European cross-border associations

EESC opinion: European cross-border associations

EESC opinion on:

  • the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1024/2012 and (EU) 2018/1724 as regards the use of the Internal Market Information System and the Single Digital Gateway for the purposes of certain requirements laid down by Directive (EU) .../... of the European Parliament and of the Council on European cross-border associations - COM (2023) 515 – final - 2023/0314 (COD), and
  • the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on European cross-border associationsCOM (2023) 516 – final - 2023/0315 (COD)

Key points


  • welcomes the European Commission's proposal to facilitate the cross-border activities of non-profit associations in the EU by creating a new legal form of "European cross-border association". It advises the co-legislators to move swiftly towards its adoption;
  • recognises the difficulties that non-profit associations and entities face in participating in the internal market and recommends that the Commission and the Member States remove the legal and administrative obstacles, thereby promoting the role that these associations play in the EU when it comes to generating economic and social value;
  • recognises the potential of non-profit organisations in the context of the single market and stresses the need to foster the creation of a European ecosystem for this kind of entity in order to make the single market more "social";
  • welcomes the Commission's proposal to introduce an additional legal form of European cross-border association (ECBA) in Member States' national legal systems to reduce the legal and administrative burdens involved in the recognition and establishment of non-profit associations carrying out activities in another Member State;
  • proposes that all organisations that meet ECBA criteria, and have their registered office in the European Union, should be able to acquire ECBA status. This includes organisations that have members of the executive body who are natural persons residing in non-EU countries, especially when such members reside in European Economic Area countries;
  • recommends that, in accordance with the principles of democracy and freedom of association, the statutes of the organisations themselves and of their partners should be able to freely determine the different types of membership of associations and how voting rights work;
  • supports and welcomes the creation of an ECBA certificate, which will allow this new legal form to be recognised throughout the EU, once the ECBA has been registered in a Member State; nevertheless, it recommends that classification and registration systems be improved by setting up comparable databases.

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