Providing expertise in EU initiative on Accountability and Transparency of CSOs
In 2005, ECNL submitted Comments to the Draft Recommendations to Member States Regarding a Code of Conduct for Non-Profit Organisations To Promote Transparency and Accountability Best Practices, a discussion document issued by the DG Justice, Freedom and Security of the European Commission in July 2005.
ECNL’s Comments were endorsed by the Hungarian Environmental and Partnership Foundation, the Environmental Management and Law Association, and the CEE Working Group on NGO Governance. The Draft Code aimed to enhance transparency and accountability of the CSOs across Europe in an effort to prevent their abuse for terrorist and other criminal purposes; and to provide guidance to its Member States on the implementation of the FATF Recommendation VIII on Non-Profit Organisations (FATF is the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, an international body that has in its mandate to develop standards and recommendations in the fight against terrorist financing). ECNL took part in discussions on this Code as well. As a result of the advocacy by European CSO (including ECNL) the Code was not adopted. As a follow up ECNL was contracted by the EC to develop a study on “Recent Public and Self-Regulatory Initiatives Improving Transparency and Accountability of Non-Profit Organisations in the European Union”. The goal of the research study was to identify and explore the volume and depth of existing government and NPO initiatives aiming to improve NPO accountability and transparency, in the 27 EU Member States and on the EU level, in order to assess the level of concern, perceived need for action and potential for success by the national governments and NPOs, as well as the EU relating to these issues. The Study helped informed the EC on further action needed (and not needed) in this field.
ECNL is currently co-leading information European coalition of CSO which aims to influence counter-terrorism policies that affect CSOs, including engagement with the EU institutions on this issue.