Civil society in Moldova lacks people and money

A difference should be made between the nongovernmental organizations working for their own benefit and the public utility ones, the executive director of the National Assistance and Information Center for NGOs of Moldova “Contact” Serghei Neicovcen stated. Contacted by IPN, the expert said that the relevant legal provisions are not put into practice. The only concession enjoyed by the public utility organizations is the fact that they can obtain areas at special prices, but this happens very seldom.

According to Serghei Neicovcen, a series of amendments were made to the Tax Code in 2012. Under them, the public utility organizations can ask to be exempted from taxes if they prove their utility degree. But these provisions are not respected. Many local organizations complain that they are not helped by the public authorities because they do not understand what public utility means. “The problems faced by the organizations include the lack of human resources and financing. Many NGOs do not manage to find skilled peeople for projects and it is hard to create a permanent team. In such conditions, many NGOs have only one member who is the organizations’ head, while the rest of the team consists of volunteers,” said Serghei Neicovcen.

He also said that another problem is the fact that the members of the NGOs are not motivated. The donors offer limited amounts of money and the organizations cannot provide at least minimum salaries to their members. Another aspect concerns the number of NGOs in Moldova. According to the Justice Ministry, there are about 10,000 organizations in Moldova, but there are no data about the working organizations and those that disappeared.

Serghei Neicovcen stated that Moldovan society perceives the NGOs as users of foreign funds and grants, while the opinion polls show that the level of trust in them is very low.  The reason is the lack of transparency in their activities. “In order to change the situation, in 2011 we staged the first Gala of NGO Transparency. Now we are looking for possibilities to organize the second such event. We also proposed an Ethics Code for nongovernmental organizations so as to increase the visibility of the NGO sector,” said the director of “Contact” Center.

Serghei Neicovcen added that every NGO should aim to become transparent so as to increase the society’s confidence and this can be done by publishing reports and information about all the steps taken and how the received financial resources were used.

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