Building bridges

Civil society organisations represent the interests of people that gather around specific characteristics and focus groups.

From the environment, to consumers, to workers, and those who are traditionally underrepresented in decision-making, civil society organisations (CSOs) bring the rights, needs and values of their constituencies to the attention of decision-makers.

Social Platform takes great pride in the diversity and competence of our membership; indeed, the privileged relationship we enjoy with the European institutions is down to the breadth and variety of our members’ expertise in the social field. This is why we make sustained efforts to promote members’ ownership over our activities and engagement in our network. We also aim to foster debate and mutual learning by engaging with EU civil society and other stakeholders working in a range of sectors.

Read more about our various alliances here.

Linking with the grassroots level

Our members represent thousands of thousands of local and national NGOs working directly with people in vulnerable situations whose voices are rarely heard in EU-level decision-making. The policy recommendations and inspiring practices of their members form the basis of our own positions. To ensure that we keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening at national level, we make regular visits to EU Member States to bring together our members’ national members; not only does this allow us to learn more about inspiring practices being carried out on the ground, it also allows national members to network  and discover new opportunities for cooperation.

Interested in our national visits? Read more about our trips to Sweden, Spain and London.

Civil dialogue

Heads of State and Government represent the whole population of their country, politicians the population of their constituencies, and trade unionists different types of workers. However, although people may be voters or workers, they also have demands that are not necessarily the focus of political parties or trade unions. This is why there is a strong need for a civil dialogue that can enrich our representative democracies with participatory democracy.

We advocate for four principles to promote civil society participation in decision-making processes in a way that allows us to have a real impact:

  1. The right to be consulted in decision-making
  2. The need for a transparent and open decision-making process
  3. The need for a protective regulatory and financial framework for civil society organisations
  4. The institutional recognition of the importance of civil dialogue

Read more in our position paper.