Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) has published Comments on recently introduced rules on the operation of civil society supporting refugees and migrants in Greece.
The Comments analyse new rules on the registration and certification of Greek and foreign NGOs active in the area of asylum, migration and social inclusion as well as their members, staff and volunteers and their impact upon civil society. RSA highlights that the regulations set out so far on the operation of NGOs include stringent, disproportionate and arbitrary requirements for registration and certification, which create risks of violations of rights of civil society. The changes come against the backdrop of policy efforts appearing to create an increasingly hostile environment for civil society in Greece.
“The regulations confer undue discretion upon the Ministry of Migration and Asylum to deny registration to NGOs and/or individuals even when they fulfil the legal requirements, on the basis of assumptions relating to the quality of their activities and personality, and to revoke registration where it deems that an organisation is not adequately performing its functions. Such powers create risks arbitrary, partisan and non-transparent assessments as to which organisations should be permitted to operate in the country”, says Natassa Strachini, Legal Coordinator at RSA.
Further, the adoption of such rules is liable to result in unacceptable restrictions on the operation and activities of civil society and on the right to association. Beyond infringing legality, proportionality and freedom of association, they are liable to have broader repercussions for non-profit work, transparency and efforts to prevent rule of law backsliding in Greece and beyond.
You can read the comments here: