As societal challenges have a European or even global dimension, we witness the increase of activism crossing borders and connecting people. It is therefore critical that EU policies can support transnational cooperation among civil society organisations focusing for the common good. For this reason, we welcome the call for evidence and public consultation that the European Commission launched this August on a proposal for a legislative initiative on cross-border activities of associations.
Action in this area is particularly relevant for civil society organisations doing advocacy or delivering services. Many associations and foundations hesitate to engage in activities in other EU countries because of the existing legal and fiscal uncertainties.
In addition, recent studies have shown the importance and the potential contribution of civil society organisations as the third sector between public and private and the obstacles it faces because of the inadequacy of the legal framework both at national and at EU level.
In this document submitted to the European Commission, we support the creation of a new legal form for associations allowing for recognition in all Member States to fully benefit from the single market, as well as the adoption of common minimum standards based on fundamental rights. We believe that the combination of these two measures will allow to respond to the growing challenges faced by civil society in carrying out cross-border activities.
Please also read the Joint response to the call for evidence we have submitted with Philea, Social Economy Europe, Social Services Europe and Cedag.