On February 13, 2024, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) took a significant step towards fostering cross-border collaboration by adopting a statute for European associations and non-profit organizations. This new legislation aims to provide automatic recognition for such entities engaging in activities beyond their national borders, ultimately benefiting 310,000 associations within the EU and potentially attracting an additional 185,000 organizations to partake in cross-border endeavors.
The Power of Unity: A European Statute for Associations
The groundbreaking statute, inspired by the Lagodinsky-report, seeks to elevate the status of non-profit organizations in Europe. By establishing a common legal framework, the European Commission intends to empower citizens to organize themselves across national boundaries and bolster the influence of these associations in various sectors.
Non-profit associations contribute significantly to the EU economy and society, representing 2.9% of EU GDP. Their impact is evident in areas such as health, social services, culture, and education, where these organizations often fill gaps left by governmental institutions.
Modifications to the Original Proposal
During a meeting held on February 13, 2023, MEPs voted in favor of the report by Sergey Lagodinsky (Greens/EFA, German) concerning the creation of a European statute for cross-border associations (ECBAs). The approved compromise amendments deviate slightly from the Commission's initial proposal introduced in September 2022.
While the amendments make minor adjustments to Article 6, they aim to strike a balance between preserving the autonomy of associations and ensuring transparency in their operations. These modifications reflect the commitment of the European Parliament to protect the interests of all stakeholders involved.
The Road Ahead: Plenary Vote and Trilogue Negotiations
Following the approval by the JURI committee, the next step in the legislative process is a vote in the plenary of the European Parliament. Once the European Parliament approves the statute, trilogue negotiations with Member States will commence to finalize the details of the legislation.
The successful implementation of this statute will not only promote unity among European associations but also strengthen their ability to address the diverse needs of EU citizens. By streamlining cross-border activities, the new legislation stands to enhance cooperation, engagement, and ultimately, the collective impact of these organizations.
As the statute moves closer to becoming law, it's evident that today's news foreshadows a more unified and collaborative future for European associations and non-profit organizations. This development signifies a crucial step towards breaking down barriers and fostering a stronger sense of community across the European Union.