European cross-border associations

Briefing 27-05-2024

The European Parliament has consistently advocated for the creation of an EU-wide legal framework for non-profit and not-for-profit entities operating within the EU. In 2013, it called for the adoption of common EU rules for mutual societies, and made a similar call in 2018 for social and solidarity-based enterprises. In February 2022, it adopted a resolution on cross-border associations and non profit organisations, urging the European Commission to propose a regulation establishing a statute for a European association. This statute would outline the conditions and procedures for the establishment, governance, registration and regulation of legal entities in the form of a European association. The resolution also called for a directive that would simplify the process for non-profit organisations in the EU to exercise their rights in the internal market. In response to the Parliament's resolution, the Commission presented a proposal for a directive on European cross-border associations on 5 September 2023. The proposed directive aims to coordinate the conditions for establishing and operating 'European cross-border associations' (ECBAs) in order to help non-profit associations exercise their rights in relation to the freedom of establishment, free movement of capital, freedom to provide and receive services and free movement of goods in the internal market. During its plenary session of 13 March 2024, Parliament adopted a legislative resolution on the proposal at first reading, using the report drawn up by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) as the basis for its position. The resolution was adopted ahead of any trilogues. The Council of the EU has not yet started examining the proposal. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.