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EU News, 6 September 2023

New initiative on European cross-border associations

On 5 September, the European Commission adopted a proposal to facilitate cross-border activities of non-profit associations in the EU. It aims to improve the functioning of the Internal Market by removing legal and administrative barriers for non-profit associations that operate or wish to operate in more than one Member State.

Currently, when non-profit associations engage in activities in another Member State than the one they are established in, they do not receive uniform acknowledgment of their legal personality and capacity and often need to register for a second time or even form a new legal entity in that Member State.

To tackle the issue, the Commission’s proposal introduces an additional legal form of a European cross-border association (ECBA) in Member States’ national legal systems, which is specifically designed for cross-border purposes. Once established in one Member State, an ECBA will be recognised automatically and will be able to engage in activities in all Member States, including economic activities.

With the proposed Directive, the Commission also adopted a Regulation of technical nature amending the Internal Market Information System (IMI) and the Single Digital Gateway (SDG) Regulations, to allow cooperation and exchange of information among competent authorities through the IMI system and to conduct digital operations through the SDG allowing access to information about ECBAs available online.

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