Republic of Lithuania Law on Development of Non-governmental Organisations


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REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA LAW
ON DEVELOPMENT OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
 
 
19 December 2013     No XII-717
Vilnius
 
 
FIRST CHAPTER
GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
Article 1. Aim and purpose of the Law
 
1. The aim of this Law shall be to create a favourable environment for non-governmental organisations and to ensure suitable conditions for activities and development of such organisations as an important element of civil society.
2. This Law shall set out the principles of formation and implementation of the development policy of non-governmental organisations, the conditions of cooperation between state and municipal institutions and agencies and non-governmental organisations, as well as other conditions for non-governmental organisations’ activities which promote their development.
3. This Law shall not regulate the establishment, governance, reorganisation, restructuring and liquidation of non-governmental organisations.
 
Article 2. Definitions
 
1. Non-governmental organisation shall mean a public legal entity, independent from state and municipal institutions and agencies, which acts on a voluntary basis for the benefit of society or its group, and which does not have the aim to seek political power or purely religious goals. The State or a municipality, or a legal entity, in whose general meeting of members the State or a municipality has more than 1/3 of the votes, may not have more than 1/3 of the votes in the non-governmental organisation’s general meeting of members. The following shall not be recognised as non-governmental organisations:
1) political parties;
2) trade unions and employers’ organisations and their confederations;
3) organisations founded in accordance with the procedure established by the law in which membership is mandatory for certain professions;
4) confederations with more than 1/3 of members being private legal entities;
5) associations of garden plot holders, associations of owners of multi-apartment residential buildings and other types of buildings, as well as other associations founded to manage shared real estate;
6) social families.
2. Mutual benefit non-governmental organisation shall mean a non-governmental organisation whose activities give benefit to its participants only.
3. Public benefit non-governmental organisation shall mean a non-governmental organisation whose activities give benefit not only to its participants but also to the public.
4. Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall mean a collegial advisory body acting on a voluntary basis which is composed, under equal partnership, of representatives delegated by state institutions, agencies and non-governmental organisations.
5. Municipal council of non-governmental organisations shall mean a collegial advisory body acting on a voluntary basis which is composed, under the principle of parity, of representatives delegated by municipal institutions and agencies and non-governmental organisations.
6. Development policy of non-governmental organisations shall mean targeted activities which define the conditions of functioning of non-governmental organisations, promote their development in the country and ensure cooperation of state and municipal institutions and agencies with non-governmental organisations in strengthening civil society.
7. National umbrella non-governmental organisation shall mean a non-governmental organisation established under the Law on Associations of the Republic of Lithuania, uniting non-governmental organisations that act in one or several different spheres of public policy and have common goals.
 
Article 3. Principles of determination, formation, and implementation of a development policy of non-governmental organisations as well as principles of cooperation of state and municipal institutions and agencies with non-governmental organisations
 
The main principles of determination, formation, and implementation of a development policy of non-governmental organisations as well as the principles of cooperation of state and municipal institutions and agencies with non-governmental organisations shall be as follows:
1) parity – state and municipal institutions and agencies, and non-governmental organisations are represented equally;
2) subsidiarity – decisions concerning non-governmental organisations and their activities must be taken at the level in which they are most effective;
3) inter-institutional coordination – when deciding on questions related to the development policy of non-governmental organisations, state and municipal institutions and agencies communicate and cooperate with each other;
4) participation – questions related to non-governmental organisations and their activities are resolved in advance in coordination with non-governmental organisations, and with participation of their representatives;
5) information – state and municipal institutions and agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations exchange relevant information on non-governmental organisations or their activities, as well as provide it to the public in an acceptable and accessible manner;
6) voluntarism – a person participates in the activities of non-governmental organisations of his own free will, without compulsion;
7) equality – non-governmental organisations are entitled to equal opportunities to participate in decision-making and implementation of state programmes and measures in accordance with their competence.
 
SECOND CHAPTER
DEVELOPMENT POLICY OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
 
Article 4. Institutions and agencies forming and implementing a development policy of non-governmental organisations
 
1. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall set out priorities, aims, objectives and planned results of a development policy of non-governmental organisations in the National Progress Strategy.
2. The formation of a development policy of non-governmental organisations shall be organized, coordinated and implemented by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.
3. Other state institutions and agencies shall implement the development policy of non-governmental organisations in accordance with their competence.
4. Municipal institutions and agencies shall form and implement the development policy of municipal non-governmental organisations.
5. When implementing the development policy of non-governmental organisations, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania shall:
1) carry out analysis of legal acts concerning non-governmental organisations and give related proposals in accordance with the procedure established by the law;
2) on its own initiative or in cooperation with other state institutions, prepare drafts of laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, which regulate the development policy of non-governmental organisations, and submit them for adoption to relevant bodies in accordance with the procedure established by the law;
3) prepare and carry out implementation programmes and measures of the development policy of non-governmental organisations;
4) coordinate activities of state and municipal institutions related to non-governmental organisations;
5) collect and furnish information to non-governmental organisations on funding and support of state institutions provided to non-governmental organisations, as well as on tenders for financial support for non-governmental organisations and their results;
6) submit proposals to state and municipal institutions and agencies regarding financial support to non-governmental organisations;
7) analyse the state of non-governmental organisations in the Republic of Lithuania, initiate research on non-governmental organisations and their activities;
8) perform other functions in accordance with laws and other legal acts.
6. When implementing the development policy of non-governmental organisations the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania and other state institutions must consult the Council of Non-governmental Organisations regarding:
1) drafts of legal acts concerning non-governmental organisations;
2) planned funding programmes under which non-governmental organisations’ projects are funded.
 
