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Participation of civil society in new modes of governance : the case of the new EU member states. Part 1: The state of civil society

Partizipation der Zivilgesellschaft in neuen Governance-Formen : der Fall der neuen EU-Mitgliedsstaaten ; Teil 1 ; der Zustand der Zivilgesellschaft

Pleines, Heiko (ed.)

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Corporate Editor Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen
Abstract "This working paper presents the first results produced by a research group examining the impact of the 2004 EU enlargement on governance structures involving the participation of civil society organisations. This research group is part of the NEWGOV Integrated Project, led by the European University Institute. This first working paper of the research group is devoted to the state of civil society in the new EU member countries with a socialist past, focusing on the capability of civil society organisations in these countries to participate in old and especially new modes of governance at the national as well as at the EU level. As participation in EU-organised or EU-designed modes of governance is of special importance for the project, the empirical analysis is based on the EU definition of civil society, to make sure that the group of actors covered by the project and by EU regulation is identical. According to the EU 'civil society includes the following groups: trade unions and employers organisations (social partners); organisations representing social and economic players which are not social partners in the strict sense of the term (for instance, association of pharmaceutic industry); non-governmental organisations which bring people together in common cause, such as environmental organisations, human rights organisations, charities, professional associations, grass roots organisations; organisations that involve citizens in local and municipal life with a particular contribution from churches and religious communities.' How this definition corresponds to ideas of civil society being discussed in academic research and what the theoretical and analytical consequences of these definitions are, when applied to post-socialist cases, is discussed by David Lane in his contribution on civil society and the imprint of state socialism. At the same time Lane gives an overview of the specific legacies influencing the development of civil society in post-socialist states. Michal Federowicz then presents a theoretical framework to describe the transformation process going on in post-socialist societies. He discusses changes in the different spheres of society, namely macro- and microeconomic levels, the state and civil society, in an integrated way. Thus he puts the position and functioning of civil society in the new EU member states in its societal context. The following contribution by Heiko Pleines moves on to analyse the role of civil society organisations in policy-making. He takes the examples of Poland and the Czech Republic and contrasts them with Russia in order to show differences within the group of post-socialist cases. In her case study of Czech civil society actors in the social dialogue Zdenka Mansfeldová then offers a closer examination of the role of civil society groups from new EU member states in new modes of governance. Her analysis of the different partners in the social dialogue compares the regional, national and EU level and includes a critical assessment of the ability of Czech civil society organisations to participate in the European social dialogue. As there is a huge amount of literature discussing the questions addressed in this working paper, a selected bibliography, compiled by Malgorzata Czerniak, is included to give an overview of recent research on the topic. With these five contributions this working paper tries to summarize the analysis of the state of civil society in the new EU member states, focusing on the capability of civil society organisations to engage in policy-making processes." (excerpt)
Keywords civil society; governance; EU; EU expansion; European social policy; EU member state; eastwards expansion; transformation; post-socialist country; political culture; political lawsuit; political actor; political decision; political influence; non-governmental organization; church; religious community; trade union; organizations; Poland; Czech Republic
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics; Macrosociology, Analysis of Whole Societies
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
City Bremen
Page/Pages 65 p.
Series Arbeitspapiere und Materialien / Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen, 67
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications