Since the Attac case in early 2019 the public benefit status of non-profit organisations in Germany has been repeatedly weakened. The current law is a threat to organisations engaging in non-profit political counselling and action – which poses a threat to all charities and human rights defenders. In 2019 we were faced with four more cases in which tax authorities revoked or refused to grant the public benefit status.
A special one is the case of the VVN-BdA (Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes; the Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime/Federation of Antifascists), founded by Holocaust survivors and resistance fighters of the Nazi dictatorship in 1947.
The English Service of Deutsche Welle explains this case and the enacted legislative amendments by the German Federal Ministry of Finance.
The platform “Civic Space Watch” is informing about the Attac case and therefore pulished an interview with Stefan Diefenbach-Trommer, the spokesperson of our coalition “Rechtssicherheit für politische Willensbildung” (Translated: Legal certainty for political advocacy). It focusses on how the Attac case will affect the wider civic space in Germany.
Read more here: http://civicspacewatch.eu/germany-attac-ruling-could-affect-a-thousand-organisations-interview-with-coalition-for-legal-certainty-for-political-advocacy/
This is a translation of the German text “Auswirkungen des Attac-Urteils auf zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement”, published on 1. march 2019.
The German Federal Fiscal Court’s (BFH) judgement in the Attac case will affect thousands of associations and foundations throughout Germany, and likewise influence the involvement of the many thousands of people who belong to them. Accordingly many organizations are in great turmoil. The judgement shrinks spaces for civil society. Many association boards are now discussing whether they should discontinue some of their efforts on behalf of Attac. Media commentary on the judgement has been extensive, in keeping with its great relevance. Some commentators consider the judgement warranted and welcome the imposition of restrictions on organizations like Attac that hamper business as usual. Many others by contrast are demanding that government take action in order to broaden the scope for political action. An intermediate position is to propose creation of special rules for entities that are not parties but nonetheless participate in political discourse. Weiterlesen