Council of Europe / Conseil de l'Europe
Appendix 4.11 of the International Associations Statutes Series vol 1, UIA eds (1988)
Note: in force as of 1 January 1991 (signatory nations): Treaty open for ratification by the member states and for accession by non-member states
- Text of: European convention on the recognition of the legal personality of international non-governmental organizations
- Texte de: Convention européenne sur la reconnaissance de la personnalité juridique des organisations internationales non gouvernmentales
- Comments on the Convention from Explanatory Report on the Convention produced by the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe recognised, as early as in 1951, the importance of the NGO's, each in its particular field, and of their contribution to the activities of the Organisation. It therefore adopted a resolution providing for consultation of NGOs on matters within the competence of the Council of Europe. This was followed by guidelines for granting consultative status to a group of NGOs in 1954 and finally in 1972 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution (72) 35 containing new rules on the Council of Europe's relations with NGOs, irrespective of whether they enjoy consultative status or not. (1)
The 6th Conference of International Organizations for the Joint Study of Activities Planned in the Field of Agriculture in Europe (Paris, 1960), convened by FAO, noted that the question of the international legal status of associations was being studied by the Council of Europe. A recommendation of the 14th Conference (Paris, 1968), convened by the European Commission on Agriculture of the FAO, invited the Council of Europe to obtain from its Member States international recognition of the legal status of international non-governmental organizations. This followed a survey by the European Commission on Agriculture on the legal status of international NGOs based on a questionnaire established by the Council of Europe which resulted in a report prepared by the Union of International Associations and presented to the 14th Conference (2).
It is appropiate to note that the special interest of the FAO in this matter dates back to its predecessor, the International Institute of Agriculture, which created an expert committee on the matter in 1912 (see Appendix 4.1). Despite study of the matter over a period of years by the Director of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe, the Secretary-General was obliged to conclude in 1970 that the number of issues before the Committee of Ministers precluded any immediate consideration of the matter because of other priorities. In 1972 however the Council did adopt a Recommendation (No. 656) on tax treatment of non-profit associations in general, emphasizing the differences between tax treatment applicable and inviting member governments "to study the possibility of removing the judicial and fiscal obstacles to an increase in international activities by non-profit organizations, with a view to promoting European solidarity."During the 1970s, the matter was further discussed during joint meetings of the three regional federations of international associations: Federation of Semi-Official and Private International Institutions established in Geneva (FIIG), Federation of International Associations established in Belgium(FAIB), Union of International Non-Governmental Organizations established in France (UIOF). The matter was raised during a colloqium organized by the Institut Universitaires des Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, 1972) on the "Questions acutelles des associations et fondations internationales" with the support of FIIG and the International Standing Conference on Philanthropy (INTERPHIL). It was also the subject of a symposium organized by the Union of International Associations during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of FIIG in 1979 and a report on the question was presented to the World Forum of Transnational Associations (Brussels, 1980). (3).
On each of these occasions it was considered that the only possibility of further progress on the matter lay in a regional initiative through the Council of Europe. With the creation of the Liaison Committee of NGOs Endowed with Consultative Status to the Council of Europe in 1977, the importance of the support of this body was also recognized.In 1980 the European Committee on Legal Cooperation (of the Council of Europe) proposed to the Committee of Ministers that the question of the legal status of international foundations and non-governmental organizations be incorporated into its future activities. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, being equally aware of the absence of any international instrument in force aimed at facilitating the activities of NGOs at international level, charged in 1981, on the proposal of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), a committee of experts with an exploratory mandate to study the possibility of an intergovernmental action in this field at European level. Acting on a CDCJ report based on the committee's work, the Committee of Ministers charged a select Committee of experts on international non-governmental organisations (CJ-R-OR) with the task of drawing up an appropriate instrument of NGOs. The Union of International Associations was represented by G P Speeckaert. The Committeee was chaired by H Teissier de Cros of the French Conseil d'Etat.The CJ-R-OR held three meetings in 1982 and 1983 and submitted a draft European convention on recognition of the legal personality of international non-governmental organisations to the CDCJ for approval. (see text of report in Appendix 3.6). This draft convention, after being approved with some amendments by the CDCJ, was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 24 October 1985 and the Convention was opened for signature by member states in Strasbourg on 24 April 1986 when it was signed by 6 States (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, UK). Three ratifications are required to bring the Convention into force amongst the contracting States. After it has come into force, countries which are not members of the Council of Europe may adhere to the Convention under certain conditions. (NOTE: the Convention came into force on 1 January 1991)
The text of the Convention is as follows (4).
