European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations

(ETS No. 124)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, on 24 April 1986.

Entry into force: 1 January 1991.

Summary of the treaty

Under this Convention, Parties agree to recognise "as of right" the legal personality and capacity as acquired in a Party where that organisation has its statutory offices.

In order to benefit from the provisions of the Convention, an international non-governmental organisation must:

– have a non profit-making aim of international utility;
– have been established by an instrument governed by the internal law of a Party;
– carry on substantive activities in at least two Parties;
– have its statutory office in the territory of a Party and central management and control in that State or in another Party.

The Convention establishes rules on the proof to be furnished to the authorities in the Party where the recognition is sought, and sets out exceptional cases in which a Party may refuse recognition, for instance where activities of the organisation in question contravene national security, public safety, or is detrimental to the prevention of disorder or crime, etc.).