Council of Europe Releases New Report on Freedom of Association in Member Countries

20 October 2005

The Council of Europe Ministers’ Deputies have released a report on freedom of association in the Council of Europe member countries. The report is part of the Committee of Ministers' monitoring to make sure that the Council's 46 member states honor their commitments.

It is in three volumes:

  • the first gives an overview of the Council of Europe's work,
  • the second covers the freedom of association in politics and work (political parties and trade unions) and in civil society (NGOs and foundations), and
  • the third sets out the Secretary General's conclusions and the Committee of Ministers' decisions on the action required to remedy the flaws found.

The report highlights many examples of good practices, as well as some flaws in the member states' legislation and its practical application. One of the steps that might be taken to remedy these is to draw up a non-binding legal instrument on NGOs which would give member states guidelines on ways to sustain NGOs and make it easier for them to take part in the democratic process.

Council of Europe Press Division