Public authorities will be able to exempt CSOs from rent
22.05.2020

In the letter of 6 April sent by the Civic Alliance - Latvia to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Parliament, we called for amendments to the law and establishing that the associations and foundations affected by the crisis are supported just like other taxpayers.

At the meeting of the working group of the Ministry of Finance on April 27, support mechanisms for civil society organizations were discussed, as a result, it was decided to hold separate meetings under the leadership of Minister of Finance Mr. Reirs to expand possible support mechanisms for the CSOs in the crisis and post-crisis period. It was also conceptually supported that two additional support measures could be launched already this week:

1) discounts on rent for state-owned premises;

2) improvements in the regulation of financial donations.

The first meeting took place on 29 April, where Kristīne Zonberga and Mārtiņš Šteins presented the necessary urgent support mechanisms and long-term support measures in the post-crisis period so that the non-governmental sector could "recover". As a result, two new support measures for civil society organizations were submitted to the Parliament for approval:

1. public authorities will be able to exempt associations and foundations from lease payments;
2. donors will be able to donate 5% of the previous year's profit as before (without a target) + 3% of the previous year's profit for Covid-19 containment purposes. In total, accounting for 8% of profits.

The next meeting will take place on 6 May, where discussions on additional support mechanisms specifically for associations and foundations will continue.

Also on 6 May, Citizenship, Migration and Social Cohesion Commission meeting agenda also includes the issue of Latvian CSO activities during the emergency situation, where the director of CAL Kristīne Zonberga will present the current summary of information about the impact of Covid-19 to the non-governmental sector, the support mechanisms introduced so far and what is still necessary.

We remind you that Kristīne Zonberga, Director of the Civic Alliance - Latvia, represents the interests of the non-governmental sector pursuant to the decision of 22 April of the Memorandum Council in the working group established on behalf of the Prime Minister Mr. Kariņš and chaired by the Minister of Finance Jānis Reirs for the support of business and labour for the speedy remedy of the economic consequences of COVID-19 caused by the corona virus. Ms. Zonberga represents the most effective and sector-specific proposals jointly agreed by the civil society organizations.