Government – civil society relations

In terms of change and continuous democratic developments and in terms of promoting innovative forms of governance, the drafting of sustainable public policies and the provision of social services cannot continue to be an exclusive right of political representatives. They need competent partners outside of public institutions which would help them in creating effective public policies and in the implementation of the same. In this process, a unique role can be attributed to the civil society, be that in initiating, organizing or leading comprehensive debates to address priority requests from the citizens or in providing and supplementing social services for the citizens.

The manner of structuring the cooperation between the Government and civil society sector vary from country to country, depending on the political and socio-economic circumstances. The main forms of structuring relations between the government and civil society are: governmental strategies for cooperation and development of civil society sector – documents these for which the responsibility for implementation belongs to the government – and agreements or bilateral strategies for cooperation where the responsibility is shared between the Government and civil societies – in these cases the civil society is mostly represented by one or more networks of the civil society organizations which are a party to the agreement and share responsibility for the implementation of activities that stem from the respective document for cooperation.