Civil Rights and EU Citizenship
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Civil Rights and EU Citizenship

Challenges at the Crossroads of the European, National and Private Spheres

Edited by Sybe de Vries, Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger

The process of European integration has had a marked influence on the nature and meaning of citizenship in national and post-national contexts as well as on the definition and exercise of civil rights across Member States. This original edited collection brings together insights from EU law, human rights and comparative constitutional law to address this underexplored nexus.
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Chapter 4: The role of civil society organisations

Javier A. González Vega


This chapter discusses the role played by civil society in public affairs, taking into consideration its real and/or presumed involvement in global, EU and national structures and processes, and paying attention to the identification of such actors and their purported legitimacy. The normative framework related to civil society actors is then examined through a multilevel analysis, paying special attention to EU participatory democracy tools relevant to civil rights standard setting, especially European Citizen Initiatives. Next, a general picture is provided of existing civil society organisations across the EU involved in the protection of civil rights in Member States, describing the ways through which they can influence legislation and their main strategies to set up and enforce those rights; namely, association, freedom of expression and the right to privacy. Finally, it concludes by indicating possible gaps and deficiencies restraining the performance of civil society actors.

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