Civil Society and Governance in Europe
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Civil Society and Governance in Europe

From National to International Linkages

Edited by William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth

The contributors to this new book analyse the opportunities for civil society associations to contribute to European integration and decision-making from various perspectives. The research demonstrates that the Europeanization process – in terms of civil society actors adapting to the European political space – has an uneven development.
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Chapter 3: The Associational Impact on Attitudes Towards Europe: A Tale of Two Cities

William A. Maloney and Jan W. Deth


William A. Maloney and Jan W. van Deth 3.1 INTRODUCTION The EU White Paper on Governance CEC, 2001, outlined the need to stimulate a more engaged and vibrant European civil society.1 The policymaking process is to be made more open, transparent and participatory, and is to involve a wider range of actors from varying institutional and territorial levels – that is, from Eurogroups to local groups. The key aim is to ‘bring citizens closer to the European Union and its institutions and to encourage them to engage more frequently with its institutions . . . [and] to stimulate initiatives by bodies engaged in the promotion of active and participatory citizenship’ Official Journal 2004: 30/7–37/8). Sloat (2003: 130) cites a speech from Commissioner Prodi to the European Parliament in February 2000 in which he ‘called for a civic participation in all stages of the policymaking process’.2 The Commission believes that the legitimacy of the EU would be greatly enhanced through the encouragement of greater and more meaningful citizen involvement (CEC, 2004b: 12) – and it has idealistic (strong democracy-type – Barber, 1984) expectations. As Michalowitz (2004: 152) notes: the Commission demands a certain ‘inner democracy’ including the expectation of a civil society organisation to ‘itself follow the principles of good governance’. The expectation is that groups should be open and internally democratic purely to enhance a thriving EU democracy. This requirement essentially means having transparency of internal decision-making processes and a guarantee that all members have the opportunity to have some input into a decision.3...

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