Social Media have clearly altered the nature of civil society and also have an impact on democratic and political engagement, particularly among civil society organisations.
This book argues that civil society, by which we mean associations, interest groups and the employers’and union organisations, is an essential pillar of democracy. During meetings with representatives of organised civil society, the writer has gathered a series of examples of how they have made their voices heard in the EU.
This report examines the extent to which European citizens engage in participatory
democracy, and the extent to which they believe that political decision-making can be
influenced through their own actions and through those of civil society organisations.
"From April 2012, European citizens will enjoy a new right, which will give them a stronger voice in EU affairs when the European Citizens’ Initiative enters into force. From that moment on, they will be able to express their demands in a new, unprecedented way. By collecting one million signatures across Europe, they can call upon the European Commission to propose or change European legislation. The European Economic and Social Committee has been an advocate of citizens’ rights to participate since the beginning of the European project.