“In the EU, anyone can set up a European Company or a European Economic Interest Grouping to boost profits. Yet, it is not possible to form a European alliance to promote the common good.” – In an article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sergey Lagodinsky MEP, vice-chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament, touches a sore spot:
EP politicians like to rave about a cross-border civil society. All hope of European democracy lies in it, writes the Commission in its recently published paper on the rule of law. But when it’s about europeanising the rules of the game, they reserve this option exclusively for commercial enterprises. … Anyone who wants to defy anti-democratic tendencies in the EU member states must abandon this fixation on commerce. … Before it is too late, we need a pan-European association and non-profit law, an EU set of rules that benefits European civil society by protecting, uniting and motivating it. … A European association status with clearly defined rules for foundation, non-profit status and dissolution would remove European associations from the patchwork of national uncertainties and submit them to a uniform and safe European standard as a protective shield. … Since discussions about acceptance and legitimacy of the EU as seen by its citizens, it is about more than politics: it is about civil society networking! European citizens’ togetherness can only be achieved through a cross-border self-conception, through opportunities to think and form associations and non-profit organisations across borders.