The member States of the Council of Europe, signatories hereto.Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its Members, in particular for the purpose of safeguarding and realising ideals and principles which are their common heritage;Recognising that international non-governmental organizations carry out work of value to the international community, particularly in the scientific, cultural, charitable, philanthropic, health and education fields, and that they contribute to the achievement of the aims and principles of the United Charter and the Statute of the Council of Europe;Desiring to establish in their mutual relations rules laying down the conditions for recognition of the legal personality of these organizations in order to facilitate their activities at European level;Have agreed as follows:
This convention shall apply to associations, foundations and other private institutions (hereinafter referred to as "NGOs") which satisfy the following conditions:
(a) have a non-profit-making aim of international utility;
(b) have been established by an instrument governed by the internal law of a Party;
(c) carry on their activities with effect in at least two States; and
(d) have their statutory office in the territory of a Party and the central management and control in the territory of that Party or of another Party.
1. The legal personality and capacity, as acquired by an NGO in the Party in which it has its statutory office, shall be recognised as of right in the other Parties.
2. When they are required by essential public interest, restrictions, limitations or special procedures governing the exercise of the rights arising out of the legal capacity and provided for by the legislation of the Party where recognition takes place, shall be applicable to NGOs established in another Party.
1. The proof of acquisition of legal personality and capacity shall be furnished by presenting the NGO's Memorandum and Articles of Association or other basic constitutional instruments. Such instruments shall be accompanied by documentsestablishing administrative authorisation, registration or any other form of publicity in the Party which granted the legal personality and capacity. In a Party which has no publicity procedure, the instrument establishing the NGO shall be duly certified by a competent authority. At the time of signature or of the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the State concerned shall inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the identity of this authority.
2. In order to facilitate the application of paragraph 1, a Party may provide an optional system of publicity which shall dispense NGOs from furnishing the proof provided for in the preceding paragraph for each transaction that they carry out.
In each Party the application of this Convention may only be excluded if the NGO invoking this Convention, by its object, its purpose or the activity which it actually exercises:
(a) contravenes national security, public safety, or is detrimental to the prevention of disorder or crime, the protection of health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others; or
(b) jeopardises relations with another State or the maintenance of international peace and security.
1. This Convention shall be open for signature by the menber States of the Council of Europe which may express their consent to be bound by:
(a) signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval, or
(b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval.
2. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date on which three member States of the Council of Europe have expressed their consent to be bound by the Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 5.
2. In respect of any member State which subsequently expresses its consent to be bound by it, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
1. After the entry into force of this Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may invite any State not a member of the Council to accede to this Convention, by a decision taken by the majority provided for in Article 20 of the Statute of the Council of Europe and by the unanimous vote of the representatives of the Contracting States entitled to sit on the Committee.
2. In respect of any acceding State, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
1. Any State may at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the territory or territories to which this Convention shall apply.
2. Any State may at any later date, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Convention to any other territory specified in the declaration. In respect of such territory the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.
3. Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory specified in such declaration, be withdrawn by a notification addressed to the Secretary General. The withdrawal shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.
No reservation may be made to this Convention.
1. Any Party may at any time denounce this Convention by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
.2. Such denunciation shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the Council and any State which has acceded to this Convention, of:
(a) any signature;
(b) the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
(c) any date of entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Articles 6, 7, and 8;
(d) any other act, notification or communication relating to this Convention.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Convention.Done at Strasbourg, this 24th April 1986, in English and French, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archive of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each member State of the Council of Europe and to any State invited to accede to this Convention.
