Association

People in Italy are free to form and join associations and this right is guaranteed by law. Civil society organisations do not face legal obstacles with regard to official registration, they are easy to set up and are able to receive and use financial resources without interference. Associations can be either recognised or non-recognised. A recognised association is set up by public deed and must be registered with the competent register of legal persons trough a complex and expensive process. Non-recognised organisations, despite not having full legal capacity, are still legally constituted and can obtain tax concessions upon registration with the tax authority. A new law passed in 2016 simplifies the procedures for organisations to obtain legal personality. The law also aims to restructure civil society regulation through a Third Sector Code, where the development of a single register is included. Re-organisation of tax relief and economic support measures for third sector organisations is also proposed. Human rights defenders sometimes face restrictions including judicial harassment and threats, especially those working with the Roma minority in Italy or with refugees and migrant workers. In 2018, reports by Amnesty and the Trans National Institute describe the criminalisation of solidarity by CSOs in Italy. Pressure was particularly strong on Search and Rescue (SAR) NGOs.

.