The Law on NGOs stipulates that the state may grant to the non-governmental organization the use of state property (premises, technical equipment, etc.), in accordance with the Law Governing the Use, Management and Disposal of State Property, or other law. In addition, each ministry that allocates funds may decide on providing any other type of non-financial support (organizing events, trainings, providing equipment, human resources, etc.).
In the Law on State Property, NGOs are not recognized as subjects of use of state land. However, Local Self-Governments may allocate property to CSOs based on published criteria. Although, these criteria are mostly not clear nor the allocation is conducted transparently. There are many CSOs that have been working hardly in order to provide the best services to their target groups and that have still not received premises for use, even though some of these organizations have PBO status. Other non-financial support is not defined by any Law, but Ministries decide on it based on individual requests by CSOs.
Based on answers from nine ministries, only the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights provided non-financial support to CSOs on several occasions (e.g. by providing some equipment, covering participants’ accommodation expenses, organizing an info session etc.) These means were not transferred to organizations’ bank accounts, but covered directly by the Ministry. Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare stated they did not receive any requests for non-financial support, whereas other three ministries denied access to information.
It is noticed that CSOs are mostly not familiar with opportunities for non-financial support by the state, as majority of the online questionnaire responses for each question was “I do not know”. Namely, 47.91% of organization do not know whether the conditions for receiving non-financial support are easy to fulfill. The same percentage of organization disagrees or strongly disagrees with the statement, while only 4.16% agree with it.
0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment
Furthermore, 54.16% of organization disagree or strongly disagree that CSOs have advantage for receiving non-financial support in comparison with other entities (sport clubs, culture institutions, etc.), 43.75% do not have opinion on this, as they marked the answer “I do not know”, while only 2.08% agree with the statement.
When it comes to organizations that are critically oriented towards the State, 16.66% agree or strongly agree that these organizations can apply for non-financial support, 33.33% disagree or strongly disagree, while 50% doesn’t know. Moreover, 50% of organizations disagree or strongly disagree that Decision on allocating non-financial support are fair; 4.16% agree or strongly agree, and 45.83% doesn’t know.
There have not been officially reported cases of CSOs being deprived from or not given non-financial support due to their political affiliation/critical stance.
However, there is a general perception that CSOs who work on the “catch-all” principle emerge and that they have the Government’s support, which is supported by the fact that their representatives are being elected in advisory and other decision-making bodies. This perception is generally present in the sector, and the indicators are these representatives in the bodies. Due to this trend, it would be good to establish a methodology according to which the existence (and characteristics) of GONGOs and PONGOs would be unambiguously determined, and then, based on that methodology, a survey on the number of these organizations should be conducted.