Les Etats membres du Conseil de l'Europe, signataires de la présente Convention,Considérant que le but du Conseil de l'Europe est de réaliser une union plus étroite entre ses membres, afin notamment de sauvegarder et de promouvoir les idéaux et les principes qui sont leur patrimoine commun; Reconnaissant que les organisations internationales non gouvernementales exercent une activité utile à la communauté internationale notamment dans les domaines scientifique, culturel, charitable, philanthropique, de la santé et de l'éducation et contribuent à la réalisation des buts et principes de la Charte des Nations Unies et du Statut du Conseil de l'Europe;Désirant établir dans leurs relations mutuelles les règles fixant les conditions de la reconnaissance de la personnalité juridique de ces organisations afin de faciliter leur fonctionnement au niveau européen,Sont convenus de ce qui suit:
La présente Convention s'applique aux associations, fondations et autres institutions privées (ci-après dénommées ONG) qui remplissent les conditions suivantes:
(a) avoir un but non lucratif d'utilité internationale;
(b) avoir été créées par un acte relevant du droit interne d'une Partie;
(c) exercer une activité effective dans au moins deux Etats; et
(d) avoir leur siège statutaire sur le territoire d'une Partie et leur siège réel sur le territoire de cette Partie ou d'une autre Partie.
1. La personnalité et la capacité juridiques d'une ONG telles qu'elles sont acquises dans la Partie dans laquelle elle a son siège statutaire sont reconnues de plein droit dans les autres Parties.
2. Lorsqu'elles sont dictées par un intérêt public essentiel, les restrictions, limitations ou procédures spéciales prévues pour l'exercice des droits découlant de la capacité juridique par la législation de la Partie dans laquelle la reconnaissance a lieu, sont applicables aux ONG établies dans une autre Partie.
1. La preuve de l'acquisition de la personnalité et de la capacité juridiques est fournie par la présentation des statuts ou d'autres actes constitutifs de l'ONG. De tels actes seront accompagnés des pièces établissant l'autorisation administrative, l'enregistrement ou toute autre forme de publicité dans la Partie qui a accordé la personnalité et la capacité. Dans une Partie qui ne connaît pas de procédure de publicité, l'acte constitutif de l'ONG sera dûment certifié par une autorité compétente. Lors de la signature ou du dépôt de l'instrument de ratification, d'approbation, d'acceptance ou d'adhésion, l'Etat concerné indiquera l'identité de cette autorité au Secrétaire Général duConseil de l'Europe.
2. Pour faciliter l'application du paragraphe 1, une Partie peut prévoir un système de publicité facultatif dispensant les ONG d'apporter la preuve prévue par le paragraphe précédent pour chaque acte qu'elles accomplissent.
Dans chaque Partie l'application de la présente Convention ne peut être écartée que lorsque l'ONG qui invoque la présente Convention par son objet, par son but ou par l'activité effectivement exercée:
(a) contrevient à la sécurité nationale, à la sûreté publique, à la defense de l'ordre et à la prévention du crime, à la protection de la santé ou de la morale, à la protection des droits et libertés d'autrui: ou
(b) compromet les relations avec un autre Etat ou le maitien de la paix et de la sécurité internationales.
1. La présente Convention est ouverte à la signature des Etats membres du Conseil de l'Europe qui peuvent exprimer leur consentement à être liés par:
(a) la signature sans réserve de ratification, d'acceptation ou d'approbation, ou
(b) la signature sous réserve de ratification, d'acceptation ou d'approbation, suivie de ratification, d'acceptation ou d'approbation.
2. Les instruments de ratification, d'acceptance ou d'approbation seront déposés près du Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe.
1. La présente Convention entrera en vigueur le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date à laquelle trois Etats membres du Conseil de l'Europe auront exprimé leur consentement à être liés par la Convention conformément aux dispositions de l'article 5.2. Pour tout Etat membre qui exprimera ultérieurement son consentement à être lié par la Convention, celle-ci entrera en vigueur le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date de la signature ou du dépôt de l'instrument de ratification, d'acceptation ou d'approbation.
1. Après l'entrée en vigueur de la présente Convention, le Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l'Europe pourra inviter tout Etat non membre du Conseil à adhérer à la présente Convention, par une décision prise à la majorité prévue à l'article 20.d du Statut du Conseil de l'Europe et à l'unanimité des représentants des Etats contractants ayant le droit de siéger au Comité.2. Pour tout Etat adhérent, la Convention entrera en vigueur le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date de dépôt de l'instrument d'adhésion près le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe.
