Civil-Partner: renewing relations

As early as the summer 2010, the new government announced its intention to launch a reform and a comprehensive review of nonprofit law. The initiative is indeed timely, as the NGO laws are outdated in many respects, for example the implementation of the Act on Public Benefit Status has not yet been reviewed since it came into effect in 1998. The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, also responsible for civil society affairs, plans to replace the present “scattered” regulation with a codex-like, integrated new law that would include all important provisions.

To this process we tried to canalize all earlier results of the Civil Partner program; legal analyses, concepts and recommendations.

The intention to continue the dialogue with the competent decision-makers and to mutually present non-profit legal reform ideas inspired us to organize a conference on the 25th of November, with the title "Government-Civil Society Relations: Benefits and challenges of supporting civil society”. Hosted by Parliamentary Committee of Human Rights, Minority, and Religious Affairs, the event was co-organized with the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation in the Representatives Office Building. Another goal of the conference was to present the results of the research and conceptual works of the past 1,5-2 years with special attention to two fields: the reform of the public benefit system, addressing the problems of indirect state-civil relations as well as the problems of grant-funding relations. The conference was opened by Dr. Tamás Lukács, Committee Chairman, the government’s plans and their schedule were presented by Csaba Latorcai, Deputy Secretary of State (Ministry of Public Administration and Justice), and the plans related to the transformation of the support procedures were presented by Dr. Ákos Kajdi, Head of Department (Ministry of National Development). Besides the local NGO speakers – Veronika Móra (HEPF), Nilda Bullain (ECNL) and Endre Bíró (Legal Knowledge Foundation) - foreign non-government and government experts described the similar legislative processes underway in Central-East Europe as well as their experience with it, and there was an opportunity for the audience to get answers to their questions.

The conference which may have been the largest of its kind was attended by more than 100 participants: the majority of them were NGOs from all around the country, however, there were visitors from various ministries, local governments and other institutions as well. Presentations of the conference can be downloaded from