Table of Contents

Handbook on Third Sector Policy in Europe

Handbook on Third Sector Policy in Europe

Multi-level Processes and Organized Civil Society

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jeremy Kendall

While scholarship on the social, economic and political contributions of organisations existing between the market and the state has proliferated in recent years, no sustained attention has previously been paid to how such organisations are collectively treated by, and respond to, public policy. The expert contributors examine the policy environment for, and evolving policy treatment of, the third sector in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom from a comparative perspective. They also look at how the third sector relates to multi-level European policy processes, including the Open Method of Co-ordination, the Community Method, nationally-led ‘partnership’ approaches within an overall EU framework and the United Nations International Year of Volunteering; an initiative implemented in the EU but originating externally.

Chapter 9: The Third Sector and the Policy Process in the Czech Republic: Self-Limiting Dynamics

Pavol Fri

Subjects: social policy and sociology, comparative social policy

Extract

Pavol Frič 9.1 Introduction From a legal point of view, the third sector in the Czech Republic includes civil associations, foundations, foundation funds, public benefit corporations, churches and church-run organizations. Despite the impressive growth in the number of these nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) after the Communist Party lost its monopoly of power in 1989, the size of the third sector in the Czech Republic remains relatively limited. On an international scale, the level of third sector activity is below average (Salamon et al., 1999).1 On the other hand, in comparison with the other countries of Central Europe, the Czech Republic’s third sector is by far the most developed. Although the contribution of the third sector to the economy is relatively small (estimated between 1.8 and 2.2 per cent of GDP), the sector has become an important employer. In 2000 it employed 1.8 per cent of the Czech workforce (Frič et al., 2004). In 2003 almost half (47 per cent) of adult Czech citizens proved that they were members of NGOs (Vajdová, 2004). The largest number of members belonged to sport and leisure organizations (16 per cent) and community development and housing organizations (15 per cent) followed by trade unions (10 per cent), culture (7 per cent) and organizations relating to the churches (6 per cent) (Frič, 2003). The proportion of the workforce employed in the so-called expressive fields – culture, sport and recreation, professional, environmental and advocacy – is even higher than in the Western countries (Salamon et al., 2003). Under the...

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