1. Tout Etat peut, au moment de la signature ou au moment du dépôt de son instrument de ratification, d'acceptation, d'approbation ou d'adhésion, désigner le ou les territoires auxquels s'appliquera la présente Convention.
2. Tout Etat peut, à tout autre moment par la suite, par une déclaration adressée au Secretaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe, étendre l'application de la présente Convention à tout autre territoire désigné dans la déclaration. La Convention entrera en vigueur à l'égard de ce territoire le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date de reception de la déclaration par le Secrétaire Général.
3. Toute déclaration faite en vertu des deux paragraphesprécédents pourra être retirée, en ce qui concerne tout territoire désigné dans cette déclaration, par notification adressée au Secrétaire Général. Le retrait prendra effet le premier jour qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date de réception de la notification par le Secrétaire Général.
Aucune réserve n'est admise à la présente Convention.
1. Toute Partie peut, à tout moment, dénoncer la présente Convention en adressant une notification au Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe.
2. La dénonciation prendra effet le premier jour du mois qui suit l'expiration d'une période de trois mois après la date de réception de la notification par le Secrétaire Général.
1. Le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe notifiera aux Etats membres du Conseil et à tout Etat ayant adhéré à la présente Convention:
(a) toute signature
(b) le dépôt de tout instrument de ratification, d'acceptation, d'approbation ou d'adhésion;
(c) toute date d'entrée en vigueur de la présente Convention conformément à ses articles 6, 7 et 8;
(d) tout autre acte, notification ou communication ayant trait à la présente Convention.
En foi de quoi, les soussignés, dûment autorisés à cet effet, ont signé la présente Convention.Fait à Strasbourg, le 24 avril 1986, en français et en anglais, les deux textes faisant également foi, en un seul exemplaire qui sera déposé dans les archives du Conseil de l'Europe. Le Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe en communiquera copie certifiée conforme à chacun des Etats membres du Conseil de l'Europe et à tout Etat invité à adhérer à la présente Convention.
In 1985 the Legal Affiars Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe supplied an explanatory memorandum concerning its opinion on the European Convention in its draft form (see Appendix 3.6). Following adoption of the Convention, an Explanatory Report on the Convention was produced by the Council of Europe (1). The following comments are reproduced from that report.
Art. 15.This article sets out to define the conditions which an international non-governmental organisation must satisfy in order to qualify for the advantages conferred by the Convention.These conditions, which have to be satisfied permanently as a fundamental requirement for continuing to benefit from therecognition provided for in the Convention are as follows:
a. Nature of the NGO6. The NGO must be an association, a foundation or other private institution. In the law practice of member states, an association means a number of persons uniting together for some specific purpose and which, when it has legal personality, also has seperate identity to take legal action, to acquire property, to enter into contracts, etc. A foundation is an identified property devoted to a given purpose. The term "other private institution" is added to cover certain institutions with legal personality (for example, religious congregations, trade unions, mutual companies) which in certain states have aims and structures similar to those of associations but which are not legally considered as such.7. The introductory sentence to Article 1 makes it a requirement that associations, foundations and other institutions should be "private". It follows that the Convention covers any entity which, whatever the legal nature of the provision of domestic law whereby an NGO is created (public law or private law in states where this distinction exists), does not exercise prerogatives of a public authority.
b. Non-profit-making aim of international utility8. An NGO must not have a profit-making-aim. This condition distinguishes NGOs from commercial companies or other bodies which exist to distribute financial benefits among their members. However, an NGO may make a profit, without altering its character, in connection with a given operation (for example, by renting a property, selling a publication, etc.) if that operation is to serve its non-profit-making aim. Furthermore, the aim of an NGO must be of international utility and not simply of national or local utility, that is, it must be of benefit to the international community. This would therefore exclude political parties and other policital organisations whose aims and activities are centred on the domestic problems of a given country.9. The Convention does not define the expression "international utility". However, the Preamble to the Convention affords a number of useful pointers to its interpretation, since it refers to "work of value to the international community", the requirement that it should contribute to achieving the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Statute of the Council of Europe, and the scientific, cultural, etc., nature of the activity. This last-mentioned element also makes it easier to circumscribe the concept of "non-profit-making aim".
