Important legal gain for all NGOs about receiving foreign grants
On 28th of February 2016 The State Council administrative court issued a very important verdict for non-governmental organizations about case number 58601 for the year 2016 which was raised by the United Group in 2012 as an agent for Dr. AmalAbd El Hady,the then, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of New women foundation against Minister of Social Affairs and others.
It was the first verdict recognizing the eligibility of NGOs to receive foreign aid and speaking clearly about the administrative body’s authority in this matter; and obliges her to respond to the organization with acceptance or refusal of aid or fund during a specific period of time expressing reasons for rejection. It also identified administrative body’s authority in case of refusal;she can not reject funding as long as the project presented by the organization is not contrary to public order or public morals. The verdict considers the developmental and social role ofNGOs consistent with what was stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and the provisions of the law.The verdict establishes principles that build fair relationship between NGOs and administrative bodies in this regard.
New Women Foundation believes that this verdict is a victory for all NGOs at a time when human rights organizations are under heavy onslaught and deliberate defamation for receiving foreign funds.
This verdict also comes at a time when the government is preparing a new project for civil work in Egypt and this means that the government and the Parliament have to follow the constitution, this verdict and all the other court rulings which establish the basic principles of respect for the right to organize and give civil societies the right to manage its affairs on a democratic basis without the intervention of the administrative authorities in its affairs.
What we need now is to open a real and serious societal dialogue, without exclusion of anyone, to discuss the status and role of civil society and its relationship to the different institutions of the state. This helps to create an atmosphere which allows efficient management of the country, especially at this challenging moment we are going through.