This publication is the executive summary of the study "Finding a new consensus on European civil society values and their evaluation".
Do civil society organisations in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, and Poland share a common understanding of the values of democracy, the rule of law, and solidarity? This research shows that CSOs tend to converge in their definitions of these values, even if they display more diverse interpretations of solidarity than of democracy and the rule of law. It also reveals that CSOs recognise the crucial role that the civil sector plays in promoting these values. Yet CSOs face diverse challenges in doing so, relating especially to restricted access to funding, technological and generational change, and above all unfavourable political environments. Government and civil society itself are becoming more confrontational, more political and less open to compromise in all countries studied, with CSOs in the South and East describing their situation, perception of values and future outlook less positively than CSOs in the West. The future will require cooperation and innovation from both civil society and governments at all levels if CSOs are to be able to continue defending our Union of values. This paper presents proposals and recommendations from CSOs themselves and from the research team.