c. Establishment by an instrument governed by internal law10. In order to be covered by the Convention, the instrument whereby an NGO is established must be governed by the internal law of a state.Consequently, organisations and institutions set up by treaties or other instruments governed by public international law are excluded. This provision is justified by the fact that such entities are subject to public international law and not to the domestic law of a contracting state, so that the problem of recognition by other states does not arise.
d. Activities carried on in at least two states 11. This is the logical consequence of the international nature of the non-profit-making aim of an NGO. The important point here is that there is no requirement for activities to be carried on in at least two Council of Europe member states, but simply in two different states. Therefore NGOs established in a member state and carrying out their activities in another state which is not a member of the Council of Europe (for example, to fight famine in a third world country) are not excluded.
12. Sub-paragraph d lays down two conditions for the NGO to benefit from the Convention: it must have its statutory office in a contracting state and the central management and control in that state or another contracting state. The first requirement is developed in Article 2, which is the fundamental article of the Convention (see paragraphs 13-15 below). The second requirement was adopted in order to protect the interests of persons concluding contracts with an NGO by ensuring that some of its assets are located in a contracting state.Art. 2
13. Paragraph 1 of the article lays down the rule of recognition as of right in all contracting states of the legal personality and capacity acquired in one contracting state. Consequently, no special procedure has to be followed to obtain recognition of legal personality.The principle is that the law which governs the substance of the NGO's legal personality and capacity is the law of the state in which the statutory office of the NGO, as stated in the memorandum and articles of association, is situated.
14. The fundamental criterion of the statutory office was adopted for two main reasons. The first of these is the fact that in deciding on its statutory office the NGO manifested a wish to be subject to a given system of law, and that wish should be respected. The second reason is an essentially practical one, since this principle makes it possible to avoid any break in continuity in the legal personality of an NGO when its real seat changes because the newly elected president or secretary general resides in another state.
15. The principle of the statutory office does of course entail an important change in the law of states where the rules of private international law are based on the concept of the real state.Such a change is justified not only on practical grounds (to avoid situations in which the applicable law changes too often when the administrative seat changes) but also by the fact that the Council of Europe is a community where respect for human rights and democratic principles constitutes the unifying element, that is, a homogeneous legal grouping charecterised by a measure of mutual recognition as between legal systems. In addition, the economic reasons underlying the principle of the real seat in the case of commercial companies are less important in the case of the NGOs, which pursue non-profit-making aims.
16. The principle of the statutory office means that the NGO will have the same legal capacity and personality in all the contracting states as are required in the state where that office is located.
17. However, it was recognised that such a rule could not be an absolute one. In some states, important public interests are at the root of some restrictions or special procedures applied to the exercise of rights which together constitute legal capacity. For example, some states require that authorisation be granted for the acquisition of real estate. These restrictions, limitations or special procedures laid down by domestic law for national entities analogous to foreign NGOs maybe applicable to the latter by virtue of paragraph 2 when they are required by essential public interest.It should be noted that these must be restrictions or limitations not on the legal capacity per se but on the "exercise" of the rights through which legal capacity manifests itself.
18. Furthermore, if a state lays down general limits applicable to all foreigners, an NGO which has obtained legal personality in another state will be subject to those limits.Art. 3
19. This article deals with the question of proof of the NGO's existence to be presented tothe authorities of the state in which the NGO wishes to be recognised. When it seeks recognition in another state an NGO is to supply evidence that it has already been established in the state of its statutory office and enjoys legal personality and capacity.
20. It should be noticed that the state in which the NGO wishes to be recognised does not have to ascertain whether the legal personality has been validly obtained in accordance with the law of the state of the statutory office. The control should be directed only to see whether the proofs mentioned in Article 3 have been produced.
