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The crisis in which the private sector in Romania has already entered will tear down, in a domino effect, the civil society and the entire non-governmental sector.

With programs supported by sponsorships and private funding, Romanian NGOs, many of which are carrying out actions in support of the population and the authorities, will face in the economic context expected financial blockages and the specter of permanent cessation of activity.

Thus, the end of the public health crisis will be one in which tens, hundreds of social and cultural programs will no longer be able to take place, at a time when Romania will have the greatest need for civil society to drive the rebuilding of the mood of Romanians.

In this context, the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society (FDCS) publishes a position paper based on the views expressed by over 130 NGOs across the country and supported by over 80 organizations, a document that draws attention to the fact that civil society, in turn, needs support measures, at least as strong as those granted or envisaged to support SMEs.

Visible in the period of major crisis that the whole society is currently going through, especially through its ability to mobilize resources that are mainly used to support the public sector, the Romanian non-governmental sector needs, in turn, to be included by the Romanian state among the professional sectors deeply affected by the current pandemic and which need structural support, in order to adapt and actively contribute to solving the social problems generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Non-governmental organizations make sustained efforts during this period to pursue their mission, to fulfill their obligations as a responsible employer in the context of restrictive measures imposed by the emergency situation, but more than that, to ensure continuity in service delivery in the most disadvantaged areas from the country, to vulnerable groups whose needs are not covered by other entities at the moment, or in areas where the expertise and inter-relationship skills of the human resource in the sector can support public institutions to manage this critical period.

Among the measures requested are:

  • Setting up an emergency fund, with European money, for the community activities that non-governmental organizations provide during this period, in support of local authorities that cannot cover the needs of all vulnerable citizens;
  • Exemption from the payment of the tax on income from salaries and social contributions (CAS, CASS and CAM) for a period of 6 months, with the possibility of extension;
  • Granting a monthly subsidy amounting to 75% of the average gross salary, for legal entities employers without patrimonial purpose, who can continue their activity during the state of emergency, but do not have the necessary financial resources to pay the salaries;
  • Monthly allowance amounting to 75% of the average gross salary, in case the legal entities employers without patrimonial purpose are forced to suspend the employment contracts during the state of emergency;
  • Applying the same measures to maintain funding for the remuneration of non-governmental organizations’ personnel carrying out activities similar to the public system’s personnel (in areas such as health, social assistance, education, social inclusion, culture, etc.);
  • Maintaining intact the subsidies for non-governmental organizations providing social services, granted under Law no. 34/1998;
  • Urgent payment of all debts or reimbursements that the state has to make to non-governmental organizations (such as the payment of allowances for medical leave, etc.);
  • Postponement of payment for utility services, as well as postponement of payment of rent for the building intended as headquarters and secondary offices, throughout the establishment of the state of emergency, similar to the facility for SMEs under GEO no. 29/2020.

We publish this position paper to argue the need for state support measures to avoid blocking the work of non-governmental organizations and to ensure the continuity of the services they provide, including by serving vulnerable groups in critical need during this periodsays Ionuț Sibian, executive director, Foundation for the Development of Civil Society.

The position paper was sent to the President of Romania, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection and the Minister of Public Finance on March 24, and can be accessed HERE. Non-governmental organizations wishing to join the initiative can express their support HERE.

The questionnaire underlying the position paper can be furtherfilled in HERE by any non-governmental organization in Romania.

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