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The counter-lobby: civil society organizations do politics

Berlin, Germany

The counter-lobby: civil society organizations do politics

Berlin, Germany

Civil society organizations selflessly influence political decisions. In the view of the fiscal administration, a non-profit status can only be assigned to political engagement in exceptional cases. We want to change that.

J. Schwarz from Allianz "Rechtssicherheit f.polit.Willensbildung" | 
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About this project

Trade associations and other lobbyists influence political decisions for the benefit of their members – self-servingly. Civil society organizations, on the contrary, selflessly influence political decisions in order to…

  • make the voices of minorities heard
  • prevent (political) mistakes
  • ensure the protection of civil and human rights
  • contribute to a more just society.

In the view of the fiscal administration, a non-profit status can only be assigned to political engagement in exceptional cases. Many important purposes, for instance those concerning human rights or social justice, are not considered as non-profit. With its judgment about the organization Attac in February 2019, the Federal Fiscal Court, which is the highest German fiscal court, has reduced the opportunities for selfless political engagement even more. The German Bundestag has to adapt the law now!

The alliance “Rechtssicherheit für politische Willensbildung” (Legal Certainty for Political Will Formation) consists of more than 170 associations and foundations fighting together for the amendment of the rules concerning the non-profit status. Civil society is indeed non-profit: a diverse political civil society vitalizes our democracy. It encourages the formation of opinion and stimulates debates, which is of great public interest. It gives people the chance to actively take part in social and political activities. 

In addition to its members’ financial contributions, the alliance is dependent on donations to carry out its work. Lobbying costs money – especially when it comes to expertise and travel expenses. The alliance has an annual budget of approximately 140.000 euros – which is a fraction of what most self-serving lobby organizations have at their disposal. We need support to finance this budget and also for additional activities like press meetings and an increase in the number of our currently 2 ½ employees. 
Updated at 27. October 2020