COMMENTS BY THE DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO CHINA FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION OF CHINA’S LAW ON THE MANAGEMENT OF FOREIGN NGO ACTIVITIES WITHIN MAINLAND CHINA (04/05/2016)
“The Delegation of the European Union to China takes note of the adoption of China’s Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Governmental Organisations’ Activities Within Mainland China.
The European Union supports the promotion of law-based governance in China and, together with its Member States, welcomed the opportunity to submit comments to the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. We indicated at the time that there were some fundamental flaws in the draft under consultation. As a result, the draft law provided very little legal certainty, which we understand is the overarching principle, and this risked making the law arbitrary and unenforceable.
We see that although some revisions have been made to the final text, many of our most pertinent comments and recommendations are not reflected in the adopted law; in particular, regarding the proposed establishment of an ‘unwelcome list’ of organisations banned from carrying out activities in China and the fact that the law provides state authorities with virtually unlimited authority to monitor and interfere with NGO affairs.
The Delegation of the European Union to China is concerned that the new law is likely to hamper the development of civil society in China and the contribution of non-governmental organisations to China’s development. It will also have a negative impact on people-to-people exchanges between the EU and China.
Attention will now shift to the implementation phase. We urge the Chinese authorities to provide a safe and fair environment and transparent processes which allow NGOs to operate freely and effectively in China. We stand ready to engage with the Chinese authorities to this effect.”