Implementation practice of NGO law
In practice, each individual and legal entity can establish an association without having to register it. However, the vast majority of organizations decide to register for gaining legal subjectivity and the formal accompanying benefits that come from it, for example (possibility of opening a bank account or receiving funds from different donors).
In general, CSOs in Kosovo continue to operate freely without unjustifiable state interference in their leadership and internal activities. With the exception of the suspension of a number of NGOs with national security reasoning, there are no other reported cases of direct state interference in CSO internal affairs.
By 2014, the Department for NGOs suspended the activity of around 30 different NGOs based on Article 18 of GRK Administrative Instruction – No: 02/2014 on the Registration and Functioning of NGOs. As for the illustration, during 2016, two rounds of CSO suspensions (July and November 2016) occurred, resulting in the suspension of 21 NGOs. Most of these NGOs had been suspended by one-year annulment decisions for the third year in a row since 2014. As a reason, the request of the “competent security body” was filed with the justification of “endangering security and acting against the constitutional order of Kosovo”. Apart from the reasoning above, no other more specific reason was offered. During 2017, only one suspended NGO was reported.
In year 2016, 96.04 % of surveyed CSOs found that they had not experienced any state intervention or any intervention from other party in their internal affairs, while CSOs reporting for such interventions mainly referred to the refusal of public institutions to cooperate with them or the pressure from state officials on their personnel. All cases reported for termination of CSO activities have been voluntary and the Commission for the Distribution of Remaining Assets of NGOs was not required to become operational.
In practice, few CSOs engage in economic activities. About 88 % of CSOs surveyed in 2016 stated that they did not engage in economic activities and one third of those engaged in economic activities report that they face different problems.
There were no complaints about receiving foreign funds, and in 2016 the main part of civil society funding came from international donations/grants. Meanwhile, organizations with a public benefit status (their number in recent years is around 250 NGOs with active public benefit status) according to the new law on freedom of association present narrative and financial report, while NGOs with public benefit status with revenues greater than 100,000 EUR should also submit an external audit report.