Article 5. Cooperation of state and municipal institutions and agencies with non-governmental organisations
 
Cooperation of state and municipal institutions and agencies with non-governmental organisations shall be implemented by:
1) providing information on activity and cooperation policies of state and municipal institutions and agencies, in order to coordinate them with non-governmental organisations working in specific areas;
2) consulting with non-governmental organisations and, if necessary, creating joint working groups for specific questions;
3) financing non-governmental organisations’ programmes, projects and initiatives.
2. Having received a written request of an non-governmental organisation to coordinate draft legal acts with it, state and municipal institutions and agencies must consult with the organisation that has submitted the request in accordance with the procedure established by laws of the Republic of Lithuania.
 
Article 6. Council of Non-governmental Organisations and councils of municipal non-governmental organisations
 
1. The Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be an advisory body which ensures participation of non-governmental organisations in determination, formation and implementation of a development policy of non-governmental organisations.
2. The Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall:
1) submit proposals regarding the priorities of a development policy of non-governmental organisations and its implementation to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, other state and municipal institutions and agencies which form and implement the development policy of non-governmental organisations;
2) submit proposals to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, other state and municipal institutions and agencies regarding the funding priorities of programmes and measures of non-governmental organisations;
3) publish a report on the state of non-governmental organisations in the Republic of Lithuania on a biennial basis;
4) carry out other functions set out in the regulations of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations.
3. Work of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be organized in accordance with this Council’s regulations. Regulations of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
4. The council of municipal non-governmental organisations shall be formed by the decision of the municipal council. It shall submit proposals to municipal institutions regarding the promotion of activities of non‑governmental organisations carrying out activities in the municipality area, and perform other functions provided for in the regulations of the council of municipal non-governmental organisations.
5. The council of municipal non-governmental organisations shall be formed in accordance with the following principle: no more than 1/2 members of this council shall be representatives of municipality institutions and agencies, and no less than 1/2 members of this council shall be representatives of non-governmental organisations carrying out activities in the municipality area. The term of office of the members of the council of municipal non-governmental organisations shall be two years. The composition and regulations of the council of municipal non-governmental organisations shall be approved by the municipal council.
6. Technical services for the activities of the council of municipal non-governmental organisations shall be provided by the municipality’s administration.
 
Article 7. Formation of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations and its activities
 
1. The Council of Non-governmental Organisations which acts on a voluntary basis shall be formed from representatives nominated by state institutions and agencies, national umbrella non-governmental organisations and the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania.
2. The Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be composed of twenty members: nine representatives of state institutions and agencies, one representative of the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania and ten representatives of non-governmental organisations. Representatives of non-governmental organisations shall be nominated by joint agreement between national umbrella non-governmental organisations. Associations of national umbrella non-governmental organisations shall delegate by joint agreement no more than eight representatives of associations of non-governmental organisations and no less than two representatives of other non-governmental organisations to the Council of Non-governmental Organisations.
3. When performing its functions, the Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall have the right to:
1) participate in drafting of legal acts related to the development policy of non-governmental organisations;
2) in accordance with the procedure established by laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, receive from Government agencies, as well as other state and municipal institutions and agencies the information and documents necessary to fulfil tasks and functions of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations;
3) invite to its meetings representatives of ministries, Government agencies, state and municipal institutions and agencies, other organisations and other persons to decide on questions related to the fulfilment of tasks and functions of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations;
4) form working or expert groups to discuss questions concerning the development policy of non-governmental organisations;
5) exercise the rights set out in other legal acts.
4. The composition of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the recommendation of the Minister of Social Security and Labour. The term of office of the Council members shall be two years. A representative of a non-governmental organisation, who is recalled by the latter, shall lose the status and rights of member in the Council of Non-governmental Organisations.
5. The chair and deputy chair of the Council of Non-governmental Organisations shall be elected by the Council from among its members. If a representative of a state institution or agency is elected chair of the Council, the elected deputy chair must be a representative of the non-governmental organisations. If a representative of non-governmental organisations is elected chair of the Council, the elected deputy chair must be a representative of a state institution or agency.
6. Technical services for the activities of the Council of non-governmental organisations shall be provided by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.
 
THIRD CHAPTER
MUTUAL AND PUBLIC BENEFIT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
 
Article 8. Classification of non-governmental organisations into mutual and public benefit non-governmental organisations
 
1. Non-governmental organisations may be classified into mutual or public benefit organisations with regard to the benefit provided by the organisation to the public when allocating state and municipal funds for financing non-governmental organisations’ activities.
2. When classifying non-governmental organisations into mutual and public benefit non-governmental organisations, the appropriation manager shall take into account the following:
1) type of organisation’s activities;
2) participants for whom the organisation’s activities are intended;
3) organisation’s initiative or project proposed for financing;
4) other criteria set out by the appropriation manager.
 
FOURTH CHAPTER
MANAGEMENT OF DATA AND DOCUMENTATION
OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
 
Article 9. Management of data and documents of non-governmental organisations
 
1. Data and documents of non-governmental organisations shall be managed by the Register of Legal Entities in accordance with the procedure established by the law.
2. Data and documents of non-governmental organisations may be managed in other information systems of the State in the cases provided for by laws and other legal acts.
 
FIFTH CHAPTER
FINAL PROVISIONS
 
Article 10. Final provisions
 
1. This Law, except for paragraph 2 of this Article, shall come into force on 1 April 2014.
2. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania or institutions authorized by it shall adopt secondary legislation of this Law prior to its entry into force.
 
 
I promulgate this Law passed by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
 
 
 
 
 
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC                                                     DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