Civil society is charitable, pursues public benefit purposes, per se: a diverse political civil society gives our democracy life. Civil society encourages people to form opinions and stimulates debates that benefit the common good. It gives more people an opportunity to participate in social and political decision- making. It helps strengthen the rights, opinions and interests of those whose voices are too weak. Civil society constitutes a corrective to the selfish interests of lobbies and helps delay rash political decisions – public protest has often prevented mistaken decisions or improved their outcome. Democracy needs a civil society meddling in political issues.
However civil society organizations that regularly express political opinions are constantly at risk of losing their public benefit status. We want to change that and create legal certainty by compelling legal clarification of these issues. The “Legal certainty for political advocacy” alliance is a coaliton that encompasses more than 180 associations and foundations.
The long-term goal of the “Legal certainty for political advocacy” alliance is to reform and modernize the law on charities. In the short term, our goal is to achieve an amendment to the tax code that firstly would provide that non-profit organizations may as a matter of course influence political decision-making in order to attain their goals; and secondly to include in the law additional charitable purposes as worthy of tax exemption, since the current list of approved purposes does not cover the entire range of civil society work that redounds to the benefit of the public as a whole. The law leaves out important charitable purposes that are widely recognized as such.
Here you will find
- An analysis of the legal difficulties that arise when non-profit organizations participate in the formulation of public policy; (in German)
- Our proposals for amendment to the tax code; (in German)
- Information about the “Legal certainty for political advocacy” alliance and its supporters. (in German)
- Donations are also needed for our work – and the Alliance is recognized as a charitable organization.
- A membership application form for civil society organizations seeking to support our efforts to attain greater legal certainty,
- How to receive news bulletins via e-mail (mostly in German).