Area 2 – Sub Areas

EU Guidelines assessment

Result 2.2.a The tax treatment of CSOs and their donors has not changed during 2019, although the group of CSOs has initiated the establishment of a Philanthropy Council to advance this framework. The status of individual and corporate giving has remained unchanged – individual tax benefits have not yet been recognized by the Individual Income Tax Law, while corporate benefits are regulated by the Corporate Income Tax Law as a tax benefit of up to 5% for clearly defined purposes.                                 

Result 2.3.a There are no changes in tax benefits for the operational and economic activities of CSOs. The Law on Associations recognizes only economic activity associated with the mission of the association, so there is no benefit for economic activities that are not related to the mission of the association. Income from tax-exempt mission-related economic activities of CSOs is up to € 3,400 EUR. Tax benefit is still not incentive for CSOs to carry out an economic activity, having in mind that the same percentage of civil society organizations has been engaged in economic activity in recent years (about 25%) of the total.

EU Guidelines assessment

Result 2.4.a There is no comprehensive and up-to-date data on funds allocated to the CSO’s from the state budget for 2019. At the end of 2018, the Government Office for Cooperation with Civil Society published the Annual Summary Report on CSO Funds during 2016 which is still the latest available version. The report contains data from bodies providing financial and non-financial support to associations and other civil society organizations from all three levels of government (local, provincial, national), but this information is provided on the basis of a request for information rather than a legal obligation, and therefore not all authorities provide it. Also, the report includes only partial data on CSO funding from the state budget (i.e. from 4 budget lines: 481 – Grants for civil society organizations, 472 – Social security benefits, 423 – Contracted services and 424 – Specialized services), but no information on funds allocated under the Games of Chance Act, as well as other donations from public companies.        

Result 2.4.b.The comprehensive regulation on the CSOs financing from the state budget is existing only partially at a very general and by-law level. Since March 2018, a new Decree on Funds for Incentive Programs or a Missing Part of Funding for Program of Public Interest implemented by Associations has been implemented. Although the novelties are an attempt to make the CSO funding process more transparent (obligation to publish an annual plan for announcing public competitions, more precise deadlines, conflicts of interest defining, the possibility of involving public representatives in the selection committee, obligation to inform the public about the results of the conducted competitions), key objections of CSOs are still they relevant. Actually, the list of areas of public interest was not determined, the selection criteria for the program were not elaborated and prioritized, no clear criteria for membership of the selection board were given, no mandatory membership of CSOs was ensured, no appeal procedure was defined, no obligation to harmonize individual rules with the provisions was prescribed regulation or the defined penalty measures for its non-compliance, it does not envisage conducting individual and summary evaluations of the effects of projects in relation to a strategic document of an authority body in a particular area of public interest; the finality of the commission’s decision, etc.).

EU Guidelines assessment

Result 1.2.a.There is still no official comprehensive statistics on the number of CSOs employed. There is accurate data on the number of full-time employees is CSOs recorded by the SBRA based on CSOs financial statements, publicly available annually, so data for 2019 is still not available. However, data on the number of part-time employees in CSOs collected by the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund according to different methodologies are not available to the public on an annual basis.

Result 1.2.b. There is no accurate or up-to-date data on the number of volunteers in CSOs, nor is the number of volunteers in CSOs available annually. Therefore, the total number of volunteers in CSOs in 2019 is not known, nor is it possible to estimate the change in the number of volunteers in CSOs in terms of increase, decrease or change from previous years (for which there is also no data). Also, there are no accurate data on the number of volunteer hours spent in CSOs.                   

Result 1.2.c. There is no change in the legislative framework regulating employment and volunteering in CSOs. There are no discriminatory members for CSOs in labor legislation (including active employment policy), but the legislative framework still is not stimulating in promoting volunteering. The Law on Volunteering, through its over regulating and treatment of volunteering as a work engagement, still makes it difficult for CSOs to include volunteers in their activities. Having in mind that the Law stipulates an agreement between the volunteer and the organizations that engage him/her, the spontaneous volunteer practice is not recognized. After strong pressures of civil society, during 2019, Government announced forming working group for conducting impact analyses in the area of volunteering.           

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