Online Documents



The Commission and Civil Society The ESC and Civil Society Science and Society

The Commission and Civil Society

Communication of  2/12/1992

This early communication does not mention civil society at all but makes a distinction between
profit-making and non profit-making interest groups. Its' attempts to induce interests groups to adopt self-regulation was not very sucessful which made further regulatory proposals (see below) necessary.

The Commission and Non-Governmental Organisations: Building a Stronger Partnership

This document is not explicitly about civil society in general either. However, as NGOs are considered an important part of civil society the issues discussed are often pertinent to civil society in general. The paper gives an overview of the existing relations between the Commission and NGOs, provides a rationale for including these organisations in the decision making process and outlines problems in the relations and ways to improve them.

Report of Working Group "Consultation and Participation of Civil Society" (Group 2a)

This is the report of a working group installed to prepare the Commission White Paper on European Governance. It contains an interesting analysis and several proposals, some of which have been taken up in the white paper and some others which have found their way into the new proposal on consultation rules.

Consultation Conducted for the Preparation of the White Paper on European Governance

This report is a showcase of the new transparency guidelines, outlining which and how consultations were conducted for the white paper.
Interesting for this study is particularly the involvement of civil society.

White Paper on European Governance

This final version of the white paper outlines several innovate ways to make the Commission more transparent and accountable. It also includes the (legally non-binding) committment to include civil society actors.

Consultation Document: Towards a Reinforced Culture of Consultation and Dialogue.

This document proposes minimum standards and general principles for the consultation process involving both profit and non-profit actors.

Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogue - General principles and
minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission

Final communication on minimum standards for consultation NEW

On the Experience Gained in the Application of Council Decision 97/872 on the Action Programme Promoting European Non-Governmental Organisations Primarily Active in the Field of Environmental Protection”. Com (2001)

Reviews the experience gained with partial funding of environmental NGOs by the Commission.

The Economic and Social Council and Civil Society

Voluntary Organisations and Foundations in Europe

This document highlights the importance of voluntaty organisations in Europe.

The Role and Contribution of Civil Society Organisations in the Building of Europe

This important document deals with conceptual matters and devlops a definition of civil society at the European Level. It has been quoted in several Commission proposals.

The Civil Society Organised at European Level. Proceedings of the First Convention

This monumental document (181 pages) includes the ESC document "The Role and Contribution of Civil Society Organisations in the Building of Europe" (see below), reports of the convention debates, the speeches of the opening plenary session and a summary of three workshops.

The Commission and Non-Governmental Organisations: Building a Stronger Partnership (Opinion)

This ESC Opinion on the Commission proposal sets out to warn against confusing civil dialogue and individual consultations and asserts its role in representing civil society. 

Organised Civil Society and European Governance: the Committes's Contribution to the Drafting of the White Paper.

The ESC's Contribution to the White Paper on European Governance sets out (among other things) criteria for representativeness of civil society organisations and sees civil dialogue as being of key importance for European governance.

European Governance - a White Paper

This opinion on the Commission's white paper criticises several passages of the Commission's White Paper on Governance.

Science & Society

Commission Working Document: Science, Society and the Citizen in Europe

Predecessor of the Science and Society Action Plan.

Commission Science and Society Action Plan

This innovate plan opens up new possibility for the participation of civil society (in a wider sense) in science policy.

EU The Sixth Multi-Annual Framework Programme

Outlines the main EU coordinated research efforts from 2002-2006. Includes socio-economic research and a section on "Science and Society".

Life Sciences and Biotechnology – A Strategy for Europe

A document with a strong emphasis on the necessity of public particpation in research.

Life Sciences and Biotechnology – A Strategy for Europe: Progress Report and Future Orientation.

This report sums up and evaluates activites up to 2003. NEW

Eurobarometer 55.2  Europeans, Science and Technology

Comprehensive study on how European's percieve science

House of Lords Science and Technology – Third Report

A review of the issues science policy is faced with, including a chapter on public participation.

Interacts - State of the Art Report

Report on Improving Interaction betweenNGOs, Universities, and Science Shops: Experiences and Expectations.

SPSG - STAGE Project: Consuming, Engaging and CConfronting Science: The Emerging Dimensions of Scientific Citizenship 

A discussion paper NEW

SPSG - STAGE Project: Changing Conceptions and Practices of Governance in Science and Technology in Europe: A Framework for Analysis

Second discussion paper of the STAGE project. NEW

N.B. More documents on science and goverance are available at CORDIS and JRC websites (see also: links)

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Disclaimer: This page provides only external links to important documents concerning civil society, the documents are not available on my server (geocities). Although they are taken from public websites copyright regulations may in some cases apply.
See also the disclaimer on the main website.