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 11: European Union Support for Civil Society in the Baltic States

Susan Stewart


Susan Stewart 11.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an assessment of EU activities that have affected the development of civil society in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the early 1990s to the present, focusing particularly on the period 1998–2004. In order to assess these activities we will examine three issues: 1) the contextual conditions specific to the Baltic states, 2) the structural changes in civil society brought about inter alia by EU involvement and 3) the transfer of values and norms promoted by the EU and their incorporation into the Baltic context. These latter two issues will be addressed primarily within the period during which the Baltic states were candidate members to the EU. However, in the conclusion we will also provide some tentative remarks on changes in funding programmes and instruments, and the consequences thereof, which can be observed or anticipated in the post-accession phase. In the case of the Baltic states, it is important to keep in mind that the developments analysed here occur in a context of ongoing democratization. While the academic literature offers no consensus on when democratic consolidation can be considered complete (see for example Linz and Stepan 1996), and the current debate on the ‘democratic deficit’ in the EU highlights the need for continuing concern with democratic developments even in consolidated environments, it is nonetheless significant that the Baltic countries were part of the Soviet Union (and thereby an authoritarian regime) as little as fifteen...

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