Challenges at the Crossroads of the European, National and Private Spheres
Edited by Sybe de Vries, Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger
Chapter 4: The role of civil society organisations
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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