The Expert Council on NGO Law has just published an opinion examining the compatibility with European standards of the main changes in recently adopted and planned legislative provisions with respect to the functioning and activities of NGOs in Russia. The changes involve extending the scope of the category of “foreign agent”, modifying their operation regime, imposing certain prohibitions on their activities and establishing other obstacles to their functioning. These changes are problematic on account of the speed of their adoption, the imprecision of many concepts used in them, the lack of an evidential basis for the purported aims and the disproportionate nature of the changes and the penalties for non-compliance with them.

The Expert Council on NGO law and the President of the Conference of INGOs are calling upon the members of the State Duma not to adopt the proposed changes still under consideration and to reverse those that have already been adopted.

Full opinion: Opinion on the compatibility with European standards of recent and planned amendments to the Russian legislation affecting NGOs.