The aim of the second research group is to contribute to a better understanding of European policy tools and to develop proposals for optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of European multilevel governance. Furthermore, the research group seeks to analyse the challenges and opportunities of civil society organisations in European structures of governance in the context of democracy theory.
The group’s three leading research questions are:
- How do civil society organisations in different European countries make governing in certain policy fields more effective and efficient?
- What do civil society organisations contribute to social, cultural and leisure time services in the context of Europeanization?
- In European comparison and at the organizational level, what risks and opportunities result from the inclusion of civil society organisations in new concepts of governance?
The first research group primarily aimed at analysing whether and how civil society organisations from post-socialist countries (Central and Eastern European countries) are integrated into the multi-level system of the European Union. The research was determined by two major perspectives: a democracy-theoretical perspective on the one hand and a policy-analytical on the other. The group’s main focus was on:
- The representation and participation of civil society actors from CEE countries in the civil dialogue and umbrella organisations (Eurofeds) at the EU-level and their ability to successfully put through their specific interest
- The Third Sector’s ability to cope with the withdrawal of external financial support by the EU and American foundations to maintain their multifunctionality as social service providers and as an important actor in fostering local social integration. Special attention will be given to the volunteering and donating habits of the citizens.
- The significance of civil society organisations in the reform process of public administration and welfare provision, especially in the fields of health care and social security.
- The effects of the European trend of privatising welfare services on civil society organisation in the CEE countries and the organisations’ ability to make them heard within Eurofeds such as the Social Platform.
The results of the first group will be published in autumn 2007 at Nomos publishers, Baden-Baden.
Download the short version of the project proposal.