(European Civic Academy) – Dialogue between civil society and institutions: lost in translation?





Event from the European Civic Academy, entitled "Dialogue between civil society and institutions: lost in translation?" CDT's Iverna McGowan moderates.

Session 2: Dialogue between civil society and institutions: lost in translation?

Date: 02 June 2021
Time: 15:00-18:00 CEST, Zoom

Programme here.

Registration here.

In many countries and at the European level, dialogue between institutions and civil society is often weak when not absent. Governments and institutions often praise consultation with individuals through online processes at the detriment of dialogue
with the collective approaches brought by organisations and movements. The role expected from organised civil society is often restricted to service delivery. In some countries, Governments are even establishing “their” NGOs in order to side-line independent ones.

For policymakers to protect the common good, there is a need to ensure the proper functioning of civil dialogue at the central and local level. The management of the COVID-19 crisis by institutions could be an opportunity for change. Close cooperation and dialogue often developed with local authorities, concerning mostly local actions, is a promising example, but often not replicated at the national level.

  • Being an intermediary body between citizens and institutions, how can organised civil society contribute to rebuilding trust in democracy and institutions? What can we learn from the situations where public authorities and civil society’s dialogue seems to work? How can we ensure that rebuilding trust also takes a European dimension? How can the Conference for the Future of Europe involve civil society to close the gap between citizens’ demands and policy outcomes?
  • What are the tools and means to bring people’s voices to the institutions when civil dialogue channels are not functioning? How can civil society reclaim a political voice without being dismissed as a partisan actor? What are the lessons to be learned from civic activism that created political platforms?

Welcome: Presentation of European Civic Forum & Civil Society Europe study on civil dialogue.

Scene setting: the role of civil society as a mediator and source of trust

Discussion with:

  • Prof. Dr. Christian Lahusen, Professor of Comparative CulturalSociology and Political Sociology in Europe, University of Siegen
  • Patrizia Heidegger, Civil Society Europe.

Moderated by Dr. Frank Heuberger, National Network for Civil Society, Germany.

Break-out groups*

Reactions and Q&A Session with:

  • Julien Mousnier, Head of Unit Citizens, Equality, Democracy and Rules of Law, Secretariat General, European Commission.
  • Mikael Leyi, Secretary General, SOLIDAR.
  • Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Chair of the School of Transnational Governance, Professor of International Affairs, European University Institute.

Moderated by Iverna Mc Gowan, Secretary General & Director, Europe Centre for Democracy and Technology.