Working towards a more sustainable civil society in Moldova
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chisinau, Moldova, September 18, 2018 – ECNL has been working since 2009 to empower local partners in Moldova to improve the financial sustainability, one of the key challenges of civil society organizations (CSOs). In the last 5 years, under the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society (MPSCS) program implemented in partnership with FHI 360 with financial support of USAID, ECNL focused on the drafting and implementation of legislation that create an enabling legal and fiscal environment for the non-profit sector.
Specifically, under MPSCS, ECNL and FHI 360 have been instrumental in achieving the following results:
- Adoption of the 2% law that establish a new way for taxpayers to support the CSO of their choice through allocating 2% of their paid income tax.
In the program’s first year, nearly 300 CSOs received funding from 16,000 people through the new legal mechanism designed with ECNL’s expertise. ECNL and FHI 360 also supported the 2% promotional campaign, which led to an increase of 38 % of taxpayers using the mechanism in the second year of its implementation and nearly doubled the designated amounts to CSOs.
- Building the capacity of local partners in promoting enabling legal environment for CSOs
One of the most important achievements has been the increased expertise of our local partners, such as the Legal Resources Center of Moldova (LRCM) in the area of the percentage mechanism and freedom of association, Contact Center in the area of philanthropy, Promo Lex in the area of CSO-related regulation on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism regulation, Eco Razeni and Motivatie in the area of social entrepreneurship, etc. The expertize gained in various areas related to the CSO environment, allows local partners to continue advocacy efforts for further CSO law reform.
- Adoption of the Civil Society Development Strategy 2018-2020
ECNL supported the process of developing the new Strategy from the very start through evaluation of the previous policy, drafting the new document and providing comparative practices from other countries to leverage change. After the adoption, ECNL focused on how the policy document is applied in practice and provided expertise to ensure its successful implementation.
- Supporting a needs-based reform of the laws on public associations and foundations
ECNL supported the processes of developing an enabling draft law on CSOs though expert comments, sharing international examples and facilitating dialogue between CSOs and state officials. We managed to push back restrictive proposals that would have limited public policy activities and funding sources for a large number of Moldovan CSOs.
- Promoting CSO financial sustainability and other reforms
ECNL has also been core in developing local ownership and a vision for reform in the areas of fundraising and philanthropy, promoting additional sources of CSO financial sustainability – such as social entrepreneurship, social contracting and state grants – and empowering CSO participation in decision- making.
“Moldova’s main resource is its hard-working people and their determination to build a better life”, said Hanna Asipovich, Policy Officer and Eastern Partnership Regional Project Director at ECNL. “We are proud of our and partners’ achievements under the MPSCS to amplify this effort through a more sustainable civil society, who now can use local sources of income, such as 2% law and domestic fundraising.”
Moldova has long served as a model for supportive CSO environment. Recently there were attempts to introduce negative measures. Guaranteeing that the environment for CSOs remains enabling is of primary importance so that CSOs can operate independently, be financially sustainable, have strong governance, engage in policy and mobilize public support. ECNL therefore is confident that the key local stakeholders will continue CSO legal reforms and looks forward to continued engagement and cooperation towards a more sustainable non-profit sector in Moldova.
About the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL): ECNL is a leading European resource and research center in the field of policies and laws affecting civil society, freedom of association, assembly and participation. ECNL team of experts have 15 years of experience in promoting CSO law reform and have provided support that has directly and positively influenced more than 80 policies and laws affecting CSOs across Europe, the Balkans, the Eurasia region, Turkey, Iraq and Mongolia.
For more information and media enquiries: Luben Panov, ECNL Program Consultant, firstname.lastname@example.org
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