Basic Legal Guarantees of Freedoms

The level of influence of the civil society, amongst others, also depends on the legal environment, namely legal guarantees that the state offers for exercising CSO activities. Basic rights that should be enjoyed by the citizens in democratic countries include, but are not limited to: freedom of association; freedom of expression; freedom to exercise activity without the intervention of state entities; freedom for cooperation and networking with other local and international organizations etc. The right to exercise these freedoms must also be guaranteed for legal entities – NGOs, businesses etc. – who decide to cooperate for the advancement of their joint goal, be that to the benefit of the general public or to that of its own members.

Civil society organizations should enjoy the right to internal organization – based on democratic principles and legislation in force – without the intervention of state entities or other parties. The state should protect civil society organizations from other parties that threaten their activities. State bodies may intervene in the work of CSOs only if this is foreseen by the Law; in cases where NGO actions are not in accordance with democratic principles; when state security is threatened; when the freedom of others is threatened; for the prevention of crime etc. These rights should be guaranteed for all citizens of the country regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.