Great opportunities created for NGOs in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree facilitating the issuance of grants by the foreign donors to the Azerbaijani Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Under the decree, starting from January 1, 2017, the “single window” principle will be applied to the procedure for issuance of grants by the foreign donors to the NGOs in Azerbaijan. 
 
The above-mentioned decree signed by the President will allow simplifying the operation of the `3rd sector` and the elimination of administrative and legal problems. Besides, the decree will open great opportunities for the development of the Civil society institutions. As the decree allows the Non-Governmental Organizations to get grants more easily, they will be provided with the necessary financial support to implement their projects. 
 
The government of Azerbaijan steadily cooperates with the NGOs and takes serious steps in the resolution of the issues raised. The latest decree is one of them. This decree also shows that there is a dialogue between the Government and NGOs. 
 
The proposals package was submitted to the government regarding the final results of the meeting of the Civil Society Platform for the Promotion of Open Government Partnership dated October 3, 2013. Those proposals were examined and adopted. 
 
One of the challenges which NGOs and foreign donors face was difficult procedure for obtaining the opinion on the expenditure of the grants as regards finance and economy. Now the procedure is being simplified. Moreover, the discussions are being held to identify a possibility of the implementation of the procedure relying on the appeal of both foreign donors and recipients. 
 
The problems were solved in regard with the state registration of 17 Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Coalition member organizations and enrollment of the relevant documents of those organizations. The grant contracts of 5 NGOs were registered with the state and provided with the notifications.
 
Compromises and solved problems do not come to an end. Tax and banking problems as well as limitations on the accounts of the Coalition member organizations were completely eliminated. Furthermore, lawsuits filed against those member organizations were dropped. In short, we do not have any practical problems. 
 
The government is interested in the development of the Civil Society Institutions by supporting the NGOs and taking these kinds of measures. In this fashion, the government shows support for the organization and funding of the events which are being held by those institutions. The support is bidirectional: Azerbaijan helps the NGOs through its specialized state organizations and the foreign aid is being facilitated.