21. Since legal requirements and procedures to establish an NGO differ from state to state the proof to be supplied to this effect cannot be the same in all cases. Some states require registration, publicity, or an authorisation for the acquisition of legal personality or capacity, while in some states just a written agreement between founder members would suffice. In the former cases the production of registration, publicity oradministrative authorisation would be enough, but in states where a simple agreement in writing of founder members is sufficient for the acquisition of legal personality it is necessary that such an agreement be supplemented by an additional act which is evidence that the agreement has in fact been concluded at a given time. The Convention requires for this purpose a certification by an authority which the state concerned will indicate at the moment of the signature or ratification of the Convention. This is intended to avoid confusion and possible refusal on the grounds of insufficient proof and thus facilitate and expedite the recognition.
22. In order to make it easier for NGOs to function, paragraph 2 provides for the possibility of a state establishing an appropriate form of "publicity". The advantages of such a system to an NGO are obvious, since it will be obliged to furnish the proof required by paragraph 1 only at the time when the "publicity" requirement is to be satisfied. Subsequently, it will be able simply to make use of the "publicity" as proof of its legal personality.However, it should be noted that this "publicity" must not be constructive in character, that is, recognition of legal personality must be made subject to the production of that "publicity".Art. 4
23. This article constitutes a guarantee clause designed to counterbalance the effects of automatic recognition of legal personality.It should be noted that the application of this article is independent of the application of Article 1.
24. Article 1 (see paragraph 5 et seq. above) sets out the conditions which have to be satisfied in order to invoke the Convention. These conditions must be met not only at the time when the NGO is seeking recognition but also throughout the period of that NGO's activity in a state. Failure to satisfy any of these conditions automatically removes the right to invoke the Convention.On the other hand, Article 4 can apply even if the conditions of Article 1 are met.
25. It was decided not to refer generically to the "public policy" (ordre public) of the state, following the example of Article 11, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights, to specify the grounds on which a refusal of the recognition of legal personality in another state can be based.
26. This was done in order to avoid using the expression "public policy" (ordre public) which can give rise to difficulties where NGOs are concerned. In some states the concept of public policy is twofold: the first meaning encompasses all binding national rules, while the second concept refers only to the fundamental legal principles of the legal system (this second concept being"public policy as defined in private international law").The first concept would mean that an NGO which did not satisfy any binding provision of domestic law could not be recognised. If the second concept were employed, recognition could only be withheld for infringement of a fundamental principle of the legal system.
27. The concept of public policy as defined in private international law could of course have been used in Article 4, but it is not a concept known to the legal systems of all states. Consequently, the enumeration based on Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been adopted.
28. In order to complete the grounds contained in sub-paragraph a, which are of an internal character, sub-paragraph b introduces an international element.It would in fact be unacceptable, in view of the ideals of peace and democracy enshrined in the Council of Europe's Statute, for an NGO to be accepted in a state where its activities would be legal when it is common knowledge that the aim of that NGO is to engage, either in the state in question or in another state, in activities which would damage the latter. This would run counter to the development of peace and good relations between states.
Notes1. Explanatory Report on the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations. Strasbourg, Council of Europe, 1986 (back)
2. G P Speeckaert. Legal status of international non-governmental organizations. (Fourteenth Conference of International Organizations for the joint study of activities planned in the field of agriculture in Europe, Paris, February 1968). Rome, FAO, 1968 (Item 8d)
3. G. P Speeckaert. La reconnaissance juridique des associations transnationales. In: Proceedings of the World Forum "From International to Transnational" (Brussels, 1980), Bruxelles, Union of International Associations, 1982, pp. 423-426 (back)
4. Council of Europe. European Convention on the Legal Personality of International Nongovernmental Organizations. Strasbourg, 1986 (European Treaty Series, No. 124) (back)
Signatory Nations (*):
|Member States /|
|Date of / de|
|Date of / de|
or / ou
Accession / Adhesion
|Date of entry into force /|
Date d'entrée en vigeur
|R= Reservations / Réserves|
|Austria / Autriche||24/04/86||27/04/92||01/08/92||D|
|Belgium / Belgique||24/04/86||04/09/90||01/01/91||-|
|Greece / Grece||24/04/86||30/06/89||01/01/91||D|
|Slovenia / Slovenie||16/09/93||16/09/93 (1)||01/01/94||-|
|Switzerland / Suisse||24/04/86||24/09/90||01/01/91||-|
|United Kingdom / Royaume Unie||24/04/86||03/02/89||01/01/91||T|