FHI 360 Moldova


Long-lasting development of civil society is one of the prerequisites for ensuring good governance and strengthening democratic processes in a state. The Civil Society Development Strategy 2012 – 2015 and its Plan of Actions have been developed by a working group consisting of Parliament and National NGO Council representatives. The approval by the Parliament of this Strategy is much awaited and is extremely important for the NGO world. The Strategy aims at ensuring a favorable environment for an active development of the civil society, promoting and strengthening financial viability of local NGOs, and promoting active citizenship and volunteer work. National Council of NGOs will monitor the Strategy implementation process. For more information, please check the National NGO Council’s website.

MCSSP local partners , Tinerii pentru Dreptul la Viaţă (TDV), Tineri şi Liberi and National NGO Council and MCSSP international partner - European Center for Non-for-Profit Law activities are focused on involving CSOs into the NGO legal reform, developing relevant feasibility studies and draft laws and partnering with Parliament, Government and other relevant authorities of Moldova on promoting these legal regulations.

Under MCSSP, our partners are engaged in improving the NGO legal environment in the six priority areas:

• Improving Legal Framework for Public Associations and Foundations;

• Improving Legal Framework for Public Benefit Organizations;

• Promoting Improvement of the Fiscal Framework for CSOs;

• Assisting with Developing the Percentage Law;

• Assisting with Developing Legal Framework for Government Contracting of Services;

• Assisting with Developing and Implementing Legal Framework for Volunteering.


Legal framework for Public Associations and Foundations

The Ministry of Justice recently launched a reform of the Law on Public Associations and the Law on Foundations. In October 2011-early 2012 ECNL prepared and submitted its comments to the Ministry of Justice on the Law on Associations and the Law on Foundations against the backdrop of good international practices.  A working group consisting of government and CSO representatives has been established by the Ministry to prepare revisions to the Law in a participatory manner. As an external expert, ECNL provides its technical assistance and comparative materials to the working group.

Legal Framework for Public Benefit Organizations

The Amendments to the Law on Public Associations, concerning the status of public benefit organizations (PBOs) were approved in 2010. ECNL assisted with developing the Public Benefit amendments through providing technical assistance and comparative information, e.g. sharing an overview of good international practices on PBO status.

After the adoption of the Public Benefit amendments in 2010, ECNL contracted a local expert to develop a Guide on Public Benefit amendments that will promote the new legal provisions and improve the process of acquiring the PBO status.

Similarly, ECNL supports the PBO Certification Commission in its strategy planning and capacity building. A preliminary session was held for the Commission members within the framework of the Conference on State Financing of CSOs that was  followed by an in-depth strategy planning session in December 2011.

Fiscal Framework for CSOs

ECNL contracted a local expert to prepare an overview of fiscal benefits available for Moldovan CSOs with a special focus of possible tax benefits for PBOs.

To assist with CSO reporting and to ensure proper accountability, in 2010 the Ministry of Finance adopted Methodological Instructions on Accounting in Non-Profit Organizations. The document came in force in January 2011 and includes suggestions for nonprofit financial and fiscal reporting that can be applied by CSOs and respective authorities, as well as practical examples. With the help of the local experts ECNL held seminars for non-profit accountants in Chisinau and other towns of Moldova to promote the new regulations and train the stakeholders in their application.

Percentage Law

There is a good level of political interest and will to introduce a “percentage law” in Moldova as a new support mechanism for CSOs, as announced at the annual CSO-Parliament meeting in May 2011 and at the NGO Forum in June 2011. The topic also raised lively discussions at the Conference on State Financing of CSOs.

To support the legislative effort, MCSSP contracted CReDO to prepare a feasibility study for possible introduction of the Law. ECNL held a number of consultations with CREDO to ensure that the study addresses the main issues of consideration and provides relevant data for making this mechanism transparent, functional and cost-effective.

One of the main conclusions of the Study is that the CSOs are at a great disadvantage as compared to organizations from other sectors, such as political parties that benefit from the state budget allocations, or religious entities, which are supported by unofficial and unregistered donations. The study also revealed that the Percentage Law would not have a significant impact on local budgets and would not damage other public priorities, but would provide considerable financial support to Moldovan CSOs.

The Feasibility study was discussed in great detail at the NGO Forum in June 2011 and at the Conference on State Funding for CSOs in September 2011.

Legal Framework for Government Contracting of Services

The Law on Social Services was approved in 2011. This law is the first of a series of legal documents that will eventually set the framework for public procurement of social services by CSOs. It is followed by the Law on Accreditation.

The Law on Accreditation is   providing  a more detailed definition of social services at each level. ECNL has liaised with a number of local partners (advisers to the Ministry, expert and service delivery CSOs, Chişinău municipality authorities, etc.) to keep abreast of developments and to ensure that the law facilitates social contracting (or at least does not create obstacles to it). Furthermore, ECNL has proposed to draft the Government regulation to standardize the process of social contracting (procuring social services),), so as to have a short-term facility available until the new overall system of social services provision is adopted.

Legal Framework for Volunteering

The Law on Volunteering was adopted in June 2010 and came into force on September 2010. The Law regulates formal relations between host organizations (public and private) and volunteers. The Law introduces the conceptual elements of volunteering, in line with international and European practices: it defines volunteers as individuals who undertake activities based on their own initiative and with free consent, for public benefit purposes and without remuneration. The Law outlines the rights and responsibilities of the parties, addresses issues of liability, and prescribes certain incentives for volunteering.

A draft of Standards and Regulations for Volunteering was subsequently prepared by TDV and were discussed with respective ministries. Two key points for discussion include minimum quality requirements for volunteers, and issuing academic credits for volunteer work. On the 29th of February, 2012 the Standards and Regulations for Volunteering were approved through a Government Decree.  ECNL and TDV are working together to publish a Guide on Volunteering that will provide an overview of the Law and secondary legislation

International Conference on State Financing for CSOs: New Opportunities for Moldovan CSO Development, September 26-27, 2011

The International Conference on State Financing of CSOs was held on September 26-27, 2011 in Chisinau. The Conference addressed reform options for the following areas: (a) The Cooperation Framework between the Government and CSOs; (b) Grants and State Funding for CSOs; (c) Social Contracting (provision of social services by non-state institutions); (d) Public Benefit Status and (e) Tax Benefits. Each of these topics was discussed in separate workshops facilitated by Moldovan CSOs and international experts, and were followed by plenary discussions that yielded specific recommendations for steps forward in each area.  The recommendations are available online.

Conference presentations and recommendations can be viewed here 


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