The Legal Framework for Not-for-Profit Organizations in Central and Eastern Europe

Published: February 1, 2009

The legal framework for not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) in Central and Eastern Europe has undergone dramatic reform since 1989. Upon transition, the NPO legal framework was either incomplete or out of date. For example, Bulgaria relied on a 1949 law, while Romania awoke a 1924 law that the communists had neglected to repeal.

Others countries swiftly enacted new NPO legislation. Then-Czechoslovakia enacted a new associations law just four months after the Velvet Revolution. Macedonia enacted a new law on “social organizations and associations” even before holding multi-party elections.

This ICNL report provides an overview of NGO legislation in 16 Central and Eastern European countries.