Multi-level Processes and Organized Civil Society
Edited by Jeremy Kendall
Chapter 10: The European Statute of Association: Why Still an Obscure but Contested Symbol in a Sea of Indifference and Scepticism?
Jeremy Kendall and Laurent Fraisse Europe needs inspiration to take a further step towards its destiny as a Community. Nonprofit organizations are an opportunity to be taken in this respect. Inertia must be overcome and this opportunity must be boldly seized. (European Parliament, 1987, p. 7) 10.1 Introduction In a paper published in the mid-1990s in Voluntas, Ole Gjems-Onstad rhetorically posed the question of whether the idea of a European Association was a ‘symbol in need of friends’ (Gjems-Onstad, 1995). Over the decade that followed, the proposed Statute and accompanying regulation – which lay at the core of the Parliamentary proposals put forward a decade before that referred to in this chapter’s epigraph – has still intermittently remained on the European policy agenda. But despite an apparently more favourable environment created by general progress on European corporate law, and the passage of time with its opportunities for progress, the Statute was failing to secure support at member state level. By the end of 2008, the proposal’s prospects looked bleaker than ever, having been shunted off the European Commission’s agenda in the second half of 2006 under a ‘streamlining’-oriented British Presidency seeking to prioritize and simplify. From this moment, it has not even been under active consideration as a policy option by the EU’s technocratic apparatus since it has subsequently failed to be reinstated for review under the Presidencies that followed, including that of its most obvious supporter, France, in 2008. A horizontal third sector membership group, CEDAG (see below), tenaciously continued to...
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