ECNL is engaged at the European and international level not only as a standalone expert but as a member of different European and international networks.
The International Center for Not-For-Profit Law is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes an enabling legal environment for civil society, freedom of association, and public participation around the world. ICNL helps to establish legal framework for strengthening civil society in over 90 countries through technnical assistance and expertise of its multinational in-house staff, global network of legal specialists and partnerships with civil society representatives, government officials, scholars, and business leaders. ICNL’s programs and values are designed to provide assistance in the design and implementation of programs regarding CSO legislation, financial sustainability of CSOs, governance, accountability and self-regulation, public-private partnerships, public participation and advocacy.
The Bulgarian Center is the leading organization on not-for-profit law affecting Bulgarian NGOs. The Sofia based BCNL’s mission is to provide legal and policy support for the development of civil society, public participation and good governance in Bulgaria. It oversees the NGO Information Portal – the primary source of information about Bulgarian NGOs. BCNL pursues its mission with the strong belief that developing the legal framework for not-for-profit organizations is fundamental to the creation of an independent and prosperous civil society.
We are members of
Since 2014, ECNL in cooperation with the Charity and Security Network (US), the European Foundation Center (Belgium), the Human Security Collective (Netherlands) develops strategies, facilitates and coordinates the Global Coalition on FATF a loose network of diverse nonprofit organisations (NPOs) that advocate to eliminate unintended consequences affecting NPOs that arise from over-regulation in the name of security and counter-terrorism.
Some of the restrictions flow from the regime of the influential Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that sets standards for states on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The Coalition provides in-depth, evidence-based research, raises awareness, and engages successfully in dialogue with the FATF. It also provides organizations a platform to exchange experience and learn about the FATF standards and processes in order to be able to engage and react on a national level.
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) aims to strengthen civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Civil Society Forum is an annual meeting of EaP and EU CSOs, which fosters cooperation and exchange of experiences, as well as gives space to policy dialogue between CSOs and the EU and to promote a conducive environment for civil society in the region. ECNL has participated in the EaP CSF meetings from 2012 as a delegate from the EU.
ESELA is an international network of social enterprise experts with an aim to further a better understanding of the laws and regulation affecting social entrepreneurship. ESELA promotes the development and growth of social enterprise economy across Europe. ESELA seeks to provide a forum for thought leadership, collaboration, networking and knowledge-sharing.
CONCORD is the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs which consist 28 national associations, 21 international networks and 3 associate members that represent over 1,800 NGOs supported by millions of citizens across Europe. CONCORD was founded in 2003 by development NGOs to act as the main interlocutor with the EU institutions on development cooperation policy.
We participate in the following expert groups:
The Expert Council carries out thematic and country studies on specific aspects of NGO legislation and its implementation that seem to pose problems of conformity with international standards, notably the European Convention on Human Rights and related Recommendations. Its work covers the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe and Belarus.
The Expert Council was created in January 2008 by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe with the aim of creating an enabling environment for NGOs through examining national NGO legislation and its implementation and provides advice on how to bring national law and practice into line with Council of Europe standards and European good practice.
The Expert Council provides follow-up to a Recommendation adopted in 2007 by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers which sets a framework for the legal status of NGOs in Europe (CM/Rec(2007)14) and to the Council of Europe’s commitment to the role of civil society in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It co-operates closely with other Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights.
ECNL Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans is a member of the Council. On behalf of the Council, she authored a study with the title Regulating Political Activities of Non-Governmental Organisations.
The ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly is an advisory and consultative body to ODIHR. It seeks to enhance the promotion and protection of the freedom of peaceful assembly in the OSCE region. The Panel advises and consults with ODIHR on the promotion of freedom of peaceful assembly in the OSCE area.
The ODHIR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Assembly, upon request, reviews draft legislation of OSCE participating States pertaining to freedom of assembly. Usually produced in co-operation with the Venice Commission, these reviews analyze draft laws in terms of their compatibility with relevant international and regional standards and OSCE commitments. Together with the Venice Commission, the Panel is responsible for updating the Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, a publication developed jointly by the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. The Panel has been involved in various monitoring missions in OSCE participating States to observe and improve national practices and ODIHR draws on the Panel’s experience and expertise in conducting capacity-building training for human rights defenders.
The Panel consists of eminent independent experts from OSCE participating States, selected on the basis of their expertise, experience, integrity and objectivity. ECNL Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans is a member of the Panel.
The Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) is the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ (FRA) channel for cooperation and information exchange with civil society organisations active in the field of fundamental rights. The Platform currently brings together over 550 national, grassroots, European or international level organisations. The FRP is a “mechanism of exchange and pooling of knowledge” created for facilitating a “structured and fruitful dialogue” amongst civil society organisations, between civil society organisations and the FRA, and between civil society organisations and other key players on human rights in the EU.
CNL Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans is a member of the FRP Advisory Panel, a consultative body that supports FRA’s Director in the organisation and coordination of the Fundamental Rights Platform.
On regional level we work in close collaboration with:
Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) is a network of 15 civil society organizations from 10 countries and territories in South East Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey). Its mission is to empower the civil society and influence European and national policies towards a more enabling environment for civil society development in order to ensure sustainable and functioning democracies in the Balkans.