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The Assembly approves the Draft Law “On the Registration of Non-Profit Organizations”

On June 24, in the plenary session of the Albanian Parliament, the Draft Law “On the Registration of Non-Profit Organizations” was approved, despite the resistance of civil society organizations and the public appeal not to approve the draft law and to open a wide-ranging discussion in response of requests and recommendations received from the civil society sector in the country.

This law is a step back on the path forward for the democratization of Albania. Civil society organizations have asked the
President to return the law for reconsideration in parliament. If the President will enact the law, civil society organizations, as expressed in the last public appeal on June 23, 2021, will contest the constitutionality of the law in the Constitutional Court. Read more

A day before the discussion in the plenary session, 124 civil society organizations addressed the Assembly and each of the deputies personally with a public appeal! Following the statement, other organizations joined. Read the full statement here. 

From more than a year, since the draft law was made public by the Ministry of Justice until its approval by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Public Administration and Human Rights, despite the involvement of foreign expertise, the principles and legal framework of public consultation in the Republic of Albania have not been respected. The approach of the institutions has not been inclusive and enabling to bring together all actors in an open discussion about an important draft law for the functioning of the sector. The communication with stakeholders has been nontransparent, undermining their ability for a meaningful and significant contribution.

Despite the above, civil society organizations under the facilitation of the National Resource Centre have been actively involved in the consultation process of both the Ministry of Justice and the Assembly giving their recommendations and expressing readiness and commitment to engage in a redesigned process and with a wide participation of all key institutions and interest groups.

After the hearing session held in February this year, the communication with the Law Commission continued with the constant request to not approve the draft law in conditions of an emergency that undermines the effective consultation with civil society organizations as the main stakeholder and group of interest.

Discussion of the Draft Law in the Law Commission

On June 15, the Commission for Legal Affairs, Public Administration and Human Rights of the Albanian Assembly, approved the draft law “On registration of non-profit organizations” with 11 votes in favor and none against, nor abstention.
During the discussion, members of the Commission themselves as well as representatives of institutions expressed that there is no budget plan for law enforcement and a technical solution for the establishment of the electronic register accompanied by all the necessary elements and deadlines. Also, the authority of the Assembly over the judiciary to enforce the law remains an open and worrying issue. For more on the discussions, you can follow the full meeting of the Law Commission here