Area 1 – Sub Areas

Box 1: EU Guidelines sub-area 1.1. Freedom of association

Result 1.1. & 2.1. Freedom of association was guaranteed for all in legislation and exercised in practice without limitations. The legal framework allows any person to establish associations, foundations and other types of non-profit, non-governmental entities for any purpose. It allowed both individual and legal persons to exercise this right without discrimination. Registration is not mandatory and for those that decide to register the process is clear, easy and not expensive. The legal framework provides guarantees against state interference in internal matters of CSOs. However, certain risks to the freedom of association pose provisions in the Criminal code and the Draft-Law on Lobbying. The financial reporting of CSOs is regulated by the Law on Accounting for Non-Profit Organizations, which was not amended even though improvement was envisaged in the Strategy.

Box 2: EU Guidelines assessment Sub-area 1.2. Related-freedoms

Result 1.1. Freedom of assembly and expression were guaranteed for all in law and in practice. The law does not limit spontaneous, simultaneous and counter-assemblies and numerous peaceful gatherings were enabled throughout the year. There is no requirement for prior authorization of a peaceful assembly. Most of the restrictions provided are in line with best practices. The law does not provide restrictions to the freedom of expression, such as limitation of hate speech nor restrictions over communication channels through which a message is received and imparted which are not in line with international standards. The media climate and treatment towards journalists has improved, yet certain pressures and threats persist both towards investigative journalists and civil society activists.

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