Multi-level Processes and Organized Civil Society
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Edited by Jeremy Kendall
Chapter 9: The Third Sector and the Policy Process in the Czech Republic: Self-Limiting Dynamics
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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