Russia: working group discussion on improving regulation of CSOs

“We have reached a consensus”: What was discussed at a regular meeting of the Ministry of Justice on improving legislation on non-profit organisations




On 3 October, the third meeting of an inter-departmental working group on improving the regulation of CSO activities was held.


The membership of the working group has been extended to include deputies from three State Duma Committees: Regional Policy and Local Self-Government, Youth Policy and the Development of Civil Society and Religious Associations.


The main item for discussion was to finalise a federal law aimed at defining the procedure for removing persons from the list of founders of a CSO at the initiative of its own organisation.


Elena Topoleva, Director of ASI and Chair of the Public Chamber’s Commission on the Development of the Non-Profit Sector, said that the meeting talked about the draft legislation and the finalisation of a road map for the preparation of draft laws aimed at implementing paragraph 11 of a list of instructions issued by the Russian President following a meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights on 7 December 2022.


Topoleva said that “the topic of the founders proved to be very popular. We decided to combine our forces and jointly finalise the draft legislation to ensure that all relevant individuals and departments – the Ministries of Justice and Economic Development, the Federal Tax Service, the Public Chamber and the Human Rights Council are in agreement. In the end, we were able to reach a consensus on what the Bill should look like”.


At present, there are legislative difficulties surrounding the issue of removing an individual or organisation from among the original founders. This is important because if one of them is no longer contactable, seriously ill or passes away, the organisation’s work becomes more complicated as the founders cannot take part or sign documents. The working group is therefore discussing how organisations can be given the power to remove individuals or founders at the organisation’s own initiative.



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