The Third sector reform guidelines have been put into effect, involving more than 300 000 associative, cooperative and voluntary organisations, as well as more than six million volunteers.
The guidelines were announced three years ago. After fruitful debate with the committees of the two chambers, the Council of Ministers finally approved the legislative decrees of the reform. These decrees are on the third sector code, social enterprise and charitable tax-free donations.
The new legislation provides the third sector with EUR 190 million to be invested to devise new taxes, create an innovation fund, develop social bonuses, launch solidarity securities and increase the civil service fund by 2018.
A new tool, the Third sector single registry, will play an essential role in the new regulation. It will be created, managed and updated by the regions through the use of a unique national platform. The purpose of this tool will be to overcome the fragmentation of caused by the many existing registries. Access to the project’s funds, charitable tax-free donations and tax incentives will only be possible on registration.
The social enterprise decree will enable social enterprises (fair trade, social housing, new credit, and social agriculture) to be benefited by the tax deductible measures that already apply for technological innovation start-ups. Through this measure, 30% of the investment in such enterprises can be tax deductible.
Social enterprises will also benefit from the launch of the Guarantee fund, with a budget of EUR 200 million. Through this the government intends to invest in social innovation in response to many new needs linked to population aging, migrant integration, development of lifelong learning and the inclusion of the most vulnerable citizens
The decree for charitable tax-free donations will introduce innovative resource allocation criteria and transparent procedures for the distribution of available funds to beneficiaries. The structural reform started with the 2015 Budget Law, which allocated EUR 500 million per year for this cause.