April 13, 2012 the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signed the Law of Ukraine “On community organizations” passed in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine on 22 March, 2012.
The Law creates a new constitutional framework for further development of civil society in Ukraine as an important step towards implementation in our country of the European standards of functioning of community organizations, in particular, including such advanced norms as:
- providing rights and opportunities for community organizations to operate throughout the state regardless of their location and level of registration;
- the right for the entities to participate in establishing of community organizations;
- the right for community organizations to non-profit entrepreneurship, associated primarily with ensuring its goals and objectives;
- significant simplification of registration procedures as per the order and per the timing of considering of relevant documents. In particular, the term of registration of community organizations is reduced to 7 days, the list of documents for their registration is clearly defined etc.;
- the review of a charter of a community organization will be basing solely on its compliance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine in contrast to previous practice when such review included compliance with other normative acts;
- the initial registration of community organizations is free of charge since now.
The new Law “On community organizations” will take effect from 1 January 2013.
Its adoption indicates Ukraine's commitment to the course to fulfill the obligations arising from our membership in the Council of Europe as in this process the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the activities of NGOs have completely been taken into account. It is also important that the Law was the result of a broad consensus between the political forces in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (334 of 450 MPs, representatives of both government and opposition supported the Law).