Bulgaria's MPs Change Rules for Registration of Non-Profits
Lawmakers have approved on a second reading new procedures for the registration of non-governmental organizations in Bulgaria.
Under the amendments of the law on non-profit legal entities, all of these will have to file their registration documents with the Registry Agency of Bulgaria, an institution working with the Justice Ministry.
The legislation in force by now stipulated that all NGOs are to be registered with the respective district court whose jurisdiction extends to the area of their headquarters.
It only obliged those non-profit organizations willing to operate for public benefit to also register themselves with a specially designed register with the Justice Ministry.
By approving the changes, MPs have also agreed to maintain the register in question.
The bill, put forward by the government, aims to curb red tape and improve transparency and accountability of non-profit organizations.
Lawmakers from the governing coalition have added the present system creates "legal uncertainty", with some district courts allegedly carrying out the procedures in a controversial or inefficient manner and potentially infringing on the constitutional right of association.
They have argued that some non-profits for public benefit are registered with the courts, but not with the Justice Ministry and use this to shun some of their transparency obligations.
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