|Key findings of the report
||The amendment of the Law no.06/L-043 on freedom of association in CSOs has introduced institutes as the third legal form to register an organization. Additionally, it has expanded protection against state’s interference in internal matters of CSOs, and has reduced organization’s registration period from 60 to 30 days. The list of Public Benefit activities has also been extended to: human rights protection and promotion, support to democratic practices and civil society, consumer protection, refugee assistance and support.
||Legislation on the prevention of money laundering and combating terrorist financing in not in line with FATF Recommendations and the EU Directive 2015/849. As a result, it regards CSOs as reporting entities and subjects them to burdensome requirements. CSOs have reported the following difficulties accessing banking services such as; physical presence of organization’s founders when opening or closing a bank account, non-linear maintenance fees of bank accounts across commercial banks.
||During the year have been noted two initiatives with the intention to limit freedom of expression. Kosovo Prosecutorial Council adopted Regulation states that its officials may communicate with media and journalists only when the head prosecutor is notified in advance. On the second occasion, the Independent Media Commission initiated drafting a policy that forbids reporting from court rulings of public officials until final ruling.
||In its third year of implementation the Regulation no. 04/2017 on criteria, standards and procedures on public funding for CSOs struggles with its full implementation. There is an increase of public calls for proposals also the report on public funds distributed to CSOs is annually published. Still, the latter despite the fact that contributes in building a culture of transparency, among beneficiaries categorizes other legal entities as CSOs. Whereas, the other Regulation’s requirements such as monitoring and evaluation of public funds have hardly started to be implemented.
||The new Strategy for CSOs – central Government cooperation 2019 – 2023 has entered into force in February 2019. Its objectives include: increasing public servants capacities and implementation mechanisms over implementation of the Regulation on minimum standards for public consultation and the Regulation on Public Funding for CSOs, improving the system of public service provision by CSOs and increasing volunteering in public interest programs.
||Entry into force of the Regulation no.05/2016 on Minimum Standards for Public Consultation in 2017, has established a set of standards and a systemic procedure for public consultation process. Yet, practice shows that not all elements set by the Regulation that make a public consultation process complete and effective are taken into consideration.