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July 11, 2018

Video Policy Brief: French and Dutch NGOs and the Foreign NGO Law

Asia Dialogue recently posted a series of “video policy briefs” looking at implementation of the Foreign NGO Law in China. Each video looks at a different country or aspect of the Law’s implementation. The following is focused on how groups from France and The Netherlands are able to work under the Foreign NGO Law. The original post is available on the Asia Dialogue website.


The overall findings from our research about how China’s new law for international NGOs has impacted NGOs from the Netherlands and France is mixed. Basically, some NGOs have managed to register without major issues and experienced no interruption to their work in China, while others are either still waiting for registration or have not been able to register at all.

In the case of France, NGOs which work in the non-political areas of trade promotion, health, education, or sports have been able to register without difficulties; examples are the French Football Federation or the Consumer Goods Forum. However, another NGO, which has been working on Chinese-European intellectual exchanges and political dialogues for many years, does not have any prospect of registering and for now is not able to continue its previous work. Under the current political climate, it seems like game over for this NGO.

In the case of the Netherlands, the NGO Agriterra, which provides technical support, training, and consulting in the agriculture sector, has successfully registered with the Chongqing Agriculture Committee. In this case, the registration allowed to formalize and professionalize the relationship with the Chinese partners and improve project implementation and reduce costs.

Being a large international NGO has not necessarily guaranteed success in registration. The French branch of the organization Handicap International registered successfully with the China Disabled Person’s Federation in June 2017, while an international environmental NGO with headquarters in the Netherlands and offices in Beijing is still waiting to complete their registration.

Patrick Schroeder is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies.

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Patrick Schroeder is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He previously worked as a Senior International Advisor to the China Association for NGO...

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