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Governance and Civil Society at the EU Level

Keywords: governance , civil society , democracy , accountability , European Union

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Abstract:

In their article, the authors deal with the role of civil society as a factor of European democratic governance. Democratic governance is perceived as an ‘extended polyarchy’ that refers both to the electoral dimension of accountability and to the mechanisms of permanent control over power-holders through institutional balance of power. The authors examine specifics of governance and civil society at the EU level, claiming that participatory democracy is unrealistic at the EU level, which holds also for citizens’ engagement in civil society organized at EU level. They argue that civil society organized at the EU level can contribute to higher accountability of the Union’s institutions, but in a specific way, less through enhancing political engagement of citizens and linking them to political institutions but more through mutual control of different societal actors that would foster greater transparency of political process.

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