Newsroom

Secretary General

Secretary General alarmed by proposed NGO legislation in Russia

07/07/2012

“I am concerned about proposals to label non-governmental organisations which receive funding from abroad as ‘foreign agents’ and create new administrative hurdles to their activities", he said
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland alarmed by proposed NGO legislation in Russia
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland 

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland made the following statement on proposed NGO legislation in Russia:


“I am concerned about proposals to label non-governmental organisations which receive funding from abroad as ‘foreign agents’ and create new administrative hurdles to their activities.


Without a thriving civil society there can be no functioning democracy. Any restriction which would go against the standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights would be against the interest of Russia, its citizens and its international reputation. The proposed law uses language with very negative historic connotations.


I am particularly worried that this is only the latest in a series of attempts to change in haste key legislation regulating democratic life in Russia, without giving enough time for proper reflection and public debate.


I should also like to recall that back in 2006, the Council of Europe assisted the Russian authorities to improve the legislation regulating NGOs that is currently in force. This was a very effective response to the broad criticism which the legislation initially adopted had provoked in Russia and internationally. We are ready to provide similar assistance today and I sincerely hope Russia, an important member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, will respond positively to our offer.”

 

See also: Russia and the Council of Europe

 
 
Secretary General
16/04/2014
Headlines
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: “Europe in biggest human rights crisis since Cold War”
New report on the state of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe
 

Other news

Press Releases

Diaries