Quarterly report on advocacy 4/2023

25. Jan 2024

In the fourth quarter, a new head of NENO was elected, we started to measure our advocacy capacity and set our plans for the new year.

The European Commission has a plan to allow the creation of transnational NGOs across the EU, which would allow one association to operate with the same legal body in several EU member states. The aim of the change is to facilitate the transnational operation of NGOs, as well as to reduce potential discrimination between associations in different member states. Consultations are ongoing with the Member States. We have forwarded our opinion to the Ministry of Justice and now are gathering more information and liaising with the Members of the EU Parliament who are leading on the issue.

On the 1st of November a meeting of the Advocacy Network took place, where we discussed the differences in the Strategic Partnership between ministries and the guidance material on NGO funding. The representative of the Ministry of the Interior, Marten Lauri, presented the Ministry’s plans to amend the guidance material on funding, which in turn gave NGOs the opportunity to formulate and communicate their views and opinions.

In the fourth quarter, the work of the working groups of the Ministry of Climate on the development of a climate law gained momentum. NENO is participating in the working groups, but in line with our statutory objectives, we’re mainly involved in discussions on issues related to inclusion, open government, civil society rights, etc. A number of NGOs in the sector are involved in the substantive discussions. For more information on the drafting of the climate law and the members of the working groups, click here. NENO is not convinced that the drafting logic envisaged today will deliver the best possible law, so we will continue to critically monitor the process and express our views, as well as consult with other NGOs contributing to the development of the law.

In December, we sent out an advocacy capacity measurement questionnaire to map the level of perceptions and skills related to advocacy capacity. Based on the results of the questionnaire, we will assess the bottlenecks in the advocacy capacity of organisations and better address future needs.

The European Commission has changed the scope of the pan-European NACE codes, which will result in changes to the Estonian EMTAK codes. We reviewed the changes and provided feedback on the NGO codes together with the Ministry of Interior.

Strategic partners from the Ministry of Social Affairs came together in November. During the meeting, NENO supported the formulation of NGO expectations and helped to lead the discussion on the agreements between the Ministry and the partners. It is gratifying to note that both the Ministry and the strategic partners are ready to respond better to each other’s expectations, and discussions will continue on these issues.

In the fourth quarter, the Steering Group on the involvement of private funding in the field of culture and sports, the Joint Committee on the ECSC, the Corruption Prevention Network, the Citizens’ Day Honour Badges Committee and the Steering Group for a Cohesive Estonia held meetings, where we contributed with advice and input. During 2023, we participated in a total of 64 meetings.

The quarter was rounded off with advocacy plans for the New Year. No major changes are planned for 2024, but the aim is to move forward on issues that have been stagnating for some time, such as extending strategic partnerships to new ministries, continuing with changes to the revision of the law on associations, renewing the environment for NGO funding, etc. The new year will be a year of change.

If you have any thoughts on what could be done better, or not be done at all, write to