors grants, for which financial agreements are ratified by the Parliament or grant agreements are approved by the Council of Ministers.
– VAT exemption procedure for activities classified as “to public interest” did not work and very few CSOs benefited from it. The procedure is long and not very clear, which has created hesitation in the sector to use it.
– Regarding local taxes, in general there is no differentiated treatment for CSOs, taking in consideration their non-profit nature, mission, financing model, ways of operation, and beneficiaries.
Box 3: EU Guidelines assessment
Result 2.4.a. CSO’s perception of the provision of funds in terms of transparency, fairness and non-discrimination
– Public funding is limited for the support of CSOs. Based on the survey with 152 CSOs, their perception is that public funding does not respond do CSOs need (42 % of CSOs disagree that public funding responds to CSOs needs, and 21% strongly disagree).
– Decisions on fund allocations aren’t considered fair by 47% of the surveyed CSOs.
Result 2.4.c Quality of state funding frameworks for civil society organizations (focusing on procedural document)
– There is no unified framework for all state funding dedicated to civil society organisations. Therefore, all public institutions design and implement their framework based on the legislation and practices in place.
– Regarding public funding dedicated to CSOs through the ASCS, there is a framework publicly available with rules and procedures for the distribution and management of the annual fund. Because this fund is not supported by long-term and well-planned strategy, it has failed to address key priority needs of the sector.
– Based on experience, for 37% of the surveyed CSOs, mostly small and outside of Tirana CSOs, the application procedures for state funds are not easy to meet, limiting their opportunity to apply and benefit from state funds.
Box 3: EU Guidelines assessment
Result 1.2.a. Number of employees in CSO (permanent and part-time)
According to the information provided by the General Directory of Taxation there are 9, 966 employees working in CSOs. There is no divided information for permanent and part-time employees. 68% of the surveyed CSOs have 0 – 5 full-time employees and 89% part-time employees.
Result 1.2.d. Number of volunteers in CSOs per type of CSO/sector
There are no official data on the number of volunteers working in CSOs. 64% of the surveyed organizations have 0 – 10 volunteers. Organizations that are created and represented by young individuals are mostly the organizations that have over 60 volunteers. These organizations conduct massive campaigns, advocate and protect youth, women and children rights.
Result 1.2.f. Quality of legislative framework
The legal framework on volunteering is completed with the approval of legal sub-acts and it is not conducive to CSOs working with volunteers and volunteering programs, due to difficulties and uncertainties in the involvement of volunteers in their projects and activities, exposing themselves to the risk of fines.