Civil society plays a crucial role in societal and political development, creating the political and social space for collaborations that are based on the core values of trust, service and the collective good. The role of civil society organisations (CSOs) has evolved significantly and will continue to change in the future. Their capacity to contribute to political and societal development will rely on diverse factors, including funding, technological developments and the increasing role of social media.
This publication provides an analysis of the main challenges faced by CSOs, of the trends and drivers of change and of the future prospects for relations between policy-makers at the national and European level and CSOs. This study was developed with the purpose of examining what might await European CSOs in the next years until 2030, what are the main challenges and how these should be tackled.
Based on desk research of recent analyses and studies, series of interviews with representatives of academia, European and national CSO platforms and members of EESC and pan-European survey, it identifies major societal trends that have been most affecting European CSOs in the last five years: demographic changes, economic crisis, digitalisation, populism and shrinking of civic space.