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18 June 2009

The new amendments in the Law for the Community Based Organizations were published in State Gazette 42 from 5 June 2009. They came into force on 9 June 2009.


Part of the amendments is related to the purposes and the scope of activity of these organizations. There is an explicit limitation for distributing or donating their property to gambling or night clubs, to unregistered under Law on Religions religious organizations or NGOs established by such organizations, for permanent use of political parties or unions, or to the President, the Secretary, the members of the Board of Trustees and of the Controller Commission of the community based organization or to their family members.


The amendments also clear the role of the Minister of Culture regarding the activity of community-based organizations. The minister will collaborate for the development of their activities and will support them as: 1. Providing methodical support for their activity; 2 analyzing the statute and the activity of community-based organizations with the help of the local administrations; 3. Publishes the projects of the international donors’ programs; 4 establishes a public register with an electronic database and on paper of the registered community based organizations and associations of such organizations; 5 may assign governmental tasks to the associations of the community based organizations, related to their activity and give them financial support for that.  


There are amendments in the field of establishment and registration of the community based organizations and their associations, their structure and managing bodies. The Union of the community-based organizations is defined as a national representative organization of these organizations


There is a new additional registration for the community – based organizations and for their associations in a special register with the Minister of Culture. One of the unfavorable results in case of not registering in the register is that they can not apply for state subsidy and they can not use governmental or municipal property free of charge. The term for entering in the register is 7 days, beginning from date of the court registration of the newly established community – based organization or association. In order to be allowed to apply for state or municipal subsidy, the community – based organizations must fulfill one more requirement – they should be entered in the register before at least one year.


There is a term of one year till the expiry of which the existing community – based organizations and their associations must carry out their Statutes in accordance with the new legal requirements. The term begins on the date on which the new amendments came into force.