Feb 28, 2012
Journal name not available for this finding
Research (Bartal 2005, Kuti 1998, Jenkins 1997, Kakai 2009, Szakal 2004, Narai 2008, Reisinger 2010) has shown that civil and non-profit organisations have a significant role in shaping democracies, in developing local social life and in strengthening the social capital. Civil and non-profit organisations show importance not only in social and economic life but also in development policies. The focus of this study is on those organisations which can take an active part in development processes, thus also in the European cohesion policy. In the cohesion policy field, organisations may have a role in two ways: at local, regional and national levels: shaping development policies at a European level: shaping the cohesion policy. By this approach, not all civil and non-profit organisations can and should be part in the development process. Only organisations without financial or functional problems should and can be active in participating in the life of a settlement or a region. Civil and non-profit organisations can take part in the cohesion policy in various ways: they can be a communication channel between decision-makers and citizens they can create jobs they can connect to European networks through EU projects they can manage EU projects they can contribute to development with their financial support they can be part of cross-border co-operations they can strengthen the citizens’ European identity they can create new innovative resources, etc. How can the role of the civil and non-profit organisation be made more effective? According to a report published by the European Commission in 2010, it is most important to strengthen partnerships among regions. The local development context plays a big part, as was already emphasised by the Barca Report (2009). One of the most important tasks is to give a more active role to the local and regional levels and to find communication methods which can serve these goals. The European Economic and Social Committee urges to compile a Good Practices Handbook to help organisations find the most suitable methods at the local level. In the author's opinion, civil and non-profit organisations will assume a more significant role in formulating the cohesion policy of the future, not only because this is also suggested by European Union documents, but also because the social and economic processes are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, efficient decision-making processes need both decision-makers and civil and non-profit organisations, because the latter know the situation at local and regional levels. Civil and non-profit organisations are essential when it comes to knowing and applying participatory methods appropriate for communicating the opinions of the citizens. Accordingly, only those organisations should be involved which represent not only their members but also the citizens of the region in question. This makes them more effective both on the national and the supranational level.