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Following the Money: EU Funding of Civil Society Organizations

Mahoney, Christine and Beckstrand, Michael Joseph (2009) Following the Money: EU Funding of Civil Society Organizations. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    The literature on EU integration has long recognized that the European Commission has promoted a pan‐European civil society in order to increase the legitimacy of the supranational institutions. While we know the Commission fosters EU civil society by encouraging their formal and informal participation in the EU policymaking processes and by directly funding them (Mahoney 2004), we have, until now, known very little about just how much money the Commission has been granting EU civil society organizations and to which segments of European civil society. This paper tests whether the Commission’s stated goals and the assumptions of EU integration scholars are reflected in the reality of its funding practices. We present analyses from two original databases: 1. The Commission’s own registry of 685 civil society organizations which includes information about the groups and the funding they have received from the Commission; and 2. A database of 1,164 civil society groups that received funding from the Commission from 2003‐2007. The findings show that the Commission’s funding decisions do indeed reflect its goals of supporting a supranational EU civil society through its support of groups organized at the EU‐level (over groups organized at the national and sub‐national level) and through its support of EU integration groups; European youth, education and intercultural exchange groups; and citizenship, democracy promotion and education groups. The findings also show however, that when it comes to societal cohesion, the Commission’s funding practices are not in line with its rhetoric. Rather than equal funding across member states, or extra support for the civil society groups of the new member states, it is the oldest and wealthiest members that are receiving the largest numbers of grants and the largest amounts of funding. The analysis, compiled from funding documents recently released through the European Transparency Initiative, is the first systematic study of the types of groups that are receiving funding and the factors that explain those funding patterns.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > civil society
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2009 (11th), April 23-25, 2009
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2012 09:46
    Number of Pages: 43
    Last Modified: 19 Aug 2012 09:53

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